NFL Draft Countdown
2023 NFL Draft Senior Bowl

Senior Bowl Predictions (2023): Defense & Special Teams

Senior Bowl

With Brian living in Mobile, Alabama, the Senior Bowl has been a big part of what Draft Countdown does. Not only that, but it is an event where most players increase their draft stocks and work with NFL staffs. Just like we did last year, we will predict what players will get invited and some runners up who could be replacements. Brian has made his offensive predictions here.

With there being a ton of older players in college football this season, it is a difficult choice to pair these lists down appropriately. Also, players may return to school, not accept the invite, etc. Add in that the Shrine Game this year will have NFL coaching staffs, and it could be a mix of which game players attend. For this list, I am assuming the Senior Bowl will continue to get their top choice of players.

This is also a prediction and not who I personally would choose if I were running the Senior Bowl. Each list would look different if based on my personal evaluations and who I think is the “best” at each position. The Senior Bowl generally does a great job of balancing that with potential draft capital and what players NFL teams are interested in seeing.

 In many cases, I would squeeze a small school player in here and there, but it was a tough fit for all players deserving to go. Take a look and let me know who I missed out on!

 

Defensive Line (22 Total)

Andre Carter II, Army (EDGE)

Habakkuk Baldonado, Pittsburgh (EDGE)

Keondre Coburn, Texas (DL)

Tyler Davis, Clemson (DL)

Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame (EDGE)

Ali Gaye, LSU (EDGE)

Derick Hall, Auburn (EDGE)

Zach Harrison, Ohio State (EDGE)

KJ Henry, Clemson (EDGE)

Siaki Ika, Baylor (DL)

Tyler Lacy, Oklahoma State (DL)

Eku Leota, Auburn (EDGE)

Mike Morris, Michigan (DL)

Caleb Murphy, Ferris State (EDGE)

Moro Ojomo, Texas (DL)

Zacch Pickens, South Carolina (DL)

Jalen Redmond, Oklahoma (DL)

Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Washington (EDGE)

Kobie Turner, Wake Forest (DL)

Keion White, Georgia Tech (EDGE)

Tyree Wilson, Texas Tech (EDGE)

Jared Verse, Florida State (EDGE)

 

Defensive Line was a tough choice. There are a ton of good EDGE players who could play DE or OLB and be classified as such to get the best players to Mobile. Carter and Foskey would be the top gets along with Wilson and Verse. There have been some emerging EDGe players like White, Murphy, and Henry who are very deserving. Ultimately, I leaned on players who had the better year this season as options. Baldonado is probably my least confident choice as he has been dealing with an injury this season, but picked up his play recently.

 

 The interior line is a bit weak in this class for eligible players, so I went light on the choices. The Texas duo could turn into a trio if Sweat is also added. Top players like Ika and Pickens seem likely, while emerging DL like Turner, Morris, and Lacy played their way in this year.  



  

Runners Up

Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern

Jerrod Clark, Coastal Carolina

Robert Cooper, Florida State

Brandon Dorlus, Oregon

Ikenna Enechukwu, Rice

Dylan Horton, TCU

Tre’mon Morris-Brash, UCF

T’Vondre Sweat, Texas

Xavier Thomas, Clemson

 

 

Linebacker (14 Total)

 

Jack Campbell, Iowa

Brenton Cox, Florida 

Nick Hampton, Appalachian State

Daiyan Henley, Washington State

Shaka Heyward, Duke

DJ Johnson, Oregon

Carlton Martial, Troy

Will McDonald, Iowa State

Ventrell Miller, Florida

Owen Pappoe, Auburn

Nolan Smith, Georgia

DeMarvion Overshown, Texas

Henry To’o To’o, Alabama

Byron Young, Tennessee



There are a lot more deserving LBs, especially OLBs, then made my list. It would not be surprising to find a few extra added to the list (like Beal, Jones, or Thomas). There are some downright studs on this list in Smith, Campbell, and Henley. McDonald and Hampton are EDGE players who produce week in and week out. Overshown got an invite last year and went back to school, so he is in. To’o To’o and Pappoe have stepped up their play this season as well. Martial is a Mobile native, so he was included, but maybe should be passed over for others.

Runners Up

Jeremy Banks, Tennessee

Robert Beal Jr, Georgia

Tatum Bethune, Florida State

Troy Brown, Mississippi

SirVocea Dennis, Pittsburgh

Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State

Mikel Jones, Syracuse

Isaiah Land, Florida A&M

Darius Muasau, UCLA

John Morgan III, Pittsburgh

Charlie Thomas, Georgia Tech

Jacoby Windmon, Michigan State

 

Cornerback (14 Total)

Jakorian Bennett, Maryland

Kyu Blu Kelly, Stanford

Cameron Brown, Ohio State

Kei’Trel Clark, Louisville

Chamarri Conner, Virginia Tech

Tre’vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU

Darrell Luter, South Alabama

Riley Moss, Iowa

Joey Porter Jr., Penn State

Cam Smith, South Carolina

Nehemiah Pritchett, Auburn

Darius Rush, South Carolina

Devon Witherspoon, Illinois

Rezjohn Wright, Oregon State

 

Loads of talented corners in this class. Potential first round picks like Porter Jr. and Smith would be awesome gets for the Senior Bowl. The easy choices were Mobile Native Bennett and USA’s Luter who both are potential Day 2 prospects. Moss had an invite last year and returned, while Blu Kelly and Clark are decently touted. Some great play this season will get in Witherspoon, Pritchett, and Conner. Wright, Brown and Rush are my last three in and could be replaced with some talented corners who didn’t make the cut.

 

 

Runners Up

Julius Brents, Kansas State

Storm Duck, North Carolina

Justin Ford, Montana

Keenan Isaac, Alabama State

D’Shawn Jamison, Texas

Anthony Johnson, Iowa State

Tyrique Stevenson, Miami (FL)

Quavian White, Georgia State

Garrett Williams, Syracuse



 

 

Safeties (10 Total)

Jordan Battle, Alabama

Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State

AJ Finley, Mississippi

Demarco Hellams, Alabama

Brandon Joseph, Notre Dame

Kaevon Merriweather, Iowa

Jammie Robinson, Florida State

Daniel Scott, Cal

JL Skinner, Boise State

Chris Smith II, Georgia

 

 

There are some good high profile safeties in this group with Battle, Joseph, and Skinner all as potential Top 50 picks. Brown, Robinson, and Merriweather have had great years so far. Smith and Hellams are SEC stalwarts that make sense. Scott is underrated, but he deserved a spot. Finley is the last in, but a Mobile native who could be a nice addition.

 

Runners Up

Demani Richardson, Texas A&M

Trey Dean, Florida

Anthony Johnson, Virginia

Patrick McMorris, San Diego State

Otis Reese, Mississippi

Benny Sapp, Northern Iowa

Jay Ward, LSU

 

Kicker (2 Total)

Jake Moody, Michigan

Will Reichard, Alabama

 

Moody is one of the best kickers in the nation consistently. It would be hard to not include an eligible Alabama player, so Reichard gets the spot. Ryland should be there instead and will be tough to leave off the roster.



Runners Up

Chad Ryland, Maryland

Noah Ruggles, Ohio State

Andre Szmyt, Syracuse

Jack Podlesny, Georgia

 

 

 

Punter (2 Total)

Adam Korsak, Rutgers

Michael Turk, Oklahoma

 

Hard year for Punters who are eligible. Korsak has had a solid career and Turk is battle tested. Both should come up. The runners up may be able to make it if they declare.

 

Runners Up

Austin McNamara, Texas Tech

Kyle Ostendorp, Arizona

.

 

Long Snapper (2 Total)

Alex Ward, UCF

Bradley Robinson, Ohio State

 

Ward might be the easiest lock of the entire roster having accepted an invite late year and returning to school. Robinson has longevity at Ohio State and may get the Buckeye nod.

 

Runners Up

Payne Walker, Georgia

Matt Hembrough, Oklahoma State



 

See more from Shane on Twitter @ShanePHallam and on Draft Countdown here

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