2024 Senior Bowl Fantasy Guide


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2024 Senior Bowl Fantasy Guide

Senior Bowl week is here, which means it is officially draft season! The Senior Bowl is an important mainstay in NFL Draft culture — thousands of people, from team personnel to fantasy analysts, will be in Mobile to kick off the in-person scouting process.

In recent years, my trips to the Senior Bowl have helped me highlight Christian Watson, Trey McBride, Rachaad White, Puka Nacua, Rashee Rice, Jayden Reed, and Tank Dell early in the process. All of those players received a 2nd round grade from me or better. In fact (and not to brag… maybe), I was arguably the highest in the industry on Watson and Rice. In fact, I am nearly 100% sure I am still the only one industry-wide who placed Rice in a First-Round Mock Draft.

As in the past, I will be doing evaluations and using my numeric scoring system to take each prospect through a grading process. My scoring method creates a weighted score for each player that takes into account everything from classical traits, to production, to intangibles.

This will be my eighth season implementing my scoring system, with a goal of 225 prospects scored before the draft and brought to you via the Fantasy Points Prospect Guide. Senior Bowl week is a big part of the process for me and can be an extraordinary tool for evaluating the next group of incoming rookies.

It is a great way for us to get an additional look at over 100 of the nation's top senior players who are looking to make the jump to the NFL. More importantly, we get to see those players outside of their comfort zone. Players will be thrown to the wolves in just about every way imaginable with new teammates, new coaching staffs, and new playbooks, plus in an unfamiliar venue — with the added pressure of knowing all 32 teams will be scrutinizing their every move. For most of these guys, this is their biggest opportunity to shine in the draft process.

For me, maximizing the effectiveness of Senior Bowl week and how it plays into my evaluations comes down to understanding what the purpose of these practices is — it’s an “additional look.” We are looking to add context, to add information, or to further tell each player's story. Remember, each player deals with a unique set of circumstances that could hinder or enhance our view of them. So using this week to get a better feel for what we think we know is a must. This week very much matters.

What we cannot do, however, is use this week to rewrite history or replace what we have seen (or have not seen) from each guy over the course of their collegiate careers. This cannot be stressed enough. We cannot throw out four years of bad tape over a couple of outstanding reps during practice, or vice versa.

But take this example.

Terry McLaurin was a participant in the 2019 Senior Bowl. McLaurin had a moderately productive senior season at Ohio State, notching more than 700 yards and 11 touchdowns in a super high-powered offense. However, most of his production that year came on simple crossing routes, go-balls, and schemed throws. He was rarely pressed and didn’t put a ton on tape that suggested he had any refined WR skills other than outstanding athletic ability.

And then… he shows up to Mobile and absolutely owns the week. He demolished his defensive back counterparts, routinely separating and getting off the line of scrimmage with wild efficiency, demonstrating remarkably crisp route running with an NFL-caliber release package.

Furthermore, when he wasn’t winning at the line of scrimmage, he was winning at the catch point. The man couldn’t be stopped. Senior Bowl week helped paint a more clear picture of what McLaurin would be bringing NFL teams. We learned something about him that week, and it didn’t replace “bad tape” — it filled the gaps for the things he wasn’t able to demonstrate while at Ohio State. I’ll be on the lookout for similar revelations this year.

Below are my skill player rankings heading into Senior Bowl week. This is not a ranking of all draft-eligible prospects, but merely those whom I will get to see in Mobile. I will also be providing daily updates and write-ups after each practice this week.


RankPlayerSchoolStock Day 1Stock Day 2Stock Day 3
1Michael Penix Jr.WashingtonUP
2Bo NixOregonNEUTRAL
3Spencer RattlerSouth CarolinaNEUTRAL
4Joe Milton IIITennesseeUP
5Michael PrattTulaneUP
6Sam HartmanNotre DameDOWN
7Carter BradleySouth AlabamaDOWN
Running Back
RankPlayerSchoolStock Day 1Stock Day 2Stock Day 3
1Ray DavisKentuckyUPUP
2MarShawn LloydUSCUPUP
5Cody SchraderMissouriNEUTRALDOWN
6Rasheen AliMarshallNEUTRALNEUTRAL
7Dylan LaubeNew HampshireUPUP
8Daijun EdwardsGeorgiaDOWNNEUTRAL
10Michael WileyArizonaNEUTRALNEUTRAL
Wide Receiver
RankPlayerSchoolStock Day 1Stock Day 2Stock Day 3
1Ladd McConkeyGeorgiaUPNEUTRAL
2Xavier LegetteSouth CarolinaDOWNUP
3Ricky PearsallFloridaUPUP
4DeVontez WalkerNorth CarolinaNEUTRALDOWN
5Johnny WilsonFlorida StateDOWNUP
6Brenden RiceUSCUPUP
7Roman WilsonMichiganUPUP
8Jamari ThrashLousivilleDOWNNEUTRAL
9Jacob CowingArizonaDOWNNEUTRAL
10Malachi CorleyWestern KentuckyUPNEUTRAL
11Ainias SmithTexas A&MNEUTRAL
12Javon BakerCentral FloridaNEUTRALUP
13Marcus Rosemy-JacksaintGeorgiaNEUTRALUP
14Luke McCaffreyRiceUPNEUTRAL
15Jha'Quan JacksonTulaneNEUTRALDOWN
16Ryan FlournoySoutheast Missouri StateDOWNDOWN
Tight End
RankPlayerSchoolStock Day 1Stock Day 2Stock Day 3
1AJ BarnerMichiganUPDOWN
2Theo JohnsonPenn StateNEUTRALNEUTRAL
3Jaheim BellFlorida StateUPDOWN
4Ben SinnottKansas StNEUTRALUP
6Brevyn Spann-FordMinnesotaDOWNUP

Practice Notes

Day 2
> Listen to Brett and Scott Barrett recap Day 2 of the Senior Bowl

Ricky Pearsall (WR, Florida) — It is going to sound like a broken record, but this kid can absolutely ball. Even after a stellar day yesterday in which he pretty much dominated — outside of one 1v1 rep — he flashed something new. Today he showed he can be physical and avoid getting bullied by physical/bigger corners. Just really impressive stuff from him. Every year I gravitate towards a Senior Bowl WR who ends up being my dude. In 2019 it was Terry McLaurin, in 2020, it was Michael Pittman, in 2021 it was Josh Palmer, 2022 Christian Watson, and 2023 Puka Nacua. This year I can confidently say it is Ricky Pearsall.

Xavier Legette (WR, South Carolina) — In my six years of coming down to the Senior Bowl, I can’t quite remember a bounce-back day quite as strong as what Legette did today. He was physical, he was quick, he generated separation and most importantly, HE WON. Everywhere, all the time. Deep, short, at the catch point, with route running — you name it, he did it. Today was the guy you see on tape. I absolutely love seeing a bounce back like this after a dreadful day yesterday, when literally nothing he did worked or looked right.

Ben Sinnott (TE, Kansas State) — It’s already been said by just about everyone, but this is a very lackluster group of tight ends desperately in need of someone stepping up. Sinnott might just be that guy. Sinnott has shown to be a natural, fluid mover for his size. He has good ball skills and seems to have a good understanding of route running. I don’t think he is a superstar of the week or anything, but he has definitely been the lone bright spot among the tight ends.

MarShawn Lloyd (RB, USC) — Lloyd has easily been the biggest surprise for me out of the running back group, which says a lot considering he came into the week ranked as my #2 RB here. It's been his work in the passing game that has blown me away. There hasn’t been a single linebacker who can contain him in the 1v1s, and he even has some wins against defensive backs. I have been especially impressed with his soft hands and suddenness in running routes. He didn’t get a lot of opportunities to shine in the passing game during his collegiate career, so I love being able to check that box for him.

Quarterbacks — Unfortunately, all of the QBs this week have looked rough — the massive caveat being that this event is very challenging for QBs. They have to step in with a whole new group of skill players they have likely never thrown to, with a new center, in a new offensive system with new terminology… yeah… the deck is stacked against them in a pretty big way. With that said, when thinking about the expectations for some of these guys, namely Michael Penix Jr, Bo Nix, and Spencer Rattler, it's been rough going. Generally speaking, they have all been iffy with accuracy, throw trajectory, and comfort level. I would love to see one of these guys have a moment or two before the week is done.

Day 1

Listen to Brett and Joe Dolan recap Day 1 of the Senior Bowl

Ricky Pearsall (WR, Florida) — Pearsall measured in at nearly 6’1” and over 190 pounds, with an excellent wing span of nearly 74”. He has prototypical size that should open up all three receiver spots to him at the next level.

On Day 1, Pearsall was easily the star among offensive skill players. Right off the rip in 1v1s, he set the tone by demonstrably winning his reps, showcasing an array of skills from beating press coverage, generating huge separation — and of course, putting his “arrogant hands” on display with multiple high-level grabs. He backed it up with multiple grabs in the team period where things aren’t so easy.

Roman Wilson (WR, Michigan) — Wilson was excellent in all facets today. There’s a huge caveat here being that every year smaller WRs come down to mobile and excel because the nature of the practices are definitely designed for guys like Wilson to succeed. He is crazy fast with good quickness, and DBs, even good ones, really don’t stand a chance in 1v1s against that archetype. With that said, it's notable how fluid and developed Wilson looked as a route runner considering the offense he came from. Wilson also showed incredibly strong hands multiple times, coming up with contested catches along the sideline. Lastly, Wilson is as good and committed in the run game as they come, which was coached into his blood at UM.

Brenden Rice (WR, USC) — The son of Jerry — seriously — did not disappoint, and quite frankly, I was very pleasantly surprised considering I was lower on him than most coming in. Rice showed consistency in playing through contact, especially at the catch point. Considering his size, he demonstrated a really nice ability to sink his hips and explode in and out of route breaks. On the downside, he allows defenders to get into his chest plate at the line when pressed, and shows reluctance in using his hands to keep himself clean. All said and done, I thought he was more effective as a route runner than his college tape suggests, but he has a lot of work to do.

Tez Walker (WR, UNC) — On the whole, Walker had a rough day with all the nuanced details of playing WR. But….. long pause…. His ability to stack DBs at the line, his deep speed, and his ball-tracking ability is very evident — he was the fastest skill player by GPS in the morning practice session. That combo of tools will get him a ton of opportunities at the next level.

Malachi Corley (WR, Western Kentucky) — For a guy who looks like a running back (5’10, 215 pounds), Corley showed elite quickness and ability to quickly displace press today. If he can do that at the next level consistently, he’s going to be a monster with his already excellent YAC ability. I am excited to see what he has for us tomorrow.

Dylan Laube (RB, New Hampshire) — A late add here in Mobile, so admittedly today was my first exposure to Laube. If nothing else though, I was very impressed with his linear movement skills. The dude is explosive. He backed it up with the fastest GPS speed among RBs on the day (nearly 21 MPH!).

Ray Davis (RB, Kentucky) — My #1 running back coming into the week mostly because of his ability to be a mismatch in the passing game. Today he did more of the same, coming up with a really nice one-handed contested catch along the far sideline and then cooked a LB on a wheel route, both in 7-on-7. He also dominated the pass-catching drills making quick work of any LB he faced in 1v1s.

Johnny Wilson (WR, Florida State) — I’ll be honest, currently, I have a hard time seeing a world where Wilson stays at WR. I said this last year about Stanford’s Elijah Higgins and was quickly proven right by the Miami Dolphins, who promptly moved him to TE. With Wilson, it's even more obvious to me. He has such a hard time gearing down for anything working back to the QB, when he has to sell a vert on the outside. It’s like trying to turn a semi-truck. Wilson definitely has an attractive skill set, but I think it will best be used at TE, where his opponent isn’t guaranteed to be significantly quicker and twitchier.

Xavier Legette (WR, South Carolina) — A really disappointing day for Legette, if I am being honest. The rub for me was his complete inability to generate even an inch of separation. Now, he doesn’t really separate on his tape either, and most of his intrigue is his prowess at the catch point. But today, in an environment designed to give WRs their moment, he was awful. To me, this just signals a ceiling to his game and places a heavy cap on expectations for him early in his NFL career. This is not to say he can’t develop more of a route-savvy game at some point but, let's be real, sometimes what you see is what you get from these contested-catch artists.

Brett Whitefield is an experienced professional in football analytics, with more than a decade in the business. He has held several key positions with some of the top companies in the industry, including as a process manager at Pro Football Focus (PFF), where he spent more than seven years. Brett has also worked with and consulted for multiple NFL teams and Power-5 NCAA football programs.