For NFL coaching staffs and front offices, the offseason is one of the greatest misnomers. This week, the offseason officially kicked off with the 2023 Senior Bowl.
In what NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah calls a "crucial job interview," 100-plus prospects were afforded three days of on-field practices to wow scouts and coaches with their physical abilities. Though Saturday's all-star game between the American and National teams will officially round off the week's festivities in Mobile, Ala., Jeremiah shared his list of top 10 prospects thus far.
View the best practice photos from 2023 Senior Bowl Week in Mobile, Alabama.
Here is his list:
Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
Jeremiah: "Brown reminded me of a former Illinois safety we saw last year in the Senior Bowl -- the Lions' Kerby Joseph, who had a very good rookie season. They went to the same school and they both have great instincts, and big-time production. Brown trusted his eyes this week and it paid off."
Jake Haener, QB, Fresno State
Jeremiah: "There wasn't a stellar group of quarterbacks in Mobile, but I thought Haener flashed the most of this year's crop. The ball jumped out of his hands during practice, and he was accurate. He's already shown he's tough, coming back from an ankle injury last season and spearheading the Bulldogs' run to a Mountain West championship. I think Haener's stock could benefit from Brock Purdy's incredible run as a rookie after he was drafted with the final pick last year."
Daiyan Henley, LB, Washington State
Jeremiah: "The big test for Henley was how he would hold up in coverage against all-star competition. Well, he passed that test with flying colors. He's instinctive and he can run. Henley has a chance to be a Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) pick."
Will McDonald IV, Edge, Iowa State
Jeremiah: "McDonald has been the best pure rusher here, with his combination of speed and the ability to bend at the top of his rush. There's no doubt he has the top spin move of anyone at the Senior Bowl. I think he's a lock to be a top-50 pick. He might even go in the first round when it's all said and done. To me, he's a better player than the Titans' Harold Landry was back in 2018 as a prospect out of Boston College, and Landry went early in Round 2 (41st overall)."
John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
Jeremiah: "Schmitz is probably the most consistent player here. I'm not sure he had a bad rep in practice. He is strong, powerful and tough. He's interviewed really well during his meetings with teams this week. I've been told his character is off the charts. I don't see him being available beyond Day 2 of the draft. Schmitz is a member of the American team, which is loaded with future NFL starters on the offensive line, including Florida OG O'Cyrus Torrence and TCU OG Steve Avila, who showed he can all play all three spots on the interior during practice this week."
Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
Jeremiah: "Spears was the best running back in Mobile, whether he was toting the rock or catching it. He popped a long run during Wednesday's practice and when he's matched up against a safety one on one, the defender can't even get a finger on him. He's bigger and stronger than I expected."
Keion White, Edge, Georgia Tech
Jeremiah: "He came in as my top-rated Senior Bowl player, and I thought he improved every day. He didn't have that wow moment that jumped out to everyone, but he was steady. White has big-time power, as we saw in some of the one-on-ones and the team period on Thursday. He's a Round 1 player."
Josh Whyle, TE, Cincinnati
Jeremiah: "It's a really strong tight end group this year, and Musgrave -- the best of the bunch -- improved over the course of the week. He's getting back into football shape after missing all but two games last season due to injury. Whyle is the tight end who helped himself the most this week, though. He measured 6-foot-6 1/2, 260 pounds, and he can move. He's done a good job in the run game, as well."
Michael Wilson, WR, Stanford
Jeremiah: "First of all, I believe Wilson is going to be an unbelievable special teams player in the NFL. So, we can start there for his floor as a prospect. But the Stanford team captain proved he can make plays on offense over the last few days, too. He might not hear his name called until Day 3 of the draft, but the team that picks him is going to be happy with the decision."
Senior Bowl Executive Director, Jim Nagy, also shared individual player accolades, which are awarded by prospects' peers.