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New England Patriots

New England Patriots

New England Patriots

L-R: Georgia WR Ladd McConkey and Oregon S Evan Williams at the 2024 Senior Bowl (Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports)

L-R: Georgia WR Ladd McConkey and Oregon S Evan Williams were both standouts at the 2024 Senior Bowl (Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2024 Senior Bowl has wrapped up down in Mobile, Alabama. After three days of practice and the game on Saturday, the players’ final on-field audition for NFL talent evaluators has come to an end.

It was a competitive week, that really flexed the strengths of this draft class. There were strong showings from the wide receivers, linemen on both sides of the ball, and cornerbacks.


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The New England Patriots had multiple evaluators in attendance during the week, with that group led by director of player personnel Matt Groh. In addition to watching players on the field, Groh and other Patriots representatives had their first pre-draft meetings with a number of prospects.

While we’re not privy to the meetings, we certainly got a look at what happened on the field. Let’s take a position-by-position look at what players stood out throughout 2024 Senior Bowl week, keeping the Patriots’ draft needs in mind.

Note: For a list of players the Patriots’ scouting department had pre-draft meetings with at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, check out our 2024 Patriots pre-draft meeting tracker

  • Quarterbacks

    Feb 1, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; American quarterback Spencer Rattler of South Carolina (2) throws the ball during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 1, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; American quarterback Spencer Rattler of South Carolina (2) throws the ball during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Standouts:

    — Spencer Rattler, South Carolina

    In what was overall a down week for the quarterbacks, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler was a bright spot at the position. He showcased high-level arm strength and an ability to throw on the run, both in practice and in the game (he was named MVP). There will still be questions about Rattler’s size (he measured in at 6-foot, 219 this week) and mental makeup that will follow him throughout the draft process, but he certainly reminded scouts that why, from a pure skill point of view, he was so highly regarded coming out of high school and early in his college career.

    Tennessee’s Joe Milton almost made the standouts list, having done a good job in practices of showing he can move the ball by throwing underneath and not just going over the top. However he got way too aggressive during the game and his lack of ball security showed up big time, dampening what had looked to be a positive step.

    As for the top two quarterbacks, Michael Penix from Washington was fine in very limited action. He had a couple of nice throws late on Day 3 that were his highlights for the week, then didn’t play in the game. Bo Nix from Oregon struggled during the week with short accuracy and pre-snap communication, but bounced back with a solid performance in the game.

  • Running backs

    Feb 1, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; American running back Ray Davis of Kentucky (21) works in running drills during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 1, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; American running back Ray Davis of Kentucky (21) works in running drills during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Standouts:

    — Dylan Laube, UNH
    — Ray Davis, Kentucky
    — Emani Bailey, TCU
    — MarShawn Lloyd, USC

    It was hard not to watch UNH’s Dylan Laube this week without thinking about how much the Patriots have been missing an impact passing-down back since James White got hurt early in the 2021 season and then retired. Laube showcased high-level receiving and pass pro skills for a running back, featured impressive burst as a runner, and didn’t look to have any sort of hiccups against the higher level of competition.

    Emani Bailey from TCU also showed up as a pass-catcher, especially in the game on Saturday. He’s another potential passing down back in a deep class at the position. Ray Davis showed during the regular that he can be a feature in the passing game, but this week really showed how much he can be a factor as a power back. He helped his stock, and could rise to be a late Day 2 pick with good testing at the Combine.

    One other player who stood out early in the week was Raheen Ali from Marshall. However, his stay was cut short when he suffered a ruptured biceps tendon, which is expected to hold him out into the start of training camp.

  • Wide receivers

    Jan 31, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National wide receiver Ricky Pearsall of Florida (11) gets loose on a pass play during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 31, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National wide receiver Ricky Pearsall of Florida (11) gets loose on a pass play during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Standouts:

    — Roman Wilson, Michigan
    — Ladd McConkey, Georgia
    — Ricky Pearsall, Florida
    — Brenden Rice, USC
    — Jamari Thrash, Louisville
    — Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky
    — Luke McCaffrey, Rice

    Heading into Senior Bowl week, we spent a lot of time hyping up this wide receiver class. As you can probably tell from the length of the list above, the group didn’t disappoint.

    If there’s one winner among the winners from this group, it was Michigan’s Roman Wilson. Wilson was uncoverable for the two days of practice he participated in, between his straight-line speed and short area quickness. He also was able to show off a more expansive route tree than the one he had in Michigan’s offense. Prior to the Senior Bowl he was projected as a Day 3 pick, but with a good Combine it’s hard to imagine he makes it out of the top 100.

    Ladd McConkey from Georgia was another tough cover for cornerbacks this week. He dominated one-on-one drills, and made things easy for the quarterbacks.

    Ricky Pearsall from Florida and Brenden Rice from USC (the son of NFL legend Jerry Rice) both showed up well in contested catch situations. Rice in particular stood out not because of the plays he made, but how many he wasn’t able to make because of the holds and pass interferences that were committed against him. Clearly, defensive backs had their hands full with him at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds.

    There were two other players among the top projected picks in this group that didn’t make our list. Xavier Legette from South Carolina had a mixed week, struggling on Tuesday before putting together a strong performance on Wednesday, then didn’t participate for the rest of the week due to ankle soreness.

    The other player was UNC’s Tez Walker, who had a bizarre week. Walker was getting open regularly but struggled mightily with drops all three days and into the game on Saturday. This was very out of character for Walker, who only had three drops on 66 targets this season, and 10 on 168 targets in his college career. It’s important to remember what players did during the regular season is a much better and more expansive sample than just the Senior Bowl, but his issues catching the football certainly stood out this week.

  • Tight ends

    Jan 30, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; American tight end Jaheim Bell of Florida St (6) runs a play during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 30, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; American tight end Jaheim Bell of Florida St (6) runs a play during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Standouts:

    — Jaheim Bell, Florida State
    — Brevyn Spann-Ford, Minnesota
    — Ben Sinnott, Kansas State
    — Theo Johnson, Penn State
    — Jared Wiley, TCU

    The tight ends really made their mark on gameday on Saturday. Jaheim Bell from Florida State came on late in the week in practices, then caught a 20 yard pass in the game and showed up in pass protection as well.

    It was also a good week for Ben Sinnott of Kansas State, who showed off his ability to play from multiple alignments. He got work as a traditional tight end as well as a fullback, and should be a target for teams running West Coast style offenses.

     

  • Offensive line

    Jan 31, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga of Oregon State (72) shifts to an assignment during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 31, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga of Oregon State (72) shifts to an assignment during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Standouts:

    — T Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State
    — T Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma
    — T Patrick Paul, Houston
    — T Christian Jones, Texas
    — T Roger Rosengarten, Washington
    — T Javon Foster, Missouri
    — T Travis Glover, Georgia State
    — G Christian Haynes, UConn
    — C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
    — C Kingsley Eguakun, Florida

    Once again, this is a group that came into the week with a lot of hype and didn’t disappoint. That’s especially true at the tackle position.

    After Joe Alt and Olu Fashanu at the top of the draft, there’s a group of eight tackles expected to go between the late first and early second round, with not much consensus as to what order they’ll all go. Five of those eight were in Mobile, and Taliese Fuaga of Oregon State and Tyler Guyton of Oklahoma did the best to make their case to be among the first tackles selected in that range. Fuaga showed an impressive ability to stay stout against any kind of rusher, while Guyton won more on raw size and athleticism.

    If the Patriots want to double up at tackle in this draft, some Day 3 players emerged as potential strong depth options. Georgia State’s Travis Glover stands out in particular in that group, putting together two strong days after being a late addition to the roster. His motor and physicality both stood out.

    On the inside, Jackson Powers-Johnson from Oregon likely secured his place as a first-round pick. Florida’s Kingsley Eguakun impressed as a potential depth player on the interior.

  • Defensive line

    Feb 1, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National defensive lineman DeWayne Carter of Duke (90) grins after breaking from a team gathering during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 1, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National defensive lineman DeWayne Carter of Duke (90) grins after breaking from a team gathering during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Standouts:

    — DT T’Vondre Sweat, Texas
    — DE Darius Robinson, Missouri
    — DT Braden Fiske, Florida State
    — DT DeWayne Carter, Duke
    — DL Justin Eboigbe, Alabama
    — DL Michael Hall, Ohio State
    — DT Chris Haynes, UConn

    T’Vondre Sweat from Texas wasn’t just dominant this week, he was hilarious dominant. None of the interior linemen put up much of a fight against them, as he purely overpowered them. A projected top 50 pick he’s probably not in play for the Patriots, but we’re going to give credit where credit is due – he was awesome.

    That being said, the Patriots could stand to add a run-stopping defensive lineman in this draft, just later on. Both Braden Fiske from Florida State and DeWayne Carter from Duke stood out as Day 3 options. Fiske was relentless in all of his reps this week and has good quickness on the inside. Carter plays like more of a true nose tackle. If the Patriots want a project pass rusher later on in the draft, Justin Eboigbe from Alabama impressed in that regard.

  • Linebackers

    Jan 30, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; American linebacker Jackson Sirmon of California (8) sets the defense during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 30, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; American linebacker Jackson Sirmon of California (8) sets the defense during practice for the American team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Standouts:

    — OLB Laiatu Latu, UCLA
    — OLB Austin Booker, Kansas
    — MLB Nathaniel Watson, Mississippi State
    — MLB Jackson Sirmon, Cal
    — MLB Payton Wilson, NC State
    — MLB J.D. Bertrand, Notre Dame

    UCLA’s Laiatu Latu was the highest-ranked player at the Senior Bowl, and it showed. He won with a deep toolbox of pass rush moves, and wasn’t overpowered by any of the tackles.

    Another edge rusher that had a good week was Austin Booker from Kansas. Booker actually struggled the first day but clearly took to the coaching well, and was a regular one-on-one winner the rest of the week.

    For the Patriots though, one player that stood out as a potential late Day 3 pick was Cal linebacker Jackson Sirmon. Highly-productive over his three years as a starter, Jackson showed off his impressive football instincts all week and was regularly around the ball. That continued into the game, when he had five tackles and a pass breakup.

  • Cornerbacks

    Jan 31, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National defensive back Chau Smith-Wade of Washington State (6) signals during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 31, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National defensive back Chau Smith-Wade of Washington State (6) signals during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Standouts:

    — Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo
    — Cam Hart, Notre Dame
    — Chau Wade-Smith, Washington State
    — Khyree Jackson, Oregon
    — Jarvis Brownlee, Louisville

    Quinyon Mitchell from Toledo was one of the biggest winners of the week. Having played in the MAC, scouts were going to want to see him regularly face Power 5 competition – and he delivered. On the rare occasions the top receivers were getting shut down, it felt like it was more often than not against Mitchell.

    Further down the board, projected Day 3 picks Cam Hart from Notre Dame and Chau Smith-Wade from Washington State both did a lot to help their cause – with Smith-Wade grabbing two interceptions in the game. Both are bigger, physical outside cornerbacks, which will be a need for the Patriots later on in the draft.

  • Safeties

    Jan 31, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National defensive back Evan Williams of Oregon (3) sets up for a play during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 31, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National defensive back Evan Williams of Oregon (3) sets up for a play during practice for the National team at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    — Javon Bullard, Georgia
    — Tykee Smith, Georgia
    — Evan Williams, Oregon

    It wouldn’t come as a surprise that the Georgia safeties were among the most dominant players on the field this week. Javon Bullard was particularly impressive, and was voted the top safety for the week of practice by his teammates.

    That being said, no safety helped himself draft-wise more than Evan Williams from Oregon. Bullard and Tykee Smith both came into the week as projected Day 2 picks, and confirmed a lot of priors. Meanwhile Williams – a lesser known prospect projected to go late on Day 3 – showed great range an instincts playing on the back end, and delivered a few big hits as well. He picked off Joe Milton on a rangy play on Saturday to cap his week.

  • Specialists

    Feb 3, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National punter Tory Taylor of Iowa (9) punts during the first half of the 2024 Senior Bowl football game at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 3, 2024; Mobile, AL, USA; National punter Tory Taylor of Iowa (9) punts during the first half of the 2024 Senior Bowl football game at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

    — K Will Reichard, Alabama
    — P Tory Taylor, Iowa

    The top specialists in the country came in and performed as expected. Will Reichard from Alabama didn’t miss during the lone team field goal period in practice, and in the game did doink what would have been a career-long 57-yarder but had plenty of leg on it. Iowa’s Tory Taylor, who heads to the draft as college football’s all-time leading punter, showed off his impressive leg throughout the week at practice.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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