DeAngelo Malone was named the 2022 Senior Bowl American Player of the Game for his strong performance. Malone finished with three solo and six total tackles Saturday afternoon. The former Western Kentucky Hilltopper defensive lineman had 44 solo tackles and nine sacks this previous season. He was also tied for eighth in the country in forced fumbles with four. He was also a 2021 All-Conference USA first-team selection and Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. The Atlanta native put his name on the map Saturday and at practice during the week.
Under the Radar
Malone was one of those guys who came into Senior Bowl week well below the radar. He said his goal was to play hard and make a name for himself. “I want to play with a lot of juice and explosion, and I feel like I accomplished that,” Malone said. “I did a good job, but there are definitely things I still need to work on, so this week was a great step in seeing that.” Malone showed great signs in days one and two and kept that energy going into the final day of Senior Bowl practice. He’s quick off the line, which NFL scouts and media noted all week. He also does an outstanding job finding and pushing his way into the backfield, which is phenobarbital for his somewhat smaller size.
🏆 American Team 𝓜𝓥𝓟 🏆
DeAngelo Malone got it done for his family today at the @seniorbowl, leading the squad with 6 tackles, 0.5 sacks and 2 QB hurries!#GoTops ➡️ #ProTops#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ pic.twitter.com/TizTNzeqh2
— WKU Football (@WKUFootball) February 5, 2022
The Senior Bowl is a great time to tone down your skillset, especially with the help of NFL coaches. Malone said his favorite coach to work under on the National Team was the Detroit Lions defensive backs/ pass game coordinator Kelvin Sheppard. He noted that he enjoyed how straightforward Sheppard was. “Coach Sheppard gave me the best advice while I’ve been here. He’s a guy who knows how to get the best out of players,” Malone said. Malone noted that he knows what he needs to improve to take his game to the next level on improving his individual game. “I need to learn how to drop into coverage quicker, rushing the passer more effectively and being able to send the hard edge,” Malone said.
DeAngelo Malone, 2022 Senior Bowl American player of the game is speaking with the media: pic.twitter.com/unCvsjzLkL
— Kole Emplit (@KoleEmplit) February 5, 2022
Malone wore a Lions hat at the post-game press conference. When asked if the hat meant anything substantial, his response was “maybe, something like that.” The next thing for Malone is to continue training for the NFL draft. Western Kentucky will host its pro day on March 31.
Follow Kole Emplit on Twitter @KoleEmplit
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images