2024 Senior Bowl: Day 1 and 2 Standouts

When it comes to the NFL Draft, the Reese's Senior Bowl is one of the best evaluation tools. And the Green Bay Packers have certainly made good use of it in recent memory. Last year, Brian Gutekunst selected Jayden Reed, Luke Musgrave, Dontavyion Wicks, and Karl Brooks, who were all standouts at the Senior Bowl and then key contributors in their rookie season.

Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs, Devonte Wyatt, and Kingsley Enagbare made a splash down in Mobile, AL, in 2022 before carving out roles on the Packers roster.

It's safe to say, that when prospects make plays at the most premiere college all-star game, the Packers front office takes notice.

This year's Senior Bowl group is full of early-round talent and mid-round gems. While plenty of quarterbacks and receivers have made a splash in the first two days of practice, this post will focus on the standout players in positions of need for the Packers, starting with the big men up front.

OL/DL: Trench Battles Steal the Show

This is one of the deepest offensive line classes in years, and this has been evident down in Mobile this week.

Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson is an absolute stud. He was stellar in one-on-ones, stonewalling several defenders on Day 1, as well as looking terrific in both the run and passing game during the team period. He also took reps at right guard and right tackle without a hiccup.

He is clearly the top center in the draft class, but his ability to play multiple positions on the line and his unique combination of size (6-3, 334) and athleticism would make him a stout guard in the NFL. He is a bit heavier than the typical Packers offensive line prototype, but he may be tempting for Green Bay to take if he's still on the board in the second round.

He's a position versatile mauler. Enough said.

Another former PAC 12 offensive lineman stood out on Day 1. Oregon State's Taliese Fuaga is a potential first-round tackle, and he dominated in one-on-ones on Tuesday. He was the only lineman that consistently won against Laiatu Latu.

While at measuring in at 6-foot-6 and 332 pounds, Fuaga is a bit heavier than what the Packers traditional draft, but the former Beaver tackle shows quick feet and a strong base, which allows him to stay square, even against speedier pass rushers. He is already one of the best tackles in the draft class, but he could be an elite guard at the next level. He would certainly bring some physicality to the Packers offensive line, especially as a run blocker.

While he's getting some mid-first round buzz, he would be a tremendous pickup with the 25th overall pick. Green Bay could use a tone setter, like Fuaga, to bolster their running game.

Tackles Taylor Guyton, Javon Foster, and Christian Jones had terrific first days at the Senior Bowl, but their performances on Wednesday were a bit inconsistent, tainting their strong start. UConn guard Christian Haynes is a guy to keep an eye on. After a tough first practice, he rebounded on Day 2 and was one of the best interior offensive linemen in one-on-one drills. He didn't lose a rep on Wednesday, and he played with a little extra nastiness that is great to see.

While the offensive line has dominated the Senior Bowl so far, there have been a few defensive line and edge rushers who have flashed some pass rush ability.

While many are familiar with UCLA's Laiatu Latu, who has showcased his speed off the edge, it's been Missouri's Darius Robinson who has been the most impressive trench player in the first two days. He has dominated the American team practices, showing strong hands and burst off the line of scrimmage. He has also lined up at defensive end and inside as a three-technique, showcasing his versatility, while winning with an array of pass rush moves.

The 6-foot-5, 286-pound defensive lineman would be an exciting chess piece for the Packers new defense under coordinator Jeff Hafley, and the buzz right now in the draft community is that Robinson projects to be a late Day 2 or early Day 3 selection.

Baylor's Gabe Hall (6-6, 298) and Florida State's Braden Fiske (6-4, 295) are two other athletic interior defensive linemen who have also started hot, showing dynamic pass rush ability in one-on-ones.

Plenty of Options at Defensive Back in this Class

The defensive back group is one of the deepest positions in the draft class, and more names continue to emerge at the Senior Bowl. While top cornerbacks Nate Wiggins, Cooper DeJean, Terrion Arnold, and Kool-Aid McKinstry aren't in Mobile, Quinyon Mitchell is a name to circle. The Toledo corner is a rising star, and that has been evident in the first two days of practice. If there have been any concerns about the level of competition he has played against, those questions should be quelled.

Mitchell has challenged every receiver he's faced in one-on-ones, including Day 1 standouts, Roman Wilson and Brendan Rice. Mitchell is physical and can excel in press man or dropping in zone. He also plays the ball very well. He made an eye-popping over-the-shoulder interception on Wednesday, snatching a deep ball away from Rice down the seam. The Toledo product has also lined up both in the slot and on the perimeter and looked great in both roles.

Mitchell should be in the conversation as a first-round player, and he would be a steal for the Packers if he's still on the board at pick 25.

Miami safety Kamren Kinchens has also had a great week so far, and he's proving why many consider him to be the best safety in the draft. He's a versatile defensive back who has looked good lining up over the slot, helping in run support, or playing deep as a single-high safety. Packers fans should be ecstatic if the former Hurricane landed with Green Bay.

At 6-foot-3 and 204 pounds, Cam Hart from Notre Dame is a tall perimeter corner who has been physical and disruptive in press. He fits well with what the Packers look for in their defensive backs. Nickel corners Kris Abrams-Draine and D.J. James are smaller but have looked terrific in coverage and have made several pass breakups.

Can the Packers Find a True MIKE Linebacker?

Whether the Packers become a 4-3 scheme under new coordinator Jeff Hafley or they remain an odd front, Green Bay needs more bodies at the off-ball linebacker position, especially if they cut ties with veteran De'Vondre Campbell this offseason.

While the 2024 inside linebacker class lacks star power, there are several options if Green Bay is looking for a field general to pair with Quay Walker in the middle of their defense. NC State's Payton Wilson has had a really strong week, looking fantastic in coverage and very active against the run. He's an athletic 6-foot-4, 234-pound linebacker who has the intelligence and acumen to run a defense at the next level.

He has some of the most impressive college film of any linebacker in this class, but he might be available in the draft late on Day 2 because of his age and injury history. He will turn 24 in April, and he suffered two ACL tears in college. He comes with some risk, but he is proving in Mobile that when healthy he is a dynamic second-level defender.

Notre Dame's JD Bertrand and Marist Liufau have both looked fantastic, as well. They move smoothly in space and quickly read and diagnose plays. They would be great options for the Packers in the third or fourth rounds of the draft.

Several Running Backs to Like in the Middle Rounds

Running back is not an immediate need for the Packers if they bring back Aaron Jones. However, they should develop depth and consider the future of the position. Fortunately, Green Bay will have no problem finding quality tailbacks on Day 3 of the draft.

USC's Marshawn Lloyd and Missouri's Cody Schrader are both productive college running backs who have showcased great hands in the passing game this week, as well as dynamic running ability. However, the real gem at the position might be Dylan Laube, the New Hampshire product.

He was a dynamic receiver out of the backfield in college, recording 68 receptions for 699 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. There is even talk about him playing some slot receiver at the Senior Bowl. However, what has been pleasantly surprising about Laube's game in the first two days of practice is how good his vision is as a runner. He shows patience at the line of scrimmage, and he knows when to accelerate when the hole opens up. He also shows some shiftiness in the open field to make defenders miss.

He could be a real find for the Packers in the middle rounds of the draft and provide them with an immediate third-down tailback.

Kentucky's Ray Davis has also started strong. He runs hard and looks explosive carrying the rock. He's compact with a strong lower body, allowing him to run through contact, and he will be one to watch in the game on Saturday.

Under the Radar Prospect

One prospect very few people are talking about is former Oregon State safety Kitan Oladapo. He's a big physical safety who excels in run support and can play in the box. He's a consistent tackler in space, which would be a welcome quality in the Packers secondary.

He has also shown in Mobile the ability to stick with tight ends, tailbacks, and slot receivers in coverage. This is a nice attribute in a safety considering Green Bay struggled this past season defending the pass in the middle of the field.

If the Packers don't address safety early in the draft, a player like Oladapo could be a mid-round prospect who would help upgrade the position.

NFL Categories: 
5 points
 

Comments (37)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
golfpacker1's picture

February 01, 2024 at 10:05 am

Since there is only one pick @ #25, I would propose a trade back to early second round where we could still get the #1 Safety, Kam Kinchens to fill our biggest need. Not Cornerback or OT. Plus scoring at best an extra 2nd rounder and a later pick, or at worst a very early 3rd rounder and another pick. It always depends on finding a partner. The Giants would be ideal for us as they have 2 second round picks, and they need a QB but don't have an early enough first rounder. Strike a trade with GB to move up to #25 to pick Bo Nix, or McNamara, or Penix because they still should be available.

The extra early pick gets us potentially another top 5 player to fill another hole. NO TRADES UP, IT REQUIRES WASTING PREMIUM PICKS.

-1 points
2
3
PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 01, 2024 at 11:00 am

Completely agree.

-1 points
0
1
Leatherhead's picture

February 01, 2024 at 11:12 am

You do realize that CBs are more valuable to a pass defense than a safety? That's why they get drafted higher and paid more money. And our CB situation is far from ideal. Alexander if he's healthy, maybe Stokes if he's healthy, but then we're down to Nixon and Valentine.

My prediction, based on what Gutekunst has done in the past, is that he'll fill the safety spot with a vet in FA and he'll draft a CB

4 points
4
0
golfpacker1's picture

February 01, 2024 at 07:25 pm

So maybe we should just have no safties on the team at all.

1 points
1
0
Leatherhead's picture

February 01, 2024 at 09:41 pm

No, it means you spend your premium resources (like first round picks) on CBs and pick up safeties later.

2 points
2
0
bossofallbosses's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:35 am

Not true at all. Savage cost GB the Kittle 35 yard TD, and had CMC straight on but was juked out of his jock strap as usual to relinquish a 39 yard TD and dropped pick six. A good to great S and the Pack get the dub in that game by nearly 20 damn points and are in the SB next week. A smart talented S is imperative as GB had one in Butler in the 97 SB and in Nick in the 11 SB.

Our S room is the weakest in the NFL. Most these guys are backups or PS level talent.

The Packers are #4 in EPA per play in man to man coverage meaning our CB's are elite in man coverage but 31rst in EPA per play in zone. Stokes in his rookie season was an 81 in PFF for his man coverage. Thankfully our DC plays more man than anybody in the NCAA last year. I don't mind acquiring another CB but use the later rounds for that. They may need 2 picks for a S if they don't acquire one over the offseason in FA. MLB, RB, OG, C are needs also.

MLB's are horrific as Campbell needs to be cut immediately, Mcdouffie is a solid depth piece but not starter level quality. Quay is incredibly inconsistent as one game he looks like the best in the NFL then the next 2 games he looks like one of the worst MLB's in the NFL.

0 points
0
0
fthisJack's picture

February 02, 2024 at 08:30 am

It all depends on how the first 24 picks play out not just trade down to get more picks. I would say if there is a premium OL available that you didn't think would be there...I'd go that route. Fuaga from Oregon State Is a mauler and can play multiple positions. Packers need to keep the OL strong so Love has time to do his thing.

2 points
2
0
golfpacker1's picture

February 02, 2024 at 09:30 am

Exactly right Jack. If a total stud, (AT A Position Of Need,) falls to us @ #25, you have to take him. But we should not have a pick the best player available draft mentality. We have a decent foundation but are not "Rich" like the 49ers or Eagles.

I am not trading back for some sh$tty deal, but if it a really good offer and not a big move back then I would be for it. Another extra 2nd plus?, or a high 3rd plus?, would give GB a chance to bring in 6 great players to fill all the holes. Maybe even a double up @ PON that doesn't make us miss out on a player we need. Like the great drafting of the 2 TEs last year. There are multiple positions that we could draft 2 at this year.

0 points
0
0
Fubared's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:20 am

Don know who would want to move to 25? There is nothing to gain. 25 might as well be the start of the second round. To me the real star talent in the draft is 1-15. After that the talent is good for a while but it drops off fast entering the mid second round.
Your either in the mix for a top player in the early first of your just best player available from then on.

0 points
0
0
bossofallbosses's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:38 am

I'd rather acquire more picks in later rounds and move out of the first round. Packers are better in later round picks than they're in the first round and are terrible in the third round. I'd trade out the first for a early second and 4th round pick.

Mitchel and or Tampa at CB
Dubin at S
Bucky Irving at RB
C out of Oregon

Just need a RB and perhaps more K competition.

0 points
0
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 01, 2024 at 10:08 am

Dang it! Every year, the Senior Bowl highlights under-the-radar guys I've had my eyes on, and they end up going two rounds earlier than I hoped!

3 points
3
0
13TimeChamps's picture

February 01, 2024 at 12:05 pm

I guess that means you have a good eye for talent. Maybe you should pass on some of your tips to Gute!

0 points
0
0
Turophile's picture

February 02, 2024 at 07:04 am

CB Quinyon Mitchell does look like a possible Packers pick at #25 assuming he is there.

I am hoping the Packers can get C/G Powers-Johnson at 25 or 41 but with how he is shining at the Senior Bowl practices, having him there at 41 seems like a distant dream. He is a big guy and has played guard in the past, so he could switch to guard comfortably, if needed - love that positional flexibility

S Kinchens might be there (at 41) and the Packers do need a safety who can play single high (assuming the Packers new DC still wants to play plenty of that coverage in Green Bay, like he did in Boston).

I am liking the idea of getting RB Dylan Laube in the 4th or 5th round. I've been looking for a draft day 3 RB, and he seems to fit the bill perfectly.

1 points
1
0
ricky's picture

February 01, 2024 at 10:33 am

Are the Packers looking to replace Myers at center? And the team has usually been excellent at picking up high quality OL in the fourth and fifth rounds. So, I'll trust them on that issue. I also think that RB is much more of a need than you think. Right now, when on the field, Jones is terrific. But he is nearing 30, and is having a harder time staying healthy. The time to find a replacement is before you need one.
On defense, no thanks to someone who is "terrific when healthy". How about someone who is extremely solid and reliable instead? At LBer, someone who can cover TE's and RB's over the middle would be great; even better if they were able to shore up the run defense. You mentioned a couple of DB's who were good, but smaller. Abrams-Draine is 5'11", but only 178. D.J. James is 6'1", but only 164. Could either of these guys effectively cover a big TE or slot receiver? ILBer would be nice to add in. But we don't know how complex the defensive schemes of the new DC are going to be. Something to keep in mind when trying to plug in a rookie.
Also, are any kickers worth signing as UFA's?

0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

February 01, 2024 at 10:52 am

IMO if you take a OL first. @25- they will end up at G.
I would take Jackson Powers- Johnson first.
He's already played RG and was moved to center.
You wouldn't have to move Tom there.

At ILB Payton Wilson is fast and go watch his tape.
He could cover a Te. Campbell can't. PW-Shoots gaps.

Abrams Draine is strictly outside IMO. He's Alexander.
A SS is the guy you want to cover the TE. Nubin - Minn
The taller the better at Safety. It's Time.

2 points
2
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 01, 2024 at 11:10 am

I have Powers-Johnson as one of my most-preferred players, and I also really like Frazier— I’m a big believer in centers who have extensive wrestling backgrounds, and VanPran looks good too.

I love Wilson, but I think he’ll go too early for us, and his injury history makes him a sizable risk.

4 points
4
0
stockholder's picture

February 01, 2024 at 11:28 am

Wilson is at the senior Bowl .
I Really like him. He plays fast.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

February 01, 2024 at 02:00 pm

All-American team, but concerns about his knee operations. Edge Cooper is the downhill guy, or Cedric Gray. I like Wilson if he can stay healthy ( ie. Layton Vander Esch). Eichenberg from Ohio State knows the game.

0 points
0
0
jannes bjornson's picture

February 01, 2024 at 02:43 pm

Mach Tres: All of the top secondary people gone. I still preach moving 2025 picks to help load the 1st- second round.
#25 Jordan Morgan Arizona LT
#44 T'vondre Sweat Texas DT
#58 Cole Bishop Utah S
#73 Bucky Irving Oregon RB
#91 Cam Hart N.Dame CB
#126 M. Mustapha W.Forest S
#167 Dillon Johnson Wash'ton RB
#203 M.Kneeland W. Mich Edge
#215 Kitan Oladapo OR. State S
#242 Tony Gould OR. State WR/KR
#250 Luke Reimer Nebraska LB

Get Free agent Edge guy as a designated rusher. Rhyan takes the RG spot.

0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

February 01, 2024 at 08:50 pm

Usually Bird dog would post a draft.

0 points
0
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 02, 2024 at 05:16 am

I'd much rather trade this year's #1 for maybe a second this year and whatever else we can get in 2025. I love the idea of having extra high picks the year we host the Draft, plus there is always more value in trading down or to the future.

I WAS a big "pick Sweat at 41" guy, but with the new defense, we won't really need another plays-the-run-only guy. The other top DTs will fit better.
I like Morgan, but 25 is too high.
I'm on board with Bishop; he'd fit the new D well.
I love Cam Heart, and I think he MIGHT drop to 91, but I won't be surprised if he goes in the second round.
Irving and Johnson are the poor-man's Jones and Dillon. I'm okay with that.
I like Mustapha a LOT.
Kneeland is a good one too.

0 points
0
0
stockholder's picture

February 02, 2024 at 12:29 pm

I wouldn't trade back for anything.
Maybe up for DeJean.- But Not to far up.

Sweat would be my choice. But @ 51.
If you watched the QB sneaks hurt the Packers.
Sweat is the perfect choice in the second rd.

Gutey said he'll be looking for guys on the Back 7.
So Sweat is the only guy he might take early.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

February 02, 2024 at 09:33 pm

Sweat removes two blockers and fits the 4-2/3 just like Gilbert Brown , but this guy is actually very athletic, Destroyed the noted Washington interior during the championship series. I would move up for DeJean, or Q Mitchell.

0 points
0
0
jannes bjornson's picture

February 02, 2024 at 09:41 pm

In this mock al the top secondary guys gone. K.C. and the 49rs want LTs, so where do you parlay the pick? Walker seems best asa RT, or he could be a threat at Guard. Morgan exhibits Bhaktiari like foot movement. ALL-PAC 12.

0 points
0
0
golfpacker1's picture

February 02, 2024 at 09:45 am

Its tough, even with all the picks we have to fill all the needs. Good list but we need a playmaker LB earlier than #250.

I like Wilson a lot also as he is a true 3 down LB, and fast. Another I like is Junior Colson from Michigan. Both come downhill and don't miss tackles
.
I do like Bucky Irving and the RB class has a a bunch of guys that catch and run equally well. I like Marshawn Lloyd, he is a A Jones clone. Ray Davis was a sleeper for a while, but has exploded at the bowl game the last few days.

1 points
1
0
jannes bjornson's picture

February 02, 2024 at 09:55 pm

They probably bring Campbell back if his knee responds, over saving 2+M of CAP. Irving is a shake and bake guy like A.Jones and played against top competition. I like Colson as a chase guy, but he could get washed at point of contact, NFL style. The kid Vidal from Troy is very electric. Remember,, people passed over Archane until rd three and Miami struck gold.

0 points
0
0
golfpacker1's picture

February 01, 2024 at 07:36 pm

Sedrick Van Pran-Georgia is a top center that has also played guard. And he can be gotten in the 2nd round.

I too like Payton Wilson-N C State, 6'4 240lbs and 4.5 40. Also check out Junior Colson-Mich
Almost as big and a 3 down backer too.

Kyree Jackson-Oregon, 6'3 4.4, or Kamal Haden-Tenn, 6'1 and 4.4- Those are my CBs.

Nubin would be a great saftey for us. 2 other biguns-Bullock USC & Hicks-Wash State.

0 points
0
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 02, 2024 at 05:18 am

I like all those guys, but I also think they are all going a round earlier than the websites are predicting.

1 points
1
0
fthisJack's picture

February 02, 2024 at 08:35 am

I like Fuaga if he is there...can play any spot on the line...a mauler in the run game.

1 points
1
0
BruceC1960's picture

February 01, 2024 at 02:54 pm

Aaron Jones scares me as our only quality back. Heard he felt a hamstring issue on our last offensive play of the year? If he had been able to go to the flat, we might still be playing.

3 points
3
0
golfpacker1's picture

February 02, 2024 at 09:35 am

Probable UFDA kickers would be Josh Harty-Stanford and Mevis-Missouri. Both accurate and have very strong legs so say goodbye to short, returnable kickoffs. Both had 60+ yard FGS this year.

1 points
1
0
RCPackerFan's picture

February 01, 2024 at 01:54 pm

I love the Senior Bowl!

More senior bowl analysis please!

I can't wait to watch it Saturday!

1 points
1
0
MooPack's picture

February 01, 2024 at 05:25 pm

I was hoping Darius Robinson would go under radar. Not happening.

2 points
2
0
PackEyedOptimist's picture

February 02, 2024 at 05:05 am

He was one of mine, too. :-(

1 points
1
0
stockholder's picture

February 02, 2024 at 12:39 pm

Reggie White -

0 points
0
0
golfpacker1's picture

February 01, 2024 at 07:38 pm

We will have a lot of good, complete, running backs who should start off the board late 2nd.

0 points
0
0
Fubared's picture

February 05, 2024 at 11:17 am

Cant expect a blue chip O line or dbak prospect at 25. I think there will be some decent O line talent still there at 25 because there is a deep field of good O linemen in that draft. Packers are going to have to find secondary and running back talent in the later rounds.
We obviously have no idea who the pack plan to keep and who they plan to release so its a crap shoot but its safe to say O line help first then secondary then running back.

0 points
0
0