Top Winners and Losers from Day 1 of Senior Bowl Practices
MOBILE, Ala. — The Senior Bowl got underway in Mobile on Tuesday, and plenty of guys stuck out in a good way, while others have some work to do throughout the week to recover from a tough start. Who are the guys that are the winners and losers from Day 1?
Winner: Fast Wide Receivers
This is one that stood out right away. Jayden Reed, Dontayvion Wicks, and Tank Dell can fly, and it showed on Tuesday. All three of that players stood out in a big way on Tuesday. Dell and Reed, in particular, created easy separation, with Reed clocking in as the fastest player on either team from the first day of the Senior Bowl.
Not every receiver flashed this year like they have in past years, but these guys rose to the crop quickly as players to watch not just for the Senior Bowl, but as guys who could run great times in Indianapolis in March.
Loser: Quarterbacks (Not Named Max Duggan)
There is a lack of star quarterback quality at this year’s Senior Bowl, and it showed on Tuesday. Max Duggan might just end up being a winner from this day because he looked solid. However, other quarterbacks horribly underthrew receivers or sailed passes left and right. Not only that, but it often seemed like errant decisions were far more frequent than in past years.
Malik Cunningham also missed practice while recovering from a stomach virus. That didn’t help causes, as Cunningham is one of the more traitsy quarterbacks to watch this year. So, overall, this group ended up as a dud.
Winner: Julius Brents
I planned to highlight this more by archetype or specific groups, but how could I not give one spotlight to Julius Brents? I’m not sure if he was the best player on the field yesterday, but he was the best cornerback on either team. The 6-foot-3 cornerback out of Kansas State was absolutely dominant. He won every single one-on-one rep he logged on the day, and some of them were stifling. No one quite has the length in press coverage that Brents has, and he dominated an offensive drill because of it.
Winner: Agile Defensive Linemen
There were plenty of good defensive linemen that stood out. However, they all had their agility in common. Some of them could be outside linebackers at the next level, like Will McDonald, who is bendy and proved it on Tuesday. Others, like Keeanu Benton, showcased some pass rush chops that may not be there on tape for schematic reasons. Whatever the case, the defensive line group really showed out. Bowling Green’s Karl Brooks might be my favorite of the bunch. He is a massive man, but he plays all the way out to a 7-technique. To say that’s impressive is an understatement at his size, but he is turning heads.
Loser: Power Rushers
One the other side of things, it felt like most guys who tried to show off their power move chops or are mostly power-based rushers, just fell flat on Tuesday. The offensive linemen in team drills struggled at times, but in one-on-ones, they stifled most bull rushes and long arms. That’s good to see from a group of linemen. However, the defensive line did start to figure some things out near the end of practice, so it’ll be interesting to see if that changes today.
Winner: Ivan Pace Jr.
My last winner or loser of the day is Cincinnati’s Ivan Pace Jr. There is something about him that stood out when watching the linebackers. He is a bit undersized, but not to the point where you cringe. But he commanded the group by yelling out commands and was fantastic in coverage. His speed and athleticism pop in person as much as they did on tape.