With all the general managers, coaches and scouts in attendance for the Senior Bowl, there is a lot of chatter going around. Here are some of the highlights from around the league on Day 1 of the 2024 Senior Bowl week.
A year ago, the New York Jets were one of the most fascinating teams in the offseason thanks to their open pursuit of future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. This offseason, Rodgers figures to be the focal point again. The Jets front office and coaching staff enter the season on the hot seat, and the organization is looking at going bold to add talent for Rodgers. NFL team sources say Rodgers is pushing the Jets to trade for Davante Adams, and adding a top receiver to go with Garrett Wilson is something the Jets are giving a hard look at doing. The price for Adams figures to be steep, and the Jets are without their second-round pick thanks to the Rodgers trade. Giving up the 10th-overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft for a wide receiver who is turning 32 next season would be not a good trade for the Jets. Thus, they may have to consider other veteran receiver options.
Sources say the Jets are targeting an offensive tackle in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, and there should be some superb options available because the 2024 NFL Draft is loaded at the position. Notre Dame’s Joe Alt, Alabama’s J.C. Latham, Penn State’s Olu Fashanu are top candidates for the Jets, and there could be other offensive tackles who rise for their consideration – see below. The Jets are also said to be thinking of adding a veteran free agent in order to have some depth to go with the rookie and veteran Mekhi Becton. Another Rodgers favorite to keep an eye on is offensive tackel David Bakhtiari.
Bakhtiari has played only 13 games since the begging of the 2021 season, and his contract is written such that the Packers are almost certain to make him a cap casualty. Following some contract restructuring, Bakhtiari has an untenable cap number of $40.565 million. The Packers could save $21.5 million by releasing him. Given the injuries, Bakhtiari will probably have to sign a contract that is relatively cheap and incentive-based. The Jets reuniting Rodgers and Bakhtiari is definitely a possibility.
One player who could be a riser over the 2024 NFL Draft process is Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims. Back in August in the Hot Press, we disclosed how NFL team sources said that from a body perspective, Mims was an incredible specimen who resembled Tyron Smith.
An AFC director of player personnel told WalterFootball.com:
From a body perspective, he looks as good as Tyron Smith, who has probably the best body I’ve seen from an offensive linemen …. Mims is 6-8, about 320 to 330 pounds and almost no fat. He has 36-inch arms, 11-inch hands, and he can move. No-doubt first-round talent.”
Mims enters the NFL following very little starts at Georgia after being a rotational player prior to 2023. Additionally, he missed part of the 2023 season with an ankle injury. When Mims was on the field, however, he was dominant. His skill set is off the charts, and teams think he will be a star of the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine and pre-draft workouts. Multiple NFL team sources think he would go in the No. 15-20 range of the first round if the 2024 NFL Draft were held right now, but after the workouts, they think he could potentially rise into being a top-10 selection.
While the practice performance of Senior Bowl players is the most important part of the Senior Bowl process, a close second is how players interview with team evaluators at night. One player who must ace the interviews is Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr. Team sources from around the NFL say Hall has a first-round skill set, but he comes with major character concerns. They say Hall has a reputation for being a bad guy, and the character concerns are significant enough that it could knock him out of Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft. Hall must interview well with teams at the Senior Bowl, the NFL Scouting Combine, and during pre-draft visits.
Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is the consensus top non-quarterback prospect for the 2024 NFL Draft, but there are some teams that have another wide receiver graded very closely to Harrison, LSU’s Malik Nabers. In speaking to sources at a couple of teams, they said that Nabers received a “blue” – elite – grade along with Harrison. One team pro personnel scouting director said they felt Nabers could be a Garrett Wilson-type receiver in the NFL. They shared they thought Nabers has the versatility to be a dangerous weapon on the outside or in the slot. Six of the teams picking in the top 10 need wide receiver help, so Nabers could have a short wait on the opening night of the 2024 NFL Draft.