NFL Analysis


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Senior Bowl 2024: Ranking Top 5 Players At This Year's Event

Laiatu Latu running off the field with his helmet in his hand
UCLA Bruins defensive lineman Laiatu Latu (15) runs off the field after the game against the San Diego State Aztecs at Snapdragon Stadium. (Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)

With the 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl practices starting next week, all eyes will be on Mobile, Alabama, for the kickoff of draft season.

More underclassmen than ever will attend these all-star games with recent rule changes, so the 2024 Senior Bowl roster is one of the best in recent memory.

It's time to take a look at five of the biggest names set to be in Mobile next week.

5 Best Players at 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl

1. Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

From a pure tape perspective, UCLA EDGE Laiatu Latu might be the best defender in the draft. His medicals and athletic testing are the only boxes left unchecked. Latu can separate himself further from the pack with a dominant week down in Mobile.

Latu should make himself some money because the practice structure favors his ability to generate pressure and win in pass rush 1-on-1s, as well as to set strong edges in run defense drills. With Latu, Dallas Turner and Jared Verse stacked up tightly at the top of the edge rusher board, Latu can fully cement himself as EDGE1 until medicals are checked at the NFL Combine in a few months.

Latu is currently projected to be the first edge rusher taken in the 2024 NFL Draft, and a dominant showing in Mobile would help secure that.

Taliese Fuaga blocks
Oregon State Beavers offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga (75) blocks Stanford Cardinal linebacker Levani Damuni (3) during the first quarter at Stanford Stadium. (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)

2. Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

One of the more loaded position groups in the draft and in Mobile is the offensive line.

Taliese Fuaga is one of many projected first-round offensive linemen who will be present in Alabama next weekend. Unlike Latu, Fuaga will have plenty of competition who will be looking to separate themselves from the pack during practices and the game. Fuaga enters the Senior Bowl as one of the top right tackles in the class — with Alabama’s JC Latham also receiving RT1 attention.

Fuaga will get the opportunity to show off his versatility next week in Mobile. Many project a move inside for the two-year Oregon State right tackle, with the ability to stay outside at right tackle if needed.

He's projected to be drafted in the middle of the first round, and he could see himself climbing comfortably into the top half of the first round with a quality showing next week.

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) tries to evade Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) during the second quarter of the 2024 Sugar Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Caesars Superdome. (Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)

3. Byron Murphy III, IDL, Texas

One of the biggest risers during the last month is Texas DT Byron Murphy III. Murphy, a 6-foot-1, 308-pound interior defensive lineman, is known for his three-down ability as a quality pass rusher and run defender.

In a class that lacks a total package defensive tackle, Murphy can earn a spot as the class' top interior defensive lineman. He's coming off a dominant season at Texas, where he recorded six sacks, 36 hurries, a pass rush win rate of 19.6 percent, and a run stop win rate of 9.5 percent.

Murphy’s impact as a three-down defensive lineman was felt heavily at Texas, and he'll likely show the same impact next weekend going up against some quality competition at the Senior Bowl.

Troy Fautanu on the field
Washington Huskies offensive lineman Troy Fautanu (55) against the Michigan Wolverines during the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

4. Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

One of the most coveted traits from an offensive lineman coming out of college is versatility.

With a lack of quality offensive linemen in the NFL, young linemen who can play multiple positions at a high level provide more value now than ever before.

Troy Fautanu is a two-year starter at left tackle for the Huskies but has played snaps at left guard and right tackle. That position flexibility will likely be put on display in Mobile because coaches will want to see how he performs outside at tackle and inside at guard against top competition at edge rusher and defensive tackle.

Fautanu can cement himself as a first-round pick with a strong showing in Mobile, but his tape at Washington should have him get drafted in the back end of the first round regardless of how the week goes.

Tyler Guyton blocks
Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Tyler Guyton (60) at the line of scrimmage against the Kansas Jayhawks during the game at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

5. Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

One of the players I’m most excited to see this week in Mobile is Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton.

Guyton possesses rare traits at one of the league's most important positions, but his lack of experience and technique throw a wrench in his evaluation. With only 14 starts at Oklahoma, the former TCU tight end lacks the refined technique scouts look for in offensive linemen.

However, he makes up for his lack of technique with rare athleticism, size and length. Scouts will want to see how Guyton fairs at left tackle and how he handles himself in pure dropback opportunities coming out from Oklahoma’s heavy-RPO scheme.

He's the definition of raw, but we’ve seen how quickly good athletes at tackle can develop in the NFL with the right coaching. Guyton has a big opportunity to make himself a lot of money if he shows up in Mobile with improved footwork and confidence as a pass protector in 1-on-1 reps.

Tags: NFL Draft