The second day of practices for the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl are complete, but not without getting everyone completely soaked at first. Both teams continued installing scheme and working in several individual drill periods to showcase their ability. However, the weather set the stage for players to be Senior Bowl practice stars.
Just like yesterday, Around The Block has several scouts on site to checkout the prospects, with Mitchell Wolfe covering the American team, while Felix Davila covered the National team. Below is Felix’s observations of the standouts for the National team’s second day of practice.
On this second day of practices, Badie is definitely one of my Senior Bowl practice stars. Overall, he demonstrates good instincts when navigating space, particularly when running inside. He flashed the same wiggle and agility seen on film and continued into Wednesday finding yards in small spaces with good speed downhill.
One of my favorite plays involved him avoiding a backside rusher by cutting upfield, then slightly side-stepping a linebacker to tear the defense for about 10 yards. He hasn’t been shy when it comes to contact either, and his balance was particularly impressive when dealing with the elements on Wednesday. If he can continue this pace, Badie has undoubtedly made himself some money.
Sanders is an intriguing name to watch that has flashed some excellent route running ability and steady hands. But it was entirely on display today with the rain pouring down. His cuts and hip sinks were effortless, allowing him to stay up and maintain good speed without slipping. As a matter of fact, Sanders has been one of the fastest receivers on the field in Mobile for two straight days now, which is even more impressive.
I was also impressed by his physicality. Sanders plays with a nastiness that is very desirable in receivers, especially facing tight man coverage. It’s allowed him to fend off the more handsy defensive backs and create more separation in his routes. Sanders looked like he was shaken up and walked with a slight limp during the latter part of practice but hopefully will be alright to continue boosting his stock.
The linebacker out of Montana State, Troy Andersen, has flashed some impressive athleticism ideal in today’s NFL. I witnessed several times where he dominated running backs and tight ends in one-on-ones, using good speed-to-power or a shoulder dip to create pressure. He plays violently and with an attacking mindset, which shows on every snap and drill.
Additionally, Andersen flashes some excellent movement skills in space, handling coverage duties in every way. Even if he’s out of position, he’ll sprint to the opposing receiver to play through action and attempt a deflection. Overall, Andersen is one of the more surprising Senior Bowl practice stars, and he helped his stock today.
Winfrey was a no brainer choice for this list. One of the more physical, violent, and aggressive defenders in Mobile, Winfrey was on another level today. He destroyed blocks consistently and used an array of moves to make life hell for opposing offensive linemen.
His capacity for destroying a blocking scheme really showed in the 11-on-11s drills, where he was nearly instantaneous off the snap with his rush plan and overwhelming strength. Winfrey stood out all practice and is absolutely a name to watch come tomorrow’s practice and the big game Saturday.
A player who has pleasantly surprised is Dominique Robinson, the pass rusher out of Miami (Ohio). Measuring in at a shade under 6-5 and at 254 pounds, Robinson is a chiseled prospect that wears his weight well. He’s incredibly nimble and has good flexibility to run the arc off the edge, which flashed on back-to-back sacks on Kenny Pickett in drills today.
But most noticeable is his 82-inch wingspan, which helps him tremendously in setting the edge, too. Robinson has flashed some great playmaking and has played with his head on fire thus far. However, in today’s elements, he became one of the Senior Bowl practice stars for the second day of practice.
Stueber had a solid day yesterday but today was a different story. Shifting between the guard and center positions, Stueber lost multiple times, at each position, very quickly. From bull rushes to swim moves, he was moving backwards too often to feel comfortable. There were also snaps where he’d eventually anchor a defender to stall them, but not without giving up three or four yards of real estate in the pocket first.
If Stueber wants to elevate his stock, he has to be more consistent in his performance by attacking inside more quickly and establishing a base fast. I’ve seen him bend defenders backward here in Mobile, so it’s not impossible, but I’m curious if he can just hit that form faster.
Brian Asamoah II
A stellar athlete, Asamoah looks the part of an NFL player that can fly around the field, but he hasn’t been comparable to any of the Senior Bowl standouts that Around The Block has featured. He hasn’t flashed in any particular aspect of his game, has played clean up in tackling on a few plays and was stonewalled a few times by both running backs and tight ends in one-on-one drills today.
Maybe it was the weather, but an athlete of Asamoah’s caliber should be popping off the tape more than he has to this point. He has the means to overcome these struggles and string together a bunch of big plays, so hopefully Thursday’s practice and the game Saturday provide ample opportunity for Asamoah to showcase his potential.
Considering the pouring rain Wednesday, this choice comes with an asterisk. Still, it was difficult pinpointing one quarterback who did worse than the others when all of them didn’t particularly flash. Desmond Ridder demonstrated some good velocity in the rain, but the inaccuracy continued. Carson Strong also had good power, but his ball placement was affected, and he struggled to throw off-platform on the wet field.
Kenny Pickett looked the best overall, but only by a hair since his throws were accurate and on target, but lacked the zip seen from the other passers. Not to mention, Pickett’s small hands (which weren’t measured to start this week) could be the reason he fumbled earlier in the day and missed a few passes. Each player has their work cut out for them heading into the final practice of the week, so hopefully there’s stronger performances tomorrow.