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Senior Bowl Notes: Day One

We have boots on the ground at the Senior Bowl! @DanT_NFL is breaking down every day of practice with fantasy news and notes. #thedraftstartsinMobile

Day One Experience

This was my first Senior Bowl experience, and day one felt like the quickest day ever. One thing people don’t realize before coming to an event like this is how fast everything moves. Individual drills all occur at the same time, so you have to pick and choose where you dedicate your time. I will fully admit that I was looking forward to this running back group the most; that was where most of my attention fell on Day 1. Day 2 and 3 will be a more concentrated effort to scout the other positions. 

The one amazing thing about this event is how welcoming everyone is. We are all just fans here to watch football. I met many people working for outlets both big and small who would give me the time of day to just talk some ball. I suggest that everyone gets down to Mobile at least once. The event is open to fans even if you don’t work for a company. The draft does truly start in Mobile. 

Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas

Roschon may be my biggest riser from this Senior Bowl class so far. Seeing him out on the field, he looks like a bell cow back at the next level. I am not the only one buzzing with excitement about Roschon. I have talked to several scouts this week who are saying don’t be surprised with how early he gets drafted. They were talking mid to early second round. You have to wonder, if not for Bijan, would Roschon have been a top-five back in this 2023 class?

Camerun Peoples, RB, Appalachian State

As great as Roschon looked, Camerun Peoples looked just as good. Camerun measured in at 6’1” and 215 pounds this morning. He has the size to be a workhorse running back at the next level but, unfortunately looked a little stiff. Roschon carries ten more pounds but is very fluid at that size. Peoples may be quite the bruiser as an NFL back, but I would expect him to operate inside of a committee. 

Chase Brown & Evan Hull

I’m sure it didn’t help Chase Brown or Evan Hull that they were standing next to Camerun and Roschon all day. Both Brown and Hull looked as small as their measurements would suggest. Both backs will struggle at the next level with this size. Evan Hull does have the fallback of his receiving skills. He led the FBS in both targets and receptions last year, and those skills were on full display. 

Other National Team Notes

This running back group caught my attention today, and tomorrow I will focus more on the receivers and tight ends. One interesting player may be considered in both groups; Elijah Higgins is a big-bodied receiver that many are rumoring could be a tight-end convert at the next level. It reminds me of the Chase Claypool conversation from a few years ago. Higgins looked big and like he knew how to use that size.

The quarterbacks overall were quite disappointing today at the Senior Bowl. Jaren Hall seemed smaller than you would think compared to what you see on tape from BYU. Jake Haener was the other quarterback on the field and is regarded as not an NFL prospect. The one interesting note is that we didn’t see Malik Cunningham on the field today. He was a late add to the event last week, and I am not sure why he wasn’t here today. 

A wide receiver to keep an eye on throughout the week is BYU’s Puka Nacua. He had several highlight plays along the sideline today. One of which got an audible gasp from the group in the stands, a feat very few players accomplished today. It does bring up an interesting point that most of these throws came from his college quarterback Jaren Hall. We saw the same natural connection between TCU’s Max Duggan and Derius Davis. This an interesting theory to keep in mind throughout this week and other events of the caliber going forward. 

Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton

Many people in the industry have been predicting that Princeton’s Andre Iosivas could be this year’s, Christian Watson. A small school receiver who shows out in one of his first time playing Power Five competition. Andrei was one of the larger receivers today at Mobile, measuring 6’2”. On the field, he looked every bit bigger than the other receivers. He has a huge wingspan and was able to use it today to haul in everything thrown his way. He has a strong track background but has yet to unleash his speed. I am sure we will see that speed on display regarding the combine.

Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane

Tyjae Spears comes into Senior Bowl week as a favorite sleeper of some in this industry. I hate to say it, but he won’t leave this week with that status. He is showing out in front of scouts, and one scout I talked to said don’t be surprised to see him go early third round. He looked fluid in all of the drills I saw today, but especially in the receiving drills. He is a pure-hands catcher who squeezes the ball before looking to move upfield. He also showed positive reps in pass protection. If you haven’t heard of Spears until now, he is worth looking into. 

Nathaniel ‘Tank’ Dell, WR, Houston

Tank was a nickname made in jest when you hear rumors that Dell is sub 5’10” and about 155 pounds. He did come in at 5’8”, but at the weight of 163. He is still small for an NFL prospect, but he played well above his size today. He was consistently getting open and would oftentimes put defensive backs in a blender. Dell will be knocked throughout the predraft process due to his size but has shown today he might have the skill set to overcome these limitations. 

Top Risers

My top risers from day one have been mostly running backs. Roschon Johnson and Tyjae Spears are both players I want on my dynasty teams and will be quick risers in our rookie drafts as we get closer to the actual NFL draft. Nathaniel Dell and Andrei Iosivas were two of the highlights in the receiver group, but as I said, tomorrow, I will be paying more attention to the receivers and tight ends. 

I’m reporting live all week from the Senior Bowl! Want exclusive access to my rookie rankings and those of over twenty fellow analysts? Subscribe to the #NerdHerd, where you get exclusive content, dynasty/rookie rankings, and DynastyGM! If you want 15% off  ANY SUBSCRIPTION, USE PROMO CODE “LUNA” or CLICK HERE.

I hope you enjoyed this piece in our Draft Nerds series. Be sure to check back often, as we will cover all 32 NFL franchises. For more content like this, follow me on Twitter @DanT_NFL. DMs are always open for questions, comments, or craft beer recommendations!

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