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2022 Senior Bowl

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Experts weigh in on biggest risers from Senior Bowl

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Following three days of practice, the 2022 Senior Bowl concluded on Saturday with the National Team defeating the American Team, 20-10.

Oklahoma defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey was named the game's Most Valuable Player after registering two sacks and three tackles for loss.

While Winfrey took home the game's MVP award, he was far from the only player to stand out in Mobile last week.

The Senior Bowl serves as the first chance for both NFL scouts and draft experts in the media to observe prospects following the conclusion of the college football season. While there are still over two and a half months to go before the 2022 NFL Draft, with both the combine and pro days still to come, several players helped their draft stock with their performance in Mobile.

Draft experts from ESPN, NFL.com, Pro Football Focus, and CBS Sports, including a few of the top draft analysts in the business, weighed in on some of the biggest risers from Senior Bowl week.

First let's look at which players were consensus picks among the four media outlets.

DL Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

PFF's Michael Renner - "Wyatt is an athletic marvel for a 307-pounder. His agility at that size was more impressive than a number of the edge rushers in attendance. Wyatt wasn't just a one-trick athlete, either, as he held up well against double teams in the run game, which makes me feel good about him as an all-around player."

ESPN's Todd McShay - "Some defensive linemen are all hands. Some are all about quickness and speed. But Wyatt ties his feet and hands together so well. His feet are always moving while he's working on blockers with his upper-body strength. He was already in the first-round conversation coming into the Senior Bowl, but he put a stamp on it this week."

EDGE Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State

NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah - "Johnson didn't disappoint. He knows how to use his length to generate power off the edge, and I thought he showed a nice inside-counter move this week. It's good to see he's continuing to add to his pass-rush arsenal. He entered the week as my highest-rated Senior Bowl participant among defensive players, and he exits the same way despite not practicing on Thursday."

CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson - "The Georgia transfer landed in Tallahassee and racked up 11.5 sacks, locked himself into a Day 2 draft grade in the process, and then came to Mobile and went off. It feels similar to what we saw from Montez Sweat back in 2019. He had a solid senior campaign for Mississippi State in '18, registered 12 sacks, came to the Senior Bowl and did his thing."

QB Malik Willis, Liberty

Renner - "No quarterback really dominated throughout the course of the week, but Willis' tools stood out the most in what was essentially a race for QB1. He posted the fastest throw (74 miles per hour) since Zebra Technology started putting chips in the footballs at the Senior Bowl in 2018. He also looked comfortable going through progressions despite never being asked to do that at Liberty. There's a strong chance he's the first quarterback off the board in April."

Jeremiah - "I don't think any quarterback truly ran away from the pack this week. However, Willis' practice on Wednesday was the best performance by any QB, which is especially impressive given the rainy conditions players dealt with that day. He's very much in the mix to be the first quarterback drafted."

The annual college all-star game was played Feb. 5 at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

Several other prospects were mentioned by multiple media outlets for their strong performances throughout the week.

DT Travis Jones, UConn

Jeremiah - "Jones was probably the most physically dominant player in Mobile. He consistently showed pure power. At 6-4 and 326 pounds, he was walking offensive linemen back to the quarterback the entire week. He's not going to be a scheme fit for everybody, but he's a mauling player at the point of attack. There was not much buzz on him coming into the week from the personnel evaluators I spoke to, and he made sure to get everyone's attention once the pads were on. He generated some excitement."

Renner - "Jones was the biggest bully along the defensive line in Mobile. No interior lineman in attendance could handle his power throughout the week, as he was spinning offensive linemen around with his powerful mitts. He's still not a terribly twitchy athlete, but he's a prototypical all-around nose tackle."

S Jalen Pitre, Baylor

McShay - "Pitre isn't the biggest defensive back, but versatility is key. Some around the league have likened him to Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, in that he can play the overhang, deep or off the edge. He's sometimes there as the ball is getting handed off, thanks to his lightning quicks, instincts and suddenness."

Jeremiah - "I was impressed with what Pitre did in coverage this week, especially when matched up against tight ends, who have a big size advantage over him (Pitre measured 5-10, 196). He's instinctive and was able to get his hands on some footballs. He looked like a starting NFL safety, and his production last season stood out. He was the only player in the Big 12 with 10-plus tackles for loss and two-plus interceptions."

OL Zion Johnson, Boston College

Wilson - "We list Johnson as "OL" because he played left tackle at Boston College and played it at a high level. And while his arms are long enough (33 inches-plus) he's only 6-foot-3. The Travis Jones rep above aside, Johnson has been clinical this week, all while playing either guard, or a new position, center. He was an easy Day 2 grade coming into the week and we wouldn't be shocked if he ends up a first-rounder."

McShay - "Johnson was not only the best interior lineman this week. In my eyes, he was the best player. I watched some elite pass-rush prospects bull-rush linemen and drive them back. Then they would try the same moves on Johnson, and it wasn't working. His tape is outstanding, and he was terrific in Mobile."

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler - "He caught the eye of several scouts and coaches with his steady play. One NFC scout noted that Johnson has a computer science degree and plays like it -- he's a very technical player. And a few teams took notice of the significant additional time he spent after each practice to work on his shotgun snapping."

Here are the remaining biggest risers from Senior Bowl week from each of the four media outlets.

Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus:

  • LB Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma - "Asamoah was easily the most athletic linebacker on the field throughout the week. He played tight coverage during one-on-ones and showed the kind of range you'd expect from a former safety. Coming into the week, he was supposed to struggle to take on blocks against the run, but he showed multiple ways to defeat blockers throughout the week."
  • EDGE DeAnglo Malone, Western Kentucky
  • WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State
  • OT Abraham Lucas, Washington State - "Lucas displayed a quality anchor and improved hand usage all week. He's always been mobile for a 322-pounder but was seen as a project in terms of technique. His performance this week may push him into the Day-2 conversation."
  • RB Jerome Ford, Cincinnati