And just like that, the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl is officially over. This year saw top-ranked quarterbacks, defensive line prospects that would make any offensive coordinator nervous, and plenty of battles between wide receivers and defensive backs. While there were plenty of prospects that had strong or weak performances in Mobile, I want to highlight winners and losers from the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Travis Jones, DL, Connecticut
Simply put, Travis Jones was a menace all week in practice. The UConn defensive tackle was consistently winning reps throughout practice in 1-on-1’s and various other drills. While UConn might not have had an ideal season, finishing with an 1-11 record, Jones was able to impress scouts with his pass rushing ability and technique.
Entering this week, I had a second round grade on Travis Jones. However, following the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl, he might have played himself into consideration for a late-first round draft pick. When we talk about winners and losers from the Senior Bowl, Travis Jones was the first name that I thought of.
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
Entering the week, there wasn’t a ton of hype surrounding Malik Willis. In fact, during the Senior Bowl opening press conference, as well as the media breakfast, it was Pitt QB Kenny Pickett that received most of the attention. With that being said, Malik Willis was able to come down to Mobile and do everything right. He had a stellar week of practices and was able to win over the room during meetings with NFL franchises.
Prior to the 2022 Senior Bowl, I thought that Malik Willis would come off the draft board with a mid-first round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, at this point, I’m not sure if he’s getting out of the top ten overall. Willis took full advantage of the week as he showed off his arm talent and mobility.
Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
While UConn DL Travis Jones was impressive on the National Team, there was plenty of talent on the American Team, too. DeAngelo Malone, Phidarian Mathis, and Devonte Wyatt were all prospects that performed well all week. However, Jermaine Johnson II was a force to be reckoned with during practices.
Johnson II was able to play at a consistently high-level on Tuesday and Wednesday before an injury kept him out for the rest of the week. Despite this, Jermaine Johnson II might have had the best week of any prospect on the 2022 Senior Bowl roster.
Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft process, many have Colorado State TE Trey McBride as their top tight end, including myself. I thought that this week was an excellent opportunity for him to put separation between the rest of the prospects at the position. While he performed well all week, capped off with a touchdown in Saturday’s game.
Despite this, it still just felt like others at the position had a better week. On the National Team, I thought that Wisconsin’s Jake Ferguson and Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert had better practices overall. Nonetheless, I still believe that Trey McBride is going to be the first tight end off the board in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Mike Rose, LB, Iowa State
Every year there are prospects that accept an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl, but eventually pull out of the event. One of those prospects was Iowa State LB Mike Rose. Rose also missed his bowl game in what was first reported as an injury. However, further digging showed that it was Rose’s decision not to play.
Whether it was Rose’s decision, or advice from an agent, it was a missed opportunity. I have a mid-to-late day two grade on the Iowa State LB. If he was able to put together a strong week of practices, you’d have to believe that he could have improved his draft stock.
Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
Much like Mike Rose, Jahan Dotson also elected not to participate in the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl after initially accepting an invitation. In Dotson’s case, he’s believed to be a late-first round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. In fact, by attending the event, he would have been the highest-ranking wide receiver on the roster.
Instead, we’re talking about what could have been had he participated in the event. We saw plenty of wide receivers put together solid performances in practice, and there was no reason to believe that Jahan Dotson would have been any different.