Every year the Senior Bowl produces dozens of draft picks and highlights the diamonds in the rough that may have otherwise flown under the radar of many fans. Here are 5 underrated prospects who stand the most to gain from a great week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile.
Travis Jones – DT – UConn
At 6-4 and 333 pounds, one might expect Jones to be slightly limited in the athletic department, but his quick get-off combined with fluid hips allows him to sidestep and bend his way around most O-lineman. It’s also important to remember his excellent strength when evaluating Jones (only 13% body fat when tested at one point and weighing at 333 pounds) and his hand placement and pass rush moves are some of the most refined of any defensive linemen in this class. Due to his size, he has the ability to play as a 1T or 3T, where he has flashed on some great reps which makes him a D-Line coach’s dream to have that sort of versatility up front. He sequences his reps well, mixing in cross-chops, then bullrushes, all while staying gap sound. A good week in Mobile for Jones needs to include some penetration on double team reps and showing that he does have the speed on his first step out the gates (not just hand punch).
Round Prediction Heading Into the Senior Bowl: 2nd Round
Travis Jones (#57, UConn) isn't talked about enough this cycle. A DT with versatility to play 1t/3t succeeding in both positions with a great combo of power & incredible hands. He'll be one of the biggest beneficiaries of a good week at the @seniorbowl to rise his stock! pic.twitter.com/7aL9v8wY9K
— Luke Carr (@LukeCarrFB) January 26, 2022
Tariq Woolen – DB – UTSA
Tariq Woolen is an extremely lengthy DB who stands at a reported 6-foot-4 with an immense 78 3/8-inch wingspan. He is also an outstanding athlete — something most coaches are always willing to bet on at the position. One slight downside to his game is that his hips are a little stiff at times so unfortunately, he can struggle in press man coverage. Interestingly, when he took snaps at Safety instead of Cornerback, he looked like he anticipated plays a lot better and scanned the whole field in front of him really well and used that speed to come downhill well. His tackling also majorly improved during 2021 and with superb athleticism and a good feel for the routes developing in front of him; Woolen could be an absolute steal late in the draft. A good week in Mobile for Woolen needs to include a lot of good tackling reps, but also it would be good to see a slight improvement in his instinct to trigger to a WR when the ball is thrown and not wait for them to approach him.
Round Prediction Heading Into the Senior Bowl: 4th Round
Tariq Woolen (#3, CB) is one of the @seniorbowl prospects I'm most excited to watch. Transitioned from WR in '20 and is a twitchy, sticky corner with good length (33 1/4 arm).
Run defense and tackling improved in 2021 & he has a great chance to prove himself in Mobile! pic.twitter.com/2pm52r9Kn4
— Luke Carr (@LukeCarrFB) January 6, 2022
Danny Gray – WR – SMU
Athleticism plays a huge role in Danny Gray’s game — he could run a late 4.3 40-yard dash at the combine with his track speed. Gray was expected to play second fiddle to Reggie Roberson in terms of headlining the SMU offense, and Gray had 94 less snaps but ended the season with 49 receptions, 803 yards and 9 TDs. Gray possesses a nice blend of speed but with awesome hands — and he doesn’t look particularly well-built/physical, but he never gets outmuscled or squeezed to the sideline and often wins well on contested balls. Gray also possesses one of the best release packages of any WR in this year’s draft, beating press man coverage in a multitude of ways. A player with that size and speed combined is always going to provide matchup nightmares for DBs. A good week in Mobile needs to include Gray being a little smoother coming out of breaks (especially routes breaking back to the QB), and beating off man coverage more consistently on intermediate routes.
Round Prediction Heading Into the Senior Bowl: Late 3rd/Early 4th Round
Danny Gray (#5, SMU) was a really nice surprise – great release package with good route-running and elite hands/ball-tracking ability (while being sneakily physical despite being 180lbs). Know a lot of guys on Draft Twitter are high on him, very viable late round X WR! pic.twitter.com/R3WB5yGjzH
— Luke Carr (@LukeCarrFB) January 28, 2022
JoJo Domann – OLB – Nebraska
Labelling Domann as an OLB just feels unfair considering his skillset. He often plays as the apex defender in their defense, meaning he is a hybrid Nickel CB and OLB on other reps, combining his speed and physicality well. The physicality is what really jumps out on film, as he can decipher whether the offense is passing or rushing quickly and rapidly drops to his spot in zone. He doesn’t allow WRs in his vicinity free rein though, often bumping them off-course and messing timings up with their QB. With a solid 230-pound frame behind him, he also hits hard in the contact area and is used to penetrate Bunch formations and other stacked formations to break down plays. These effort plays of defeating blocks and then making the subsequent tackle are littered across his film and will be something that NFL coaches take a shine to. A good week in Mobile will include good testing in the weight room, showing he does stay gap sound in the run game and also wrapping up and completing all possible tackles.
Round Prediction Heading Into the Senior Bowl: 3rd Round
JoJo Domann (#13) plays as a hybrid OLB/SS/Ni for Nebraska, often the Apex defender and is very strong against run and pass. A very physical player who is used to take on lead blockers in Bunch formations, yet fluid while spot dropping. Lots of effort plays like this on film⬇️ pic.twitter.com/8NWmTspPNz
— Luke Carr (@LukeCarrFB) January 29, 2022
Luke Goedeke – OT – Central Michigan
Goedeke is a converted TE with good size at 6-5 and 310 pounds. His technique is impeccable, continually keeping his full body movement engaged in a straight line to generate the most force possible, as seen in many reps where he forklifts D-lineman as if they were DBs. It’s clear to see why he is such a force in the rushing attack when you look at his feet and some O-lineman are guilty of planting and relying on their upper body strength, but Goedeke’s legs keep churning. It forces defenders out of their run fits, creating wide open lanes for his RB. Hip fluidity is never in question with Goedeke as he changes direction easily without losing any power and can anchor superbly. A good week in Mobile will see him keep his eyes up for a little longer during reps so he can identify when to leave defenders and take the most dangerous rusher, and how he fares against speedier, lengthier rushers as his short arms may pose a slight problem at the next level (due to no fault of his own).
Round Prediction Heading Into the Senior Bowl: 4th Round
#CMU RT Luke Goedeke does a great job consistently having his hands inside, driving defenders off the ball and finishing in a dominant position. He’s the type of lineman to finish the job up until the whistle blows.
Can handle stunts, patient, violent hands. Technically sound. pic.twitter.com/ZSVgnqQWqm
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) January 4, 2022