The American team had their third practice of Senior Bowl week on Thursday morning. The players wore full pads.
One of the players who helped himself the most with the 2024 Senior Bowl practices was Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson. Robinson finished off his strong week by turning in another good performance on Thursday. During the one-on-ones, he started off with an impressive win against Maryland’s Delmar Glaze, showing speed to power and rolling Glaze back into the quarterback marker. Robinson notched other wins, illustrating his strength and length to shed blocks. In the team scrimmage, he recorded a sack after darting around the left side of the offensive line.
Robinson has shown in Mobile that he is a big, strong prospect who possesses a real power rush. He can play the run and has the versatility to play inside or outside. While Robinson does not bring explosive speed, he looks capable of being a quality starter at the NFL level. After this strong week of practice, Robinson might be an early second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Oregon’s Bo Nix was the best quarterback on the National squad, and that distinction belongs to South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler for the American team. Rattler definitely has some serious arm talent. If he could get consistent and avoid the meltdown plays, he could be an NFL starter. On Thursday, Rattler didn’t have his college No. 1 receiver in Xavier Legette practicing, but Rattler made up for it with some nice connections to Louisville wide receiver Jamari Thrash.
In the team scrimmage, Rattler made a phenomenal throw to beat tight coverage. Thrash was running vertically through the end zone with a corner shadowing his inside shoulder. Rattler threw a dime to the back side that forced Thrash to adjust to an opening that allowed Thrash to catch the scoring strike. It was maybe the best pass of the week’s practices in Mobile. Rattler went back to Thrash on the next play, throwing a frozen rope that bounced off of Thrash’s chest incomplete thanks in part to Auburn’s D.J. James getting his arm into Thrash. Also during the team scrimmage, Rattler threw a bullet to Kentucky running back Ray Davis for a touchdown.
Rattler has a strong arm and athleticism, plus is capable of making some highlight-reel plays. However, he is short and must improve his decision-making and ball security for the next level. As a result, he is more of a mid-round backup for the 2024 NFL Draft, but he possesses the physical tools to be a pro starter.
Alabama defensive tackle Justin Eboigbe is looking like a player who has the potential to be a really nice value pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. With the Crimson Tide’s loaded depth chart, it took some time for Eboigbe to show what he could do. During the week in Mobile, Eboigbe put together three good practices, doing well in the one-on-ones each day. On Thursday, he notched an impressive win against Miami’s Javion Cohen, as Eboigbe showed some developed moves, including a swim and a rip, to get Cohen out of his way. On a rematch, Eboigbe used sheer power to bull rush through Cohen and roll him backward into the quarterback marker. Eboigbe continued making plays in the backfield throughout the team scrimmage.
For the next level, team sources said they feel Eboigbe is going to be an effective defensive lineman. They noted he is strong and tough, plus plays hard. Eboigbe could be a second-day pick in the 2024 NFL Draft who proves to turn out as a really good value.
Texas nose tackle T’Vondre Sweat can absolutely dominate and run over interior linemen. That was seen again on Thursday in the one-on-ones. However, Sweat is clearly overweight, with some team sources suggesting Sweat could weigh somewhere in the 350-400-pound range. Sweat shows shocking speed and athleticism for such a mammoth defender, but he must get his conditioning improved. In the passing-driven league, he won’t be capable of a big work load of snaps if his weight and conditioning aren’t significantly better come the fall.
A couple of defensive tackles who practiced well were LSU’s Jordan Jefferson and Mississippi State’s Jaden Crumedy. Both of them are strong, tough and physical. Jefferson has a real mean streak and appears ready to start fighting after every rep. He possesses a bull rush and is not limited to just being a run defender. Meanwhile, Crumedy is load who could become a solid nose tackle in the NFL.
California linebacker Jackson Sirmon had a good week of practice, and he did well again on Thursday. Sirmon notched a superb interception in the seven-on-seven scrimmage when he leapt into a throwing lane to pick off Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton. At 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, Sirmon has good size for the NFL, plus he moves well. For the next level, Sirmon could be a backup and special teams contributor who develops into a bigger role.
Ditto for Fresno State cornerback Carlton Johnson. The 5-foot-10, 169-pounder is very underweight and needs to spend some time developing his body. However, Johnson could be a nice special teams player during that growth process with the upside to become a slot corner. In Mobile, Johnson showed real speed, flying around the field and running with receivers through the route. Johnson could be a nice value pick in the mid-rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft.
Connecticut guard Christian Haynes practiced well overall at the Senior Bowl. He did not dominate, but he held his own and did a nice job of showing an anchor and an ability to move. Haynes could develop into being a possible starter for the NFL.