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Senior Bowl Day 3 Practice Recap: Risers, Fallers & Takeaways (2024)

Senior Bowl Day 3 Practice Recap: Risers, Fallers & Takeaways (2024)

Thursday was the third and final Senior Bowl practice ahead of Saturday’s game. While the Thursday practice is often one of the more interesting practices of the week, with more media members and NFL personnel in attendance and players cross-training at different positions, this year’s final practice was less eventful. The big names were still there: Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens were roaming the sidelines, and even Eagles’ security chief Dom DiSandro was in attendance, but the practice itself was milder, safe for some unfortunate injuries. Once again, Derek Brown, Thor Nystrom, and Eric Froton were in attendance and break everything down below.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

Senior Bowl Day 3 Practice Recap

News and Notes

Notre Dame CB Cam Hart stood out every single day down here. Thursday was no exception. His technique is beautiful, and he showed in Mobile that he has more athleticism than he may have been given credit for coming into the event.

USC WR Brenden Rice, who measured into the Senior Bowl at 6’2/212, said in a post-practice interview on Thursday that he intends to cut to 205 for the NFL Combine.

Arizona WR Jacob Cowing left Thursday’s practice limping. After briefly being tended to by a trainer off on the side, the cart was called for, and Cowing got a ride off the field. We’re awaiting news on his status – it appeared to be a right leg injury — but I would assume Cowing’s week is over. Disappointing turn after Cowing’s down week. He’s a stock-down guy.

The following players left the Senior Bowl prior to Thursday’s practices:

  • Marshall RB Rasheen Ali
  • Michigan WR Roman Wilson
  • Florida WR Ricky Pearsall
  • Oregon C Jackson Powers-Johnson
  • Washington State EDGE Brennan Jackson
  • Penn State CB Johnny Dixon
  • Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell
  • Maryland S Beau Brade
  • Wake Forest S Malik Mustapha

South Carolina WR Xavier Legette left Thursday’s practice early with an undisclosed injury. He spent some time in the locker room. When he returned to the field, it was in shorts. It’s possible that we’ve seen the last of him this week.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that RB Rasheen Ali suffered a ruptured biceps tendon in practice. The injury will require surgery and comes with a 4-6 month recovery timeline. Ali is expected to be healthy for his rookie season in 2024. The hope is that he’ll be good to go for camp.

Oregon C Jackson Powers-Johnson left Wednesday’s practice early after apparently re-aggravating a hamstring injury he initially suffered in training. Over his roughly one-and-a-half practices, Powers-Johnson impressed as much as any offensive lineman on the field in Mobile. He’s a dancing bear with ridiculous strength. Once Powers-Johnson set his giant meat hooks into a defender, it was over. One-on-one drills at these events are very difficult for offensive linemen, who get stranded on islands. But over and over again Powers-Johnson controlled his man and did whatever he wanted with him, never in doubt of losing the rep. Between his stellar showing at the Senior Bowl and his eye-popping tape, Powers-Johnson now needs to be discussed as a potential first-round pick.

UCLA EDGE Laiatu Latu didn’t practice Thursday. He was, however, at the session in shorts – with a wrap on his left leg. It would appear his on-field work is over this week.

Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell apparently had to be talked out of practicing on Thursday after wanting to go. He had nothing left to show after a stellar first two days of practice. He’s a well-built bulldog of a corner with a deep bag of tricks in man coverage. Mitchell stole the show in one-on-ones, consistently dragging receivers into deep waters. Mitchell broke up 44 passes over the last two years, showing a preternatural nose for the ball when quarterbacks had the temerity to throw his direction. 

Penn State CB Johnny Dixon’s minor injury from Wednesday turned out to be a glute injury. Per an NFL Network report, Dixon had finished his team interviews by Wednesday night, so he has left Mobile.

Oregon CB Khyree Jackson sat out Wednesday’s practice with a foot injury, but was emphatic with the media that he wanted to return to practice. Turns out, that’s exactly what happened. Not only was he at Thursday’s session, but he looked good on the practice field.

Thor Nystrom

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Quarterbacks

RISER: Bo Nix (Oregon)

Oregon QB Bo Nix had easily his best session on Thursday. After struggling each of the first two days – with wavering accuracy downfield leading to risk-averse checkdowns – Nix made several nice throws on Thursday. Perhaps he heard some of the criticisms floating around Mobile the past 48 hours. Nix, in particular, shined during a red zone session during Thursday’s practice, lacing several completions into the back of the end zone.
Thor Nystrom

FALLER: Sam Hartman (Notre Dame)

Notre Dame Sam Hartman struggled once again on Thursday. He’s a small pocket-passing prospect with a middling arm. He was terrible under pressure each of the last two seasons – in 2022 at Wake Forest and 2023 at Notre Dame – who was looking to show pinpoint accuracy short and intermediate in Mobile to move his draft-stock needle. That didn’t happen. I’m not sure that Hartman is worth using a pick on at this point.
Thor Nystrom

FALLER: Joe Milton (Tennessee)

Milton’s scattershot nature and late trigger returned on Thursday to bite him in the butt. He tossed a pick in the red zone drills and looked pedestrian on other reps, having to opt to run on some plays as he didn’t progress through his reads quickly enough to peep open receivers. Milton will still land on some NFL roster as a Day 3 pick in the NFL Draft based solely on his physical traits, but any NFL team is kidding themselves if they look at him as anything more than a developmental prospect.
Derek Brown

FALLER: Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)

This was the forum for Penix Jr. to separate himself as the clear QB4 in this class, but he did nothing this week to do so. He had a few nice throws throughout the week, but my big concern with him entering Mobile was his trigger and ability to operate in a system that didn’t rely on a single read and quick passing. He also let the ball sail on him multiple times when he was knocked off his mark and forced to throw on the run.
Derek Brown

Running Backs

RISER: MarShawn Lloyd (USC)

USC RB MarShawn Lloyd once again looked strong on Thursday. He couldn’t show all the anger and power he runs with during this all-star week, but what he did display was a fluidness and suddenness in his routes. Lloyd might have been under-utilized as a receiver in college. It was good to see him excelling in this phase in Mobile.
Thor Nystrom

MarShawn Lloyd continues to make this column with a wonderful week in every facet. He has been a staple in the passing game out of the backfield this week with soft hands and obvious juice as soon as the ball is in his hands. Lloyd is a monster on the ground with true three-down potential. He has been a treat to watch all week, and I can’t wait to see him stiff-arming defenders into the shadow realm in the NFL.
Derek Brown

RISER: Cody Schrader (Missouri)

I leave Mobile more of a Cody Schrader fan than before I arrived. He performed well in every facet this week, especially standing out in the receiving drills and 1-on-1s. His tree trunk lower half is velvet smooth in pass routes. Schrader helped himself a ton this week. It was wonderful to see.
Derek Brown

RISER: MICHAEL WILEY (Arizona)

One of the elite passing down specialists in college football over the last two seasons, Wiley is a rare all-purpose specialist with enough size (5’10/209) and experience navigating the interior to conceivably handle both early down and third down reps. Two seasons ago Wiley exploded onto the scene by earning a sensational 93.2 PFF rush grade while averaging 4.66 yards after contact. However this year Wiley got banged up a few games in and never seemed the same for the remainder of 2023, going from a PFF elusiveness rating of 204.0 that ranked amongst the highest in the nation, to a more tame 115.9 rating this season. Regardless, Wiley was incredible in Day 3 passing drills, making multiple back-shoulder receptions look easy. He also broke a pair of long runs on Day 2, showing that the rest he was able to get after the season ended in late-November helped him be able to show a glimpse of the explosiveness he exhibited in 2022. I may be optimistic that Wiley can regain his 2022 form, but if he does the Arizona multi-purpose weapon could find his way to fantasy relevance for the cost of a late-5th round rookie selection.
Eric Froton

2024 NFL Draft Guide

Wide Receivers

RISER: Javon Baker (UCF)

My man crush had taken a hit after Day 1 of the Senior Bowl, but Baker redeemed himself the rest of the week. He had a solid day on Wednesday before “Mossing” a corner to open Day 3. He excelled in 1-on-1s to close the week with short area quicks, nuance in his routes, and his signature high-point skills. I wasn’t prepared to toss my entire eval in the trash after a disappointing opening to the week, and Baker proved that my continued faith in his skillset was the correct course of action.
Derek Brown

RISER: Jamari Thrash (Louisville)

Thrash closed the week with his strongest practice yet. Yes, I will admit that he had some drops today, but he earned separation in 1-on-1s and team drills regularly. Before arriving in Mobile, in my wide receiver primer, I mentioned that Thrash’s superpower was his “quick feet, specifically gearing down on intermediate routes,” which was on display today. Thrash cemented himself as a Day 3 pick in the NFL Draft during the Senior Bowl process. An NFL team will be very happy with what he brings to the table with his underneath nuanced route running.
Derek Brown

I was pretty hard on Jamari Thrash yesterday, as the spindly built (5’116/185) transfer from Georgia State-to-Louisville showed the requisite shiftiness and agility to separate from defenders, but he failed to convert those space-creating routes into receptions due to shaky hands. Though Thrash put a ball or two on the ground again today, he was virtually unrecoverable on short-to-intermediate routes due to his whip-fast change of direction ability. He also made multiple downfield receptions, including a legitimate highlight-reel grab at the front, right pilon that he used advanced body control to out-jump his defender and bring down for the score. THe caveat to his drops issues is Thrash injured his hand mid-way through the year, but gutted it out and played through it with the Cardinals making a run at the ACC Championship. Stock up for Thrash who flashed major potential on Day 3.
Eric Froton

RISER: Ladd McConkey (Georgia)

McConkey bounced back from a quieter Day 2 with a LOUD showing in Day 3’s team drills. He beat corners off the line and buried them with his quickness in his routes while also coming down with a contested one-handed grab. Yes, we can parse through the trivial nature of if he would have been in bounds on that play, but you can’t tell me that it wasn’t an impressive rep, regardless.
Derek Brown

2024 NFL Draft Guide

Tight Ends

RISER: Ben Sinnott (Kansas State)

Sinnott bounced back from a terrible Day 2 with an outing that more closely resembled his Day 1. He won consistently in 1-on-1s and team drills with some nice physicality through his routes and at the catch point in the red zone drills. This was the exact type of day that he needed to restore the buzz around him that had built after Tuesday’s practice.
Derek Brown

FALLER: Jaheim Bell (Florida State)

I was relatively high on Bell entering Mobile. His analytical profile looked beautiful as he ranked inside the top 12 in both YAC per reception (11th, 10th, first) and missed tackles forced (seventh, eighth, fourth) in each of the last three seasons, but the live showing of his skills didn’t match up. He measured in short and didn’t flash the requisite suddenness or speed to win with that frame this week. Projecting him to the NFL is tough as he is a tweener because of his size and doesn’t have the special move skills to make it as anything more than a situational receiving threat. Bell is one of the biggest fallers for me of the week.
Derek Brown

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