The Senior Bowl is the last padded football we’ll get to see from the 2023 NFL Draft class before their names are called in late April. It’s also one of the biggest stock-moving events on the NFL calendar every year. Here are all the top 75 players on the PFF big board participating in Mobile, Alabama, and what we want to see from them to raise their stocks.
TE Luke Musgrave, Oregon State
- Big Board Rank: 31
- What We Want to See: Back to full health
Musgrave was an animal in the two games we saw from him in 2022. He put up 11 catches, 169 yards and a score before an undisclosed knee injury kept him sidelined for the rest of the year. It was the kind of tape that would get a player drafted in the first round if it continued all year long, but we were left with only that small taste. Now, we get to see in Mobile if Musgrave still has that unique deep-threat ability post-injury.
EDGE Andre Carter II, Army
- Big Board Rank: 34
- What We Want to See: Power
Carter is a unique specimen at 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds. For most of the college tackles he faced, Carter’s combination of length and quicks was enough to get the job done. That won’t fly against NFL tackles, however. He’s going to need to prove that he can hold his ground in the run game to see the field early on. Maintaining leverage is a difficult ask for a player that tall, which is why Carter is who I’ll be watching during the run-game periods at practice.
EDGE Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
- Big Board Rank: 36
- What We Want to See: Speed-to-power
McDonald is one of the most explosive edge rushers in the 2023 NFL Draft class. He’s also one of the lightest, weighing in at 236 pounds. That’s a combination built for clowning college offensive tackles, but it's worrisome projecting against NFL tackles who can match his athleticism. That means he needs to show a Plan B, which is the bull rush. Putting that on tape could vault him into the Round 1 conversation.
S Jammie Robinson, Florida State
- Big Board Rank: 39
- What We Want to See: Dominance
After four years as a starter between two different schools and a number of different roles, Robinson truthfully doesn’t have much from an on-field perspective to prove that we haven’t seen already. Still, as the highest-graded safety in Mobile on the PFF board, we want to see Robinson look the part throughout the three days of practice.
OT Cody Mauch, North Dakota State
- Big Board Rank: 42
- What We Want to See: Versatility
Mauch is going to be a star at the Senior Bowl for his personality and eye-popping blocks in space. That being said, his pass-blocking tape at left tackle for the Bison left a lot to be desired. It may have some teams evaluating him as an interior lineman, a position he played for all of 16 snaps in his college career. Proving that he looks competent at either center or guard in Mobile will go a long way toward NFL teams hoping to get early returns out of him.
WR Tank Dell, Houston
- Big Board Rank: 46
- What We Want to See: Efficient routes
Dell is built to look great in one-on-ones in Mobile. He’s a high-end athlete and separator. On tape at Houston, though, he was given the freedom to do what was necessary to get open, and that often led to some exaggerated releases. Seeing him get off the line and into his route breaks without a ton of feet action will be something NFL evaluators want to see.
S JL Skinner, Boise State
- Big Board Rank: 51
- What We Want to See: Slot coverage
With the way the slot position is trending in the NFL, Skinner may very well follow the path of Kyle Hamilton last year as a 6-foot-4 college safety who ends up as a slot in the league. Having a player who can defend the run at a high level there is so crucial with light boxes taking over around the NFL. Skinner was mainly a box player for Boise State, although he does have 336 career slot snaps to his name.
C John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota
- Big Board Rank: 53
- What We Want to See: Island pass protection wins
Minnesota’s scheme would qualify as offensive line-friendly in a number of ways. As such, we didn’t get to see Schmitz left one on one as frequently as many other interior linemen in the class. Holding up to NFL-caliber quicks will be huge for his draft stock.
EDGE Keion White, Georgia Tech
- Big Board Rank: 54
- What We Want to See: Physical dominance
White is one of the freakiest athletes in the entire draft class, measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 286 pounds. That combination should be unblockable in one-on-ones. On tape, that too often wasn’t the case, as evidenced by his 75.6 pass-rushing grade. There shouldn’t be a rep in one-on-ones where he’s not at least walking a tackle back to the quarterback.
S Sydney Brown, Illinois
- Big Board Rank: 58
- What We Want to See: Keeping up with WRs
Brown may be the single best athlete in the entire safety class. He possesses easy movement ability for a well-built safety (6-foot, 205 pounds), the kind that makes you think he can go out and play cornerback in a pinch. He’ll get a chance to prove exactly that in Mobile.
EDGE Isaiah McGuire, Missouri
- Big Board Rank: 59
- What We Want to See: Versatility
At 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, McGuire has the kind of frame that should be able to win on both the inside and the outside. Over the past two years, though, he played all of 22 snaps inside the tackles. He’ll likely get a chance at the Senior Bowl to prove he can be effective inside, as well.
EDGE Karl Brooks, Bowling Green
- Big Board Rank: 63
- What We Want to See: Production translating against better competition
At 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, Brooks isn’t playing on the edge in the NFL like he did at Bowling Green. So, add adjusting to a new position to “what we want to see,” as well. Bigger than that even, though, is proving that his 93.0 overall grade this past season was no fluke. He was dominant against the MAC this season, but not quite as much so against the two Power Five schools he faced.
LB Daiyan Henley, Washington State
- Big Board Rank: 65
- What We Want to See: Untouchable in coverage one-on-ones
Henley is a wide receiver-turned-linebacker, so it should make sense that he’s one of the best coverage linebackers in the class. As such, he better be making plays consistently against running backs and tight ends in the one-on-ones.
EDGE Derick Hall, Auburn
- Big Board Rank: 67
- What We Want to See: Winning the edge
Hall is one of the more explosive edge rushers in the draft class, with three straight seasons of production as a pass rusher. That being said, he plateaued in that regard because he’s still not quite a complete edge rusher. Turning the corner and winning the edge isn't something he did consistently on tape at Auburn, but it's a necessary skill to rush the passer in the NFL.
EDGE Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern
- Big Board Rank: 73
- What We Want to See: Being versatile — not a tweener
There’s a very thin line between versatile and tweener that Adebawore too often walked on tape. He played 261 snaps inside, 75 over tackles and 374 outside last year. At 6-foot-2 and 280 pounds with legit bend at that size, Adebawore makes the most sense to me as a full-time edge rusher, but we’ll get more evidence for that over the course of the week.
WR Rashee Rice, SMU
- Big Board Rank: 75
- What We Want to See: Getting off press
The Senior Bowl shines a hard spotlight on every receiver’s release package. If you can’t get off press coverage, that will get exposed in Mobile. That’s going to be massive for a receiver like Rice. It’s not that Rice couldn’t get off press on tape, but against his level of competition, it often didn’t take too much for him to breeze off the line.