2022 Senior Bowl National Team Preview
*Note Senior Bowl Rosters are current to the website on 1/31, some players may still pull out of the game
Quarterbacks: Kenny Pickett, Desmond Ridder, Carson Strong
- Kenny Pickett enters this Senior Bowl as the top QB in the group, but he’s going to need a strong week to maintain that spot. Pickett was a solid QB at Pittsburgh the past few seasons and when he came back to Pitt this year he looked like he could be a 5th-7th rd pick. Pickett really elevated his game to the next level, and was the top QB in the country this season. Pickett’s meteoric season is comparable to the breakout of Joe Burrow two seasons ago. While Pickett won’t be the top overall pick, he does have the chance to show that he can be a franchise QB. Pickett has good size, arm talent and solid mobility.
- Desmond Ridder was a four year starter at Cincinnati, and led the Bearcats to an incredible season and spot in the College Football Playoffs. Ridder checks a lot of boxes with good size, accuracy, and decent arm strength. On top of that Ridder can also make defenses pay with his legs. He’s going to make a strong push for the 1st round, and gets to compete with some other strong QB prospects.
- Carson Strong came in with a fair amount of preseason hype after a good 2020 year. He didn’t really disappoint as his production remained the same, and his supreme arm strength remained on display. Concerns about his mobility are valid, but the biggest issue might be his health. Strong has dealt with knee issues going back to high school, so early medical looks here and at the Combine will be huge. I’d expect Strong to look sharp at the Senior Bowl and make a case for a late 1st round selection.
Running Backs: Rachaad White, Hassan Haskins, Tyler Badie, Abram Smith, Jerome Ford
- For a RB group that isn’t getting a lot of hype this season, this is an intriguing group. Rachaad White isn’t getting a lot of top 100 prospect love, but the playmaking ability is there. He may get dinged for being an upright runner, but he’s a big play guy, who is excellent in the passing game. He’s exactly the type of player who can excel at the next level.
- Beyond White, this group are all intriguing prospects. Haskins, Badie, Smith and Ford all had big seasons and were major playmakers. A big week from any of these backs could push them well into the top 100.
Wide Receivers: Khalil Shakir, Alec Pierce, Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson, Jahan Dotson, Bo Melton, Braylon Sanders
- The star of this group is Jahan Dotson, though there are some reports that he won’t be playing this week. If he does play expect him to show why he’s a 1st round talent. If he doesn’t play this group is definitely thinner, but still has some good options.
- Khalil Shakir has been a good three year starter for Boise State and consistently been a playmaker. He’s not the biggest, or fastest, but he’s a strong route runner who gets open. Christian Watson is a smaller school receiver, but his size and speed combo make Watson a guy who could rise this week.
- Romero Doubs has blazing speed on film, and made a number of big plays in college with Strong. He has produced for the past four years, and this should be a big week for him. Alec Pierce had a bit of a breakout year for Cincinnati, not going to wow with athleticism, but he’s got good size and hands.
Tight End: Trey McBride, Charlie Kolar, Cole Turner, Jeremy Ruckert, Jake Ferguson
- Trey McBride is one of the top TEs in this draft and looks like an immediate starter at the next level. He’s got size, athleticism and good hands, and a strong week should lock up a top 50 spot for him.
- The rest of this group is solid, but the name that sticks out is Jeremy Ruckert. His stats don’t jump off the page, but keep in mind that Ohio State had 3 elite receivers on their roster, making it tough to get targets. He looks to be a decent blocker, but really excels as pass catcher. He consistently got open, and made plays when the ball came his way.
Offensive Linemen: Zion Johnson, Bernhard Raimann, Nick Zakelj, Andrew Stueber, Daniel Faalele, Matt Waletzko, Trevor Penning, Marquis Hayes, Abraham Lucas, Cole Strange, Luke Goedeke, Ja’Tyre Carter
- This is an extremely strong group with a nice mix of top prospects and exciting sleepers. The OL/DL battles here will be must see TV all week.
- Trevor Penning, Bernhard Raimann, Zion Johnson, Daniel Faalele, and Abraham Lucas should all go in the top 3 rounds, with Penning and Raimann both likely 1st rounders. Penning especially could even push for a top 10-15 pick with a strong week. He’s a long physical tackle with good feet, and if he was at a Power 5 school he probably would be a top 10 lock.
- While most of the focus will be on the bigger name prospects, there are a couple really good sleepers in this group. Cole Strange and Luke Goedeke are smaller school guys who will get the chance to show that they can play at this level.
Defensive Line: Myjai Sanders, Travis Jones, Logan Hall, Dominique Robinson, Boye Mafe, Haskell Garrett, Tyreke Smith, Perrion Winfrey, Isaiah Thomas, Arnold Ebiketie, Otito Ogbonnia
- The American team led by some SEC studs gets more hype, but the National defensive line is very intriguing.
- Haskell Garrett and Tyreke Smith were two of the leaders on Ohio State this season and could make some noise this week.
- Arnold Ebiketie, Boye Mafe, and Myjai Sanders are three intriguing EDGE rushers who could all go in the 2nd and 3rd round. Ebiketie is undersized, but he can cause havoc off the edge. If he shows that he can have a big week, he could even push for the late 1st round.
- Logan Hall might be the most interesting player for me to watch this week. He has dominated inside for Houston, but he’s definitely undersized for this role. He has the length to play
Linebackers: Terrel Bernard, Darrian Beavers, Mike Rose, Kyron Johnson, Jesse Luketa, Sterling Weatherford, Chad Muma, Brian Asamoah, Troy Andersen
- Overall this position group is probably the weakest on the National Team roster, but there are a few intriguing guys to watch this week. Devin Lloyd was supposed to be on this roster, but he is no longer listed on the team.
- Despite missing Lloyd there are still a few fun players to keep an eye on this week. Chad Muma is an athletic inside linebacker who has the size to take on running backs in the hole. At the same time he has the speed to run with most linebackers.
- Sterling Weatherford played safety at Miami (OH), but it looks like he will showcase himself as more of a nickel/coverage backer. This is probably a good move for him to see if he can hold up in this role. He could still be a longshot to crack the top 100, but I think this gives him more versatility in teams eyes.
Defensive Backs: Jalen Pitre, Coby Bryant, Joshua Williams, Tariq Castro-Fields, Damarri Mathis, Jaylen Watson, Gregory Junior, JT Woods, Joseph Kerby
- This defensive back group is fairly strong with players like Tariq Castro-Fields, Jalen Pitre, Coby Bryant and Joseph Kerby all potential top 100 picks. Coby Bryant in particular looks like a corner who could thrive this week. Bryant has been a good corner all season, but is coming off a rough CFB Playoff performance versus Alabama. He’s got a chance to redeem himself this week, particularly in his match-ups versus Dotson. Tariq Castro-Fields is another long corner with strong athletic talent, who could shine this week.
- Pitre and Kerby and Woods are the three safeties who deserve the most attention from this group. Pitre looks to have the most natural coverage ability of the group, and could push for a top 50 pick.