Senior Bowl Day Three Risers and Fallers: National Team

The Senior Bowl is a showcase event for players to prove to NFL teams that they are worth their selections, and throughout the week, players are “risers” and “fallers”. The on-field portion is what will be discussed here. A large portion of the true rising and falling from the Senior Bowl will be in the off-field meetings with team personnel.

Senior Bowl Risers: Day Three

Photo Credit: Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire
Michael Wilson, WR, Stanford

Michael Wilson has had a fantastic week and simply could not be left off of all of these lists. Wilson has been one of the best receivers at the Senior Bowl regardless of team. He came in as a bit of an unknown due to his lack of playing time because of injuries over his career.

Wilson is 6015 and 216lbs. He just absolutely postered a defender towards the end of the scrimmages, and was good throughout the one-on-ones today. Wilson had one of the best weeks of anyone here, and was consistently good.

Adetomiwa Adebawore, DL, Northwestern

Adetomiwa Adebawore brings versatility to the defensive line and showed it throughout the week in Mobile. At 6015, 284lbs with 34″ arms, Adebawore can be an extremely versatile piece. He can line up both inside and on the edge.

Adebawore started the day off strong by winning two reps against Cody Mauch in one-on-ones. He followed it up by dominating Jarrett Patterson on back-to-back reps. Adebawore also beat Mauch on a rep during the scrimmage portion of practice.

Payne Durham, TE, Purdue

Payne Durham had a very good performance today. Durham has a prototypical tight end frame at 6050, 258lbs with an 80 6/8″ wingspan. He started by catching a pass that was overthrown over the middle of the field during 7-on-7. Durham also had a tremendous back shoulder touchdown grab around two defenders.

Ronnie Bell, WR, Michigan

Ronnie Bell showed a penchant for drawing defensive pass interference, as well as defensive holding. On special teams, he muffed a punt but was able to draw a kick catch interference penalty from his flop. At 5112 and 192lbs, he has enough size and he’s shown the physicality to play on the outside. He also had a touchdown while scrimmaging.

Karl Brooks, iDL, Bowling Green

Karl Brooks is a returning player to this list. Brooks once again flashed his technical prowess as a pass rusher, showing excellent hand usage. He comes in at 6033, 303lbs with 32 2/8″ arms.

At Bowling Green he played on the edge. If Brooks can get just a bit stronger as he continues to bulk up to play on the interior while maintaining his flexibility, he can be a productive NFL player for a long time.

Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland

Jaelyn Duncan played left tackle at Maryland. They asked him before to practice some at right tackle, and he had struggled. Today, he looked more confident and seemed to adjust well. He showed good hand usage and is an athletic tackle. He also showed a solid anchor.

Keeanu Benton, iDL, Wisconsin

Keeanu Benton had a fantastic week, and is another player that makes it difficult to leave off entirely. Benton is 6034 and 312lbs, and has a strong hands. He had a nice spin move as well today. Benton has been a consistent performer throughout the week.

Senior Bowl Fallers: Day Three

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Jarrett Patterson, iOL, Notre Dame

Jarrett Patterson has struggled at times throughout the week. He had a few reps where Adebawaore was able to beat him in one-on-ones, and he also was up and down throughout the team section. This is more of an overall faller, as his performance was not necessarily worse than the previous days, but this is more of a total encapsulation of his overall practices.

Blake Freeland, OT, BYU

As with Patterson, this is not a singular day statement for Blake Freeland. Freeland had reps with good footwork and hand placement and was able to win some one-on-ones — but he still was beat, even by some less explosive players. Overall, his performance was subpar, and he will need a good game to make up for it.

Jovaughn Gwyn, iOL, South Carolina

Jovaughn Gwyn came in as a late addition to the National team roster, and this was just his first practice. So while a lot of the struggles that he had can be explained by that, his measurables are also very concerning and don’t bode well for those issues to be corrected in the future. He is just 6017, 301lbs, with 31 and 7/8″ arms.

Honorable Mention

Bryce Baringer, P, Michigan St

Have I put Bryce Baringer as an honorable mention in these articles before? Yes. Does he deserve it again? Absolutely. He has been rocketing punts this week, and today was no different. He has talked about how he has been working to improve his hang time, something NFL teams want to see more of from him. Today, returners were not left much time to operate due to his improvement.

2023 NFL Draft: Baltimore Ravens Mock Draft

For non-playoff teams, the 2023 NFL draft looms large. Despite not taking place until late April, the NFL’s yearly selection draft offers all teams an opportunity to improve. Front offices are investing their time in all-star games and player interviews while prepping for the NFL combine. 

As for those of us in the media, it’s mock draft season. Although teams do their own simulations, the most notable works are produced by sportswriters. Most are for the general draft, while many others, including this one, are more team-centric. 

The Baltimore Ravens are currently hunting for their next offensive play-caller while also evaluating this year’s new crop of college prospects. Baltimore’s process this year might be their most important in recent memory. With potential question marks at quarterback, while only possessing five draft picks, the onus is on the Baltimore Ravens scouting staff to nail their picks this year. 

Sidenote: The following Ravens mock draft was made via the Pro Football Focus Mock Draft Simulator

Photo Credit: Jon Durr/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens Mock Draft


Round Two: Pick 33 – Kelee Ringo – Cornerback – Alabama 

TRADE

Baltimore Gets: 2023 second round pick (33), 2023 third round pick (65)

Houston Gets: 2023 first round pick (22) 

With Marcus Peters entering his age-30 season and a current free agent, the Baltimore Ravens face a massive need at outside cornerback. Marlon Humphrey is one of the NFL’s premier corners, however he cannot be asked to face the AFC North’s receivers alone. 

Kelee Ringo is a somewhat boom-or-bust prospect given some technical rawness. However, given his ceiling, he’s worth the risk at this spot. Ringo could see plenty of early reps given those athletic traits, which should hopefully speed up his development. 

Round Three: Pick 65 (from Houston) Marvin Mims – Wide Receiver – Oklahoma 

After the hypothetical trade, the Baltimore Ravens also picked up another third round pick which they use on their second biggest need. With Rashod Bateman’s rash of injuries and a lack of talent outside of him, Marvin Mims will be asked to contribute immediately. Mims is a quality separator with great concentration skills and can give the Baltimore Ravens a quality deep threat. 

Round Three: Pick 86 – Noah Sewell – Linebacker – Oregon 

This is by far the best pick for the Ravens in this mock draft in terms of value. Noah Sewell was once billed as a top-ten prospect who’s seen his stock drop over the course of the season. Despite this, he’s a versatile defender who can fill the hybrid backer role for Baltimore. He’s got the weight and length to play the edge while possessing the IQ to cover space. 

Round Four: Pick 125 – Jaelyn Duncan – Offensive Lineman – Maryland 

Yet again, another value pick for the Ravens here in this mock draft. Jaelyn Duncan is a highly-touted offensive tackle prospect who has plenty of great athleticism, but is viewed as a developmental prospect at this point. Luckily, the Baltimore Ravens are in a position to draft, and stash, a player like Duncan with both Ronnie Stanley and Morgan Moses already on the roster. 

Round Five: Pick 159 – Rakim Jarrett – Wide Receiver – Maryland 

Back-to-back Maryland picks here for the Baltimore Ravens. Rakim Jarrett had a disappointing 2022 season and has fallen in this simulation to the fifth round. Even so, Jarrett could get plenty of early snaps given the Baltimore Ravens needs at the position. Jarrett has solid ball skills and could grow into a potent slot weapon for whichever offensive coordinator Baltimore adds. 

Round Six: Pick 200 – Jaren Hall – Quarterback – BYU

Best player available is the strategy with the Ravens final selection of this mock draft. With Lamar Jackson’s contract currently in dispute, quarterback could become a much bigger need if things do not progress positively. If Jackson is gone, Tyler Huntley could be looked at as the stop-gap quarterback while they search for a permanent option. Jaren Hall is an older prospect, but has plenty of tools at his disposal that could make him some money as a backup. 

Baltimore Ravens 2023 Positional Needs

The Baltimore Ravens 2022 season was another rough outing, despite the team finishing with a 10-7 record and a playoff berth. Baltimore’s star quarterback Lamar Jackson missed the latter half of the season with an injury and the offensive struggles mounted in his absence.

The last few weeks have been tough sledding for fans and the team itself as all of their frustrations boiled over following Baltimore’s Wild Card loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. With rumors swirling about Jackson’s departure, there is little room for optimism for fans. 

Despite this, the Baltimore Ravens staff is already taking steps into rectifying their recent failures. Chiefly, the team announced Thursday afternoon they will be parting ways with maligned offensive coordinator, Greg Roman.

In addition to a new offensive coach, the Ravens have several positional needs that must be filled. The team possesses only five draft picks, so they may need to rely more heavily on free agency this time. Despite this, here are the following positional needs for the Baltimore Ravens. 

Photo Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens Needs by Position Heading into 2023

Wide Receiver 

It’s a tale as old as time for the Baltimore Ravens. Wide receiver is a position that has the team perpetually snakebit, and is always a topic of conversation. Every off-season the Ravens seek to add receiver talent, with varying degrees of success. The team has found quality players in Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay, however, the former has struggled with injuries early in his career. 

Unfortunately for the Ravens, the free agent class of receivers isn’t stellar this year, with many of the potential additions playing past their prime in 2022. Many fans clamor for veterans like DeAndre Hopkins, but with limited draft capitol it may be a bit more difficult to trade for a player of that caliber. 

Conversely, the 2023 NFL Draft boasts several exciting receiver talents. USC’s Jordan Addison, Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and UNC’s Josh Downs are three players that would be immediate upgrades on offense. With a late first-round pick, the Baltimore Ravens could be in range for either one of those players to address their needs at wide receiver. 

Cornerback

Marcus Peters and Kevon Seymour will be free agents and will be entering their age-30 seasons this year. Kyle Fuller is coming off of a knee injury and may not return in 2023, despite a promising start. Brandon Stephens and Pepe Williams have flashed in their limited playing time this past year but are not enough.  

Similar to the wid receivers, the free agency pool isn’t inspiring however the draft has far more promise. While they’re likely out of range for star players such as Christian Gonzalez or Joey Porter Jr., Baltimore could settle for someone like Devon Witherspoon or Kelee Ringo — great consolation prizes for Mike MacDonald’s defense.  

Five-Technique Defensive End

Calais Campbell is 36 years old and mulling his retirement, while Brent Urban is a free agent yet again. Both have been key parts of Baltimore’s past defensive philosophy, and a lot of what they do up front hinges on a stout five-technique. 

Urban is younger and could come back on a team-friendly minimum deal. Additionally, veterans like Dean Lowry, A’Shawn Robinson, and Matt Ioannidis would be typical Baltimore Ravens signings that would help bolster their front seven. 

As for the NFL Draft, there are quite a few players who fit the Baltimore Ravens mold at the defensive end. Tyree Wilson is the best of the bunch, while Iowa’s Lukas Van Ness is a high-upside player who could be more in their range. Conversely, later options such as Keion White from Georgia Tech or Colby Wooden could be plug-and-play starters for Baltimore. 

Offensive Guard 

A sneaky need for the Baltimore Ravens, as both Ben Powers and Trystan Colon-Castillo are set to hit free agency. Additionally, Baltimore may not feel comfortable playing former-third round pick Ben Cleveland after his struggles during camp and in the preseason. Given the free agency crop this year, Baltimore may be better off signing one of the two rather than taking a chance with a veteran past their prime. 

However, prospects such as O’Cyrus Torrence and Emil Ekiyor feel like players Baltimore could feasibly target — despite their limited picks in 2023. Torrence is often mocked in the latter half of first-round mock drafts, which is right in range for the Ravens.

Edge Rusher 

Justin Houston and Jason Pierre-Paul are both aging free agents that are not guaranteed to return to Baltimore in 2023. Former first-round pick Odafe Oweh had a sophomore slump in 2022, despite expectations. Rookie David Ojabo flashed in his limited play time, so the jury is still out if he can become the elite pass rusher the Baltimore Ravens envisioned for him. 

This isn’t as much of a pressing need for the Ravens as other positions, so signing low-risk free agents such as Clellin Ferrell, Arden Key, or Jadeveon Clowney would be smart.

The 2023 edge class is also incredibly deep, so locating a rotational pass rusher on day three is on the table as well. Names to watch for Baltimore include CMU’s Thomas Incoom, Iowa State’s Will McDonald IV or Auburn’s Eku Leota. 

2023 NFL Draft: Darnell Wright Scouting Report

Mammoth Tennessee offensive tackle Darnell Wright is poised to be a great value pick in the 2023 NFL draft

Offensive tackle is one of the most important positions in football and we see so many of them get drafted high come April. In this upcoming class, countless talented tackles have been mocked in the top 50. One of those is Darnell Wright, an absolute mammoth of a man controlling the right side for the Tennessee Volunteers. Wright stands at 6’6”, 335 pounds and is a force with his raw strength.

A former five star recruit, Wright has the pedigree of a top tier player. He’s currently projected to land somewhere in the late first-to-mid second round this spring. Let’s dive into the scouting report on Darnell Wright!

Darnell Wright Scouting Report

Darnell Wright Scouting Report
Photo Credit: Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Strengths on tape

Games Watched: Pitt (2022), Florida (2022), LSU (2022), Alabama (2022)

The first thing that immediately stands out about Wright is his otherworldly raw strength, particularly in his hands. It truthfully does not matter who’s in front of him. If he gets his hands on you, it’s over. With absolute vice grips attached to his wrists, Wright can shut down an array of moves from opposing edge rushers.

This was extremely evident in the Pittsburgh game. The same skip move (the James Houston move) was tried on him three separate times (it failed all three times). Seemingly every move was thrown at Wright this season and he never flinched. 

His patience and polish in pass protection is what really stands out. Not even a pro yet, Wright has nearly perfected the snatch-and-trap move. This move appears on his film multiple times each game. So many times he just shuts down whatever gets thrown at him, and it looks to be effortless as well. He has perfected the ability to win each rep with his hands.

Wright’s strength and power have emerged as his trump cards for anything thrown his way. Whether he’s de-cleating someone mid-spin move or just refusing to let Will Anderson disengage, Wright was an impenetrable force in pass protection.  

Concerns 

Look, he’s big and slow. If you can’t get past that, then he is not a player who should be on your board. Despite all his size and power, Wright really struggles to get on the move. There are some positive reps as a puller, but that is also inconsistent because of his limited range. Teams who ask their linemen to get out on the move should not be looking towards Wright.

Another concern is inconsistent hand placement. There are a handful of reps where he allows his hands to drift high and get up around the facemask of who he’s blocking. That getting cleaned up would make him even more reliable in pass protection. 

Team fits 

Whether it’s the late first or the mid second, there are a good amount of teams who should be heavily considering Darnell Wright. One of those is the Dallas Cowboys. With Tyron Smith’s availability issues, Dallas could consider moving on and plugging in Wright on the right side to pair with future Hall of Famer Zack Martin.

Another team who may consider Wright is the Arizona Cardinals. With a new head coach coming in, it is imperative to do everything they can to ensure that Kyler Murray is a $200 million quarterback whenever he returns. The best way to do that is to protect him.

Packers Offseason: What Would I Do If I Was Brian Gutekunst?

The offseason is here; we are all disappointed in the Packers performance. Changes will have to be made, like any other offseason. This article will explore what I would do with this offseason if I was Packers GM Brian Gutekunst?

There is a lot to do for him and the front office. There will be a lot of moving parts that affect one another. Beyond the usual free agency and NFL draft that has to be dealt with, there is of course the cap. At this point they are over by 5.36 million per OverTheCap. There is also the Aaron Rodgers ‘will he or wont he retire’ issue. That one will be the most important one that needs dealt with, and should be dealt with first. So, let’s get to it.

Will Packers QB Aaron Rodgers retire in the offseason?
Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

What to do with Aaron Rodgers?

This is obviously a complicated situation. The Packers kind of married themselves to him last offseason with the contract extension they gave him. It does not make it easy for them to get out of. With his massive cap hit, there isn’t a lot of maneuvering to be done other than restructures — and the Packers have borrowed from the future three off-season’s in a row. Eventually you have to pay the man, so to speak.

As we all know, there is the old saying of about the definition of insanity… Well they would be doing this offseason what they did the previous three; and it has not worked out. What makes them think it magically will this time? I would rip off the band-aid. If he wants to come back, I would trade him after June 1. The Packers get a net gain of about one million in cap space in that scenario.

Packers Offseason Free Agents

Gutekunst has a number of free agents he will have to figure out what the Packers want to do with in the offseason — and not much cap space to work with. The unrestricted free agents are Allen Lazard, Eric Wilson, Justin Hollins, Rudy Ford, Keisean Nixon, Corey Ballentine and Dallin Leavitt.

I would attempt to re-sign Hollins to a 1-year 1.80 million deal with a 500k signing bonus. With Nixon, I would offer him a two-year, 2 million dollar deal with a 1 million dollar bonus. I would also offer Rudy Ford a vet minimum deal with a small signing bonus, but he probably gets more on the open market.

Adrian Amos, Randall Cobb, Dean Lowry, Marcedes Lewis, Robert Tonyan, Jarran Reed, and Mason Crosby all have voids in their contracts. In this scenario, I let them walk and thank them for their service.

The Packers have just four restricted free agents in Yosh Nijman, Krys Barnes, Tyler Davis, and Jake Hanson. I would give Nijman the 2nd-round tender and Barnes that right of first refusal. I would let Hanson and Davis walk.

Cuts

Since we are ripping off band-aids here, we will be also cutting any vets who don’t fit in the long term with the roster. I will cut David Bahktiari, Preston Smith, Aaron Jones, Vernon Scott, Luke Tenuta, and Jonathan Garvin.

Where does that leave us?

All these moves leave the Packers with 8.4 million in cap space. That is not enough for the draft class, UDFAs, and in-season space. Per Ken Ingalls, the Packers will need about 11 million for their draft class, 3.45 for the practice squad, and about 5 million in season. Which means they need to create almost another 20 million in space.

Restructures

This obviously means restructures need to be made. It was going to have to be done regardless of what happens with Rodgers this offseason. With a simple restructure of Kenny Clark’s contract they can create $10.37 million in space, which gets us half way there.

Restructuring Jaire Alexander’s contract gets the Packers another $8.86 million which gets them to 19.23 million. Then we get a simple restructure of De’Vondre Campbell to get the Packers another 2.46 million. We are done. This would leave the Packers with almost $22 million in space so they could also sign a couple vet minimum guys. They could also redo Douglas’ deal and clear up another $1.5 million. The Packers could do that this offseason, but we don’t need to here.

Extentions?

Rashan Gary is an obvious first thought for a contract extension, but coming off the ACL I would want to see him play in-season just to make sure he gets back to his previous self. It might cost more in the long run, but its safer. AJ Dillon is another player you could think about extending, but I don’t think he has done enough to warrant one. Yet.

Where does this leave the Packers in 2023?

It actually leaves them with a competitive roster. They won’t get in the playoffs, but they won’t be competing for at top five pick in April either. They’d have to bite the cap bullet in 2023, but would get some relief in 2024 with $62 million in cap space and are pretty much in the clear beyond that.

Packers Offseason Roster

QB: Jordan Love/rookie or cheap vet

RB: Dillon/rookie

WR: Watson/Doubs/Toure or rookie or Melton

TE: Deguara/Austin Allen/rookie/rookie and or cheap vet

OT: Tom/Nijman

OG: Jenkins/Runyan

C: Myers

or my favorite

OT: rookie/Nijman

OG: Jenkins/Runyan or Myers

C: Tom

ED: Enagbare/rookie or Hollins (until Gary is back)

DL: Clark/Slaton/Wyatt

LB: Campbell/Walker

CB: Stokes/jaire

Nickel/Safety: Rasul

S: Savage/rookie

Final thoughts on the Packers Offseason Plans

The Packers could start to build through the draft and augment any holes with free agents starting in 2024. If Jordan Love isn’t the guy, there is going to be a pretty good quarterback class that year. With picks from a Rodgers trade, they could move up to take one. Also note the numbers in this article are all ball park figures. I’m not the best “numbers” guy.

If you have enjoyed reading the article you can check out my other stuff. I will also be doing a second part on what I think Gutekenst will do, so be on the look out for that.