Senior Bowl

5 Under-The-Radar Players to Watch for at the Senior Bowl

With the NFL postseason soon wrapping up, there’s no better time to start paying attention to the draft coverage. With a pivotal point in the draft process coming up viewers should take notice of a few names set to participate in 2024’s Reese’s Senior Bowl. In past years, the Senior Bowl has been an invaluable resource for lesser-known players to show what they can do. This point especially rings true for players from smaller schools who will get to compete against some of the top talent the Power Five conferences have to offer. In this article, I’ll go through five different players to keep your eye on throughout the week.

5 Under-The-Radar Players to Watch for at the Senior Bowl

Ricky Pearsall – Wide Receiver, Florida

The first player I have on the list is Ricky Pearsall. The Arizona native started his career as a Sun Devil, then transferred to the University of Florida to play greater competition. As his competition got better, so did he. Pearsall led the 2023 Gators in multiple categories including receptions (65) and receiving yards (965) while starting all 12 games. 

He showed plenty of NFL traits this past season but hasn’t gotten the attention he deserves due to the massive influx of talent in this year’s receiver class. Pearsall is a master at reading the zones the opposing defense is playing. He uses this information to consistently find holes in the defense’s coverage. His quickness and acceleration allow him to get in and out of breaks before most would expect. This shows he can be more than just a possession receiver. With a good senior bowl performance, he could raise his stock to be a day-two pick. 

Ben Sinnott – Tight End, Kansas State

It’s not often we see a tight end lead their team in receiving, yet here we are. Ben Sinnott enjoyed his best season yet and became quarterback Will Howard’s favorite target during his time in purple and silver. Sinnott has improved each year both statistically and analytically. From starting his freshman year with a 45.6 offensive grade, his grade has gone up by at least 15 points each year since. In 2023 he finished with 82.0 grade. 

While posting 676 receiving yards, Sinnott showed real promise as both a vertical and red zone threat. When watching the tape, it’s obvious that he has great athleticism for his size. He’s never afraid to lower his shoulder and runs like a bowling ball, rarely letting the first defender tackle him. He’s also shown the ability to hold his own as a blocker. Sinnott seems to have the whole package. If he can impress scouts, he could be considered as a top-three tight end.

Tyler Guyton – Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

Tyler Guyton is one of 11 offensive tackles to make the trip to Mobile, Alabama this year. He’s perhaps one of the most polarizing prospects in his position. The 2023 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention has an intriguing combination of both size and speed. His natural size and length at 6’7 328 pounds simply isn’t something that can be taught.

When diving into the tape the first thing that pops out is how quickly he gets into his pass-blocking set. This gave him a massive advantage last year and it showed in PFF. Guyton had six games with a pass-blocking grade of at least 70. While he’s not as refined in run blocking, NFL coaches will be able to improve upon that with his monstrous physical traits. A good showing in Mobile could turn Guyton into a late day one or early day two pick, similar to 2023’s Anton Harrison.

Payton Wilson – Linebacker, North Carolina State

If you don’t know who Payton Wilson is, get ready to know him. With how dominant Wilson was in 2023, he might have been the best linebacker in the entire ACC conference. The stat line I’m about to list might seem like his career statistics, but it’s just from this past season. 138 total tackles, six sacks, two fumble recoveries, and three interceptions.

When watching the tape, it’s easy to see how he compiled such amazing statistics. At 6’4 238 pounds, his inescapable length led him to be a tackling machine. What stands out from him is his sideline-to-sideline motor. He also showed valuable patience watching the quarterbacks’ eyes, leading to excellent mid-field coverage. If he works out well this week, Wilson could find himself being selected in the second round. 

Quinyon Mitchell- Cornerback, Toledo

Quinyon Mitchell, one of the best Mid-American-Conference prospects, is extremely underrated and could surprise plenty of scouts this week. Out of the hundreds of cornerbacks listed in PFF’s database, Mitchell ranks first in defensive grade. His 91.6 can speak for itself. 

On tape, Mitchell moves effortlessly, able to glide and swing his hips to change direction in coverage. He can easily read the quarterback’s eyes but is smart enough not to overplay his hand and get burned downfield. When his wide receiver is thrown to, it’s likely to be intercepted or at least broken up. He has the ball skills of a receiver and isn’t afraid to show his physicality both in that way and the run game. Mitchell is currently projected to go around day two but could slip into the late end of round one if he shows similar ability against better competition. (Xavier Legette, Devontez Walker and Ladd McConkey).

Main Image: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

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