These Senior Bowl MVPs Are Officially on Our Pre-Draft Watch List
Every Senior Bowl I can ever remember following — whether as a football-loving fan or someone covering it in search of possible future Bears draft targets — has featured a ton of talent. And in recent years, I have found myself thinking I wish the Bears would’ve used the Senior Bowl better while watching other teams unearth Senior Bowl gems. But after seeing GM Ryan Poles draft four Senior Bowl standouts in 2022, I find myself with a higher level of interest in this year’s participants. Moreover, knowing that Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy and several Bears assistants are coaching in the game has me on the borderline obsessive side of things.
With that being said, Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy named this week’s MVPs on his Twitter account on Friday.
And, yeah, these players immediately shot up our prospect watch list:
- Quarterbacks: Max Duggan (TCU), Jake Haener (Fresno State)
- Running backs: Tyjae Spears (Tulane), Eric Gray (Oklahoma), Chase Brown (Illinois)
- Wide receivers: Jayden Reed (Michigan State), Dontayvion Wicks (Virginia)
- Tight ends: Cam Latu (Alabama), Payne Durham (Purdue)
- Offensive line: Darnell Wright (Tennessee), Cody Mauch (North Dakota State)
- Defensive line: Adetomiwa Adebawore (Northwestern), Zacch Pickens (South Carolina)
- Linebackers: Ivan Pace Jr. (Cincinnati), Dee Winters (TCU)
- Cornerbacks: Kyu Blu Kelly (Stanford), Darius Rush (South Carolina)
- Safety: J.L. Skinner (Boise State), Jammie Robinson (Florida State)
- Special teams: Bryce Barring (Michigan State), Alex Ward (UCF)
One of my favorite things about the Player of the Week votes from Senior Bowl week is that they’re made by the players. And they’re voting for the position groups they were going head-to-head against all week. What better way to assess who’s up to snuff than a good old-fashioned peer review.
As for something I like from this specific class of Senior Bowl participants is that I can make a case for the Bears drafting players at every position group. After all, the Bears have needs everywhere. Tyjae Spears was a star this week and we know that Tulane pipeline has been good to the Bears in the past. Jayden Reed sounded like he had an interest in playing with Justin Fields if that’s how the chips fell. We can’t get enough of offensive linemen like Cody Mauch. And in light of the Bears’ defensive woes, a defensive linemen like Adetomiwa Adebawore should also be on our radar. We haven’t really dug into players in the secondary, but the Bears could use help at cornerback. Do Kyu Blu Kelly or Darius Rush do anything for you?
In the end, I like that the Bears are rolling deep in Mobile. And I also love reading about how a bunch of players made strong impressions this week. The Senior Bowl is tomorrow. We’ll be watching with great interest. Not just because we’re football starved, but also because Bears GM Ryan Poles and his cronies are doing the same.