2022 Senior Bowl: Wednesday’s National Team Practice Report
By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell
The second practice of the National team in the Senior Bowl was held in Mobile, Alabama in South Alabama’s football stadium. The players practiced in full pads under a steady rain. The National team is being coached by the New York Jets coaching staff.
Under Wednesday’s steady rain and very wet conditions, the best positions to evaluate were the offensive and defensive lines, where there are a number of impressive players. Oklahoma defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey was excellent on Wednesday. He dominated the team-scrimmage session, totaling three tackles for a loss and a sack. Off the snap, Winfrey fired his gap and used his speed to burst into the pocket. The National interior offensive linemen had no answer for him, resulting in Winfrey making play after play in the backfield. Eventually thanks to Winfrey blowing up so many plays, a double team was sent his direction to push him down the pocket and out of the play. It is very rare to see double teams at all-star practices, but that was sent Winfrey’s direction. He really helped himself on Wednesday by displaying the ability to make splash plays behind the line of scrimmage.
After practice, I surveyed some team sources, and there were three players that earned praise from scouts. The first was Boston College guard Zion Johnson. While Johnson does not have overwhelming size in terms of height and length, he has excellent technique with developed strength. Johnson consistently puts himself in good position and utilizes proper hand placement to sustain blocks. Johnson could be a plug-and-play starter who is a nice value outside of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
The second player who earned praise was Oklahoma guard Marquis Hayes. Hayes needed a good week at Senior Bowl, and he put together a good session on Wednesday. Hayes did well in the pass-rushing one-on-ones, showing the quickness and agility to handle speed. If Hayes can stay consistent on Thursday, then he will have made himself some money in Mobile.
Houston defensive lineman Logan Hall was the third player who impressed team sources. He performed well in the pass-rushing one-on-ones, using his speed to bolt past interior blockers with ease. Hall’s length, strength and athleticism make him a versatile defensive lineman who can play base end on run downs, rush off the edge, or slide to the inside in the sub package. His former teammate, Payton Turner, was a surprise first-round pick by the Saints in the 2021 NFL Draft, and Hall could earn himself similar consideration if finishes this week like he played on Wednesday.
Central Michigan offensive tackle Bernhard Raimann is a projected first-round pick in some mock drafts, but Raimann struggled on Wednesday. Penn State edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie had his way with Raimann in the pass rushing one-on-ones. Despite Raimann possessing a massive size advantage, Ebiketie bull rushed through him like he was a wet paper bag, rolling Raimann back to the quarterback marker in a blur. On the next rep, Ebiketie used his speed to fly around the corner and get the sack while Raimann was stuck trying grab and hold on. Those were ugly snaps for Raimann and show that he could be in trouble against NFL speed rushers. Conversely, Ebiketie showed he is a well-developed pass rusher who could be a Yannick Ngakoue-type edge defender in the NFL.
Another offensive lineman from the state of Michigan who struggled on Wednesday was the Wolverines Andrew Stueber. In the pass-rushing one-on-ones, he lost to bull rushes and speed. Stueber was much better in the first practice on Tuesday. Stueber needs a bounce-back performance on Thursday to avoid a Senior Bowl slide.
Minnesota offensive tackle Daniel Faalele had some wins and loses on Wednesday. There were times when the massive Faalele looked like his feet were stuck in the ground, which leaft him with issues in space. On one rush, Ohio State defensive end Tyreke Smith kept his distance from Faalele and then darted past him with a cut to the inside. On the next rep, Faalele got his hands on Smith and rode him outside of the pocket. Faalele is going to need some development as a right tackle because smaller speed rushers could give him problems in the pros.
WalterFootball.com will have more recaps from the Senior Bowl practices later in the week along with a run-down of the post-practice team interviews. Follow @walterfootball
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