NFL Draft: 5 Players the Baltimore Ravens Could Trade-Up for

Here are five targets the Ravens could target in a trade up

The 2022 NFL Draft is fast approaching, and the Baltimore Ravens have a number of holes on the roster that need to be filled. The team will certainly have its fair share of targets that will hopefully fall to the fourteenth overall selection. However, a certain player could fall down the board that the Ravens may feel inclined to trade up for in order to secure.

Traditionally speaking, the Ravens are unlikely to move up from their fourteenth draft slot. The team has rarely ever traded up from its original first-round draft spot, the last time being in 2009. But with a bevy of mid-round picks this year, the Ravens may be tempted to buck that trend.

Every year, a highly-touted prospect seems to unexpectedly fall. If that were to happen this year, the Ravens just might package a few of their mid-round picks to secure that difference-maker for their roster. Listed below are five players who could fall in the draft and be a target for the Ravens to move up and take within the first three rounds.

Potential Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft Targets

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Derek Stingley, Jr.

There are serious depth issues at cornerback in Baltimore. Even Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said the depth was concerning in an offseason press conference. Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters are the only proven players at the position and both are coming off serious injuries. The Ravens will certainly look to address the issue in the draft. One target is LSU corner Derek Stingley, Jr.

There may not be a more polarizing player in this year’s draft and for good reason. Stingley’s 2019 freshman tape was immaculate. Injuries and subpar play the following two seasons have forced his stock to drop. The big question is which version of Stingley will a team get? That question might have teams shy away from the LSU product. But if he falls out of the top-10, the Ravens just may make a move up.

Stingley has great length for the position and is a top-notch athlete. All things the Ravens covet in their corners. He would provide incredible depth behind Humphrey and Peters as he transitions to the pros.

Photo via Icon Sportswire

Jermaine Johnson

A big question in this upcoming draft is where exactly will Florida State pass-rusher Jermaine Johnson land? Ranging from a top-5 selection to a second-round pick, Johnson’s stock seems to be all over the place. Despite this, if Johnson falls anywhere close to the 14th overall selection, the Ravens should not hesitate to part with a draft pick or two to move up and secure him.

After lighting up the Senior Bowl, Johnson showed that he is a phenomenal all-around defender. With the speed and quickness to rush the passer and the size and strength to stand up against the run, Johnson would be an immediate upgrade to Baltimore’s defense. With Tyus Bowser and Odafe Oweh coming off of injuries, the Ravens are short on healthy players at a premium position.

Johnson can be a force for a team that has had trouble generating sacks in recent years and gives new defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald another weapon to deploy.

Photo Credit: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

George Pickens

No team has dedicated more draft capital towards wide receivers over the last three years than the Ravens. That includes using the 27th overall pick in last year’s draft on Rashod Bateman. Despite this, the Ravens should not be precluded from taking a receiver like Georgia’s George Pickens this year.

Pickens isn’t mentioned as one of the draft’s top receivers, but that shouldn’t be the case. At 6’3, 200 pounds, Pickens has the size and strength to be a matchup nightmare. That is exactly what the Ravens are lacking. Pickens is a bully who can make contested catches look easy. That is a critical piece the Ravens have been missing since the days of Anquan Boldin.

Seen as a late first-round or early second-round pick, Pickens would be an incredible addition. It would be worth it to move up and secure him to get Lamar Jackson that hard-nosed receiver he has never truly had.

Photo Credit: Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Daniel Faalele

The Ravens have had some serious problems along the offensive line over the last few years. It is time for Baltimore to start investing in Lamar Jackson’s protection. Despite signing Morgan Moses to be the starting right tackle, the Ravens must do more. Enter Minnesota’s Daniel Faalele. A 6’8, 380-pound monster who is light on his feet, but has every bit of a nasty streak that his size indicates, Faalele should be a massive target for the Ravens.

Some see his size as a detriment, and that could cause him to fall. The Ravens took a flyer on a player with similar labels in Orlando Brown Jr., and he fared well in Baltimore. Faalele may need some time to develop, but there is no denying that he can be a monster in the trenches — if developed properly.

A team may take a chance on him early in the third round of the NFL draft before the Ravens are up, but if Baltimore has the chance to move up to take him, they would be wise to do so.

Photo Credit: Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Travis Jones

As with virtually every other position in Baltimore, the depth of the Ravens defensive line was challenged due to injuries. Calais Campbell was re-signed and Michael Pierce was brought in for his second stint with the team, but the team must get younger in the defensive trenches. Travis Jones has been a darling of most scouts during the draft process and it is not hard to see why.

While playing at UConn, Jones was an immovable force against the run and showed glimpses of being a solid interior pass rusher. Jones would fit right into Baltimore’s rotation as he learns the ropes behind several established veterans while providing the Ravens longevity on the defensive line.

Jones has been linked to several teams in the second round of the NFL Draft. He may be gone by the time the Ravens pick in the second round, but he could be a big target for a Baltimore trade-up.

Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft: 2022 Pre-Free Agency Breakdown

The Atlanta Falcons have a lot of holes and free agency should help them address some. But the draft is where they’re going to truly rebuild the roster. Their biggest holes are at edge, on the offensive line and at wide receiver. Atlanta should use the draft to address some of those holes in an efficient way. This mock draft shows how the Falcons can do exactly that

With help from the Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine, we break down what the Falcons could do pending minimal free agency moves. Free agency will change a lot of of things for Atlanta, but this could help the Falcons should they focus more on re-signings than anything else.

Atlanta Falcons Mock Draft

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gary McCullough

Round 1, No. 8 overall: EDGE Jermaine Johnson, Florida State

The Falcons have terrible pass rush with the least amount of sacks in the NFL. A free agent signing would be ideal, but adding a premiere pass rusher in the draft would help. Jermaine Johnson is amazing as an athlete and can turn the Falcons pass rush into a solid one with his array of pass rush moves. He’s also one hell of a run defender who can set the edge and instantly upgrade the edge defense.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Sam Craft

Round 2, No. 43 overall: OL Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

Jaylen Mayfield was terrible as a rookie and might be in over his head at this point as an NFL starting offensive lineman. Kenyon Green was amazing at Texas A&M. Green fits in well with what the Falcons need at left guard with his agility, speed and size. He’s a guy who will improve the terrible pass blocking that Mayfield provided and has the speed to get to the second level.

Photo Credit: Paul Abell via Abell Images

Round 2, No. 58 overall: WR George Pickens, Georgia

George Pickens is a big, fast target who could be a No. 1 receiver in the Falcons offense. His size at 6-foot-3″ allows him to be a threat in the red zone. His speed allows the Falcons to have a deep threat at wide receiver. Pickens and 2021 first-round pick Kyle Pitts would be a great combination for Matt Ryan. Pickens has some injury concerns, and that would be why he falls.

Photo Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Round 3, No. 74 overall: WR John Metchie III, Alabama

The Falcons need a second receiver in this draft to replenish the wide receiver corps. John Metchie was amazing at Alabama and has shown through his three years there that he can be a great No. 2 or No. 3 receiving option in an offense. Metchie plays very similarly to Roddy White and has the same kind of athletic profile. Metchie only falls this far because of his ACL injury.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Round 4, No. 112 overall: EDGE Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati

The best fit in the draft outside of Kayvon Thibodeaux for the Falcons scheme is Myjai Sanders. He was a little light at the combine due to an illness, but has shown that he’s an elite athlete regardless. Sanders showed as a sophomore and junior that he can play the outside linebacker role flawlessly. Once he gets his weight up, he could be a perfect 3-down edge defender in the Falcons’ scheme.

Photo Credit: Rob Schumacher, USA Today Sports

Round 5, No. 150 overall: RB Rachaad White, Arizona State

The Atlanta Falcons will need a long-term option at running back that can be a true zone rusher. Rachaad White has a great frame and is similar to Tevin Coleman in his strengths as a zone running back. He has good vision and ridiculous speed for a man his size. His receiving ability is exceptional for a running back and his athletic profile is near the top at his position.

Photo Credit: http://www.gostanford.com

Round 6, No. 188 overall: DL Thomas Booker, Stanford

The Atlanta Falcons love athletes on the defensive line. In 2021, they selected Ta’Quon Graham and this season, adding Thomas Booker would add another athlete up front. Booker posted a 9.81 RAS and has shown that he can destroy an interior offensive line whether as a nose tackle, defensive tackle or defensive end. The versatility and athleticism up front will be a massive asset.

Photo Credit: 247sports.com

Round 6, No. 211 overall: S Smoke Monday, Auburn

The Falcons would love a player like Smoke Monday on their roster helping out their depth at safety and on special teams. Monday was a captain for Auburn and has incredible instincts in the field. His speed and athleticism fits in with the Falcons’ desire for top-tier athletes. The Auburn safety posted a 9.19 RAS at the Combine to rank in the 92nd percentile of athletes to ever test.

NFL Mock Draft 2.0 2022: Vance Meek’s Pre-Free Agency Breakdown

The NFL offseason is here and NFL Draft season is in full swing. Mock drafts are being written, scouting reports are being put together, and podcasts are recording. With the NFL Combine now in the rearview mirror, we have a more data to work with. Free agency and Pro Days are coming, but it’s time to take another swing at what the Draft might look like.

Kayvon Thibodeaux (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

The NFL offseason is here and NFL Draft season is in full swing. Mock drafts are being written, scouting reports are being put together, and podcasts are recording. With the NFL Combine now in the rearview mirror, we have a more data to work with. Free agency and Pro Days are coming, but it’s time to take another swing at what the Draft might look like.

2022 Mock Draft 2.0

1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Evan Neal, Offensive Line – Alabama

Tackle Cam Robinson will be back after being given the franchise tag by the Jaguars, but the offensive line situation is by no means solved. Neal could easily become the best lineman on the team quickly and the long-term solution at left tackle.

2. Detroit Lions: Kayvon Thibideaux, Edge – Oregon

The Lions grab the highest graded player in the draft here. Questions about his effort are overblown, but his ceiling is sky-high and he makes an instant impact. This is just too early for any of the quarterbacks in this class.

3. Houston Texans: Jermaine Johnson, Edge – Florida St

Everybody is predicting a certain talented safety here, and that makes sense. Pass rushers are more valuable, though, and Johnson is the highest graded one available. He is long, fast, and plays with violence in his eyes.

4. New York Jets: Kyle Hamilton, Safety – Notre Dame

The Jets are another team that needs everything. Hamilton is one of the elite players in this draft, so despite the positional value argument, taking the best player on the board makes sense for them. He’s an impact player from the start.

5. New York Giants: Aiden Hutchinson, Edge – Michigan

Getting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks has to be a priority for the Giants next year. They were near the bottom of the league in sacks, and Hutchinson falling a little bit makes this selection a no-brainer for them.

6. Carolina Panthers: Ikem Ekwonu, Offensive Line – North Carolina St

Quarterback is the biggest need in Carolina, but there’s major risk in taking on this high. Instead, getting a top offensive line prospect to protect whoever is under center makes sense. Ekwonu is an athletic blocker who could go even higher than this.

7. New York Giants: Kenyon Green, Offensive Line – Texas A&M

Guards don’t often find themselves being taken inside the top ten, but Green is an exception. He grades out as the top offensive lineman in the class here, as he’s long, athletic, and impossible to move off his spot.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Ahmad Gardner, Cornerback – Cincinnati

The Falcons would probably love to trade back and get some extra picks here. They desperately need receiver help, but it’s early for that. They could also use some secondary help and Gardner has all the traits a team could want.

Georgia’s Travon Walker (44) chases down Alabama’s Heisman winner Bryce Young (9)

9. Seattle Seahawks: Travon Walker, Edge – Georgia

It seems destined that quarterback Malik Willis is the pick here, but it’s still a bit early. Walker, on the other hand, could be an absolute steal here and is rising up boards quickly after the NFL Combine, where he shined.

10. New York Jets: Charles Cross, Offensive Line – Mississippi St

There are question marks up front for the Jets going into 2022. There are more questions than answers, particularly at tackle. Cross hopefully solves some of those issues. He is as technically sound as any tackle in this class.

11. Washington Commanders: Treylon Burks, Wide Receiver – Arkansas

The two Super Bowl contestants from this year proved that having elite weapons matters. The Commanders have their quarterback, so they get another big-time option to go with Terry McLaurin on the outside.

12. Minnesota Vikings: Derek Stingley, Cornerback – LSU

There’s some risk associated with picking Stingley here, but if he returns to the form of a few seasons ago, he’s a steal. The Vikings are barren at cornerback, and this could be a homerun. One of the linebackers could be an option as well.

13. Cleveland Browns: Jordan Davis, Defensive Tackle – Georgia

Positional value says this is too high for Davis, but players like him don’t come around that often. The Browns are thin on the interior of their defensive line and Davis is a monster and an athletic freak, even if he isn’t a three-down player.

14. Baltimore Ravens: Devonte Wyatt, Defensive Line – Georgia

With the board falling the way it has, an offensive lineman is a bit of a reach. The Ravens need some bodies on the defensive line as well, and Wyatt is the best on the board. He plays with quickness and provides plenty of pass rush upside.

15. Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Lloyd, Linebacker – Utah

With three picks in the first round, the Eagles can address a lot of needs. First up, improving the defense, which needs help at all three levels. Here, they take the highest graded linebacker in the class, and Lloyd probably starts from day one.

16. Philadelphia Eagles: Trent McDuffie, Cornerback – Washington

It’s back to the defensive side of the ball, and they pick the best available cornerback on the board this time. He has good length, while also possessing good instincts for the position. He’s versatile enough to play inside or outside.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Nakobe Dean, Linebacker – Georgia

With wide receiver Mike Williams re-signed, the focus is on the defense. They have a major need at defensive tackle, but the board didn’t fall in their favor. Adding a rangy linebacker to fly around the field helps out as well.

Malik Willis (7)

18. New Orleans Saints: Malik Willis, Quarterback – Liberty

The Saints have to get out of cap trouble this season, and then ideally begin to compete again in 2023. Drafting the best quarterback in the class is the start of that. Willis may need some time, but has the tools to be a star.

19. Philadelphia Eagles: George Karlaftis, Edge – Purdue

Once again, the Eagles address the defense. Karlaftis plays hard and knows how to get to the quarterback. He may not be as physically gifted as other pass rushers in this draft, but he makes up for it with technique and motor.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sam Howell, Quarterback – North Carolina

The retirement of Ben Roethlisberger leaves the Steelers with a gigantic hole on offense. A trade for a veteran might be a better option, but as of now, they draft an exciting player who has some flaws in his game, but has a high ceiling.

21. New England Patriots: Andrew Booth Jr, Cornerback – Clemson

This is as simple as drafting a guy to replace a guy they lost. JC Jackson appears to be headed to another team this offseason, leaving the Patriots short at cornerback. Booth is another of the great corner prospects in this draft.

22. Las Vegas Raiders: Jameson Williams, Wide Receiver – Alabama

With Russell Wilson headed to Denver, and the rise of Justin Herbert, the AFC West is becoming a division defined by offense. Derek Carr needs more weapons and Williams, once fully recovered from injury, might be the best of this class.

23. Arizona Cardinals: David Ojabo, Edge – Michigan

This is a steal at this point. The Cardinals can certainly use another pass rusher, but Ojabo is worthy of a top 15 pick. In this case, he slipped down a bit, and Arizona will take it. The former Wolverine is explosive and has some nice pass rush moves.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Zion Johnson, Offensive Line – Boston College

The Cowboys offensive line has been an area of strength for a long time. However, age, injuries, and defections are taking a toll. Johnson may go even higher than this, as his stock is rising. He likely would start at left guard right away.

25. Buffalo Bills: Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver – Ohio St

Having one of the league’s best young quarterbacks means the Bills are contenders every year. Keeping his weapons stocked will be important though. Wilson might be the best player on the board here, and gives Allen another big-time target.

Garrett Wilson (5) and Chris Olave (2) celebrate a touchdown together

26. Tennessee Titans: Chris Olave, Wide Receiver – Ohio St

The Titans certainly need to address the offensive line, but the need for receiver help is underrated. AJ Brown is fantastic, but Julio Jones is on the downside of his career. Olave is a fantastic route runner and has some much needed speed for the Titans too.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyler Linderbaum, Center – Iowa

The offensive line in Tampa has taken a hit this offseason. They need help along the interior and with Ryan Jenson entering free agency. Linderbaum has size and length concerns, but is technically sound and has plenty of power.

28. Green Bay Packers: Drake London, Wide Receiver – USC

The Packers have famously failed to use top picks on weapons for Aaron Rodgers over the years. Need meets value here and they finally get him some help. London has great size and hands, and he will be a nice “money down” target.

29. Miami Dolphins: Trevor Penning, Offensive Line – Northern Iowa

Penning made himself some money at the NFL Combine and he could wind up going much higher than this. Miami has to protect the quarterback better going forward if they want to be contenders in an increasingly difficult AFC.

30. Kansas City Chiefs: Daxton Hill, Safety – Michigan

The Chiefs secondary was a liability in 2021, particularly in their late season and playoff losses to the Bengals. Hill is a rangy safety with ball skills. The other option here would be a cornerback, but Hill is the highest graded available defensive back on the board.

31. Cincinnati Bengals: Sean Rhyan, Offensive Lineman – UCLA

The offensive line cost the Bengals a Super Bowl ring. They’ll use free agency too, but getting a potentially dominant player in the draft too is advisable. Rhyan would benefit from a move to guard, where his strength and use of leverage would allow him to thrive.

Kenny Pickett (8)

32. Detroit Lions: Kenny Pickett, Quarterback – Pitt

Simply put, it’s time for a new era at quarterback in Detroit. Pickett could be a top 15 selection, but small hand measurements hurt him. He has an intelligence for the position, and has an NFL-quality arm to show off for his new team.

Senior Bowl Practice Stars: American, Day 2

Senior Bowl Practice Star Malik Willis
Photo by Jeff Hanson

The Senior Bowl continued today in Mobile, AL, as both teams practiced through torrential downpours for the majority of the afternoon. Around the Block sent multiple scouts to Mobile this week to check out the prospects. For their recaps of Tuesday’s practices, check out their standouts from the American and National teams. In this article, Mitchell Wolfe highlights his Senior Bowl practice stars from Wednesday’s rain-soaked practice.

Winners

Malik Willis

Malik Willis is the first quarterback to make our Senior Bowl practice stars list. Despite the heavy rain throughout most of practice, Willis relied on his incredible arm strength to continue pushing the ball downfield. He hit on some big deep throws and showed off his ability to run. But what stuck out the most was his energy and leadership.

While most players seemed to slow down with the rain falling, Willis continued dancing between reps and hyping up the other guys on his team, including the other quarterbacks. Moments like these are important and unique in that they show viewers something that goes beyond the film or the stats.

Willis has arguably been the player with the highest energy at the Senior Bowl, regardless of position or team. Along with his incredible physical gifts, that earns him a spot among our Senior Bowl practice stars. 

Dameon Pierce

As was the case during his college career, Dameon Pierce was not the most heralded player among the running back group this year. But he deserves a spot as a Senior Bowl practice star after two impressive days. Pierce is an exceptionally tough runner between the tackles, displaying a consistent ability to get skinny in the hole and burst through into the second level. He is a compact runner, keeping his pads low and the ball high and tight. This helps him run through contact with ease.

Additionally, Pierce has been an asset as a pass protector, something that will make him exceptionally valuable as a third-down back. He finished off the day by winning a 1-on-1 blocking drill against another Senior Bowl practice star to be mentioned later. Pierce is making a name for himself down in Mobile this week.

Jermaine Johnson

Speaking of people making names for themselves, there has been no better player on the field than Jermaine Johnson. The reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year has been utterly unstoppable through two days of practice. In yesterday’s recap, we mentioned his name as he led the elite American defensive line unit. But he continued his reign of terror against the offensive line and quarterbacks today.

This Senior Bowl practice star regularly beat offensive linemen, in team drills and 1-on-1s, with various pass rush moves using speed, power, and finesse. To be frank, Johnson has nothing left to prove this week and could go home with his status solidified as a first-round pick. 

Devonte Wyatt

While Johnson has been wrecking shop off the edge, Devonte Wyatt has been demolishing the interior of the offensive line. Wyatt also stood out yesterday and continued to bully his opponents throughout practice.

He somewhat flew under the radar on his own team, as the massive and terrifying Jordan Davis got most of the spotlight. But Wyatt is an excellent player in his own right and proved so today and yesterday. He consistently maintains excellent pad level and leverage to win his battles and push his opponent backward. 

D’Marco Jackson

Our final ‘winner’ among our Senior Bowl standouts is a smaller school guy, D’Marco Jackson, a linebacker from Appalachian State. Jackson had an excellent career with the Mountaineers, recording over 200 tackles the last two seasons of his career. Down in Mobile, he has been one of the primary leaders of the defense, filling in as the Mike linebacker that communicates the plays and signals to the rest of the defense.

On a team littered with four- and five-star recruits from major Power Five programs, it is very impressive that Jackson stepped up into that role despite coming from a smaller school. He’s also been nearly impossible to shake in coverage, routinely locking down running backs and tight ends. Jackson is a player that I am very excited to watch more film on in the coming weeks. 

Losers

Bailey Zappe

To be quite honest, I don’t love labeling players as “losers”. Players can have bad days, and on ones with conditions like today, it’s certainly forgivable. But there is clearly a gap between Bailey Zappe and the rest of the quarterbacks here.

Firstly, Zappe does not look like he physically belongs on the field compared to his teammates. Secondly, the rain and the wind emphasized his lack of arm strength, as balls regularly fell short of their intended target. Where most of the other quarterbacks could drive the ball through the falling rain, Zappe could not.

Hopefully, he’ll look better during indoor practice tomorrow, like he did with this throw yesterday. But Bailey Zappe earned a spot among the Senior Bowl standouts, not necessarily for the right reasons. 

Velus Jones Jr.

Velus Jones Jr. is another tough addition to this list. He made some really nice plays and is undoubtedly one of the fastest players on the field. However, Jones probably had more drops than any other receiver on the field today. Drops have been a problem for most of the receivers here through the first two days, even when it wasn’t raining. But Jones struggled to reel in some catches yesterday, and the problem worsened in the elements today.

Some of the receivers that stood out positively had drops early but rectified the issues as practice continued. That was not the case for Jones, who let multiple balls clang off his hands throughout practice. Like Zappe, hopefully, Jones can get this corrected during indoor practice tomorrow.

Daniel Bellinger

Truthfully, it was tough to come up with a third loser to close this Senior Bowl standouts list. Putting those of us who stood out in the rain for five hours to watch practice seems like a cop-out. Therefore, I will bring up Daniel Bellinger out of San Diego State.

Bellinger was a bit of a surprise addition to this roster, as few people knew of him during the pre-draft process. While Bellinger has not looked out of place or anything, it’s clear the other tight ends on his team are much better athletes than him. All of them look significantly more fluid running routes and after the catch.

Furthermore, while Bellinger is billed as more of a traditional, in-line, blocking tight end, he has been victimized by some of the elite edge rushers here — namely Jermaine Johnson and Kingsley Enagbare, as shown in the clip below. Again, putting Bellinger on this list of Senior Bowl standouts might be a bit harsh; but he has not elevated his game to significantly improve his draft stock thus far.

Senior Bowl Standouts: American, Day 1

FSU EDGE Jermaine Johnson led the group of Senior Bowl Standouts after Day 1 of practice
Photo by Jeff Hanson

The Senior Bowl began today in Mobile, AL, with the first day of practices getting underway in the afternoon. Both teams spent the day working on simple installation of the schemes for the game on Saturday. There were also multiple periods of individual and 1-on-1 drills.

Around the Block sent multiple scouts to Mobile this week to check out the prospects. In this article, Mitchell Wolfe and Felix Davila will highlight their Senior Bowl standouts on the American squad from the first day of practice.

Winners

Defensive Line

Mitch: Of all the position groups on the field today, the American defensive line stood out above the rest. Jermaine Johnson and Devonte Wyatt were probably the most impressive Senior Bowl standouts. But nearly everyone in this group won the majority of their reps. They consistently wrecked their opponents in 1-v-1 sessions and team drills.

The running backs could not find any holes because the defensive linemen were blowing up the run plays. The defensive line also consistently put pressure on the quarterbacks. With that being said, the offensive line began to gel towards the end of the 11-on-11 portion, so we’ll have to see if this group performs as well tomorrow. 

Max Mitchell

Mitch: Despite the defensive line’s dominance, one offensive lineman on the American squad played well. Max Mitchell from Louisiana consistently held his own in the 1-v-1 part of practice, including multiple reps where he stonewalled Jermaine Johnson. He was one of the few offensive linemen who had success against Johnson all day. Mitchell needed to show he could survive against elite competition this week; he did so during Tuesday’s practice. 

Danny Gray

Felix: One of my favorite receivers on the day was Danny Gray. I was impressed by how much faster he was compared to film, and he demonstrated excellent hands, ball tracking, and just overall adjustment to passes from the various quarterbacks. Gray also showed he’s been working on his release package, matching footwork with active hands to get open consistently and separated quickly.

These traits were showcased on a bomb from Malik Willis for a touchdown. Gray torched his defender outside and up, gaining several yards on the defender. He helped himself plenty today.

Cameron Taylor-Britt

Mitch: Cameron Taylor-Britt had a lot on his plate during practice today. He played both inside and outside as a cornerback and even played both safety positions. Taylor-Britt is an excellent athlete (he played quarterback in high school), and his versatility was on display at practice today. He made several good tackles and nearly intercepted multiple passes as well.

In practice situations that are generally favorable to the offense, Taylor-Britt consistently performed above expectations. He was one of the few Senior bowl standouts among the defensive back group. 

Greg Dulcich

Mitch: Even though the American team had the lower-profile group of tight ends, they performed just as well, led by Greg Dulcich. The UCLA product looked exceptionally fluid running routes in the open field. He caught the ball easily, smoothly transitioning into a runner after the catch. He still has to prove himself as a blocker, so we will be keeping track of that over the next few days. But he was among the Senior Bowl standouts today.

Losers

John Ridgeway

Mitch: While the entire group of defensive linemen flourished, John Ridgeway seemed to struggle. He displayed good power and strength off the snap but did not have much of a pass rush plan after that, especially in 1-v-1 pass rush drills. He seemed to completely rely on his power without possessing or using any type of counter. Ridgeway was decent in the run game, as his size and strength make him very difficult to move. But he needs to show more creativity in the coming days. 

Lecitus Smith

Mitch: The guard from Virginia Tech stood out in his group, but not necessarily for the right reasons. Lecitus Smith looked noticeably less chiseled than the other offensive lineman. While this is not the most catastrophic of problems, it was odd to see.

Additionally, he struggled against the strength and power of the SEC interior defensive linemen. Devonte Wyatt, Neil Farrell, and Phidarian Mathis all gave him serious trouble in the 1-on-1 sessions. They also pushed him backward during the team drills. Hopefully, Smith can perform better in the coming practices. 

Dontario Drummond

Felix: The wide receiver out of Ole Miss has flashed some great playmaking ability in his career, but today was a rough start. Drummond had some nice routes with fluidity but struggled to create separation from what I saw. Most glaring, however, were his drops. He had a few catches that were blatant drops off his hands, even on routes where he burned the opposing defensive back.

He can easily turn it around with good performances the rest of the week, but dropping easy passes are an absolute no-no.