I've been loading up the car for the past few hours as I prepare to head east to Mobile, Alabama for my eighth consecutive trip to the Reese's Senior Bowl. It's my favorite event of any year. Why?
Regardless, the entire football world descends on Mobile for the last collegiate action of the year, as each professional football candidate will have the most important job interview to date in his football life. Here are five guys I'm keeping an eye on for the Texans this week while in Mobile, in no particular order.
CB Coby Bryant, Cincinnati - the Jim Thorpe Award winner is the biggest name at the position, seemingly in Mobile, but he was overshadowed for much of his college career by his fellow CB teammate 'Sauce' Gardner. That said, Bryant can really step to the forefront of this defensive back group with a strong week in Mobile. He can play physically in zone coverage. He has match and mirror skills in man. He can fit into a multiple defensive scheme.
LB Chad Muma, Wyoming - I feel like the world has been sleeping on the stud linebacker from Wyoming. He's in my top four linebacker candidates overall and can absolutely fly, all the while measuring 245 lb. I was a MASSIVE fan of Bengals LB/former Wyoming star Logan Wilson who had the interception that set up the game winning field goal in the Divisional playoff win over the Titans…and Muma is bigger, faster and possesses higher upside at this point in his career.
OT Daniel Faalele, Minnesota - I mean, C'MON, you can't MISS him! The Australian import will more than likely measure in at 370…ish and that's down from when he measured 400 lb. when he first arrived to play at Minnesota. He's a tackle too and loves to mash in the run game, so I'm curious to see him up close in person for the first time.
Edge Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State - How good was Georgia's defense in 2021? Johnson II is a bona fide top 40 candidate in this draft class and he had to transfer to Florida State to get on the field regularly. Florida State seemed to take that LITERALLY as he was on the field ALL THE TIME. But, in so doing, he showed how much promise he has to be a strong edge player in the league. The Senior Bowl will be the final stamp on a much traveled college career.
RB Dameon Pierce, Florida - During the 2021 season, I saw more vitriol from Florida Gators fans I follow on Twitter because the Gators didn't utilize Pierce more often in this offense. I don't usually like reading such vitriol but I was surprised, and a bit upset myself, when watching Florida that Pierce wouldn't get the rock as much as I wanted. He's not flashy. He's not blazingly fast. But, BUT, he does put a hurting on 2nd and 3rd level defenders in the run game. He hits it downhill in a hurry. He can be a four minute offense dream…or nightmare for opposing defenses. I love the day three opportunities for a bruiser like Pierce.
There are plenty more but I'll leave it at that as I continue my prep for Mobile. Perhaps, one, or more, of the above will don the Liberty White, Battle Red and Deep Steel Blue in the future. I can't wait for that.
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