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Thursday, May 26, 2022
Home Sports NFL Let's Go Bowling! - Russell Street Report Senior Bowl

Let’s Go Bowling! – Russell Street Report Senior Bowl


This past weekend, NFL fans had the option of biding their time awaiting the upcoming Super Bowl by tuning into the Pro Bowl. Like many of you, I passed on watching it (preferring the Senior Bowl), because not only does it make me sad that my guys are having to play in the Pro Bowl instead of the aforementioned Super Bowl matchup, but also because… well, it’s the Pro Bowl. The players featured in it have nothing to prove, and their play reflects that. The verdict on the Pro Bowl seems to have been returned by the NFL’s the old guard: it stunk out loud.

Needless to say, there was little risk of FOMO on the Pro Bowl unless you were really hoping to see Mac Jones hit the Griddy…


Or if you wanted to see Marlon Humphrey put on his analyst hat.

For me, there were bigger Bowls to fry… fish to fry? Bowls of fish to fry?

I watched the Senior Bowl and the Shrine Bowl, is what I’m saying.

Unlike the Pro Bowl, the players involved in the Senior Bowl and the Shrine Bowl to have something to prove, as these invitational games give them an opportunity to showcase their talents for Draft scouts. As such, being firmly focused on the future, I put on my Draft scout hat and searched for players that would look good in purple and black next year.

Here are some names to put on your radar, or to keep on your radar if you’re already tracking them:

Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

Alright, I want you to close your eyes and picture what it means to “Play Like a Raven.” Then, I want you to watch these clips.

Penning has, to this point, been mocked as a late-first to early-second rounder and currently sits at # 31 on PFF’s Big Board. However, Penning’s stock has almost certainly improved as he spent the entire weekend bullying people, showing an impressive combination of speed and athleticism all the while. At 6’7 ”, 321 pounds, I can easily see him drawing interest from NFL teams in the mid-to-late first round range. The Ravens are likely to give him a serious look.

Boye Mafe, DL, Minnesota

Mafe’s Draft profiles across multiple platforms have him listed as either a non-specific D-Lineman or specified as an EDGE, where he lined up during the Senior Bowl. While EDGE is a crowded position in this year’s class with top-tier candidates like Kayvon Thibodeaux and Aiden Hutchinson, Mafe made sure his name was going to be included in the conversation. How did he do this, I hear you asking at home?

Oh.

Oh my.

Mafe finished the day with 2 sacks, 3 TFLs and a forced fumble. He was also named the MVP of the “National” squad, and it’s not hard to see why. As of right now, the same PFF Big Board mentioned above has Mafe sitting at # 94, but the consensus around sports social media is that he’s going to fly up Draft Boards, and I tend to agree.

At 6’3 ”, 255 pounds, Mafe’s versatile skill set could make him a gem for a team without the Draft capital to pursue one of the blue-chip prospects at EDGE. In Baltimore’s case, they may determine that EDGE does not take priority on Day 1, meaning they would likely miss out on a big name like David Ojabo. If that’s the case, Mafe could certainly be a Day 2 target.

The Ravens have a lot of Day 2 picks. Just saying.

Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia

Wyatt’s not exactly a well-kept secret, especially if you watched a lot of SEC football this year, but Wyatt’s prowess as a prospect has been somewhat overshadowed by fellow Bulldogs Nakobe Dean and Jordan Davis. I’ve even been susceptible to favoring Davis due to his sheer physical stature, but Wyatt’s workouts over the weekend were definitely worthy of praise. I want you to watch these reps the first time just to see them, then on the second go-round, just focus the work with the hands.

That’s a thing of beauty. The Ravens will almost certainly be in the market for IDL with questions surrounding both Brandon Williams and Derek Wolfe. While it’s not super likely that Wyatt will still be on the board at # 45, it’s not completely outside the realm of possibility, either. FYI: Wyatt currently sits at # 37 on PFF’s Big Board. It could happen.

[Related Article: EDC Multitasking]

Juanyeh Thomas, DB, Georgia Tech

Thomas is likely a fringe player for Draft consideration, but, as last year proved, you can never have too many DBs. Thomas, who lined up at Safety with the Yellowjackets, knew that he needed to make an impression, and he made the most of his Shrine Bowl invite with an eye-popping highlight in the red zone.

The intensity of the hit is all well and good, but the quick adjustment as he recognized where the play was going and peeled back to make the stop was what impressed me enough to study up on him. At 6’3 ”, 205 pounds, he certainly has good size for the position, and he brings an impressive resume as a member of the Special Teams unit.

His sheer numbers in pass coverage combined with a bit of a downturn in production could certainly give teams some break, but the bare bones to his game and the instincts he showed will likely still get him a look.

EDC, if you’re reading this, take a shot at this kid, if for no other reason than to make me look smart.

I need all the help I can get.





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