Wednesday practices in Mobile featured a lot of defensive talents raising their stock, as well as an under-the-radar quarterback that no one expected to have eyes on entering the week. Here are the secret superstars from Day Two at the Senior Bowl.
When it comes to the quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl, most folks showed up to watch Michael Penix and Bo Nix after each of them had fantastic seasons in the PAC-12. On the American Team side of things, Joe Milton is here to throw the ball out of the stadium and into orbit, which would at least be entertaining. This is a long way of saying that no one came to watch Carter Bradley, but he was the best quarterback on the field Wednesday. He made several tight-window throws in team drills- throws that none of the other quarterbacks were making.
— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) January 31, 2024
His accuracy wasn't always great, but Carter Bradley had a string of catchable passes in team drills, highlighted by a solid effort off-platform vs pressure
Ended the session with a bad decision and throw where he missed an underneath defender and should've been intercepted pic.twitter.com/PIKmjCF65W
— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) January 31, 2024
Penix was consistent, but not in a good way, as he was constantly overthrowing receivers in one-on-ones and didn’t have any sort of plays during team drills that stood out. Nix was throwing bounce passes like he was Steve Nash in his prime, which would be great if you were allowed to one-hop passes to your receivers. Milton spent the whole day throwing four yard checkdowns, which made yours truly a very upset lad, indeed.
Bradley may not have been the guy under center everyone came to see, but he outplayed all of them throughout the day.
During tight ends vs. linebackers, Theo Johnson decided he was going to catch every pass and own the drill.
Not many tight ends in the NFL have feet as quick as Penn State TE Theo Johnson and can accelerate out of cuts this well pic.twitter.com/f5x8RcyLSZ
— Joe DeLeone (@joedeleone) January 31, 2024
He looked very smooth when it came to his route running, and was consistently getting open. Plus, he showed while at Penn State that he is a willing and capable blocker in the run game. He could be a nice addition to a team in the mid-to-late rounds.
CB Willie Drew, Virginia State
It doesn’t get much more secret than Virginia State- I didn’t even know that was a university before today. Anytime a player makes a play that makes you search the roster for his name and number, you know that’s a guy to keep an eye on. Drew jammed USC wide receiver Brenden Rice at the line of scrimmage and went up for what should have been an interception in one-on-ones.
— Real Friends & Football (@rff_football) January 31, 2024
He couldn’t complete the catch, but having the confidence, as well as the ability, to jam a guy who is larger than him like that was very impressive. That type of physicality, as well as his willingness to get in on stops in the run game, could help him compete for a spot as a nickel cornerback at the next level.
LB Payton Wilson, North Carolina State
I mentioned Theo Johnson earlier and how almost no one could stop him. Well, Payton Wilson shut him down, breaking up a pass in the shallow part of the field in pass coverage during team drills.
— Matt Lucci (@mattlucci12) January 31, 2024
Wilson seems to have a good head on his shoulders in terms of play recognition, as well. He made his way into the backfield in team drills on Tuesday for a presumed tackle for loss, and he just feels like a guy that, if healthy, can contribute as a smart off-ball linebacker.