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10 NFL Draft prospects who can rise at the Senior Bowl

The Senior Bowl is quickly approaching, here are some players I’m excited to watch

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NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The Senior Bowl is one of the major scouting events for the upcoming NFL Draft after the regular season. Held in Mobile, Alabama, the Senior Bowl is for the top senior prospects to have a week of padded practices which culminates in a game at Hancock-Whitney Stadium.

Here are 10 players I’m excited to watch, on both sides of the ball and from both teams.

Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton

Every year, the Senior Bowl has a small school guy who comes in and steals the show. OLs Ali Marpet and Ben Bartch come to mind when thinking of small school standouts who take center stage in Mobile. Iosivas could be the next to make his name on the Mobile stage. The Princeton wideout is big (6’3, 200 lbs) and also ran track. According to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, Iosivas (pronounced Yoshi-vas) ran the fastest 60 meter dash in NCAA history and finished fourth in the indoor Heptathlon.

You want speed in your receiver room? This is speed.

I’m excited to see Iosivas playing against higher levels of competition, and how he responds to the physicality of the corners in practices. He has a good week of practice and he’ll go flying up draft boards.

Nathaniel Dell, WR, Houston

Think of the receiver you would associate with the nickname, “Tank”.

Got it?

Now, shrink that by about 45% and you have Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, the dynamic wideout from Houston. The 5’10, 165 pound stick of dynamite finished his senior season in the top five of targets and yards, while leading the NCAA in touchdown catches. Dell is explosive with the ball in his hands, and has shown explosiveness in and out of his breaks.

Dell’s size will always be a question, but he’s shown the ability to play both inside and out and in Mobile, he’ll have the chance to prove himself once again in front of NFL coaches.

Roschon Johnson, RB, Texas

Splitting carries with a talent like Bijan Robinson is never easy, but Johnson has managed to carve out his own running style while being the complement to Robinson at Texas. Johnson is a well built back at 6’2 and 223 pounds and has great contact balance, which makes him difficult to tackle on first contact.

I’m excited to see him in this setting, where he can show off his pass catching and pass protecting abilities. Johnson might be a better pro than a college player.

Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse

There is an impressive group of linemen headed to Mobile, and Bergeron is right at the top. The 6’5, 322 pounder is an easy mover who is light on his feet, and has the length to mitigate speed on the outside.

Bergeron has a chance to make a name for himself, especially against this crop of pass rushers that will be in Mobile. He has a chance to improve his stock and put his name in front of NFL coaches.

Rashee Rice, WR, SMU

SMU’s Rashee Rice has been getting a lot of first round love, and it’s not hard to see why. Rice is 6’2, 203 pounds but is a smooth mover who caught 96 passes for 1355 yards and ten touchdowns in his final college season. Rice was 4th in the nation in Yards After the Catch, and his ability to make the first guy miss is advanced for his age.

If Rice can continue to stand out in Mobile, he’ll leave the Senior Bowl as almost a lock to go in the middle to late first round.

Keeanu Benton, DT, Wisconsin

Benton is a big, thick nose tackle who is at his best when he can penetrate into the backfield and destroy run plays. He has extremely long arms, and when leveraging his length and strength correctly, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

I want to see Benton in the one-on-one pass rush situations in Mobile, to see if he can offer the same pass rush upside that he has against the run. Benton is a great athlete however, and could be one of the early measurement winners.

Isaiah Land, EDGE, Florida A&M

Isaiah Land popped onto the radar last season when he had 19 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss en route to the Buck Buchanan Award for Defensive Player of the Year in FCS football. Land’s production dipped this year (7.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss), but Land still remains an intriguing prospect. He’s got a lighter frame at 225 pounds, but Land is explosive and has shown nice technique in games.

Land could benefit from this week in Mobile, going up against stronger competition. His weight coming in will be interesting to see, as well as his play against the run, but he offers a nice upside as a pass rusher.

Adetomiwa Adebawore, EDGE, Northwestern

No, I’m not just including him because I’m a Northwestern alum. Adebawore is a strong edge defender, who is extremely powerful in the run game. He lined up in a lot of different spots for the Wildcats this season, and was dominant. The Ohio State game was a perfect example of what he can be.

Adebawore still has a ways to go as a pass rusher (getting him as a crash guy on stunts and twists would probably be the best idea), but seeing his pass rush ability in Mobile could change things in the eyes of scouts.

Ivan Pace Jr., LB, Cincinnati

When you look up the definition of disruptive in the dictionary, Ivan Pace Jr.’s name is probably there. The linebacker from Cincinnati was a unanimous All-American and had ten sacks to go along with 21.5 tackles for loss.

Pace is undersized at 6’0 and 235 pounds, but played all over the defensive front for the Bearcats. He’s at his best going forward, and has shown very advanced pass rush technique.

One of the main reasons I’m excited to see Pace in Mobile is to see where he lines up. He could end up having the same career path as a guy like Haason Reddick, who played inside linebacker in Mobile and for the Arizona Cardinals before switching to EDGE and taking off.

Julius Brents, CB, Kansas State

NFL teams love traits, and Brents has every trait in the book. At 6’4 and with 32 starts spanning across playing at Iowa and Kansas State, Brents is experienced and tough. He plays with a lot of physicality, so seeing him in Mobile against the talented crop of receivers there will be fun to watch.