As we know, the Senior Bowl is one of the final chances players have to stand out and increase their draft stock. Each year there are a couple of players that take advantage of this opportunity.
Last year, names like Chad Muma and Tariq Woolen became more recognizable than they already were following the annual all-star game.
Muma led the Senior Bowl with nine tackles. The next closest number was six. He was drafted in the third round by the Jaguars and started two games for the AFC South champs. Woolen was selected by the Seahawks in the fifth round and had a stellar season, finishing his rookie season with six picks, 16 pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries. He landed himself in the final running for Defensive Rookie of the Year. College football betting odds didn’t even have him on the board to win the award prior to the season, and he’s currently the third favorite at +1600.
And what else? Both of these guys were Group of Five studs. Perhaps this is why the draft starts in Mobile.
In reality, anybody can increase their stock during next weekend’s game. Here are a few of them to keep an eye on, though:
Karl Brooks, Edge – Bowling Green
According to Pro Football Focus, Brooks had a 93.0 grade this season, which led all FBS edge defenders. He finished with 32 tackles and 12 sacks on the season. His 18.5 total tackles for loss during the regular season ranked third in the MAC. The fifth-year senior also tallied 43 QB hurries and five QB pressures.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound prospect knows how to utilize his strength to the best of his advantage. His speed — especially for his size — complements this. This big guy also boasts some versatility:
He’s currently expected to go in the third round.
Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, WR – Houston
Last year’s FBS leader in receptions and touchdowns isn’t considered one of the top receivers in the draft. Standing at 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, his size is a factor. This is probably his biggest downfall as he doesn’t possess the size to really make plays on the outside and will be challenged by bigger, more physical defensive backs.
We’ve seen small receivers thrive, however, and Dell’s speed could allow him to do so. He has breakaway speed that helped him secure 109 receptions for 1,398 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. He can be utilized in multiple areas and has great release.
Dell is expected to be a third-day selection.
Clayton Tune, QB – Houston
Dell was Tune’s favorite target last year and was a big reason why the QB passed for 4,074 yards and 40 touchdowns. He has shown solid arm strength and can get the ball downfield in tight windows. Tune also has the ability to keep plays alive with his legs, rushing for 546 yards and five touchdowns on 128 rushes.
Maybe the biggest downside for Tune and potentially why he isn’t higher on draft boards is because of his lack of passing skills in the pocket. This is something that can be coached, however.
The 6-3 QB is expected to fall to the later rounds.
Darrell Luter Jr., CB – South Alabama
The defensive back stepped onto the scene in 2021 after a breakout sophomore campaign that saw him snare four interceptions and break up 10 passes. That play transitioned into last season where he had far fewer opportunities to make plays on the ball because QBs didn’t want to throw his way.
Luter Jr. can read opposing QBs and WRs well and doesn’t stray from making plays on the ball. He has long arms and can play multiple coverages. One downfall is his lack of speed, making it tough for the 6-0, 190-lb CB to recover if beaten.
Luter Jr. is currently expected to go in the fourth round.
JL Skinner, S – Boise State
One of the first things that pop out about Skinner is his physicality. At 6-4 and 220 pounds, the dude can provide solid run support:
Skinner also possesses great ball skills and snagged four interceptions last season and broke up four passes. He’s lengthy and athletic, which bolsters his already solid cover skills. Skinner has a good feel for things and it helps make up for sometimes struggling to anticipate a receiver’s route.
The All-Mountain West selection is projected to be a Round 2 pick.