It was an eventful week down in Mobile Alabama where the Senior Bowl took place last week. Some of college football’s best seniors gathered to show NFL coaches who they are and what they can do. Of course some looked better than others.
This can be very valuable for prospects in terms of how high they are drafted. Guys can answer questions about their skill set and show what players look like in a new environment through a week of practice. A few names specifically stood out to me as potential targets for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
There was no bigger winner from the Senior Bowl than North Dakota State receiver Christian Watson. After a very impressive career at the division two level this was his chance to show what he could do vs high level competition. Not only did he hold his own, but Watson was the most impressive playmaker in Mobile.
Christian Watson from NDSU is having a nice day. Here’s a tough catch by him. pic.twitter.com/UwWUx2RI6t— DJ Bien-Aime (@Djbienaime) February 1, 2022
Watson looks the part of a future NFL star at 6’4 and 211 lbs. On top of that, he’s rumored to run a 4.4 40 yard dash and he looked very fluid over the week of practice. This blend of size and athleticism is a rare blend and I can’t help but to be reminded of Mike Evans.
Travis Jones, DT, UCONN
There are some players who establish themselves at the Senior Bowl and there are others who solidify themselves. Connecticut defensive tackle Travis Jones falls into the later category. Jones was definitely on the radar as a mid day two pick coming into last week. Now he could easily be a top 50 pick and even sneak into the late first round.
All Senior Bowl week UConn’s Travis Jones bullied offensive linemen and he just did it again in the game. Pure power on this bull just shoving the center into the QB for a sack. pic.twitter.com/BgkQ5S2bD0— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) February 5, 2022
Jones looked like a man among boys through this week of practice. He’s 6’4 and 326 lbs with the power to anchor the middle of the defensive line as well as legitimate pass rush upside. The Bucs will love his size and ability to stuff the run. Don’t be shocked if Jones is Ndamukong Suh’s replacement next year.
Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
Another guy who could fill the void that Suh (who is a free agent and one of the oldest defensive tackles in the league) I’d expected to leave is Perrion Winfrey. Coming from a top flight program like Oklahoma, it’s often hard to impress at these events. However, Winfrey managed to meet and exceed expectations all week long.
Winfrey’s quickness off the line of scrimmage and ability to convert that into power was on display all week. He might have more pass rush upside than a gut like Jones, but it comes at the expense of some size (6’3 and 303 lbs). If Winfrey is still on the board for Tampa Bay in the second round then he would make a lot of sense.
Logan Hall, DL, Houston
Another defensive linemen, this time in the form of Houston big man Logan Hall. While Jones and Winfrey are more true interior players, Hall can bounce out a little more and play defensive end in the Bucs 3-4 system. Think of him more as a William Gholston replacement as opposed to Suh.
Great day for Logan Hall. Teleports across the face of the guard and blows the play up. pic.twitter.com/1JKRph9YGp— Cory (@realcorykinnan) February 3, 2022
At nearly 6’6 and 280 lbs Hall brings the size that the Buccaneers covet. He’s also someone who can kick inside on passing downs and be disruptive from the interior. In a defensive line class that is looked deeper all the time, Hall has separated himself in a different way than many of his peers.
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Malik Willis was one of the most polarizing players coming into the Senior Bowl. His immense physical talent jumps off the screen almost as much as his obvious inconsistency. He didn’t always play against, or with, the best competition at Liberty, so last week was a big opportunity to show what he could do in a different environment.
On a rope from Malik Willis to Calvin Austin pic.twitter.com/NpKT1r0AS0— Cory (@realcorykinnan) February 2, 2022
For the most part, Willis showed out well. Despite still showing the ups and downs that make him a decisive prospect, he was more impressive than not. Willis impressed coaches with his arm strength, mobility and how he picked up new coaching quickly. He might not be able to start as a rookie, but he’s a long term answer at quarterback and that’s what the Bucs need right now.
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