The Reese’s Senior Bowl has come and gone, and a lot of talent was on stage for the hundreds of NFL coaches, scouts, GMs, player personnel folks, plus the hundreds of media that descended upon the Gulf of Mexico port city of Mobile, Alabama.
Dawgs By Nature is at the Senior Bowl each year to give you the Cleveland Browns fan a glimpse of prospects that just could become the newest member of the roster in 2024.
After a solid week of taking notes, asking questions, doing player interviews, enjoying the social time, we wanted to hold our own NFL draft of just players who participated in this year’s event.
Obviously, GM Andrew Berry won’t be selecting just Senior Bowl players, but each year he does nab one or two who were invitees to this prestigious All-Star event. Last year it was OT Dawand Jones, S Ronnie Hickman, DE Isaiah McGuire, and LB Lonnie Phelps. There are several on the current roster who participated such as LB Tony Fields and OG Nick Harris, to name a few.
The stars from last year’s game include WR Puka Nacua and DE Will McDonald. Recent success stories who played in this contest include QB Jalen Hurts, QB Justin Herbert, DE Von Miller, WR Cooper Kupp, RB Rhamondre Stevenson, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Tyreek Hill, WR Brandon Aiyuk, and QB Jordan Love.
So, here we go:
DBN’s 2024 All-Senior Bowl Draft
Round 2, pick #54 (own): WR Roman Wilson (6’0”, 192 pounds) – Michigan
If you look at the Browns receiver room, it appears set with many players. Amari Cooper is the resident Pro Bowler, Elijah Moore and Marquise Goodwin were supposed to light up this group yet were disappointing, Cedric Tillman and David Bell had limited targets, while Michael Woods was injured. Are the Browns happy with this group?
The defense may be a better fit for their first pick in the draft, but Wilson is just too good of a player to pass up. Cooper on the outside with Bell or Moore in the slot, and Wilson/Tillman manning the other outside receiver will provide firepower.
Almost every defensive back who attempted to cover Wilson could not during Senior Bowl week. Wilson runs crisp routes and kept being open in most drills. Before this week Wilson had a Day 3 grade, but will certainly be on the rise and break into the Top-100. He had production this year for the National Champs and his athletic skill set is translatable to the NFL level. For now, he just gets open with nice hands. Oh yeah, he runs a 4.37.
Round 3, pick #85 (own): DT McKinnley Jackson (6’-2, 325 pounds) - Texas A&M
This is a home run pick. Defensive tackle will be a huge position of need going forward. Currently, there are three DTs on the free-agent list and the Browns can’t sign them all.
Jackson is a nasty-ass dude who won’t quit. On the field, he is not your friend. He is best at penetrating gaps and has a bowling-ball build which aids his run support. But he is crafty when in pass-rushing mode and is exceptional against the run.
The Browns need great run support going forward and that is exactly what Jackson offers. He was not ultra-productive in college because that defense relied on the linebackers making plays, but he has explosive power.
Round 5, pick #134 (own): OG Ladarius Henderson (6’-4”, 315 pounds) – Michigan
A versatile lineman can play outside and inside but appears headed to the guard position at the next level. Has good footwork and his technique is exceptional. Very strong core who should become a quality reserve. His footwork is only adequate which should bring him off the edge. Offers good pass protection.
Round 5, pick #154 (Acquired from Panthers in Baker Mayfield trade): TE Theo Johnson (6’-6”, 264 pounds) – Penn State
David Njoku finally had a coming-out party this year and remained healthy. Other than that, this room plummeted in production. Harrison Bryant had his worst season as a pro and is a free agent, Jordan Akins did not fulfill expectations of him, and Zaire Mitchell-Paden hasn’t seen the field yet.
Time to get in a player who will produce and is a field stretcher. His size alone will give this offense another Red Zone option. Johnson has reliable hands and will go after balls in traffic. He runs his routes like he is a big receiver and can be explosive off the snap.
Johnson has good strength and will gain yardage after the catch with great speed with a time of 4.54 in the 40. He needs help developing his blocking skills and does have a limited route tree. But he will go after the ball at the high point and is a mismatch for smaller defensive backs.
Round 6, pick #204 (Acquired from Texans in Deshaun Watson trade): RB Rasheen Ali (6’-0”, 209 pounds) – Marshall
There are several good options at running back at the Senior Bowl, but at this round, Ali will give a very good receiving option for the offense.
Ali jumped 36 inches in the vertical leap and has broad jumped 10 feet so the athlete is there. He is also a powerlifter as he squatted 500 pounds and power-cleaned 335 pounds. He has good lateral movement and has some stop/start ability.
He does not have elite burst but does hit top speed fast enough to outrun defenders who are in pursuit with angles. Nice hands, but does not get much separation and needs to sustain his blocking.
Round 6, pick #207 (Acquired from Ravens for 229th overall pick in 2023): TE Jared Wiley (6’-7”, 260 pounds) – TCU
If the Browns are going to clean house in the tight end room, they will need help in the draft. Wiley is another big-bodied specimen. He is a very smart guy and will do well at the next level once he grasps the offense.
Wiley is tough to bring down after a catch and has good strength. He sets up blocks well and is persistent at driving his man out of danger. A natural playmaker, he does have limitations as far as power in his hands which prevent him from being an elite blocker.
Round 7, pick #227 (Acquired from Falcons in Deion Jones trade): S Josh Proctor (6’-1”, 198 pounds) – Ohio State
Proctor has good blitzing skills with good speed (4.51). Excellent run support as he will give up his body for the tackle or to remove interference. Has click-and-close ability. Will be physical at the line. He does not have great instincts and will struggle when sitting back in zone while his man coverage skills are above average.