Practice recap for Day 1 of the Senior Bowl: Wide receivers and defensive linemen shine

Practice recap for Day 1 of the Senior Bowl: Wide receivers and defensive linemen shine

It’s finally time for the Senior Bowl, which for most non-full-time scouts and draft fans means the start of draft season.

Coming up are three nights of practices in Mobile. These will be our first chances to see some of the best prospects for the 2024 NFL Draft.

The talent level in this class is much higher than it was in 2023. This is mostly because of the extra season in eligibility for COVID-19 and the fact that there are more quarterbacks in this class.

These quarterbacks, along with their wide receivers, edge rushers, defensive tackles, cornerbacks, and safeties, will be on my radar because of what the Atlanta Falcons need.

As always, things moved a little slowly on the first day of practice, which was today. Many one-on-one and team drills were available for us to evaluate at both the National (morning) along with American (practices). For that, I say “Thank you!”

The Reese’s Senior Bowl is happening this week in Mobile, Alabama. It is the first step on the way to the NFL Draft.

Tyler Forness is the managing editor of Vikings Wire and is at Hancock-Whitney Stadium, home to the South Alabama Jaguars. He is giving us an up-close look at those who hope to become NFL players in April.

Some people know for sure that when the draft comes around, their names will be called. For some, they’ll have to work for that right.

As the week of practice goes on, Forness will share his thoughts with us and point out players that fans from all teams, in addition to the Minnesota Vikings, ought to keep an eye on.

The first day of practice for the Senior Bowl is over. As usual, some players improve right away, while others need some time to get into a rhythm.

Since Ricky Pearsall writes about the Florida Gators for Locked On Gators, he was always going to be the focus of the day, especially since he is so good at running routes one-on-one.

I thought he would do well, but I didn’t think he would make running backs look stupid in coverage right away.

At the end of the day, everyone knew that whenever Pearsall went up to the line, he would make a space.

From his game film, Pearsall looked like he had improved the most when it came to beating the press at the line of scrimmage. He was only jammed a couple of times.

Quinton Mitchell of Toledo was one of the defense backs who did well against Pearsall. Mitchell and Pearsall took the field throughout from each other for their first rep of the day. They jammed together successfully, but while running, they got tangled up, so no pass was made.

This game is all regarding the quarterbacks. We’ve said those five words over and over since September. As we get closer to the end of April, they become more important. You could say that the all-star games are the unofficial start in draft season, and this is where it all comes together at the Senior Bowl.

This group has a lot of players on the offensive and defensive lines, as well as at tight end and edge rusher. But the conversation always starts with the quarterbacks, whether it’s fair or not. Let’s do it.

The Jets staff coached the National Team, which was the first team to practice on Tuesday. Quarterbacks Desmond Ridder, Kenny Pickett, and Carson Strong were, well, average.

That’s fine! The offense is new, and there are new players and coaches. There will be a time when everyone gets used to it. Each of them had different strengths.

Strong had the most powerful arm, while Pickett and Ridder were the most mobile. However, all three had trouble hitting the target at times.

Quarterbacks Sam Howell, Malik Willis, and Bailey Zappe were on the American Team, which was coached by the Lions.

Since I saw the games live and haven’t watched the practice tape yet, my first thought is that Zappe was having the best day of all the passers.

In some ways, he reminds us of Taylor Heinicke, which is not meant as an insult but as a tribute to a player who doesn’t have the same physical skills as his teammates but still finds ways to make plays.