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Reese’s Senior Bowl Preview: S/CB in first four rounds

There is a need at these critical positions

NCAA Football: Penn State at Iowa
Jaquan Brisker
Iowa City Press Citizen-USA TODA

The Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama each year features some of the best college football players from the 2021 season. The advantage to these players committing to this game is that will be squared up against the top athletes opposite their playing position and if they have a great week against the best, their draft stock can (and will) rise.

This year’s game is February 5 with a kickoff at 2:30pm EST broadcast on NFL Network. Wednesday and Thursday practices will be televised on ESPN2 or ESPNU with streaming on Fubo TV and Sling. Daily recaps will be available on NFL Network in the evening.

Players who really need a boost in their draft status realize a good practice week in front of thousands of NFL coaches, scouts and General Managers can make them a higher pick that what was once estimated. A higher pick means more money initially.

The Browns will need to draft a safety or a cornerback this year to bring in and compete.

At the safety position, Ronnie Harrison’s status is unknown as he is an unrestricted free agent. Grant Delpit is great in coverage and then misses as many tackles as he makes. Richard LeCounte just completed his rookie season so there are questions about him going forward but he showed improvement. Jovante Moffatt has been on the main roster at times, then back and forth to the practice squad while veteran John Johnson’s play has been a roller coaster and has two more years left on his contract.

As far as cornerback, Denzel Ward was named to his second Pro Bowl while the other side was manned by Greedy Williams who progressed nicely this year. Rookie Greg Newsome had his moments and played quite a bit. M.J. Stewart was a tackling machine and should be a priority to re-sign him.


Here is a list of potential candidates that will compete at the Reese’s Senior Bowl that the Browns should consider.

Round 1: S Kyle Hamilton (6’-4”, 210 pounds) – Notre Dame

(Not playing at the Senior Bowl, and the only safety ranked for Cleveland’s #13 slot. If Hamilton is still sitting there at Number 13, the Browns should sprint to the podium.)

Penn State v Ohio State Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Round 2: S Jaquan Brisker (6’-1”, 200 pounds) – Penn State

Very energetic player and a natural leader. Big hitter and is very aggressive in the run game. Can blow up blocks. He is going to appeal to multiple coverage roles and should fit each one including handling the slot. A big play guy who is interchangeable at either safety position. Very aggressive in blitz situations. Will be an every down safety. Heavy hitter with a wide tackling radius. Will succeed in any role Brisker is placed as he is very physical. Lone knock on him is the ability to find the ball better once in flight. Excellent run defender who is fearless in traffic. Instinctive movement skills and body control. Runs a 4.3 in the 40. Will shine on Special Teams right away. Excels in tight end coverage. 2021 Second Team All-American, 2021 First Team All-Big 10, 2020 Third Team All-Big 10.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 14 Chattanooga at Tennessee Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Round 3: CB Alontae Taylor (6’-0”, 193 pounds) - Tennessee

Gifted athlete who began as a wide receiver and finished his college career as a top corner. Very intelligent athlete who was an academic standout plus a high-character guy. Aggressive and physical tackler who will provide quality depth right away as he hones his skills at the next level. Taylor is best in zone and press coverage. Has some issues with taller receivers as he isn’t overly deficient in man coverage but uses the jam on the line of scrimmage to his advantage. Excellent zone coverage player who will work into throwing lanes. On occasion late to locating the ball, but his receiver skills are a great asset in this regard. Can work the slot and has favorable traits for the safety position. Very competitive with excellent speed. Short-area quickness is just average, but has great instincts in coverage especially in zone. Exceptional at the catch point. College stats include 162 total tackles, four interceptions and one touchdown as a four-year starter. Runs a 4.5 in the 40.

NCAA Football: Texas-San Antonio at Southern Mississippi Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Round 4: CB Tariq Woolen (6’-4”, 205 pounds) - UTSA

Former track star in high school who was clocked at 4.34 in the 40. Played wide receiver for two years before being switched to corner which was a blessing to his career. Has rare physical gifts starting with his size and long arms. Makings of a dynamic zone corner and play situational zone. Needs more development of his coverage instincts and fighting off blocks. Very good tackler and is a playmaker where his receiver skills come into play especially at the catch point. Outside corner will be his position, but needs to be more physical. Woolen can eat up ground in a hurry and has the physical traits to shine once he gets more development. He was one of the key elements that allowed UTSA to go 12-2 this past season and win the Conference USA title.


Which position do you feel is more critical to bring in a young draft pick?

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