2023 NFL Draft Stock – Senior Bowl

This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2023 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
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2023 NFL Draft Stock Up

Mekhi Blackmon, CB, USC
Blackmon has had an excellent week of practice at the Senior Bowl, really helping himself. He showed speed and loose hips to run the route to prevent separation. Blackmon left the Wednesday practice early and was in the injury tent before coming out with something that looked minor.

While Blackmon has not gotten a lot of media attention, he definitely made himself some money from his time in Mobile. Blackmon (5-10, 182) is not a big corner, but he can really cover and looks like a starting slot cornerback. After his strong week in Mobile, Blackmon could be a second-day pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee
Wright had a strong week of practice in Mobile, and team sources said that Wright really helped himself at the Senior Bowl. The 6-foot-5, 342-pounder showed he can use his size on the edge to generate a push in the ground game. While Wright is big, strong and thick, he moved well and was impressive in the one-on-ones, displaying an ability to cut off speed rushers. After his impressive week in Mobile, Wright looks likely to end up as an early-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Sydney Brown, S, Illinois
At the Senior Bowl, Brown put together a solid week of practice, impressing a number of team sources. Brown is tough as nails and plays like a furious dog. While he is not a natural center fielder, he showed some nice zone-coverage skills in the intermediate part of the field during the seven-on-seven scrimmages. Brown broke on the ball well, but did have a dropped interception on Thursday. Brown is coming off an excellent season in terms of production, so he could be a riser in the months to come.

Luke Musgrave, TE, Oregon State
Some team sources told WalterFootball.com they viewed Musgrave as an intriguing player despite being injured for the vast majority of his senior year. That’s why I have Musgrave in the second round of my 2023 NFL Mock Draft, but after his impressive week in Mobile, Musgrave could get late first-round consideration. He showed mismatch speed and also did well as a blocker. In the Senior Bowl game, he laid an excellent block in the ground game to open a big cut-back lane. If Musgrave works out well before the 2023 NFL Draft, he could contend to be the first tight end selected after Utah’s Dalton Kincaid and Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer come off the board.

Payne Durham, TE, Purdue
Durham was one of the stars of Thursday practice at the Senior Bowl. He caught multiple touchdown passes and was phenomenal in the red zone. In the team scrimmage, Payne had a soaring touchdown grab in a crowd of defenders, using his size and leaping ability to high point the ball. He also set up a score with a diving grab on a post route that went for about 18 yards to approach the goal line. Payne (6-6, 258) showed nice size and quickness as a receiver in that practice. He looked like an intriguing backup tight end candidate to close out his Senior Bowl practices.

2023 NFL Draft Stock Down

Ali Gaye, DE, LSU
Gaye never played up to his potential for LSU, and he continued to underwhelm at the Senior Bowl. Gaye struggled with Alabama tackle Tyler Steen in the one-on-ones, and even when playing games on stunts, Gaye failed to notch wins. Gaye looks the part with size, quickness and athleticism, but something seems to be missing where he catches a lot of blocks and is unable to shed. In the Senior Bowl game, Gaye recorded a sack, but his flashes are too rare and the lack of consistency hurts how high he can expect to be taken in the 2023 NFL Draft. Gaye has upside, but looks like a third-day project for the next level.

Jaren Hall, QB, BYU
Hall was the quarterback with the most to gain at the Senior Bowl, but he had an underwhelming week of practice. While Hall threw the ball better on Wednesday, he struggled on Tuesday and showed a skill set that was more of a backup caliber. Hall looks like he could in the early rounds of Day 3 during the 2023 NFL Draft to be a backup as a pro.

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 9

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