Senior Bowl: Tyler's top 10 performers this week


The 2023 Senior Bowl has finished up the practice portion of the week and it was a great one.

Practice usually stands out in multiple ways, especially considering the unique nature of practice. It's a lot of individual drills that help players standout by focusing on the things that each position prioritizes.

During practice, there were a lot of players that stood out, but 10 stood out more than the rest. Here are my top 10 players from practice this week.

10. Princeton WR Andre Iosivas


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The Princeton wide receiver had a major opportunity to stand out with an advanced level of competition. His track speed is something that immediately gives him the advantage on the field. His size at nearly 6'3″ gives him another weapon to beat coverage.

At practice, Iosivas was excellent. He won with route running, attacking the ball at the catch point and did a great job accelerating out of breaks. He didn't have the same rise as Christian Watson, but he played very well during practice and proved that he will be a good player at the NFL level. He will likely be selected between 50-125.

9. Virginia WR Dontayvion Wicks


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Going into the 2022 season, I had a lot of expectations for Wicks. He was a maven on deep balls having a near 20 YPC average in the Air Raid-inspired offense. Once Tony Elliott got there, things changed and the offense just didn't click on any form of high level.

Wicks came to Mobile in a loaded receiver group but acquitted himself extremely well. His short-area quickness was absurd and created excellent separation from defenders. Drops were an issue at Virginia and he wasn't perfect in Mobile, but he did recover well from his drops and made both the easy and hard catches.

8. Wisconsin DT Keeanu Benton


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The trenches are one of the funniest things to watch at practice. They are absolute wars between the best of the best and you get to see players go against better competition than they might have seen in their college days.

There wasn't a better pure defensive tackle all week than Benton. His sledgehammer hands were incredible against a really solid group of interior players He isn't just a power player, as Benton knows how to get off the ball and win with quickness. His spin move in the trenches sent players for a loop. The best battle was between him and Michigan center Olusegun Oluwatimi on day three were the best of National team practice.

7. Georgia Tech DL Keion White


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The defensive line had some really fun players but the best of the group was White. He wasn't thought of that well coming into the week, but on Tuesday morning, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah listed White has his eighth-ranked player on his big board.

It didn't take long for Benton to make an impact on the field. He was excellent in all phases during one on ones and in team drills. He was explosive and powerful throughout the week but looked like one of the best three players in Mobile on day one. His performances weren't quite as dominant as day one but he was great nonetheless.

6. South Carolina CB Darius Rush


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The cornerbacks in this class are honestly absurd. So far, I have graded 10 total cornerbacks and nine of them have either first or second round grades. This group only had one that I had watched previously in Kyu Blu Kelly, but a couple of them stood out and nobody stood out more than Rush.

A big, athletic cornerback, Rush was the fastest player in Mobile.

He wasn't just fast, he dominated at the catch-point and showed his football IQ. He would get beat off the line of scrimmage but had the IQ and explosiveness to get back in the rep. His ball skills would take over and he looked like a top 100 pick.

5. Iowa State EDGE Will McDonald


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The edge group this year isn't necessarily great, but one thing they could use more of is someone that can go around the edge with some bend. That's what McDonald brings to the table.

A player that wants to be a versatile defender like Micah Parsons, McDonald was excellent in every facet of defense this week. He blew up running plays, looked fluid and comfortable in coverage and won reps in multiple ways around the edge. A team that wants someone who won't be limited by situation should be all-in on McDonald.

4. Houston WR Tank Dell


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If I hear one more person comparing Dell to Tutu Atwell, I'm going to scream. I don't care that he measured in shortly above 5'8″ and weighs 163 lbs, their games aren't even close to being similar. Atwell was used in mostly a gadget role whereas Dell is a true wide receiver.

On tape, you saw him win frequently over the middle and Houston head coach Dana Holgersen had him on the move a lot. The one constant was his insane quickness. That was on full display in Mobile where Dell torched defenders at the line of scrimmage and at the top of his routes. What really stood out was how well he beat press. That quickness helped him evade the many long, tall cornerbacks from jamming him. He won't be the receiver you draft to be super versatile, but he will be great at what you ask him to do.

3. Minnesota C John Michael Schmitz


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When you have a sixth-year senior entering the draft, the hope is that you have a relatively finished product that you don't need to develop much. That's Minnesota center Schmitz.

On tape, you see him be the model of consistency. He can reach block, anchor in pass protection, climb to the second level and move relatively well. What set him apart was how he continuously tried to body dudes in drills. Schmitz was always trying to finish his opponent by destroying them. His performance might have earned himself a trip to the first round.

2. Ohio State RT Dawand Jones


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You see it every year where a player is so dominant during Senior Bowl week that they end up going home because they don't have anything left to prove. That usually happens after two or three practices, not one. This year, Jones was so good after one practice that he went and bailed.

It's really hard to blame him, as Jones turned in the single-most dominant performance of the entire week. A mammoth 6'8″ and 375 lbs with a wingspan of nearly 90″, He was incredible at the point of attack, burying guys with his strong hands and excellent strength, but it was his foot quickness that set him apart. Men his size shouldn't be able to move like that and that will likely land him in round one.

1. Tulane RB Tyjae Spears


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Running back is a very deep position in this draft class. Guys who would normally go on day two could potentially be undrafted. That's slight hyperbole, but you get the picture.

This was a very good group and Spears was the best among them. He was incredible in all facets, especially in the passing game. He had the play of the week on Thursday in passing drills.

His vision, short area quickness, ability to turn and cut on a dime and his capable long speed have him on a trajectory to be a great player. He likely boosted his draft stock and could even sneak into the top 50.

Other notables


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  • Northwestern RB Evan Hull

  • Washington State LB Daiyan Henley

  • Miami FL CB Tyrique Stevenson

  • Auburn EDGE Derick Hall

  • Northwestern DL Adetomiwa Adebawore

  • Bowling Green DL Karl Brooks

  • Florida G O'Cyrus Torrence

  • NDSU OL Cody Mauch

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire


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