NFL Analysis

2/1/24

9 min read

2024 Senior Bowl: Biggest Risers, Fallers At This Year's Event

Quinyon Mitchell breaks up a pass
Toledo Rockets cornerback Quinyon Mitchell (27) breaks up a pass intended for Miami (OH) Redhawks wide receiver Gage Larvadain (10) in the third quarter at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

As we quickly approach the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl game, it’s time to highlight some of the biggest risers and fallers from the week of practices down in Mobile, Alabama.

>> READ: 2024 NFL Draft Big Board

With more than 130 players at the Senior Bowl and 10-15 projected first-rounders, there will be a lot of movement that comes from how these prospects performed this week. Let's highlight a handful of risers and fallers based on how practices went this week.

Senior Bowl Risers, Fallers

Risers

Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

When combing through the Senior Bowl tape and roster, it’s tough to find anyone who had a better week than Georgia’s Ladd McConkey

Coming into the week, there were few concerns about McConkey’s ability to separate and win with his route running, and he’s shown all that and more in Mobile. McConkey is not the physical or athletic specimen of some of the other receivers projected to go in the first round, but his skill set transfers to the NFL game very easily.

McConkey will receive his fair share of Cooper Kupp and Julian Edelman comparisons throughout the draft process. Still, his ability to win as a route runner, and his toughness for an undersized receiver, make those comparisons closer than many want to admit.


Jackson Powers-Johnson, iOL, Oregon

In a draft class that lacks a consensus OC1, Jackson Powers-Johnson did everything in his power to earn that title at the Senior Bowl. 

Dominating his reps at center and guard, Powers-Johnson is making the case to be the first interior offensive lineman drafted. He started his week with one of the more impressive weigh-ins and carried that over into practice.

The former Oregon Duck has the ideal size to be an All-Pro-caliber guard but also has the athleticism, quickness and smarts to be an All-Pro-caliber center. 

>> READ: Senior Bowl Weigh-in Results


Teams in need of center or guard help will be all in on Powers-Johnson, and he’s making the case to see the biggest jump in rankings post–Senior Bowl week with his performance in Mobile.


Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

The Senior Bowl is great because it gives prospects who played at smaller schools the opportunity to compete and prove themselves against the larger-school players.

Quinyon Mitchell proved he belongs with the big dogs all week. I’m confident in saying Mitchell was the most impressive defensive player in Mobile.

Mitchell dominated in coverage against everyone he matched up against, no matter if it was 1-on-1 or 7-on-7 or in team periods. Along with his elite mirror-match cover skills, Mitchell hauled in multiple interceptions, showing off the impressive ball skills and production he often put on display at Toledo.

Mitchell is one of the highest-upside cornerbacks in this class due to his size, length, athleticism and ball skills. He’s cemented himself into Round 1 with what he showed on the biggest stage this week.


Darius Robinson, DL, Missouri

One of my favorite players heading into this week was Missouri’s Darius Robinson, and that hasn't changed at all.

Robinson has had a strong week, playing multiple positions along the defensive line. His versatility and scheme flexibility are some of his best traits, but he’s not just versatile for the sake of being versatile.

Robinson can legit lineup from 3-tech to 9-tech and win consistently as a pass rusher. He does his best run defending the closer he gets to the edge, but his toughness and power are put on display no matter where he lines up when defending the run.

Robinson beat just about every offensive lineman he saw this week, which is a familiar sight from his time at Missouri. 


Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame

Another cornerback who has impressed me all week on tape is Notre Dame's Cam Hart

I have yet to dive into Hart’s film from Notre Dame, but he’s worked his way to the top of my list post–Senior Bowl with how he played in Mobile. Hart started off the week hot with an impressive weigh-in, coming in at just under 6-foot-3 and 204 pounds. Hart has 32 5/8-inch arms, and his length and size are traits he uses well in coverage.

For a bigger corner, Hart is a twitchy athlete and has fluidity that should allow him to translate to the NFL easily. Hart has not only dominated in the 1-on-1s but has also made some huge plays in the team period and goal-line work.

These are things that should be paid close attention to when evaluating these practices. Hart wasn't on my radar, but the way he’s performed down in Mobile has me itching to get to his tape more once Senior Bowl week ends.


Fallers

Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

It’s tough to be hard on quarterbacks during Senior Bowl practices. So much about the position revolves around timing and chemistry with pass-catchers. With most of these guys meeting for the first time just a few days ago, the lack of chemistry and feel for receivers can make things difficult.

Oregon QB Bo Nix came into the week battling for the QB4 spot with J.J. McCarthy and Michael Penix Jr., but he didn't take that opportunity and run with it.

Nix has shown struggles with deep ball accuracy, touch, ball placement across the middle of the field and arm strength throughout the week. He still has plenty of time to improve his stock, but his struggles early in the first few practices will be discussed until he can cool the topic with better play during the game.


Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

South Carolina WR Xavier Legette made improvements throughout the week as a finisher, but his early struggles with separation and an inability to beat man coverage showed up in 1-on-1s.

Legette’s rough start to the week started at weigh-ins, where he came in two inches shorter than his listed height at South Carolina. Even with his struggles to start the week and less-than-ideal measurements, Legette’s role as a big-bodied X receiver has value for teams on Day 2.

Still, he will need to dominate the game and have a really good combine to work himself back into the first-round conversation.


North Carolina Tar Heels logo Tez Walker, WR, North Carolina

One of the more disappointing performances this week was from UNC WR Devontez Walker.

Heading into the week, Walker was being consistently put into mock drafts in the first round due to his athletic and physical traits. This week, Walker struggled to run clean routes, create separation in 1-on-1s and catch the football consistently in all drills.

Walker has the makeup to be one of the top wide receivers in this class, but his lack of consistency and inability to play up to his athletic traits make his evaluation one of the more frustrating ones in the draft.


Tennessee Volunteers logo Joe Milton III, QB, Tennessee

There was a lot of buzz coming into the week for Tennessee QB Joe Milton III. 

Milton possesses rare size and traits at the league's most important position, so the hype coming into the week was understandable. Unfortunately for Milton, it was a struggle to form any sort of consistency in 1-on-1s, 7-on-7s or team drills.

Milton has rare arm talent, and you see flashes of it at times, but his inaccuracy and lack of consistency throwing the deep ball showed up far too often. Milton can bounce back with a quality showing during the game, but close attention will be paid to his reps throughout the week in practices. And there are more questions than answers for the redshirt senior quarterback.


Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Including Tyler Guyton in the “fallers” category seems a bit harsh. However, heading into the week, I thought Guyton could work himself into the top-15 conversation.

There’s no denying the upside of Guyton’s physical and athletic traits, but we saw some of the rawness and inexperience in his game through the first few days of practices.

Guyton's technical aspect needs the most work, and he struggled with his strike placement and weight distribution a lot this week. He didn't necessarily have a poor week, but he didn't have the dominant week many expected from the 6-foot-7, 328-pound offensive tackle. This week, he did, however, prove he could play left tackle, which he didn't do at Oklahoma. 


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