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Thor Nystrom’s 2023 Senior Bowl Recap: Offense

by Thor Nystrom | Featured Writer
Feb 6, 2023
Thor Nystrom's 2023 Senior Bowl Recap: Offense

Thor Nystrom has returned home after a busy week in Mobile. He recaps the Senior Bowl with the biggest winner and loser at each position group. Measurements in the tables below via the Senior Bowl’s weigh-in. Movement metrics provided by Zebra Tracking.

Check out all of our 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports & Prospect Profiles >>

2023 Senior Bowl Recap: Offense

Top Athletic Performers

Rank Max Speed Name College Position
1 21.65 Darius Rush South Carolina DB
2 21.22 Jakorian Bennett Maryland DB
3 21.15 Trey Palmer Nebraska WR
4 20.24 Tre Tucker Cincinnati WR
5 20.19 Tyjae Spears Tulane RB
6 20.16 Nathaniel Dell Houston WR
7 20.12 Isaiah Land Florida A&M LB
8 20.05 Luke Musgrave Oregon St. TE
9 20.03 Jayden Reed Michigan St. WR
10 19.93 Riley Moss Iowa DB
11 19.92 Xavier Hutchinson Iowa St. WR
12 19.92 Chase Brown Illinois RB
13 19.9 Michael Wilson Stanford WR
14 19.89 Jay Ward LSU DB
15 19.89 Evan Hull Northwestern RB
Rank Acceleration Name College Position
1 5.41 Keidron Smith Kentucky DB
2 5.24 Tyrique Stevenson Miami DB
3 5.24 Kyu Blu Kelly Stanford DB
4 5.23 Mekhi Blackmon USC DB
5 5.19 Daiyan Henley Washington St. LB
Rank Deceleration Name College Position
1 -6.04 Trey Palmer Nebraska WR
2 -5.68 Rejzohn Wright Oregon St. DB
3 -5.56 Riley Moss Iowa DB
4 -5.51 Michael Wilson Stanford WR
5 -5.48 Jartavius Martin Illinois DB
Rank Yards traveled Name College Position
1 16516 Ronnie Bell Michigan WR
2 16174 Grant Dubose Charlotte WR
3 15719 Sydney Brown Illinois DB
4 14932 Tre Tucker Cincinatti WR
5 14924 Rashee Rice SMU WR

2023 Senior Bowl Recap: Quarterbacks

Name College Height Weight Arm Hand Wing
Clayton Tune Houston 6022 216 31 1/2 9 3/8 75 3/8
Hendon Hooker Tennessee 6035 208 32 3/4 10 1/2 79
Jake Haener Fresno State 6000 208 30 9 3/8 73
Jaren Hall BYU 6001 211 29 7/8 9 1/2 71 3/4
Malik Cunningham Louisville 5117 188 31 3/8 9 3/8 77 7/8
Max Duggan TCU 6010 204 30 3/8 9 7/8 73 3/4
Tyson Bagent Shepherd 6026 213 30 3/8 9 1/2 75 3/8
Rank Max Speed Name College Max acceleration Max Deceleration Explosive efforts Yards traveled
1 18.72 Malik Cunningham Louisville 3.82 -3.68 4 5368
2 18.13 Jaren Hall BYU 2.91 -3.47 5 9168
3 16.89 Tyson Bagent Shepherd 4.78 -3.86 6 10165
4 16.52 Jake Haener Fresno St. 3.09 -3.18 0 10349
5 15.12 Clayton Tune Houston 4.31 -3.26 3 9815
6 14.52 Max Duggan TCU 2.93 -3.58 2 10355
Rank Longest Throw Name College Position
1 59.7 Tyson Bagent Shepherd QB
2 59.1 Jake Haener Fresno St. QB
3 57.5 Max Duggan TCU QB
4 55.3 Malik Cunningham Louisville QB
5 52.4 Clayton Tune Houston QB
6 50.2 Jaren Hall BYU QB
Rank Average Air Distance Name College Position
1 20.2 Jake Haener Fresno St. QB
2 19.8 Tyson Bagent Shepherd QB
3 19.7 Malik Cunningham Louisville QB
4 19.7 Jaren Hall BYU QB
5 19.1 Clayton Tune Houston QB
6 18.7 Max Duggan TCU QB
Rank Fastest mph out of hand Name College Position
1 76.8 Clayton Tune Houston QB
2 76.2 Tyson Bagent Shepherd QB
3 74.1 Jake Haener Fresno St. QB
4 73.5 Jaren Hall BYU QB
5 73.4 Max Duggan TCU QB
6 70.4 Malik Cunningham Louisville QB
Rank Average initial air speed Name College Position
1 47.5 Tyson Bagent Shepherd QB
2 46.3 Max Duggan TCU QB
3 45.6 Jake Haener Fresno St. QB
4 45.3 Clayton Tune Houston QB
5 45 Jaren Hall BYU QB
6 44 Malik Cunningham Louisville QB
Rank Highest spin rate Name College Position
1 739.2 Malik Cunningham Louisville QB
2 716.3 Tyson Bagent Shepherd QB
3 710.7 Clayton Tune Houston QB
4 681.1 Jaren Hall BYU QB
5 676.7 Jake Haener Fresno St. QB
6 620.5 Max Duggan TCU QB
Rank Average spin rate Name College Position
1 553 Malik Cunningham Louisville QB
2 525.8 Jake Haener Fresno St. QB
3 514.4 Tyson Bagent Shepherd QB
4 510.6 Clayton Tune Houston QB
5 498.7 Jaren Hall BYU QB
6 398.6 Max Duggan TCU QB

Riser: Fresno State QB Jake Haener

Haener’s trophy case became a little more crowded after this past week – he was named the Senior Bowl game MVP, as well as the National Team’s QB Practice Player-of-Week by the National DB group.

Haener stood out head-and-shoulders above the other quarterbacks in Mobile. He showed up to Mobile and was exactly as advertised. Haener is small, he’s an average athlete, and his arm strength is mediocre.

But Haener makes the correct decision almost every single rep – steady, consistent, no surprises. He gets the ball out on time and on the hands, a zippy rhythm-thrower. Haener clearly has a strong command of any huddle he steps into, including ones filled with new faces as was the case at the Senior Bowl.

The biggest knock on Haener is something that isn’t going to change – he doesn’t have a howitzer for an arm. But Haener’s arm is stronger than advertised. It’s not a howitzer – but it’s not a wet noodle, either.

Reminded me in some ways of Bailey Zappe from last year’s Senior Bowl. We could tell from the first practice session that Zappe’s arm had more zip than we’d been led to believe. Same case with Haener – perhaps not to the same degree, but notable nonetheless.

Haener’s balls have juice within 20 yards of the line. His deep passes are max-effort rainbows – but he does an admirable job directing them, dropping high-percentage looks into buckets and sailing low-percentage shots towards the sideline, where the defender has much-lower odds of making a play on it.

Haener’s advanced footwork in particular shined in comparison to the undisciplined bases of other signal-callers at the event. His tape is strong — he’s one of this classes’ most decorated signal-callers. In this process – one where more quarterbacks returned to school due to NIL incentives – Haener could ultimately soar higher on the draft board than currently anticipated.

Somebody is going to have to fill in that Tier 3 behind consensus top-4 QBs Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis, and Anthony Richardson. Haener is making a strong argument to be included in the shortlist behind those guys.

If you can work around arm strength limitations, Haener is going to run your system like clockwork. People want Stetson Bennett to be this class’ Brock Purdy. I think it’s Haener.

Faller: BYU QB Jaren Hall

Speaking of Bennett, he’s probably the biggest loser of the week at the quarterback position – simply because he bypassed the opportunity to impress amid the mediocre QB crop in Mobile, and was instead popped for public intoxication in the days leading up to Senior Bowl week.

But if we’re talking about the quarterbacks we saw, Hall has to be the biggest faller of the week. After measuring into the event at a disappointing 6’0 1/8 and 211 pounds, Hall’s practice week was littered with misfires and bad decisions.

The accuracy was off all week. You’d see Hall short-arm a pass that burned worms in front of an open receiver. Then you’d start to see him missing high. You’d see him place easy throws to uncovered receivers outside their frames, requiring them to cede YAC opportunities to retrieve it.

Hall had the worst accuracy in practice all week according to the charting of FantasyPros’ Crissy Froyd. Hall also had balls batted at the line, a potential concerning trend in lieu of his height.

His decision-making and field vision only exasperated the accuracy issue. On one particularly egregious interception in team drills, Hall misread the coverage and lolly-popped a ball right into the arms of a waiting defender who didn’t have to move to catch it.

Facing no pass-rush in an individual drill, Hall held the ball way too long, indecisive, and then had it squirt out of his hand as he finally cocked to throw.

Though Hall struggled, he did flash some of the physical tools that have made him an intriguing developmental possibility. Hall and Malik Cunningham were the only two quarterbacks recorded over 18 mph in max speed. And Hall did have a few eye-opening throws when his base was stable.

But whereas Haener’s arm appeared to be stronger than advertised, Hall’s didn’t have the zip I was hoping for. He finished last among quarterbacks in longest charted throw, and in the bottom-half of the group in average air distance, fastest ball speed out of hand, average initial air speed, highest spin rate, and average spin rate. This would have been an easier pill to swallow had these balls been hitting receivers on the hands.

Hall had a chance to seize a spot in that tier behind the top-4 consensus quarterbacks in the class. Instead, this week, he might have been bypassed on draft boards by Haener – at least.

And after such a lackluster showing, it was confusing that Hall elected not to play in the game, leaving Mobile on Friday afternoon. He’s a nice kid who still has fans in the NFL. But this was a missed opportunity.

2023 Senior Bowl Recap: Running Backs

Name College Height Weight Arm Hand Wing
Camerun Peoples Appalachian State 6015 215 33 9 5/8 78 7/8
Chase Brown Illinois 5094 215 31 1/8 9 7/8 74 5/8
Chris Rodriguez Jr. Kentucky 5110 224 30 5/8 8 3/4 74 1/4
Eric Gray Oklahoma 5094 210 30 1/4 9 1/8 71 3/4
Evan Hull Northwestern 5101 214 30 1/4 9 1/8 74
Kenny McIntosh Georgia 5117 210 30 5/8 9 76 5/8
Roschon Johnson Texas 6004 225 31 3/4 9 1/2 77 5/8
Tyjae Spears Tulane 5095 204 30 5/8 10 74
Rank Max Speed Name College Max acceleration Max Deceleration Explosive efforts Yards traveled
1 20.19 Tyjae Spears Tulane 4.52 -5.1 46 14255
2 19.92 Chase Brown Illinois 3.72 -4.19 41 12625
3 19.89 Evan Hull Northwestern 4.04 -3.98 31 13635
4 19.58 Camerun Peoples Appalachian St. 3.91 -4.09 15 11098
5 19.51 Kenny McIntosh Georgia 4.51 -5.39 58 11216
6 19.13 Eric Gray Oklahoma 4.76 -4.45 37 13743
7 18.17 SaRodorick Thompson Texas Tech 4.01 -4.11 31 6624
8 18 Brayden Willis Oklahoma 3.84 -4.92 47 12544
9 17.42 Roschon Johnson Texas 3.15 -4.09 2 4408
10 17.4 Chris Rodriguez Jr. Kentucky 5.01 -5.17 22 9162

Riser: Tulane RB Tyjae Spears

Flashed all week long. I think he’s the biggest winner of the event. NFL executives & scouts apparently agree — Spears was named Senior Bowl Practice Player-of-Week in their vote.

Spears’ strengths, obvious as they were on film, were equally obvious in Mobile. What impressed the most, arguably, was his addressing, one-by-one, the questions in his eval coming in. He turned some into myths.

The doubters said Spears was a durability concern (ACL in 2020). They said he had a skinny build that may not be able to handle the full load. They said he had questionable third-down utility besides. And that he didn’t play special teams.

First, Spears challenged the size question. He weighed into the event at 204 pounds – significantly higher than he’d ever been listed with Tulane at. Spears, who was listed this past season at 195 pounds, told Crissy Froyd and me on Wednesday morning that he played the bowl game against USC at 197 pounds.

Spears said he put on the extra seven pounds over the past four weeks in training. Don’t be surprised if he shows up to Indianapolis closer to 210 – the NFL’s size-threshold for running backs.

Secondly, and just as importantly, Spears showed he could retain his movement skills at the bigger size. He was easily the most explosive back in Mobile.

Third, Spears showed that he could be a value-add in an NFL passing offense. In Mobile, he displayed receiving chops that weren’t obvious on his film. It appears that may have just been a college usage thing.

Not only did Spears take profits with his easy pass-catching reps, but he showed route-running chops nobody gave him credit for. He went viral on Thursday for sending a linebacker into the shadow realm out of a route break during one-on-one drills.

Spears caught multiple balls outside his frame before seamlessly turning upfield. He must have dropped a ball at some point during the week. I just don’t remember him doing so. His hands appeared soft and reliable.

Spears’ next challenge is to prove to doctors in Indianapolis that his knee isn’t a long-term problem. And then, of course, to blow the roof off athletic testing. The latter seems like a foregone conclusion. If Spears checks both of those boxes, Day 2 is going to have to make room for him in April.

Faller: Illinois RB Chase Brown

I wasn’t as high on Brown coming into the event. But he fell beneath even my tepid expectations in Mobile. Whereas a guy like Spears showed that his lack of third-down utility in college may have been a usage thing, Brown proved that his own was endemic to his game.

Brown was rag-dolled in pass-pro drills. He didn’t look good as a receiver, either. Brown was unable to separate during his routes. In one-on-ones, defenders were consistently getting hands on balls thrown to him and crowding catch points when they weren’t. Brown simply doesn’t have the ball skills to make up for a lack of separation – he needs the clean catch point to make the play.

Brown had paddle-hands with the ball all week. He dropped freebie dump-offs in the pass game in addition to his ongoing struggles catching with bodies around him. He also had fumbling issues as a runner.

Brown’s collegiate tape showed a runner who feasts in the second- and third-levels. But he needs to get there to succeed. And the concern my colleague Derek Brown and I had coming in with him is we couldn’t project how he’d do that at the NFL-level barring the luck of playing behind the league’s best offensive line with a coaching staff that would use him perfectly.

Brown doesn’t break many tackles, and he’s not overly-gifted at making defenders miss in the hole. The running lanes he saw last season that allowed him to get a head of steam into the second-level weren’t available in Mobile. Because of that, Brown’s strengths were dormant during Senior Bowl week, while his weaknesses came to the fore.

2023 Senior Bowl Recap: Wide Receivers

Name College Height Weight Arm Hand Wing
Andrei Iosivas Princeton 6027 212 31 5/8 8 5/8 76 3/4
Derius Davis TCU 5084 168 28 5/8 7 5/8 68 3/4
Dontayvion Wicks Virginia 6015 212 32 3/4 10 80 1/4
Elijah Higgins Stanford 6025 228 32 1/8 10 1/2 77 3/4
Grant DuBose Charlotte 6023 204 31 7/8 9 1/2 77 3/8
Jalen Wayne South Alabama 6014 211 31 7/8 9 1/2 78 3/8
Jayden Reed Michigan State 5106 191 30 1/2 9 1/4 72 7/8
Jonathan Mingo Mississippi 6013 226 32 10 1/4 76 1/4
Michael Wilson Stanford 6015 216 31 9 7/8 74
Nathaniel Dell Houston 5083 163 30 1/8 8 7/8 72 3/4
Puka Nacua BYU 6012 206 31 7/8 9 3/8 75 3/8
Rashee Rice Southern Methodist 6004 200 32 1/8 9 1/2 77 1/4
Ronnie Bell Michigan 5112 192 31 1/8 9 1/2 75
Tre Tucker Cincinnati 5087 187 28 5/8 8 1/2 70
Trey Palmer Nebraska 6000 193 31 7/8 9 1/2 77
Xavier Hutchinson Iowa State 6017 207 31 9 74 3/4
Rank Max Speed Name College Max acceleration Max Deceleration Explosive efforts Yards traveled
1 21.15 Trey Palmer Nebraska 4.24 -6.04 84 14688
2 20.24 Tre Tucker Cincinnati 4.6 -5.12 50 14932
3 20.16 Nathaniel Dell Houston 4.06 -4.81 59 10315
4 20.03 Jayden Reed Michigan St. 5.02 -5.09 52 14288
5 19.92 Xavier Hutchinson Iowa St. 4.73 -5.38 50 13178
6 19.9 Michael Wilson Stanford 4.56 -5.51 82 14668
7 19.85 Jalen Wayne South Alabama 4.15 -5.09 62 13895
8 19.82 Jonathan Mingo Mississippi 4.89 -5.33 73 14632
9 19.66 Derius Davis TCU 4.12 -5.11 51 8970
10 19.56 Ronnie Bell Michigan 4.93 -5.43 61 16516
11 19.23 Rashee Rice SMU 4.49 -5.27 97 14924
12 19.12 Grant Dubose Charlotte 4.92 -5.32 68 16174
13 18.91 Andrei Iosivas Princeton 3.76 -5.28 55 12701
14 18.9 Dontayvion Wicks Virginia 4.29 -4.84 73 13763
15 18.23 Elijah Higgins Stanford 4.29 -5.33 61 12834
16 18.08 Puka Nacua BYU 3.56 -4.73 17 3739

Riser: Houston WR Tank Dell

The Senior Bowl is an event that doesn’t cater as well to all positions. Linebacker and safety are two where it is harder to get a read on prospect performance. The way that practices are set up also helps certain types of players more than others.

Dell has one of those skillsets that we thought would shine at the Senior Bowl. And boy did it.

Evaluators look forward to the one-on-one drills on the field in Mobile probably more than any other singular thing during the week. We didn’t see one player in college capable of defending Dell in space – it turns out we didn’t see one of those in Mobile, either.

For two days, Dell destroyed just about every corner with the audacity to line up across from him in the one-on-one drills. Dell’s movement skills are utterly unique – he can change directions as easily as you or I breathe.

Dell’s movement skills really need to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Between the route-running chops and cheat-code agility, it’s impossible to stay with Dell in single coverage. Indeed, Dell’s natural separation skills made him an unfair assignment in practices.

By Wednesday, things had gotten comical. Corners lit up by Dell the day before had a new strategy. They started grabbing his jersey during route breaks in an effort to keep Dell within arm’s length – the new strategy was taking a penalty to move to the next rep.

Dell’s slight frame means he’s going to get jammed at the line in the NFL. Dell did have a hard time getting clean releases on Kansas State CB Julius Brents on Tuesday. Then again, so did everybody else.

Here’s the truth: If you don’t stymie Dell off the line, you’re in a world of trouble. You’re not staying with him downfield without a fistful of jersey. It just is what it is.

Dell pulled out of the event in advance of Thursday’s final practice session. He believed he had shown all he needed to show during Days 1-2. No argument here. He’ll be a Round 2 player on my board.

Similar in size to Tutu Atwell, Dell is not the same player. At Louisville, Atwell was a two-trick utility pony. Atwell either caught a screen and tried to create, or he was running a fly route. Defenses weren’t scared of Atwell in the intermediate sector.

Dell is not as straight-line fast, but he is far more skilled, and the objectively superior route-runner. In 2021, Dell posted a PFF receiving grade of 90+ at all four receiving depths. Last season, the only one he failed to do so was behind the line of scrimmage. In two-of-Atwell’s-three seasons on campus, he posted a 90+ grade at only one-of-four depths. The other season, his best, he did it in three-of-four.

Even at his size, Dell comes to the NFL as a proven killer at every sector of the collegiate field. And Dell’s jumbo production was no fluke. Over the last two seasons, against four P5 opponents and Cincy’s 2021 CFP team – all five went to bowls – Dell had 39 catches for 582 yards and three TD.

Keep in mind: Dell was the one man on Houston’s offense that defenses came into the game with a mandate to stop. They couldn’t. Even at Dell’s size, I don’t see a scenario where he drops out of Day 2. He is simply too skilled.

Faller: Michigan WR Ronnie Bell

Bell projects as a secondary receiver in the NFL. His film doesn’t wow you. But his reliability and attention to the details gave some hope that he could be a Draft Day value as a valued rotational piece to an NFL team’s receiving room.

He didn’t show that in Mobile.

Bell didn’t generate the sort of separation in one-on-ones that you were hoping for. Beyond that, Bell’s hands were extremely inconsistent in Mobile. He had multiple drops on balls that hit him on the hands.

Bell moves well and he looks the part. But between his issues securing the ball and separating, Bell did not have a good week in Mobile.

2023 Senior Bowl Recap: Tight Ends

Name College Height Weight Arm Hand Wing
Brayden Willis Oklahoma 6036 239 32 3/4 9 1/2 79
Cameron Latu Alabama 6042 248 32 9 1/2 79 1/4
Davis Allen Clemson 6054 246 32 10 1/8 78 3/4
Josh Whyle Cincinnati 6064 260 31 7/8 9 1/2 78 3/8
Luke Musgrave Oregon State 6054 255 32 5/8 10 1/2 79 3/4
Payne Durham Purdue 6050 258 33 1/4 9 1/2 80 3/4
Will Mallory Miami 6043 239 32 9 3/8 78 3/8
Rank Max Speed Name College Max acceleration Max Deceleration Explosive efforts Yards traveled
1 20.05 Luke Musgrave Oregon St. 3.84 -4.72 51 12532
2 18.92 Will Mallory Miami 4.35 -5.16 64 13145
3 18.23 Cameron Latu Alabama 4.91 -4.81 71 13632
4 17.23 Josh Whyle Cincinnati 3.7 -4.4 31 13579
5 16.78 Payne Durham Purdue 3.45 -4.16 18 13397
6 16.41 Robert Soderholm VMI 2.14 -3.39 3 6143
7 15.94 Davis Allen Clemson 3.99 -4.1 20 13471
8 15.79 Alex Ward UCF 2.46 -3.71 3 2024

Riser: Oregon State TE Luke Musgrave

Musgrave’s max speed of 20.05 mph is the fastest time Zebra has tracked for a tight end at the Senior Bowl during the five years it has done it. He’s the only tight end at the event during the tracking era to crack the 20 mph mark.

Musgrave didn’t blow me away in practices. But he was consistently solid. And Musgrave noticeably moved better than any other tight end in Mobile. Along every metric.

He’s smoother, he’s faster, his cuts are cleaner, he’s more fluid in space. Musgrave runs snappy routes, consistently creating throwing windows for his quarterbacks. He had some strong catches in Mobile this week. His hands weren’t perfect – but they were good enough.

Some were hoping for Musgrave’s national coming-out party this week – for him to make a strong argument that he should be viewed as a Round 1 candidate. We didn’t get that.

But Musgrave emphatically proved his worth as an NFL prospect. He’ll lock himself into the top-50 picks with a strong showing at the NFL Combine. 

Faller: Stanford WR/TE Elijah Higgins

Higgins entered the week trying to prove he could be a matchup problem at the next level at his size. For two days, he struggled to separate in one-on-one drills as a receiver.

Mercilessly, Higgins was moved to the tight end group for Thursday’s practices. This felt less like a choice, more like a mercy-killing of his NFL receiving dreams.

Higgins is lumbering and stiff for a perimeter receiver. He gives tells to defensive backs into route breaks with exaggerated movements, and invites them to every catch point through an inability to accelerate quickly out of cuts.

Unfortunately, for a guy who now has to be viewed as a position convert, Higgins isn’t big or strong enough to try inline anytime soon. For a big slot, his balls skills and downfield body usage are also lacking.

Higgins arrived at the event hoping to prove that he was a versatile weapon who could be used in multiple ways at the NFL-level, first and foremost beating boundary corners. He proved instead that his NFL utility is limited, perhaps a tweener caught between the boundary WR/big slot positions.

Higgins will be picking up the pieces the rest of his process. I’d suggest he gets in the weight room and begins working with tight end coaching specialists immediately.

2023 Senior Bowl Recap: Offensive Linemen

Name College Height Weight Arm Hand Wing
Asim Richards North Carolina 6040 307 34 1/8 10 83 1/4
Blake Freeland BYU 6074 312 34 10 82 5/8
Cody Mauch North Dakota State 6047 305 32 1/8 9 5/8 79 3/4
Darnell Wright Tennessee 6051 342 34 1/8 8 1/2 82 3/8
Dawand Jones Ohio State 6081 375 36 5/8 11 3/8 89 1/2
Emil Ekiyor Jr. Alabama 6022 317 33 3/8 9 3/8 82 1/8
Jaelyn Duncan Maryland 6054 298 33 1/2 9 3/8 80 5/8
Jake Andrews Troy 6026 319 32 1/4 10 1/4 78 3/8
Jarrett Patterson Notre Dame 6047 304 31 5/8 10 77 5/8
Joey Fisher Shepherd 6035 292 32 10 1/4 N/A
John Michael Schmitz Minnesota 6033 306 32 3/4 9 5/8 78 7/8
Matthew Bergeron Syracuse 6047 323 33 5/8 9 1/2 82 3/8
McClendon Curtis Chattanooga 6056 331 35 10 1/4 84
Nick Broeker Mississippi 6042 305 32 1/4 9 7/8 77 3/8
Nick Saldiveri Old Dominion 6060 311 33 3/8 10 1/2 81 3/8
O’Cyrus Torrence Florida 6047 337 33 7/8 11 1/4 84
Olusegun Oluwatimi Michigan 6025 308 33 8 5/8 80
Richard Gouraige Florida 6047 308 34 10 3/8 82 1/8
Ryan Hayes Michigan 6065 305 32 3/4 10 79 1/2
Steve Avila TCU 6031 332 32 5/8 9 1/4 79
Tyler Steen Alabama 6054 325 33 10 3/4 80 1/2
Wanya Morris Oklahoma 6047 317 35 3/8 10 1/4 85 3/4
Warren McClendon Jr. Georgia 6040 290 34 10 80 5/8
Rank Max Speed Name College Max acceleration Max Deceleration Explosive efforts Yards traveled
1 15.05 Nick Broeker Mississippi 3.46 -3.77 2 7949
2 14.71 Tyler Steen Alabama 3.76 -2.97 3 6971
3 14.6 Warren McClendon Jr. Georgia 3.18 -2.79 0 5254
4 14.6 Matthew Bergeron Syracuse 3.11 -2.95 0 8752
5 14.44 Steve Avila TCU 4.23 -2.73 1 7401
6 14.34 Jovaughn Gwyn South Carolina 2.97 -2.88 0 2620
7 13.95 Asim Richards UNC 3.1 -3.08 0 7869
8 13.92 Ryan Hayes Michigan 3.11 -3.14 0 7593
9 13.87 Richard Gouraige Florida 3.61 -2.66 2 8438
10 13.84 McClendon Curtis UT-Chatanooga 2.85 -3.12 0 8091
11 13.83 Blake Freeland BYU 3.72 -3.38 2 7665
12 13.43 John Michael Schmitz Minnesota 3.22 -3.65 2 8261
13 13.3 Jake Andrews Troy 3.2 -3.5 1 7795
14 12.77 Cody Mauch North Dakota St. 2.83 -3.25 1 7928
15 12.73 Jaelyn Duncan Maryland 2.81 -2.77 0 7341
16 12.5 Wanya Morris Oklahoma 3.45 -2.76 2 8138
17 12.06 Emil Ekiyor Jr. Alabama 3.16 -2.91 0 7242
18 11.67 Olusegun Oluwatimi Michigan 2.75 -2.89 0 6722
19 11.47 Nick Saldiveri Old Dominion 3.02 -3.1 0 7602
20 11.32 Dawand Jones Oregon St. 2.45 -2.97 0 2227
21 11.08 Darnell Wright Tennessee 2.96 -2.79 0 8638
22 11.05 O’Cyrus Torrence Florida 2.69 -3.3 1 7466
23 10.51 Jarrett Patterson Notre Dame 2.73 -2.92 0 6577

Riser: Minnesota iOL John Michael Schmitz

Schmitz told the media in Mobile that he preferred to be referred to as an “interior offensive linemen” during the process as opposed to strictly a center. There are only 32 starting NFL centers. There are 64 starting offensive guards. Schmitz clearly understands supply-and-demand.

And indeed, Schmitz did get some snaps at guard in Senior Bowl practices – proving, in the process, that he has the play strength and tenacity to be left on islands against war-daddy defensive tackles.

Schmitz’s tape at center with the Gophers suggested he had very little left to prove at that position in this event. So some may have wondered why he showed up to Mobile at all.

But it appears Schmitz had a secondary purpose for his pre-draft process: Prove I’m startable immediately at three NFL positions – not just one – and further prove that I’m scheme-diverse, and not just, for instance, of intrigue to center-needy teams in zone-blocking schemes. This is how you increase the pool of teams who might be interested in your services from single-digits to every one of them.

All of this is what made Schmitz’s Senior Bowl week more important than met the eye. He knew his center tape was unimpeachable, and that he’s a very safe NFL prospect at that position. He entered Mobile wanting to prove things that couldn’t be seen on the film.

Mission accomplished. Schmitz consistently impressed in Mobile.

The first thing that stood out about Schmitz during the week is that he’s a practice warrior. Schmitz goes full-boar every rep. His teammates seemed to get more hyped about his wins in one-on-one drills than with others.

True battle-until-the-whistle-blows guy, including on the practice field. We saw this manifest on his game film beforehand – Schmitz will battle back in reps he falls behind through sheer effort. Schmitz’s mobility is high-end, as was apparent on tape – the Gophers had great fun pulling Schmitz and asking him to pick-off second-level defenders.

But Schmitz also acquitted himself very well in one-on-one drills, exercises that are heavily skewed towards the defense. On multiple occasions, stranded on an island, Schmitz utterly stymied ballyhooed interior prospects, eliciting whoops and hollers from his teammates.

This guy is a surefire top-50 pick in April. The cost-certainty is just so high. He’s going to be an above-average starter, at least, in the NFL for a very long time.

After Schmitz’s Senior Bowl week, the first-round talk is no longer a fantasy. He has an opportunity to bolster his case at the NFL Combine, where Schmitz’s movement skills should shine during athletic testing.

Faller: Troy iOL Jake Andrews

Andrews’ week started in dubious fashion. In the week’s first practice, on Tuesday, Andrews had acute issues snapping the ball.

I counted at least three fumbles on center-quarterback exchanges between Andrews and QB Jake Haener. A pair of them occurred out of the shotgun, another one was a botched snap while Haener was under center. On other reps, Haener was consistently fishing errant snaps from outside his frame.

A guard earlier in his career, Andrews shifted to center last year for Troy and took every snap at that position. His snapping issues were curious. Andrews had expressed interest coming into the week of working as both a center and a guard. He got his wish.

But Andrews’ work in one-on-one drills the rest of the week was hit-and-miss – not enough to salvage Tuesday’s showing. On reps Andrews won, you saw tenacity and some ability to anchor.

On the reps Andrews didn’t, he was getting overwhelmed with athleticism or brute strength. He got pushed backwards by bull-rushers. And on multiple occasions, Andrews found himself over-leveraged by a nifty move, a disadvantage he didn’t have the lateral quickness or core strength to dig himself out of.

When an offensive linemen draws attention to himself. It’s usually for the wrong reasons. That was the case for Andrews on Tuesday. He didn’t do enough to dig himself out of the hole on Wednesday or Thursday.

Amid a deep center class in the 2023 draft, Andrews had a lot on the line this week. Unfortunately, he introduced more doubt into his eval than he erased in Mobile.

2023 Senior Bowl Practice Recaps


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