The first day of Senior Bowl practices came to a complete on Tuesday. The Los Angeles Rams were most certainly paying attention as they have found several starters from this event over the past few years. The Rams’ most impressive rookies last year came from the Senior Bowl as Steve Avila, Byron Young, and Puka Nacua were all in Mobile last year. Here are players that stood out on day one.
CB Quinyon Mitchell - Toledo
There were some questions about Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell coming into the draft process. One of those main questions was how he would be able to hold up against top competition. After the first day of Senior Bowl practices, an argument can be made that Mitchell was the best defensive player on the field.
Quinyon Mitchell is the type of player that can make an immediate difference to a secondary.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 31, 2024
Reads the quarterback, breaks on the route, beats the ball to the wide receiver and gets the pass breakup. Has great length to make these types of plays. pic.twitter.com/J2mBck6Uli
Mitchell will absolutely be in consideration for the Rams with the 19th overall pick. A case could be made that he’s the best cornerback in the draft. Over the course of his career he’s been very active on the ball and can be an immediate playmaker on a defense which is exactly what the Rams need right now. Mitchell showed that he has star potential on day one and we’ll see if he can keep that up throughout the week.
iOL Jackson Powers-Johnson - Oregon
It’s very possible that Jackson Powers-Johnson gets some first round buzz by the end of the week. With that said, it is worth noting that centers like Creed Humphrey and John Michael Schmitz each ended up being drafted outside of the top-50.
Oregon’s Jackson Power-Johnson is just so strong!— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 30, 2024
Another rep that ends with the DL on the ground. pic.twitter.com/2CStE7vOHc
Powers-Johnson looked the part on Tuesday and was by far the best offensive lineman on the field. Pairing him with Steve Avila would completely transform the Rams offensive line. They likely shouldn’t take a center in the first-round, but if he’s there in round two, Powers-Johnson absolutely should be on the table.
OT Tyler Guyton - Oklahoma
Coming into Mobile, Tyler Guyton also had a lot of questions coming into the week. He was a high school defensive tackle and has been seen as a raw prospect. Now, there were moments where he looked raw. He got caught lunging at one point during one-on-ones. With that being said, for the most part, he looked the part.
Tyler Guyton with an extremely impressive rep in pass pro!— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 31, 2024
Could be a first-round option for the Rams at 19. pic.twitter.com/euoLlfpDPw
Guyton is going to need to enter the right situation and it would be nice to see him play on the left side in Mobile. The upside and potential are certainly there, but it’s going to take the right coaching to get that out of him. He is inexperienced, but the sample so far has been very impressive. Again, he’s a player we’ll see if he can keep up this level throughout the week.
EDGE Laiatu Latu - UCLA
Latu is without question the best edge rusher in Mobile this week. With a solid performance at the Senior Bowl he could solidify himself as a top-15 pick during the NFL Draft. About Latu’s performance on Tuesday, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com said,
“Latu showed on tape that he has a variety of go-to moves and counters he can use to beat opponents, and we saw the exact same thing from him at practice on Tuesday. He looked controlled but instinctive throughout his rush reps. He still has some work to do as a run defender, and Latu’s biggest hurdle pre-draft will be the medical evaluations, as he did have a serious neck injury during his time at Washington. But Latu is priming his draft slotting by reinforcing what he put on tape for the last two seasons at UCLA.”
Really nice inside move from Laiatu Latu to get to the QB in team competition drills! pic.twitter.com/DxAPzxGyK8— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 31, 2024
Latu went up against some of the best tackles in the upcoming draft, including Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga and he held his own. It’s pretty clear to see the explosiveness, bend, and speed that Latu brings on a down to down basis. The athleticism jumps off the tape and that was the case on day one in Mobile.
RB Rasheen Ali - Marshall
Last year it was Tyjae Spears who made a name for himself at the Senior Bowl. While Ali from Marshall isn’t near the same prospect, he had about as good of a day as you can have as a running back in a non-contact practice. The Rams need a running back that can bring a change of pace and that’s exactly what Ali is.
Illinois’ Isaiah Adams showing that he’s a mauler in the run game.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 31, 2024
Real physical block here to open up the hole for Rasheen Ali who makes a really nice cut. pic.twitter.com/RV0tZtWWWy
Ali is extremely shifty and showed good change of direction. He put Cedric Gray through the spin cycle in RB-LB one-on-one drills. The clip above, you can see some of his speed and ability to change direction on a dime. Gray seems to be a player that would succeed in a Shanahan-style rushing offense.
iOL Christian Haynes - Connecticut
Haynes took snaps at both guard and center on Tuesday. The snaps at guard were much better than the ones at center where he seemed to struggle. However, his snaps at guard were among the best of the day as he had a few dominant reps.
Christian Haynes had a very strong day today. Ball player. pic.twitter.com/eBPDAuZPbk— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) January 31, 2024
The Rams do value that versatility and Haynes feels more like an offensive lineman that would succeed in an outside zone scheme. If Los Angeles is unable to retain Kevin Dotson, Haynes may be an option at right guard. With all of that being said, he had a very good first day and he’ll be one to watch over the next few days.
WR Ladd McConkey - Georgia
Coming into the day, a lot of the focus at wide receiver was on guys like Malachi Corley and Xavier Legette. While Corley performed well, Legette had a rocky first day. However, one wide receiver that did show out was Ladd McConkey from Georgia. During one-on-ones, his routes were extremely crisp and he was able to generate separation.
Really nice route by Georgia’s Ladd McConkey! Does a nice job at the top of the route to get the DB turned and earn separation. pic.twitter.com/IDKUKZCtsu— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakTST) January 31, 2024
McConkey is a similar wide receiver as Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp. It’s hard to see the Rams drafting him. If Legette performs better over the next few days, he could be on the table. Still, McConkey did well on Tuesday on the American side and was sharp out of his breaks and displayed good quickness and smooth movement skills. He may not be a fit for the Rams right now, but he’ll most certainly have a role for a team in the NFL.
WR Roman Wilson - Michigan
The Rams have had success over the past few seasons finding wide receivers at the Senior Bowl. Both Kupp and Nacua started their draft journey in Mobile. McConkey from Georgia was a guy that stood out, but it seemed like at times, Roman Wilson could not be stopped. He showed the same consistency that he displayed at Michigan on Day 1.
Michigan WR Roman Wilson: One of the most reliable pass-catchers in the country.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) January 30, 2024
In mobile at 186 pounds this week. pic.twitter.com/FzPdwImkLa
Wilson’s production may not have been there for the Wolverines in the run-heavy scheme. However, the Rams like wide receivers that can block and Wilson can certainly do that. He also scored 12 touchdowns for Michigan last season. Wilson may end up being a Day 2 wide receiver than a Day 3 guy like Nacua, but certainly someone to watch over the next few days.