NFL Draft Countdown
2022 NFL Draft Senior Bowl

Senior Bowl Predictions: Offense & Special Teams

Brian Robinson

With Brian living in Mobile, Alabama, the Senior Bowl will be a big part of what Draft Countdown does. Not only that, but it is an event where most players increase their draft stocks and work with NFL staffs. Over the next two days, we will predict the roster 3 months out from the actual event. I’ll be taking offense today with Brian working through defense tomorrow. Generally, I used the Senior Bowl’s Watch List and leaned away from 4-year Juniors and other potential eligibility issues (only a handful on here aren’t on the initial Watch List). We are also going with the old “traditional” roster sizes, but there is a possibility it could be expanded a bit. 

This is also assuming the Senior Bowl will get their top choices since they are competing with the Shrine Game in Vegas this year directly. Honestly, I think the Senior Bowl will get their pick of the litter still and it is a particularly difficult year to fit in the players that are deserving to go due to the depth of the class. So many players returned to school for an extra year of eligibility when normally they would be in the NFL already. This eligibility issue also muddles up who can get in an invite. I generally stayed away from players not on the Senior Bowl Watch List to ensure eligibility, so there may be some players never considered here who make it, or others on the lists who aren’t even eligible. 

This is also a prediction and not who I personally would choose if I were running the Senior Bowl. Each list would look different if based on my personal evaluations and who I think is the “best” at each position. The Senior Bowl generally does a great job of balancing that with potential draft capital and what players NFL teams are interested in seeing.

 In many cases, I would squeeze a small school player in here and there, but it was a tough fit for all players deserving to go. Take a look and let me know who I missed out on!

 

Quarterback (6 Total)

Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA
Malik Willis, Liberty
Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky

With only 6 spots, it was tough to fit in all the QBs that typically earn their spot. Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder and Kenny Pickett are the locks to me with excellent seasons and Top 100 draft capital for each. After that, things get dicey. It would be hard to pass on a successful Pac-12 QB like Dorian Thompson-Robinson. I was trying to pick a “smaller school” QB to go on the roster, and landed on Bailey Zappe with his outrageous statistical season. The one non-Watch List player I have is Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker who is having an incredible season. If all checks out for him to go to Mobile, I would have to think he would get an invite.

  

Runners Up

Zerrick Cooper, Jacksonville State

Anthony Brown, Oregon

Chase Garbers, Cal

Aqeel Glass, Alabama A&M

Cole Kelley, SE Louisiana

EJ Perry, Brown

Brock Purdy, Iowa State

 

Injury

D’Eriq King, Miami (FL)

 

I was sad to not be able to include Jacksonville State’s Zerrick Cooper who is a legit talent and would be a great fit. Passing on Oregon’s QB in Anthony Brown may be tough, but the rest of the season may determine his fate. Also an infamous name like Miami’s D’Eriq King would get an invite, but his injury may not allow that anyway (though I hope he would show up and go through the interview process).  

 

Running Back (6 Total)

Leddie Brown, West Virginia
Mataeo Durant, Duke
Hassan Haskins, Michigan
D’Vonte Price, FIU
Brian Robinson, Alabama
Rachaad White, Arizona State

Like most of these positions, the RBs are a bunched up group that the Senior Bowl could look at from several angles. Robinson is the lock of the group as an Alabama RB who is having an excellent season. Though White isn’t getting the Senior Bowl buzz quite yet, he is a talented player who NFL evaluators should have fairly high, so I imagine he gets an invite. Haskins is a good runner and special teams player who fits the Senior Bowl well. Some sleepers with good seasons who are catching some of that buzz in Durant and Price are good candidates who will get consideration. Brown is a productive player who may have lower draft capital, but feel good on the roster.

Runners Up

Ronnie Rivers, Fresno State

Max Borghi, Washington State

Stephen Carr, Indiana

CamRon Harris, Miami (FL)

Tyler Badie, Missouri

Pierre Strong Jr, South Dakota State

Jah-Maine Martin, NC A&T

Ty Chandler, North Carolina

 

Injury

CJ Verdell, Oregon

Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota

 

There are so many RBs I wanted to include that were left out.  Ronnie Rivers has the production and ability, so he would be next in line to me.  Stephen Carr and  CamRon Harris feel like Senior Bowl RBs as well, but just didn’t make my list. Also, having a draftable small school RB in Pierre Strong Jr. this year would normally put him in consideration. Injuries to big time names like CJ Verdell and Mohamed Ibrahim also knocks off two would have been definite invites. 

 

Wide Receiver (14 Total)

Calvin Austin III, Memphis
Jahan Dotson, Penn State
Romeo Doubs, Nevada
Ty Fryfogle, Indiana
Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
Andre Miller, Maine
Chris Olave, Ohio State
Reggie Roberson Jr., SMU
Jaylon Robinson, UCF
Khalil Shakir, Boise State
Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama
Samori Toure, Nebraska
Jalen Virgil, Appalachian State
Christian Watson, North Dakota State

There are a handful of WR locks in this one. Jalen Tolbert playing for Mobile’s own South Alabama is definitely in, while Ty Fryfogle playing his High School ball in the area likely puts him in the game. The top tier Big Ten WRs in Chris Olave and Jahan Dotson will definitely be invited as well. I also feel fairly confident that Khalil Shakir and Romeo Doubs will get the nod. The rest of the group has some questions, but Reggie Roberson, Jaylon Robinson, and Samori Toure have had good enough careers to warrant an invite. Xavier Hutchinson is a player who might be higher on the NFL radar than many think with a solid season, so I like him included. Then, there are a number of small school WRs who have a shot. Christian Watson is my top non-FBS WR, but Andre Miller has talent and it would be nice to see them showcased. Calvin Austin III is a special teams player with slot WR potential too. The last one in was athletic monster Jalen Virgil for the return ability he brings to the table. 

 

Runners Up

Dai’Jean Dixon, Nicholls State

Kevin Austin Jr, Notre Dame

Chris Autman-Bell, Minnesota

Danny Davis III, Wisconsin

Avery Davis, Notre Dame

Emeka Emezie, NC State

Bo Melton, Rutgers

Charleston Rambo, Miami (FL)

Jaquarii Roberson, Wake Forest

Dareke Young, Lenoir-Rhyne

 

Injury

Dontay Demus Jr, Maryland

Ronnie Bell, Michigan

There are plenty of options for the back end of the WR roster. Jaquarii Roberson was first out and he feels like a Senior Bowl player who will find his way there. Dareke Young is a small school player I wanted to find a way to include with his big time athletic ability as well. It is also tough to leave big schools like Notre Dame and Wisconsin off of the list when they have solid draft prospects. Dontay Demus and Ronnie Bell would have been at the Senior Bowl if not for injury and maybe can still make an appearance for interviews.

 

Tight End (8 Total)

Grant Calcaterra, SMU
Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina
Charlie Kolar, Iowa State
Lucas Krull, Pittsburgh
Trey McBride, Colorado State
Cade Otton, Washington
Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State
Cole Turner, Nevada

Like most other positions, there just aren’t quite enough spots for all the TEs deserving. The big years by Trey McBride and former Oklahoma TE Grant Calcaterra should put them in. Isaiah Likely also has exploded onto the scene for a big year and deserves a spot. Big names like Charlie Kolar, Jeremy Ruckert, and Cade Otton feel right for the team, while Cole Turner has the production to justify a spot. Lucas Krull is my last one in, but he has had such a good season. This might be my least confident position with all the Runners Up having a solid shot to make the team.

 

Runners Up

Greg Dulcich, UCLA

Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin

Brant Kuithe, Utah

Braden Galloway, Clemson

Peyton Hendershot, Indiana

Jordan Myers, Rice

 

Injury

James Mitchell, Virginia Tech

This is a strong group. Brant Kuithe was my first one out as a two-way player who will be drafted. Greg Dulcich has insane production as a pass catcher and was a tough one to leave off. Then big names/schools in Jake Ferguson, Braden Galloway, and Peyton Hendershot all should be NFL TEs. James Mitchell would have been great to have as well, but the lack of spots and his injuries will leave him off.    

 

Fullback (2 Total)

Jeremiah Hall, Oklahoma
Clint Ratkovich, Northern Illinois

Jeremiah Hall is a lock as the top H-Back/FB in the draft. We could see one of the TEs left off (Kuithe perhaps) brought in as an H-Back role to showcase that talent. Ratkovich is probably the 2nd best FB prospect int he class and if the Senior Bowl goes pure FB, I imagine he gets in.

 

Offensive Line (24 Total)

Myron Cunningham, Arkansas
Dawson Deaton, Texas Tech
Obinna Eze, TCU
Daniel Faalele, Minnesota
Connor Galvin, Baylor
Marquis Hayes, Oklahoma
Ed Ingram, LSU
Zion Johnson, Boston College
Braxton Jones, Southern Utah
Darian Kinnard, Kentucky
Jaxson Kirkland, Washington
Alec Lindstrom, Boston College
Abraham Lucas, Washington State
Cole Madden, Notre Dame
Mike Miranda, Penn State
Thayer Munford, Ohio State
Colin Newell, Iowa State
Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa
Jamaree Salyer, Georgia
Cole Schneider, UCF
Dylan Wonnum, South Carolina
Ryan Van Denmark, UConn
Zach Tom, Wake Forest
Luke Wattenburg, Washington

The Offensive Line list is filled with a variety of different players. High End OTs like Abraham Lucas and Myron Cunningham could use the Senior Bowl as a springboard to the first round. There are tweener versatile players like Thayer Munford and Mike Miranda who can play multiple positions. Also, small schools will be represented with Top 100 possibilities in Trevor Penning and Braxton Jones. Center doesn’t seem quite deep enough on the Watch List for 4 players, so Dawson Deaton is the last choice after three good ones. I did include a few personal favorites in Zach Tom and Obinna Eze who may be viewed as highly by Senior Bowl officials. Overall, a solid group, but ultimately may be tough to balance the different O-Line positions to fill out the roster and some OTs may have to play OG (or Guards to Center) to fit in the best 16.

 

Runners Up

Dontae Bull, Fresno State

Austin Deculus, LSU

Cade Mays, Tennessee

Blaise Andries, Minnesota

Tyrese Robinson, Oklahoma

Zeveyon Furcron, Southern Illinois

Logan Bruss, Wisconsin

Aron Johnson, South Dakota State

Austin Deculus was the first one out and likely ends up in Mobile by the end of the week. Blaise Andries, Cade Mays, and Dontae Bull all have a legit shot too. Zeveyon Furcron and Aron Johnson are next in the small school line to make it.  

 

Kicker (2 Total)

Gabe Brkic, Oklahoma
Parker White, South Carolina

 

Runners Up

Anders Carlson, Auburn

Matt Coghlin, Michigan State

Andre Szmyt, Syracuse

 

Special Teams is difficult to gauge since they don’t appear on the Watch List to know exactly who is eligible. Brkic is a lock if eligible though, and White is huge with a big leg. I do like Szmyt and his accuracy, but the Senior Bowl will get the best two names from scouts and invite them.  

 

Punter (2 Total)

Blake Hayes, Illinois
Michael Turk, Oklahoma

 

Runners Up

Jake Camarda, Georgia

Adam Korsak, Rutgers

Andy Vujnovich, Wisconsin

 

If Hayes is eligible, he is a lock with how well he has played this year. Turk was a monster at Arizona State and having a solid season for the Sooners. Camarda is tough to leave off though, and it is a good group of Punters.

 

Long Snapper (2 Total)

Cal Adomitis, Pittsburgh
Damon Johnson, Southern Cal

 

Runners Up

John Taylor, Duke

Austin Spiewak, Iowa

 

Don’t come at me if I get the Long Snappers wrong. I like Johnson to be there, but Adomitis is my favorite (though I imagine the Senior Bowl may opt for Taylor or Spiewak). The NFL actually needs Long Snappers pretty badly right now, so it is an important position for the Senior Bowl.

 

See more from Shane on Twitter @ShanePHallam and on Draft Countdown here

Related posts

Ahmad Gardner: Elite Cornerback

Shane Hallam

2022 NFL Draft P Rankings (Shane)

Shane Hallam

2022 NFL Draft Guard Consensus Rankings

Shane Hallam
%d bloggers like this: