The first major event of draft season has come and gone, and analysts will now be reevaluating the prospects that were at the 2022 Senior Bowl. It represents a huge opportunity for players invited to practice and play in front of NFL coaches and scouts. All eyes were on the top quarterbacks this week battling it out in Mobile, AL. However, there were several other prospects that stood out. Some players come into the game as unheralded prospects and leave scouts and coaches with something to think about. Here are some of the biggest under-the-radar players from the 2022 Senior Bowl.
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5. Otito Ogbonnia – Defensive Tackle
One of the deepest positions at the Senior Bowl this week was on the defensive line. It was filled with prospects that caught the eye of most in attendance. UCLA defensive tackle Ogbonnia did not get enough attention as compared to others. Ogbonnia was impressive throughout the week in one-on-one drills against some of the top offensive linemen in this year’s draft. He possesses great strength and was able to win consistently every day this week. While he might not be a first-round pick, look for Ogbonnia to possibly make his way into day two of the draft.
4. Christian Watson – Wide Receiver
It was tough competition for the wide receivers last week. With no solidified first-round talent in Mobile, all of these guys were competing with one another for similar draft position on the second day. Memphis wide receiver Calvin Austin III stole most of the show in Alabama, but the name that draft analysts should be keeping their eye on is Watson.
Watson played at FCS powerhouse North Dakota State and is a big-bodied possession receiver. He consistently won his one-on-one matchups against some talented cornerbacks last week. He can make a lot of tough catches and is quick for someone of his size. This is a deep wide receiver class, but do not forget about Watson amongst all of those guys.
3. Dameon Pierce – Running Back
Just like the wide receivers, there was a lot of competition from the running back group in Mobile. This draft lacks a standout first-round talent, and this was a chance for someone to make a statement. Florida running back Pierce excelled in many areas and was the best running back at the Senior Bowl. Not only was Pierce the hardest runner among the group, but he was the best pass blocker, as well. There still might not be a first-round pick in this draft class, but Pierce is trying to force his way into the second day.
2. Boye Mafe – Edge Rusher
The player that had one of the biggest impacts on the game Saturday was edge rusher Mafe. Mafe had a nice season with Minnesota, and has been talked about as one of the guys that can work his way into round one of the NFL Draft. During the game itself, the hometown Minnesotan was able to provide constant pressure on the quarterback and lived in the opponent’s backfield. One of the most explosive pass rushers in the draft, look for Mafe to have an impressive showing at the NFL combine later this month. The Golden Gophers had some of the most-watched prospects in Mobile, but the 23-year-old stole the show on Saturday.
1. Perrion Winfrey – Defensive Tackle
No player was more impressive on a consistent basis than Oklahoma defensive tackle Winfrey. He was able to beat double-teams and get pressure on the quarterback all day on Saturday. His performance only backed up what he did during the week of practice. For a player of his size, Winfrey is quick off of the snap and has the ability to beat his blocker in a variety of ways. He checks all of the boxes for what NFL teams want out of their interior defensive linemen in the game today. With his performance this week and in the game, Winfrey may have moved into the second round or higher.
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