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Reese’s Senior Bowl Preview: WR’s in first four rounds

Everybody knows the Browns will draft a wide receiver this year

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 18 Cincinnati at Indiana
Alec Pierce
Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama is fast approaching. They invite some of the best college players to compete in this annual contest.

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 advantage to the Reese’s Senior Bowl for coaches and scouts is that they are able to meet these players first-hand and get to know them somewhat. Conversations with prospects are important as part of the evaluation process.

LINK: SENIOR BOWL.COM

The Browns will need to draft a wide receiver at some point. Jarvis Landry is in his last year of his final contract and could be released. Rashard Higgins was rarely utilized and is expected to find another team as well as he is an unrestricted free agent. Donovan Peoples-Jones is the best receiver in this group and is expected to excel going forward. Rookies Demetric Felton and Anthony Schwartz had growing pains but are needed to advance their skills. Ja’Marcus Bradley has spent time from the practice squad to the main roster numerous times.

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


Round 1:

(None of the top four receivers are playing at the Senior Bowl as is the case of most prospects targeted for the Top-15 because a bad week of practice might plummet their draft status.)


Penn State v Maryland Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Round 2: Jahan Dotson (5’-11”, 180 pounds) - Penn State

Dotson was a high school track star as he was state champion in relays and long jump, plus was conference champs in the 100 and 200 meters. Runs a 4.33 40. Has home run abilities with big play speed. Crafty route-runner that can generate separation. Offers alignment versatility and will sell his routes with his entire body. Does not drop passes. Has a great vertical presence with quick hands. Is not very physical so he can be out-muscled at times at the catch point and coming off the line. Does not break many tackles as well due to his smaller frame, but knows how attack the leverage of the defense. Will go after any ball regardless of coverage. A decent blocker who will need some instruction at the next level but is a willing blocker. Ultra competitive. 2021 Third Team All-American, 2021 First Team All-Big 10, 2020 Third Team All-Big 10.


SMU v Cincinnati Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Round 3: Alec Pierce (6’-3”, 213 pounds) - Cincinnati

Gifted athlete that was multi-sport in high school including basketball, track and volleyball. Was clocked at 4.45 in the 40. Possesses excellent hands with great height and a very good reach. A three-year starter in college, Pierce is a deceptive route runner but needs to use his upper body more with fakes. Very physical player a plus. Rarely drops the ball. Excellent acceleration and can win the catch point. Supreme body control and is able to read coverage and adjust. Will be best used in intermediate and deep portions of the field at the next level. Not a return man which makes him strictly a receiver. Will make the acrobatic catches in the mold of Cooper Kupp (who was also a third-round pick). 2021 Second Team All-ACC.


Georgia Southern v South Alabama Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Round 4: Jalen Tolbert (6’-3”, 190 pounds) - South Alabama

Finished the 2021 season with 1,474 yards with eight touchdowns. Runs a 4.43 in the 40. Excellent hands and the understanding of how to get open. Good blend of size and speed. Is a very tough player to bring down with the speed needed to get downfield quickly. Versatility is a huge plus and competitive. Will have concentration drops on occasion. Physical blocker with big-play ability. Can make all the tough catches with speed to make the vertical receptions. Detailed route-runner. Needs to improve selling his routes as there are some deficiencies in his route-running. Good mix of size, speed and power. 2021 First Team All-Sun Belt Conference, 2020 First Team All-Sun Belt Conference, plus 2021 Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Poll

Which of the three receivers highlighted would you draft?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Jahan Dotson - Penn State
    (70 votes)
  • 53%
    Alec Pierce - Cincinnati
    (139 votes)
  • 19%
    Jalen Tolbert - South Alabama
    (52 votes)
261 votes total Vote Now