All three days of Senior Bowl practices are officially over. It was a fun week of competition in Mobile and now only the game is left on Saturday. While the offense won in the trenches often on Wednesday, the defensive line bounced back with good performances on Thursday. Purdue tight end Payne Durham showed that he can be a receiving threat after a good day of blocking on day two.
If you missed my standouts from days one and two, you can check them out below.
Now, let’s get into day three!
TE Payne Durham, Purdue
On day two of Senior Bowl practices, Payne Durham showed his ability as a blocker in the run game and was very impressive. On Thursday, he worked with the wide receivers and showed that he can do it all.
…and I’m sold on Durham Payne!— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) February 3, 2023
What a catch!!! Nice throw by Jake Haener and not bad coverage by EDGE Nick Hampton. Just a really nice job by Payne to come down with this. Probably the catch of the week! pic.twitter.com/VJezwVSASu
Durham arguably made the catch of the day along the right sideline in the end zone, catching the ball between two defenders. He had another impressive backwards toe-tap in the end zone. Durham can block, he can line up as a full back, and he can be a receiving threat. Durham would be perfect as a TE2 behind Tyler Higbee and potential replacement.
RB Tyjae Spears, Tulane
Spears has been one of the more fun players to watch day in and day out at the Senior Bowl. He’s shown his later movement and burst. Spears has shown that he can be a threat as a receiver as well as pass protect despite his smaller size. He might have had the play of the day in receiving drills.
Please give Tyjae Spears to Sean McVay. I need it! pic.twitter.com/xK9nFWY32O— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) February 2, 2023
He’s only 5’9, but he’s 204 pounds which is very similar to that of Jerrick McKinnon. With his receiving ability, that might end up being a good player comparison for him. He’ll be someone to watch throughout the draft process, but he caught eyes this week.
iOL John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota
There’s a serious case to be made that John Michael Schmitz was the best player in mobile all week. He didn't get overpowered and very rarely lost a rep. Schmitz simply dominated practices all three days.
Imagine starting a rep on O’Cyrus Torrence only to get passed off to John Michael Schmitz— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) February 3, 2023
Tough scene. pic.twitter.com/Zt3Nxs2oxx
Given the position value of center, I’m still hesitant on whether or not the Rams would take Schmitz with the 36th overall pick. However, given what he’s done this week, there’s little doubt that he would be worth it. He’s a player that would transform the Rams offensive line.
DL Adebtomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams add some depth on their defensive line this offseason in the draft simply because A’Shawn Robinson and Greg Gaines are both free agents. Adebawore from Northwestern had a very good week in Mobile and should be in that conversation.
OKAY, Adebtomiwa Adebawore!— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) February 3, 2023
You have my attention! pic.twitter.com/TqajknoE7i
He beat Cody Mauch in team drills and then in one-on-ones, drove Jarrett Patterson back to show off some of his power and explosiveness. Adebawore grabbed my attention on Thursday.
CB Sydney Brown, Illinois
Brown had made my honorable mentions list each of the past two days, but he was on one on Thursday. Brown was too good not to talk about more in depth. All week, Brown has been sticky in coverage and been one of the more competitive defensive backs on the field.
Sydney Brown from Illinois has not been talked about enough this week. Has been quietly solid. Plays through the WRs hands here and gets the PBU. pic.twitter.com/Cq4gQVp2ZC— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) February 3, 2023
I could easily see Brown as a replacement for Taylor Rapp. He had the pass breakup on the play above, had a red zone interception in which he jumped an out route, and then almost ended up with a second interception in red zone team drills. Brown was one of my favorite players to watch this week.
- OT Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
- OT Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
- DL Nesta Jade Slivera
- WR Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
Matthew Bergeron and Jaelyn Duncan continued to have positive moments at left tackle on Thursday. Bergeron was solid in team drills and had a few good battles with Auburn’s Derick Hall. Duncan meanwhile has very impressive foot quickness and does have true potential as a future left tackle.
The Rams don’t need a WR, but this move from Xavier Hutchinson was too good not to share! pic.twitter.com/fKjowhix5l— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) February 3, 2023
Silvera continued to show that he is one of the more powerful human beings on the planet. Lastly, while wide receiver may not be at the top of the list of needs for the Rams, Xavier Hutchinson had a good day of practice to cap off an impressive week.