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Jayden Reed, John Michael Schmitz, others improving draft stock at the Senior Bowl

Live coverage at the Senior Bowl affords our Stampede Blue team the opportunity to see future NFL hopefuls make a final statement ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Senior Bowl Stock Risers

1) WR - Jayden Reed

Over the past three days, Reed lit up almost anyone who lined up across from him. He showed elite quickness, explosiveness, and precise route-running to create separation. He also had the best ball-tracking skills out of any receiver this week. I think he has firmly placed himself in the day two talks.

2) IOL - John Michael Schmitz

Schmitz did everything you could do to raise your stock as an interior lineman. He was a class above the rest, and his ability to anchor down in 1v1s and move in space was notably better than any other offensive lineman this week.

3) EDGE - Will McDonald IV

I don’t know if any other player made more money over the last few days. Coming from a unique defense at Iowa State it was really important to show he can win consistently in 1v1 pass rush situations and he did that.

4) CB Kyu Blu Kelly

Kelly impressed in 1v1s. While many CBs struggled,(although this drill is really difficult for corners), he shined. He often mirrored the guys he was covering, sometimes running their route for them. While I have questions about his willingness to tackle from his tape, I think he can be an instant impact guy in coverage at the next level.

5) WR Dontayvion Wicks

I’ve been high on Wicks for over a year now after watching a lot of Jelani Woods film. He did not disappoint. Most guys with his size struggle to create separation, but he has shown that ability. He also made numerous catches in traffic and showed the ability to high-point the football. Wicks can potentially be a big play guy at the next level.

6) RB Tyjae Spears

Spears had an impressive week. He has big play ability whenever he touches the ball. He popped several runs in between the tackles, took a screen to the house, and embarrassed linebackers running out of the backfield. The only question I had with him was about pass protection, and he constantly improved throughout the week in those situations.

7) OL Dawand Jones

The only reason Jones is this low is that he only practiced one day due to concussion-like symptoms. The one day he was out there, he was dominant. He won reps and often showed the mean streak I like to see out of offensive linemen. It also helps he measured in with the longest wingspan in Senior Bowl history.

8) S JL Skinner

I knew nothing about Skinner when I arrived, but his size quickly grabbed my attention - 6’4” 220 lbs. He was also one of the fastest players on the field. Skinner brought the same kind of potential and energy to the table as Tariq Woolen last year. He will get even more attention if he runs in the 4.3s at the Combine, and some people say that he will.

9) WR Nathaniel (Tank) Dell

Dell is a guy that I was extremely excited about watching and he didn’t disappoint. He is an “instant separator” at the line of scrimmage, leading to big wins. As a smaller guy, it’s important that he creates separation to give his quarterback a big enough window to him the ball, and he does that consistently. He’s a slot-only guy like Jayden Reed but it won’t take him long to make an impact at the next level in the right system.

10) TE Payne Durham

While most people understandably focus on Luke Musgrave, Durham has shown great hands over the last three days. This is an important development as he was previously looked at primarily as a blocker. He won’t blow the doors off with speed, but he is just fast enough to beat defenders and repeatedly makes contested catches. He arguably made the best play of the week in 11v11 when he went in between two defenders for a touchdown grab. He is definitely someone to watch for in the middle rounds.

Honorable Mentions

National Team

  • Isaiah Foskey
  • Chase Brown
  • Kj Henry
  • Trey Palmer
  • Keion White

American Team

  • Isaiah Land
  • Derrick Hall
  • Kenny McIntosh
  • Luke Musgrave
  • Jonathan Mingo