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The 3 Defensive Linemen With the Most to Prove at the Senior Bowl

3 Defensive Linemen With the Most to Prove at the Senior Bowl

In just a few weeks some of the top 2022 NFL draft prospects will gather down in Mobile to compete at the Senior Bowl. Members from all 32 NFL teams’ personnel and scouting staff attend this event to collect information on players across their board. The Senior Bowl is made up of the top talent in the FBS as well as a good amount of the outliers that have crept up from the smaller schools in college football. The defensive line class at this years’ event has a lot of shapes and sizes to it. Some of the players in this talented group have question marks to answer in regards to their play. This event is the place where players like them can show what they are made of when facing the top talent in the nation. 

Minnesota DE: Esezi Otomewo

Otomewo is a defensive end from Minnesota who has one of the best frames and length on the entire Senior Bowl roster. Standing at almost 6-foot-6 and weighing 280+ pounds, Otomewo has the ideal body type for a defensive end in the NFL. Otomewo had a good career in Minnesota where he played in 44 games and is now looking to boost his draft stock at the Senior Bowl. 

When throwing on his tape, he did not seem to dominate as much as one might suspect when looking at his intangibles. A lot of his success came from winning with either his length or schemed interior stunts. During this event he will need to prove he has enough power, flexibility, and athleticism to win on the edge in the pass rush 1-on-1s and team periods. The offensive line group he will face that week is very talented. This will be a great opportunity for Otomewo to show NFL teams he can dominate against top talent on the edge. 

Miami (OH): Dominique Robinson 

Another interesting prospect who has been invited to the Senior Bowl is defensive end Dominique Robinson out of Miami Ohio. He is a converted wide receiver that switched to DL prior to the 2020 season. He has some solid physical tools at 6-foot-3 and 256 pounds. The Senior Bowl will be a good showcase for Robinson to show the strides he has made technically and display the poise he brings to practicing his new position.

Miami Ohio’s scheme had Robinson playing in more of a neutral stance with run first demeanor. He showed good violence with his hand strikes and the ability to disengage blocks well. This week will be a good test for Robinson to show how coachable he is in his newer position. The opportunity to rush more naturally out of a jetted stance will display Robinson’s twitch and suddenness more than his film. The 1-on-1s against top offensive linemen will be huge for his draft stock and performance evaluation in the eyes of NFL staff members. 

UCONN: Travis Jones 

Travis Jones from the University of Connecticut is another high profile player who has made a lot of strides in his draft stock this season. He played primarily as a 3-tech throughout college and will most likely land there as a pro. During his time at UCONN he developed into a highly strong interior player who can anchor down the middle of a line. He shows some pass rush upside with the explosiveness in his hands and legs to combine speed and power to push the pocket.

The questions at large with Jones are his volatile motor during games and if he can consistently play with a mean streak. He shows the strength and ability to dominate battles on the line but is missing a violent temperament to really set himself apart from other linemen. The Senior Bowl practices will be a big indicator on if Jones can kick it up a gear when clashing with the top prospects in the country. 

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