2023 NFL Draft

Top Ten Players To Watch During The 2023 Senior Bowl

Next week kicks off the 2023 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. The Steelers Depot crew will be well-represented with Jonathan Heitritter, Tyler Wise, Ross McCorkle, and myself attending during the week. With so much to cover, I wanted to put together a primer of 10 interesting prospects during the week.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list and we could’ve added another dozen names. And not every single one of these prospects will be high on the Steelers’ radar. But these are 10 intriguing names you’ll hear about next week spread out over most of the position groups.

Max Duggan/QB TCU

A Heisman finalist, he helped lead the Horned Frogs to this year’s Title Game, upsetting Michigan along the way. The championship game was a dud for the entire TCU team, Duggan included, but he went from relative unknown across the college football landscape to playing on the game’s biggest stage.

He isn’t the biggest quarterback but that’s mattered less in recent drafts, including a current group with Bryce Young as the potential #1 overall pick. Duggan is athletic and mobile but he’ll have to show he can play from the pocket this weekend with consistent accuracy. Should be a big crowd around him with no other big-name/top-pick quarterback attending. Pittsburgh won’t have an interest here but Duggan is one of the biggest stars attending.

Tank Dell/WR Houston (American Team)

Profiled earlier in the week on the site, Dell is one of the smallest players attending. Listed at 165 pounds, we’ll see what he weighs in at early in the week (weigh-ins are no longer live events where media attends). As our Chandler Stroud noted, Dell’s calling card is his straight-line speed. He’ll have to consistently display it to overcome the lack of size and weight. A guy like this should excel in the 1v1s, always a highlight though they’re heavily slanted toward the offense, and we’ll see if he can make plays outside his frame. With new quarterbacks, accuracy is typically a bit worse so Dell may have to adjust to the ball.

Jayden Reed/WR Michigan State (National Team)

Soon to be profiled on the site by Tyler Wise, Reed is a heady receiver who finds the soft spot against zone and showed his versatility in school, lining up all over the formation. He’s also a return threat with three career punt returns, including two on only 11 attempts in 2021. He began his career at Western Michigan before transferring to Michigan State to reunite with his high school quarterback, Reed has a chance to improve his stock this weekend. His role did seem to change from 2021 to 2022, with his yards per reception dropping from 17.4 to 11.6.

Cody Mauch/OL North Dakota State (National Team)

A name you’ll hear a lot during the weekend and during the game. Mauch is one of the best stories of the weekend with his missing front teeth knocked out during a high school basketball game. In personality and style, he’ll draw comparisons to Quinn Meinerz of two years ago. But Mauch isn’t just a personality. He’s an aggressive run blocker and three-year starter at tackle, seeing most of his time on the left side. We’ll see if small school tendencies change under Omar Khan and Andy Weidl, Kevin Colbert notoriously stayed away, and Mauch will be a good case study. Likely a Day Two type of guy though UC-Chattanooga’s Cole Strange worked his way into the end of the first round in part thanks to an impressive Senior Bowl last year.

O’Cyrus Torrence/OG Florida (National Team)

A big name of this group, Torrence is an equally large figure at 350 pounds. We’ll see if he slims down at all for the draft process. Torrence could be on Pittsburgh’s radar if they’re looking to make a splash at guard. A people-mover in the run game, he isn’t a great athlete but Pittsburgh ran more man/duo blocks and didn’t ask their lineman to work in space as much under OL Coach Pat Meyer. Technically, he needs work, as our Jonathan Heitritter wrote about, but he’s a name to keep an eye on him as an option at #17 and potentially even #32 if he slips a bit.

Keeanu Benton/DL Wisconsin (National Team)

A strong fit for the Steelers’ system, Benton has the height/weight and I presume length (we’ll get an official measurement soon) to fit Pittsburgh’s scheme. A stout run defender with the ability to bend the corner as a pass rusher, he spent most of his time in college as a zero/one tech but has the frame to move down the line. A guy I’d expect the Steelers to have an interest in, especially if they lose Larry Ogunjobi in free agency.

Isaiah Foskey/EDGE Notre Dame (National Team)

Arguably one of the top prospects of this year’s group, Foskey has a chance to cement his first-round status with a solid week in Mobile. With 20.5 combined sacks over the last two years, Foskey has great size at 6’4, 257 pounds. An EDGE this high is going to be too rich for the Steelers but perhaps any offensive tackle who can consistently win against him will get noticed, potentially by Pittsburgh. So keep an eye out for how his 1v1s go.

Carlton Martial/LB Troy (National Team)

Perhaps no one has a chip on his shoulder at the Senior Bowl the way Carlton Martial does. Standing in at a listed 5’9, 210 pounds – and yes, he’s a linebacker – Martial walked onto Troy, earned a scholarship, and ended his career as college football’s all-time leading tackler. 578 in his career, breaking the record with a 22-tackle performance against Army in November. Size is an obvious concern but it hasn’t stopped him before. We’ll see how he matches up against the best of his peers.

Anthony Johnson/CB Virginia (American Team)

Fitting in well with the need to find big and long corners is listed at 6’1, 205. With tons of college experience, he began his career at Louisville before transferring to Virginia. He immediately earned the starting nod and was productive for the Cavs, picking off three passes in 2021 and a pair in 2022 to go along with 12 pass deflections. Regarded as a leader, he should have good battles on the outside with receivers this week and make plays on the football.

JL Skinner/S Boise State (National Team)

An almost hybrid type at 6’4, 218, Skinner is a thumper who recorded seven tackles for a loss his junior season. Those numbers dropped his senior year but he made more plays on the football, picking off four passes. With that kind of versatility, he’s a potential Day Two candidate who can work to cement that spot next week. Someone Pittsburgh could be interested in especially if they don’t re-sign Terrell Edmunds.

Andrew Vorhees/OG USC (National Team)

Sneaking an 11th bonus name on here because I just finished watching him. A big guard at 6’6, Vorhees plays with a nasty demeanor and great leg drive to pancake defenders. But he’s athletic and light on his feet with a style and scheme that fits with Pat Meyer’s aggressive pass sets. Really interesting name who isn’t quite as mean as Trevor Penning but he’ll throw his weight around this weekend. Someone I’m very interested in watching in person. Should note that while the Senior Bowl tweeted his attendance a week ago, he isn’t currently on the website’s roster. Hopefully he didn’t tweak something training.

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