Five Senior Bowl Winners Rising Up The Buccaneers Draft Board


The Senior Bowl has come and gone. After a week of practices and a game on Saturday to cap the event off, the Buccaneers now have a better idea of who these prospects are and what they’re all about. This is a pivotal event in the NFL offseason for all teams; especially the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Jason Licht’s history with drafting Senior Bowl players is well documented. So it is to be expected that this front office targets another few players from this year’s group. Now that we have seen the event play out, we have a better understanding of who those players will likely be. 

Several players improved their draft stock over the week. They answered questions scouts had about their game and left impressions with their leadership and intelligence. Here are five prospects that likely improved their stock with the Bucs.

Jackson Powers-Johnson, Center/Guard, Oregon

Powers-Johnson was definitely on the radar for the Buccaneers coming into this event. However, he left a lasting impression that could solidify him as their first round target. I would go as far as to say that no one had a better week than the big center from Oregon.

He impressed right away with his weigh-in. He tipped the scale at 334 lbs, which is more than 10 lbs more than he was listed in college. What was even more impressive is that he looked even more athletic than expected. Bigger and more mobile is an excellent combination.

I’m not sure that Powers-Johnson lost a rep all week long. He was great in pass blocking drills and worked his way up to the second level consistently in team drills. Powers-Johnson has gone from a potential trade back option to a guy who we might feel lucky if he’s still on the board at 26.

Ray Davis, Running Back, Kentucky

The Buccaneers have a need for a physical, between the tackles running back. Unfortunately, this isn’t a particularly strong running back class overall. This was a great opportunity for this group of ball carriers to try and separate themselves.

One who did exactly that is Davis. The Wildcat was running wild last week, putting his surprising speed on display as well as his pass catching ability. However, his calling card will always be his strong and physical running style.

Davis’ stout build reminds me of a fire hydrant and tackling him would probably feel the same and tackling the hydrant. This is a big part of why he was able to score 21 touchdowns last season. I’m sure new Buccaneers offensive coordinator Liam Coen will want to replicate that in Tampa Bay next season.

Christian Haynes, Guard, UConn

The Senior Bowl is such a great event for a player like Haynes. He has been a stand out at Uconn for the last few years, but going against modest levels of competition you wondered how much weight that really carried. Now getting to play with the top seniors in the country, he had a chance to prove that he wasn’t just a big fish in a small pond.

I thought Haynes was one of the most impressive players all week long. His long arms and hand usage were on full display in pass protection. He also got a chance to show off his athletic ability and proved that he has the talent to thrive in a zone blocking scheme at the NFL level.

More than anything, Haynes’ character was on display. He never backed down, even when a defender swung a helmet at him. He seems to bring the mean pitbull mentality that you want in an offensive lineman and that will stick in my mind. 

Roman Wilson, Wide Receiver, Michigan

The Bucs could use some added depth in the wide receiver room. With the long term future of both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin in some level of question, the team really needs to start looking for that next star wide receiver to replace them one day. Wilson could be that guy.

Wilson is a well rounded player who can really do it all. He has good speed and route running to where I expect him to be able to create some separation at the next level. He also has some of the best body control in this draft and can adjust to passes and make difficult catches.

I could see Wilson outplaying his draft position as a rookie. He was buried to a degree in a very run heavy offense. He could come in as a rookie and find a nice niche as an inside, outside versatile receiver. 

Darius Robinson, EDGE, Missouri 

This was one of my biggest Senior Bowl winners, making sure that everyone knew his name following the week. He’s done enough to put himself in first round conversation, but could potentially be on the board for the Bucs in the second round. 

A consistent winner in one on one drills, Robinson stood out above the rest all week. His size and multiple pass rush moves made him too much to handle for most blockers. On top of that, his physical gifts make him a rare blend of size and speed.

Robinson looks the part of an NFL superstar at 6’5 and 290 lbs. He is someone who has played inside as a defensive tackle, but he thrived last year as an edge rusher in both two point and three point stances. This could be the value pass rusher that the Bucs are looking for.

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