The Senior Bowl is underway and two prospects are turning heads. Michigan State wide receiver Jayden Reed and Kansas State cornerback Julius Brents. These two players are standing out and making a case for themselves to rise in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Michigan State’s Jayden Reed Impresses at Senior Bowl
Michigan State wide receiver Jayden Reed has turned the most heads at the Senior Bowl. He clocked in the fastest speed for the National Team and has put on an impressive display of route running. Reed caught a deep touchdown in a 1-on-1 drill and executed a double move to gain separation on his second rep over the middle. The versatile offensive weapon is not only effective at all three levels of the field, but he also showed his ability to return punts.
Despite his pedestrian numbers in 2022, with 55 receptions for 636 receiving yards and five touchdowns, Reed’s abilities as a receiver should not be overlooked. The 5-7 Spartans faced various offensive issues that capped Reed’s production. The Senior Bowl provides the perfect environment for him to showcase his next-level value. Reed’s versatility will be appreciated by all 32 NFL teams. He’s lined up at X, Z, and in the slot, and has a dynamic skill set, with short-area quickness and run-after-catch abilities.
Reed is expected to find a home in the slot. The slot is where he can use his quickness to separate from defenders and display his dynamic run-after-catch abilities. This year’s wide receiver group in the 2023 NFL Draft appears to lack high-end star power, but Reed is stating his case as a valuable selection in the mid-to-late rounds. As a standout performer at the Senior Bowl, Reed’s pre-draft stock is on the rise.
Syndication: Lansing State Journal
Detroit Lions Cornerback Prospect Julius Brents Impresses
Kansas State cornerback Julius Brents made a big impact on the first day of practice at the Senior Bowl. The towering 6-foot-3, 202-pound prospect stood out among the top cover cornerbacks and caught the eye of many with his unique build.
Brents used his size to his advantage. Consistently pinning receivers to the sideline and displaying impressive press technique at the line of scrimmage. He showed fluidity in mirroring quicker receivers, silencing critics who question his speed. Brents has heard the whispers about his speed and is ready to put them to rest, saying. “All the critics will be able to fully see that speed, trust me, we gonna run fast.”
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The versatility and experience in multiple schemes is another factor that will attract teams in need of a cornerback. Brents started his career at Iowa, where he played in a zone scheme with off-man coverage, and then transitioned to Kansas State’s press man system. Brents believes he can fit into a variety of systems, stating. “I’d say I’m real versatile and a fit for a lot of these schemes.”
One of the most important and often overlooked aspects of a cornerback is their ability to tackle. He attributes his willingness to tackle to his mindset, saying. “It starts with the mindset…Just not being afraid to come downhill, stick your nose in there and run through the smoke.”
Syndication: The Oklahoman
Lastly, Brents’ film study habits are another aspect of his game that will appeal to teams. He looks for tendencies in his opponents’ releases and splits, and uses that information to eliminate certain route trees. Brents prioritizes his film study and is always looking for ways to improve his game.
Early Takeaways from Senior Bowl
The upcoming draft class filled with talented prospects. Nonetheless, Jayden Reed and Julius Brents have made their mark and are drawing attention from NFL teams. Reed’s versatility and dynamic skill set, combined with Brents’ size, tackling ability, make them both valuable additions to any NFL roster. As the Senior Bowl continues, these two prospects will look to continue making a case for themselves and solidify their position in the 2023 NFL Draft.
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