Senior Bowl week continued Thursday with the final day of padded practices. The Senior Bowl is an invite-only showcase of the top upperclassman NFL draft prospects in the country, with more than 100 players split into two teams. The game is Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

Several early-round candidates for the 2023 draft had strong weeks at practice, and a few midrounders are moving up boards because of their work in one-on-one drills and team periods. Which prospects performed well Thursday? Which under-the-radar players impressed teams? Our NFL draft experts break it all down with standouts, sleepers, risers and buzz from Mobile, Alabama.

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Day 2 | Day 1

Thursday’s best quarterback performance

Duggan built off his solid performance in the two-minute drill to end Wednesday’s practice with more poise in the pocket on Thursday. When simulating a red-zone series, he completed multiple passes into challenging windows, including a touchdown throw to the front pylon.

Adjusting to an offense that involves huddling up was a hurdle early in the week, but Duggan has shown he’s capable of getting it done. He displayed more accuracy on Thursday, and his excellent command has been as advertised. The late-Day 3 prospect threw 32 touchdown passes this season, and a good week at the Senior Bowl should help his stock. — Jordan Reid

Day 3 standout prospects

After flashing his talent during the first two days of practice, Adebawore had his best day yet on Thursday. He was impossible to block during the competitive periods. His best moment came during the one-on-one drills when he bull-rushed Notre Dame interior lineman Jarrett Patterson 10-plus yards backward. Adebawore has been able to win in multiple ways, flashing power and creativity with his hands and keeping blockers on their heels when switching up his approach.

At 6-foot-1 and 284 pounds, Adebawore is a tweener along the defensive line, but he has generated buzz among the scouts I’ve talked to here in Mobile. Most expect him to end up as a 3-technique tackle in the NFL. He is a top-100 prospect who is creeping up draft boards.



Northwestern’s Adebawore bulldozes an offensive lineman in Senior Bowl practice

Check out Northwestern’s Ade Adebawore bulldoze Notre Dame’s Jarrett Patterseon in a drill during Senior Bowl practice.

Spears continued to build off a strong finish to the college season (1,581 yards and 19 rushing TDs) with a really good showing this week. The American team began Thursday’s practice with a competitive period that involved all positions, and Spears created a collective reaction from everyone on the field as he ran a return route and sprung open against Pitt linebacker Sirvocea Dennis. His burst, acceleration and shiftiness have stood out all week, and he is the clear top running back in Mobile.

At 5-foot-10 and 204 pounds, he is much heavier than what many evaluators were expecting. The extra weight hasn’t had a negative effect, though, as he had multiple explosive runs during the three-day stretch. Spears is likely a complementary back at the next level, and NFL teams are envisioning him in a Tony Pollard-like role. He was an early-Day 3 target last week. Now? It wouldn’t surprise me if a team selects him in the third round.

Rush has been the biggest eye-opener for me this week. At 6-foot-2 and 196 pounds, he has a slight frame, but his short-area quickness and smooth hips have been consistent traits. A true technician, his read-and-react skills have suffocated wideouts on routes. He’s patient and can make plays on the ball, recording two interceptions on Thursday (he had two in the 2022 season).

I saw Rush on multiple occasions throughout the season, and he was really strong in coverage for the Gamecocks. And after being perhaps the most consistent defensive back in Mobile, Rush is going to rise into the top-100 discussion. — Reid

Quick-hitters from Day 3

Jordan Reid

  • If you scroll down, you’ll see we talked a lot about Stanford receiver Michael Wilson this week. And for good reason: Wilson has been arguably the biggest winner of the week of practices. He’s a savvy and nuanced route runner who played in a Stanford offense where he wasn’t a featured option. His strength at the catch point has been his standout trait during each practice this week, and while he was a late-round target coming into the week, scouts think he could now be a popular target early on Day 3. His only two “negative” plays this week came in the red zone, where he wasn’t able to haul in a tough catch along the sideline during one-on-one drills and another where he towered over a defender to catch the ball but stepped out of bounds.

  • Washington State linebacker Daiyan Henley has performed well this week. At 6-foot, 230 pounds, he’s a rangy second-level defender with easy movement skills that have stood out among the rest of the linebackers in team drills. He makes things tough for running backs in coverage — he has been hip to hip with them in one-on-one drills. He also has shown physicality when matching up against backs in pass-rush drills. Henley, who had 106 tackles during his lone season at Wazzu, has shown instincts and a nose for the ball in Mobile.

  • Jerrod Clark, a 6-foot-3, 343-pound defensive tackle from Coastal Carolina, had his top performance of the week on Thursday. He’s a massive two-gapping presence at his best when allowed to eat up blocks inside. His pass-rush moves are limited — he has relied relied heavily on bull-rushing blockers — but he still has been tough to handle. Clark likely is a two-down player at the next level, with teams that play a 3-4 scheme targeting him in the mid-to-late rounds. He will help a run defense early.

  • Purdue tight end Payne Durham caught multiple touchdown passes during the latter half of Thursday’s practice. He was used a lot as the wing tight end in the red zone, where he was able to sneak out off bootleg and play-action concepts. He also caught a seam pass from BYU QB Jaren Hall during the two-minute drill. Payne is limited in the open field, but he isn’t afraid to do the dirty work in the run game — he can be used as a split-zone blocker.

  • Michigan center Olusegun Oluwatimi rebounded Thursday after some struggles over the first two days. He won multiple battles with Wisconsin defensive tackle Keeanu Benton and stood out during team periods. Oluwatimi shows strength at the point of attack and the ability to anchor when pass-rushers attempt to attack his frame. He is receiving mixed reviews from scouts, though, as some evaluators have questions about his lower-half quickness. He is viewed as a fourth- or fifth-round prospect right now.

  • After taking a hard fall during the second day of practice, Miami cornerback Tyrique Stevenson did not participate Thursday as a precautionary measure. But he stood out this week before the injury, and many scouts consider him the highest-ranked defensive back in Mobile. Some even think he could sneak into Round 1.

  • Virginia receiver Dontayvion Wicks had his best day of the week on Thursday. He’s a smooth route runner, and his ability to separate and find holes in the defense was on display during 7-on-7 work. Wicks had two touchdowns, including a play where he navigated through crowded zone coverage in the back of the end zone to bring in a tough catch. His best play of the day, though, came in a one-on-one matchup against Georgia safety Christopher Smith. Wicks raced past Smith on a corner route and secured the catch in outstretched arms right in front of the back pylon. He definitely boosted his stock at the Senior Bowl after getting lost in the shuffle in the Cavaliers’ offense this season.

Wednesday’s best quarterback performance

I thought Duggan was the most consistent quarterback during the second day of practice, as he made multiple throws into tight windows. At one point, he completed a challenging seam throw, showing poise and accuracy. And during the team period, Duggan had one of the best throws of Wednesday’s practices when he tossed a corner route to Oregon State tight end Luke Musgrave.

But his best series came during the two-minute drill, when he drove the American team offense down the field and nearly finished the drive with a touchdown. He has been forced to play more within structure at the Senior Bowl than he did at TCU, and he adjusted well to the circumstances during the second day. — Jordan Reid

Day 2 standout prospects

Benton flashed multiple times throughout the second day of practices, showing power on a 6-foot-4, 312-pound frame. He has a stout, stocky build but showed the first-step quickness and agility to handle playing in a 3-technique role. Benton can consistently rush from the inside and win (4.5 sacks and 18 pressures in 2022), and we saw a really nice spin move in practice.

Benton had some top-50 buzz from scouts headed into the week, and it’s easy to see why. With many NFL teams looking for inside pass-rushing, and with the 2023 draft class being light at the position, he has a chance this week to move up draft boards. He has been one of my favorite defensive line prospects to watch this week at the Senior Bowl. — Matt Miller

After a standout first day (which Miller talked up on Tuesday), Wilson continued to get open during all competitive periods on Wednesday. He showcased savvy route running and strong/reliable hands, he has been the most consistent wideout of the group this week. At 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds, he has an impressive build.

Wilson only recorded 26 catches last season, but his ability was hidden in the Stanford offense. Evaluators think that he could be a better pro than college player, and while he was seen as a mid-Day 3 selection before the Senior Bowl, he’s now generating some early-Day 3 buzz. — Reid

One of the biggest plays of Wednesday came on a screen pass during 11-on-11 drills. The ball was dropped to the right flat with defenders giving chase. Then came Schmitz, laying a crushing block to spring the runner into space.

Schmitz has had a wonderful first two days of practice and has been the most impressive offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl. His ability in space will give scouts a Creed Humphrey-like vibe, and he also routinely handled seal blocks and head-up defenders in the session. If you’re looking for the first center to come off the board, Schmitz is taking the spot. He allowed just one sack all season in 2022. — Miller

Dell gave us plenty of “wow” moments during the second day of practice. He has the ability to speed up and shut it down in an instant, and defensive backs had trouble keeping pace with his route stems and change-of-direction skills. He was also able to show off his catch radius on multiple occasions, hauling in multiple tough catches. Dell was the nation’s leader in receiving yards this season (1,398), but at 5-foot-8 and 163 pounds, he’s a smaller receiver who will require a specific role in the NFL. Still, teams in search of dynamic playmakers could target him in the middle rounds. — Reid

Quick-hitters from Day 2

Matt Miller

  • Stanford cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly really impressed on Day 2, showing toughness in coverage and very good instincts when matched up with receivers in one-on-one drills. The National roster doesn’t have a top-flight cornerback prospect, and through two practices, Kelly has been that team’s most talented cover man. It’s fair to say he has improved his draft stock in Mobile and is moving into my top 60.

  • The big cornerback is en vogue in the NFL, and South Carolina’s Darius Rush fits the bill at 6-foot-2 and 196 pounds. He plays a physical brand of football at the line of scrimmage, runs well down the field and made several impressive plays on the ball during one-on-one drills. He played in the shadow of Cam Smith at South Carolina but has made a name for himself with physicality, length and speed. He was buried on my board as a potential mid-Day 3 player before Mobile, but his play through two days looks more like that of a top-120 pick at a premium position, and he has the tools to be a good CB2 in the NFL.

  • Illinois running back Chase Brown is the type of Day 3 runner that NFL teams should be excited about following the successes of Tyler Allgeier and Isiah Pacheco from the 2022 draft class. Brown is a hard-charging runner at 5-foot-10 and 215 pounds, and his tape showed a special ability to break tackles. Through two practices, he has displayed well-rounded ability as a receiver, pass protector and returner.

  • SMU wide receiver Rashee Rice struggled throughout one-on-one drills and didn’t show the speed to separate from sticky coverage. He was a 50/50 ball specialist at SMU but entered this week needing to answer questions about his speed and separation ability. But he will need to show more on Thursday to back up his current top-50 grade.

Jordan Reid

  • Northwestern defensive lineman Adetomiwa Adebawore had an impressive showing during the one-on-one portion of Wednesday’s practice, and during the team parts of the session, he was used at multiple spots along the interior. Adebawore is best projected as a 3-technique in a four-man defensive front.

  • Florida interior offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence continued to look like a first-round player on Wednesday. He was my highest-ranked prospect coming into the week, and he has actually exceeded expectations. He showcased overwhelming power and the ability to anchor at the point of attack. Torrence projects as a mid-to-late Day 1 selection.

  • Tulane running back Tyjae Spears opened a lot of eyes during the second day of practice. He had a 45-yard touchdown run during the team 11-on-11 portion of practice, displaying vision, burst and finishing ability. He’s likely a complementary back at the next level as a versatile asset in both the pass and run game of an offense. Spears will be a popular target in the third or fourth round.

Matt Bowen

  • Jackson State linebacker Aubrey Miller Jr. is a powerful player at the point of attack with second-level range. He flashed those traits in one-on-one drills and team sessions on Wednesday.

  • Oregon State tight end Luke Musgrave has the frame and catch radius to work the middle of the field in a pro system from traditional alignments. And in the two-minute drill at the end of the Wednesday practice, Musgrave flexed to the slot to work the second and third level on corners and seams.

  • North Dakota State’s Cody Mauch has the inside versatility to align at center or guard. He plays with second-level mobility and has the strength to handle power at the point of attack. It has been a really good week for Mauch in Mobile.

Todd McShay

  • I was really impressed with Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener and Michigan State receiver Jayden Reed in the first practice session. I love Haener’s tape, and while he is undersized (6-foot, 208 pounds), every ball he threw on Wednesday was on the mark. Nothing phases him in the pocket. He showed really strong anticipation and an ability to change arm angles, and his confidence stood out. At one point, he climbed the pocket and rolled to his right to hit a receiver. And even though he completed the pass, Haener went right up the pass-catcher after the play to talk through where he wants him on those throws. Scouts love to see that stuff. He’s one of those midround QBs that will be a solid backup but could potentially develop into a starter down the road in the NFL if he lands in the right system.

  • Reed, meanwhile, entered the week as a fourth-round prospect for me after catching 55 passes for 636 yards and five TDs this season, but I’m not sure he gets out of Day 2 now. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up a second-rounder. He showed great release off the line of scrimmage, and the play speed is absolutely there. Reed made multiple plays going up and getting the ball downfield, and his play just popped among the receivers.

  • I’ll also shout out Oregon State tight end Luke Musgrave and Tulane running back Tyjae Spears. Both prospects had great afternoons, and they are definitely rising.

Tuesday’s best quarterback performance

Tune had command of the offense on Day 1 in Mobile, making smart decisions with the ball and throwing with accuracy. At 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds, he displayed clean and controlled footwork at the top of the drop and took the throws that were available in both 7-on-7 and team drills.

Of the prospects here at the Senior Bowl, Tune displayed the most pro-ready traits to fit into an NFL pass game defined by play-action, movement and timing concepts that break inside the numbers. And he has the mobility to test the edges on boot. Tune threw 40 touchdown passes in 2022. — Matt Bowen

Day 1 standout prospects

Sometimes a player can win their group or practice session with a strong eyeball test and a few moves. On Tuesday, that was White. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound pass-rusher has excellent power on tape, and that lower-body strength showed up in practice. At one point, he executed a perfect spin move in offense vs. defense 11-on-11s, displaying agility, balance and a great bull rush coming off of it.

I admit I was late to come around on White, but more than half a dozen of the scouts I polled at the Senior Bowl say he’s the top-ranked prospect in Mobile this week. The buzz around White is that he’ll be a first-round pick, with one scout for a playoff team even wondering if he’d still be available when it selects in the later parts of Round 1. White had 7.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss in 2022.

Hall started the week on a good note, measuring in with 34 3/8 inch arm length on a 6-foot-3 and 252-pound frame. Those are great numbers considering one of his biggest questions heading into the pre-draft process was regarding his size. And then in the practice session, Hall routinely showed up when rushing from a stand-up position, something that should excite teams with base 3-4 defenses. He also turned in a GPS-measured speed of 19.21 miles per hour on a punt coverage, via Zebra Sports.

Hall does need to develop a counter pass-rush move — we saw him trying to use a rip-and-under move too often on Tuesday — but his power and use of length are exciting tools. He posted seven sacks and 13 tackles for loss this season, and teams I’ve talked to this week believe he is a top-40 prospect.

Wilson provided many “wow” moments in the first practice of the week, exploding off the line of scrimmage to eat up the cushion of opposing cornerbacks. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound receiver had a quiet year for the Cardinal (26 catches, 418 yards and 4 TDs), but he was the best wideout on the National roster on Day 1.

Wilson’s explosive ability off the line and power to push press coverage has him moving up my board. Coming into the week he was a late-rounder, but he looks more like a third-round prospect after proving his physical traits can pop outside the very conservative Stanford offensive system.

In a cornerback class waiting for someone to stand out, Stevenson stole the show in the afternoon practice session. His length pops off the field, and at 6-foot and 204 pounds, he has NFL size to play on the outside. Stevenson’s best trait, though, is his recovery speed, which showed up routinely in practice against the best receivers the American roster has to offer. He is the best cornerback on either roster and shouldn’t be a surprise as a top-40 selection. He had two interceptions and six pass breakups this season. — Miller

Quick-hitters from Day 1

Matt Miller

  • Clemson defensive end K.J. Henry was very impressive in positional drills on the first day of practice, showing excellent body control and agility in space during zone drops and chase drills. He was overshadowed by the first-rounders while playing on the Clemson defensive line, but he is coming off his best season and can be, at worst, a very solid role player in the NFL. He’s a fringe top-100 player for me.

  • Texas running back Roschon Johnson was the most impressive running back of Day 1. A 6-foot, 225-pound back with great power, Johnson was recruited to Texas as a quarterback before moving to running back after injuries hit the Longhorns. Scouts tell me his football instincts and work ethic are off the charts. His ability to pick up the pass rush in one-on-one drills Tuesday was also top-notch, and his power, explosiveness and hands were all on display. Johnson is a sneaky Round 3-4 player with starter traits, despite playing behind Bijan Robinson at Texas.

  • Oregon State tight end Luke Musgrave was billed by scouts as the best pass-catcher in attendance at the Senior Bowl, and he absolutely looked the part on Tuesday. He missed all but two games in 2022 to a knee injury but looks healthy running around without a brace on his recently repaired knee. He’s a big throwback tight end (6-foot-5, 255 pounds) who will dominate the middle of the field. Musgrave has gotten consistent first-round grades from NFL scouts.

  • Everyone likes a sleeper, and the Senior Bowl is great for finding them. Kansas State cornerback Julius Brents stood out in 11-on-11 situations with his tough, physical style of coverage at 6-foot-3 and 202 pounds. Brents was the surprise of entire day on Tuesday and will send me back to the film room to see how his in-season play matched his practice performance.

Matt Bowen

  • Illinois safety Sydney Brown is a player to watch Wednesday when the teams move to full-padded practices. He’s an urgent, top-down player with disruptive traits, and he shows position flexibility in pro sub-packages. There’s a physical demeanor to his game.

  • Iowa cornerback Riley Moss (6-foot, 192 pounds) had a good first day in one-on-one sessions and team drills. He’s a technique-sound defender with the lower-body flexibility to change directions. And he matched speed down the field in man coverage.

  • Houston wide receiver Nathaniel Dell lacks ideal NFL size at 5-foot-8 and 163 pounds, but he looked like an explosive target in the pass game on Tuesday, with the lateral speed to separate underneath and the vertical juice to stretch defenders. He was a sudden mover on the field.

  • Another receiver who flashed on Tuesday? Michigan State wide receiver Jayden Reed, who popped during one-on-one drills. He displayed easy separation and set-up ability on in-breakers, while also winning over the top.

  • Ohio State offensive tackle Dawand Jones has an opportunity to move up draft boards this week in Mobile. With his massive 6-foot-8, 375-pound frame and length at the point of attack, Jones can close the door on edge rushers despite his limited foot quickness. His 89½-inch wingspan was the longest measured in at least 25 years at the Senior Bowl.

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