2022 Senior Bowl Observations: The QB's, And The Prospects Whose Stock Is On The Rise
The QB's Strongest Arm Malik Willis Liberty Willis displayed his strong arm during Senior Bowl Practices this past week. Zebra Technologies, a company that designs microchips for the NFL that can be inserted into players' pads and the football to measure player speed and movement, and the speed of the football, air yards, and more, measured Malik Willis's initial throw speed at 75 MPH. By comparison, Josh Allen's initial ball speed was 66 MPH using the same tech at the Senior Bowl in 2018. The Deepest Throw Malik Willis Liberty Zebra Technologies also measured the longest air distance for all of the QB's, and Malik Willis led all QB's with a 65 yards toss. The question remains, can he improve his short and intermediate touch and accuracy? He already possesses excellent deep accuracy. The Fastest QB Malik Willis Liberty Once again, Malik Willis takes the cake. His athleticism is a known commodity, and according to Zebra Technologies, Willis measured a 20.5 MPH run. NFL teams considering Willis as a potential first-round possibility will undoubtedly need to structure their offense based on his ability to move the football with his legs. His stock increased through Senior Bowl practices, where he garnered a lot of attention from NFL Scouts and GM's, including Browns GM Joe Berry. The Other QB's Desmond Ridder Cincinnati- 17.99 MPH Sam Howell North Carolina- 16.50 MPH Carson Strong Nevada- 16.10 MPH Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh- 15.00 MPH Bailey Zappe- 10.44 MPH Other QB notes Kenny Pickett Pittsburgh On Wednesday, Kenny Pickett had issues handling the football in wet conditions, but he did bounce back on day three. He entered the Senior Bowl as our top QB prospect, with Malik Willis starting to pick up steam, and it would be necessary for Pickett to make a strong statement. Pickett displayed his solid short and intermediate accuracy throughout Senior Bowl Practices this week. He remains our number one QB for now. Sam Howell North Carolina Once considered a top prospect on our Big Board before the 2021 college football season, Howell displayed some inconsistent traits throughout the year. During Senior Bowl practices, Howell didn't do a lot to change the narrative. He still has to work on his footwork and patience in the pocket. We did a YouTube analysis on Howell. I discussed his inconsistencies on drop-backs of 2.5 seconds or longer being an issue and the importance of decisively getting the ball out. He has NFL-level starter traits if he can become a more decisive passer. Desmond Ridder Cincinnati The discussion about Ridder among scouts is that they like him and that he is a proven winner. I like his physical attributes, though he needs to put on some weight. His inconsistent accuracy needs to improve. The Prospects (Outside of QB) Whose Stock Rose The Highest Edge Jermaine Johnson II Florida State As we expected, Johnson is one of the top EDGE rushers, not just at the Senior Bowl but overall. Johnson displayed a combination of speed, power, and moves to go along with his size and length. We are in the process of moving Johnson into the top 15 of our big board, maybe the top ten, once we finish all evaluations. IDL Travis Jones UCONN Jones is the best IDL at the Senior Bowl. He consistently dominated in one-on-one drills throughout, playing with great leverage and excellent hand usage. He is on the rise, according to most scouts. IDL Perrion Winfrey Oklahoma If Travis Jones is the most dominant interior defender, Winfrey is not too far behind. Winfrey shined in one on one drills, and he consistently won battles with a quick first step. He is considered an interior 3-tech player, and his stock at a position that lacks depth is on the climb. WR Christian Watson NDSU The explosive WR proved as much during Senior Bowl practices. At 6-4, 211 lbs, Watson confirmed that he is more than just a big-play WR; he displayed quick feet and solid route-running chops this week. He had 57 plays of 20+ yards or more at NDSU, and he is on our radar. RB Dameon Pierce Florida The RB position is a challenging read in a practice-style combine event, but Pierce did well with his opportunities proving he has three-down chops as a pass blocker. WR Khalil Shakir Boise State Shakir displayed a high-level ability to get a free release and high-level short-area quickness during the week. He gets separation with relative ease, and his game translates well at the NFL level. CB Tariq Woolen UTSA Woolen is a 6-2, 205lb DB with fluid hips and solid body control. According to Zebra Technologies, Woolen clocked the fastest Senior Bowl time in practice sessions (22.45 MPH). WR Calvin Austin Memphis The 5-9, 162 LB receiver shined in Senior Bowl practices. According to Zebra Technologies, Austin hit a near 21 MPH speed, and I think he could be faster than that. Austin was impossible to cover, he was able to gain separation with ease, and he was a monster in the red zone. TE Greg Dulcich UCLA Dulcich had a great week at the Senior Bowl and was arguably the best TE during the practice sessions showing his ability to separate from defenders and showing the ability to make explosive plays.