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Senior Bowl

2022 Senior Bowl Defensive Player Predictions

The Senior Bowl is one of the biggest weeks of the year for me. I have been attending the Senior Bowl as a fan since 1987 and covering the game as a media member since 2016. There are few things I look forward to more than sitting in the bleachers (now at beautiful new Hancock Whitney Stadium) and taking in the best senior NFL Draft prospects available. As a lifelong resident of Mobile, Alabama there is nothing else like it.

Complicating things a bit on this roster prediction is we still don’t know if the Shrine Game is going to siphon off some of the top prospects now that the game is in Las Vegas. I wrote a piece about this a few months ago at Deep Fried Draft. For the sake of this exercise, we are going to assume that the process will be the status quo.

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. There may be a handful of players that I list below who aren’t even eligible to play in the 2022 Senior Bowl.

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, led by executive director Jim Nagy, generally does a great job of balancing that with potential draft capital and what players NFL teams are interested in seeing.

You can see Shane’s picks for the offense and specialists HERE!

Let’s take a look and then let me know who I missed out on!

Defensive Line (20 Total)

*This will include players I classify as edge rushers and defensive linemen. Some of the edge rushers may play LB in the game*

Adam Anderson, Georgia

Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina

Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati

Jeremiah Moon, Florida

DeAngelo Malone, Western Kentucky

Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State

Logan Hall, Houston

Josh Paschal, Kentucky

Jordan Davis, Georgia

Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma

Haskell Garrett, Ohio State

Jayden Peevy, Texas A&M

Isaiah Thomas, Oklahoma

Dante Stills, West Virginia

Michael Clemons, Texas A&M

John Ridgeway, Arkansas

Travis Jones, UConn

Phidarian Mathis, Alabama

The top three, Anderson, Enagbare, and Hutchison are no-brainers. So much so that they may just decline altogether. Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt could dominate the 1-on-1s in practice and cement their status in the first round. Players like Myjai Sanders, Josh Paschal, and Deangelo Malone could use a great week to strengthen or create their status as Top 100 players. Logan Hall will inevitably draw comparisons to his former teammate Payton Turner. Turner used the Senior Bowl as a launching pad into the first-round last year. Jeremiah Moon may actually project to LB if he were to suit up at the Senior Bowl.

Just Missed

Ali Gaye, LSU

Boye Mafe, Minnesota

Big Kat Bryant, UCF

Tyree Johnson, Texas A&M

Amare Barno, Virginia Tech

Kobie Whiteside, Missouri

Marquan McCall, Kentucky

Glen Logan, LSU

Jeffery Johnson, Tulane

Demetrius Taylor, Appalachian State

The hardest cuts to make were UCF edge Big kat Bryant and Texas A&M’s Tyree Johnson. Both would be the first ones up in case of injuries or dropouts. Kentucky’s mountain-sized Marquan McCall could be a fun watch in Mobile as well.

Linebackers (12 Total)

DeMarvion Overshown, Texas

Channing Tindall, Georgia

Merlin Robertson, Arizona State

Ventrell Miller, Florida

Nate Landman, Colorado

Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati

Quay Walker, Georgia

Bumper Pool, Arkansas

Mike Rose, Iowa State

Jeremiah Gemmel, North Carolina

Aaron Hansford, Texas A&M

Devin Lloyd, Utah

Two tremendous athletes highlight this LB group with Overshown and Tindall. Merlin Robertson has been consistently good for Arizona State. There will be no other LB here with the production of Nate Landman. Aaron Hansford accepted an invite to play here last year before deciding to return to College Station. Devin Lloyd has a lot of buzz as a rising prospect on many boards.

Just Missed

Micah McFadden, Indiana

Kuony Deng, Cal

Damone Clark, LSU

Grant Morgan, Arkansas

Isaac Slade-Matautia, SMU

It was hard leaving off productive players like Micah McFadden and Grant Morgan. I also think teams will be intrigued by the length and athleticism of Kuony Deng.

Cornerbacks (12 Total)

Derion Kendrick, Georgia

Josh Jobe, Alabama

Akayleb Evans, Missouri

Trey Dean, Florida

Allie Green IV, Missouri

Coby Bryant, Cincinnati

Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State

Zyon McCollum, Sam Houston State

Riley Moss, Iowa

Damarion Williams, Houston

Marcus Jones, Houston

Joshua Williams, Fayetteville State

The one thing most in this group have in common is length. Everyone on this list is over six feet tall with the exception of the two Houston corners. Williams and Jones are excellent special team players. Joshua Williams would be the most intriguing of this group as he is one, I will likely not see play this season. Castro-Fields also accepted an invite for the 2021 Senior Bowl but opted back into Penn State.

Just Missed

Steven Gilmore, Marshall

Mario Goodrich, Clemson

Kekaula Kaniho, Boise State

Chase Lucas, Arizona State

Cam Taylor-Britt, Nebraska

Two of my personal favorite corners in this class, Steven Gilmore and Kekaula Kaniho just don’t project as players I could see being in the first wave of invites.

Safeties (12 Total)

Jaylan Foster, South Carolina

Jaquan Brisker, Penn State

Chris Smith II, Georgia

Kolby Harvell-Peel, Oklahoma State

Isaiah Pola-Mao, Southern Cal

Smoke Monday, Auburn

Marcelino McCrary-Ball, Indiana

Quentin Lake, UCLA

Greg Eisworth, Iowa State

Elijah Hicks, Cal

Leon O’Neal, Texas A&M

Nolan Turner, Clemson

This safety group has intrigue. 6th-year senior (and former walk-on) Jaylan Foster has earned his spot with his excellent play this season. Brisker is a phenomenal athlete. I love the bloodlines of Quentin Lake. Auburn doesn’t have many Senior Bowl eligible prospects, so Smoke Monday was an easy call.

Just Missed

Jalen Pitre, Baylor

Yusuf Corker, Kentucky

Jordan Mosley, Maryland

AJ Thomas, Western Michigan

Bryce Cosby, Ball State

This was the only position where I didn’t have an issue with anyone I left off. In fact, there are a couple of safeties I could have left off if there are some conversion prospects out there.

The 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl will take place on Saturday, February 5th.

See more from Brian on Twitter @DeepFriedDraft and on Draft Countdown here!

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