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Senior Bowl Diary: Wednesday

Many blue chip players displayed their talent for coaches and scouts

Maryland v Wisconsin
Keeanu Benton
Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images

The Senior Bowl went to full pads today so that means the hitters were out in Mobile, Alabama in front of approximately 700 scouts, coaches and full media.

Here is what transpired on Wednesday:

There were two scratches from the roster and both have implications to the Cleveland Browns.

Standout Baylor nose tackle prospect Siaki Ika was not at Tuesday’s practice and was assumed he would show a day later. That didn’t happen. It’s a shame because he is my leading prospect to be taken in Round 2 with Cleveland’s #43 selection. He is one of the best defensive tackles in this year’s draft. He has steadily seen his stock increase especially since he is 6’-4” and a beefy 355 pounds. The Browns need run stuffers and he is just that and perhaps push the pocket.

The other news was that Ohio State OT Dawand Jones fully participated on Tuesday but was now missing from the second full day of practice. He is another big one measuring 6’-8” and 359 pounds. He was all the talk on Tuesday because in the 1-on-1’s no defensive lineman could get past him. Despite his size, he is pretty quick on his feet. He is another second-round guy that Cleveland should look at. Not everyone is sold on Jedrick Wills going forward. The unofficial word was that he suffered a minor injury. Whether he went home or just is staying out of practice is unclear. I believe that the Senior Bowl could not foot his food costs.

Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker remained in Mobile. He stated that he would relish the opportunity to learn from a veteran. Tabbed as a fourth-rounder, as mentioned yesterday he has the same skill set as Deshaun Watson. If the Browns took a flyer on Hooker, he would be good insurance in case Watson goes down and the offense would not have to be altered.

As far as receivers, Tank Dell of Houston is turning heads. Not a big guy at all at just 5’-8”, 163 pounds but has shown he is fearless even across the middle. Dell was able to get separation on a frequent basis and caught some ugly throws. He has crazy speed. Another receiver who had a second good day is BYU’s Puka Nacua. Look for my interview with him from yesterday. This dude catches everything.

Somebody is going to get Christmas early whoever takes Jayden Reed of Michigan State. I did an interview with him so watch for that.

Not that big at 6’-0”, 185, but this kid has moves on top of moves and is extremely quick. Smart guy as well. Had over 1,000 yards after his junior season in a run-oriented offense. This kid will blow up like Ja’Marr Chase did when he first came out. He also returns both kickoffs and punts which is a plus. He could have come out last year but stayed another college season. Is a downfield burner which is what this offense needs. His short route running is so deceptive that when he does just run full out downfield, the DB is stuck expecting the route to break off, and then it’s too late.

Yet another receiver who has stood out is Andrei Iosivas of Princeton. He has gotten off to two days of nothing but good routes and steady hands. He has shined in individual drills and has excellent route running. Crisp is another word to describe his routes and no doubt his draft stock will rise this week.

Army DE Andre Carter has looked pretty good in 7-on-9s, but Notre Dame’s all-time sack leader Isaiah Foskey is having some issues getting around all the talent on this offensive line. DE Thomas Incoom of Central Michigan has looked great at times, especially in the 1-on-1”s, but in other drills with more players, he disappears.

BYU offensive lineman Blake Freeland didn’t handle the speedier edge guys all day but Maryland OT Jaelyn Duncan has been steady and looks consistent. He has some very good physical numbers weighing in at 320 while standing 6’-6” and has played mainly left tackle.

Some of the best cornerbacks have been Darius Rush of South Carolina, Miami’s Tyrique Stevenson, and Julius Brents of Kansas State. Each has blanketed and even batted down intended passes. Stevenson could be a first-round pick which will probably depend on his Combine results, especially his 40 time.

At defensive tackle, Keeanu Benton (6’-4”, 315 pounds) from Wisconsin has really shown his talent. He is definitely a load to handle on dominated in the 1-on-1s. He is going to be in the conversation if he or Siaki is the better DT to draft. Both are expected to be there when the Browns draft in the second round. This guy has been winning all over the field and is very athletic.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 05 Bowling Green at Akron
Karl Brooks
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Karl Brooks of Bowling Green is projected to be taken in the third round and quietly had a good week and will be a solid starter. A former EDGE rusher, he has quickness for the interior.

With the safety position, Christopher Smith of Georgia has all the measurable traits that teams tend to shy away from such as being just 5’-10” tall and he weighs only 188 pounds. But this kid brings it and has excellent coverage skills and is an all-around good safety. Could be a second-round pick. Sydney Brown from Illinois is another 5’-10” guy who will stick and does. At 213 pounds, his body is ripped with probably less than 3% body fat. He is another second-round safety prospect. Ohio State’s Ronnie Hickman got beat by just about every receiver.