Advertisement

Senior Bowl 2024: Roman Wilson, MarShawn Lloyd shining early, already on fantasy radar

Here is a breakdown of the skill position players who have shined during Day 1 and Day 2 of the Senior Bowl to me that fantasy managers need to know about.

Michigan WR Roman Wilson

Wilson glides to the ball with a low-effort, easy stride. He thoroughly dominated the first day during both 1-on-1’s and team sessions, catching multiple deep shots in team drills. While he didn’t draw the same volume of targets on Day 2, Wilson made the toughest grab of the entire camp when he stretched for a high-and-wide throw that seemed destined for out of bounds until Roman fully extended with one hand to bring in the errant throw.

Check out the incredible play below that my colleague Connor Rogers caught on video:

I feel Wilson is destined to be a useful NFL slot weapon whom I currently rank as a top-10 caliber WR from the 2024 WR class

Penn State TE Theo Johnson

Johnson was unstoppable on the boundary and over the middle, making multiple contested catches during the 1-on-1’s. He moves well for a full-sized receiving tight end and is strong enough to re-direct defenders when utilizing leverage on his cuts and create space at the catch point. Johnson's collegiate numbers aren’t eye-popping because he was a co-starter in 12-personnel sets at Penn State, splitting the tight end passing game work with TE Tyler Warren. However, when afforded the opportunity, his 139.9 passer rating when targeted is an exceptional mark that is bolstered by a 67% contested catch rate. The TE position hierarchy beyond Georgia's Brock Bowers and Texas' Ja'Tavion Sanders is largely unsettled, so Johnson could slide into 4th-5th round sleeper territory in rookie fantasy drafts.

New Hampshire RB Dylan Laube

Laube showed that his receiving prowess translates against higher competition, toasting multiple linebackers in pass game 1-on-1’s. I spoke with him Wednesday about what aspect of his game that he feels will best translate to the NFL level, and he talked about his comfort level manipulating defenders in space. Laube thinks his all-purpose skillset could translate to a version of how Christian McCaffrey is deployed in San Francisco. While the comp is lofty, Laube looks like he belongs among his Power Five peers despite the FCS pedigree.

RELATED: Connor Rogers’ NFL Draft Notebook on Senior Bowl standouts

Arizona WR Jacob Cowing

He had a lot of steam coming into the Senior Bowl, with several media prognosticators hinting at a potential Tank Dell-esque performance from the former UTEP 1,000-yard wideout. Day 1 he dropped a 10-yard out on one crisply thrown ball, and got alpha’d by Toledo's Quinyon Mitchell on another. On Day 2, Cowing snapped off some clean routes, but didn’t particularly distinguish himself in team activities. I have seen Cowing going in the late second- to early third-round territory in early 2024 rookie fantasy mock drafts, which is higher than I’ll be willing to go.

USC RB MarShawn Lloyd

Lloyd has been the best RB over the first two days from a running back group that has been a pleasant surprise, considering the pessimism I’ve seen from the fantasy draft community in regard to this year’s class. Lloyd is a former high four-star recruit who missed his first season with a torn ACL and didn’t get the opportunity to earn a feature role until he transferred to USC last offseason. He excelled in HC Lincoln Riley’s offense, averaging 4.35 yards after contact with a ridiculous 41% broken tackle rate while showing next-level burst and play strength. Lloyd hadn’t done much work in the passing game until this season, but went on to lead the Power Five with a sky-high 17.2 yards per catch average. Lloyd has proven to be a top-5 caliber rusher from the 2024 class and should be on your fantasy radar starting in the middle of the second round in your dynasty rookie drafts.

Kentucky RB Ray Davis

Davis has put forth a standout all-around performance over the first two practice sessions, showing athleticism, shiftiness and burst that you don’t often see from rushers of his 5’8/220 proportions. He probably had the best Day 2 showing of any running back, breaking multiple long runs while running circles around the linebacker group in pass drills. His receiving acumen is particularly encouraging, since he carved out a reputation as a between-the-tackles grinder early in his career. While Davis is an older prospect with five years of collegiate service under his belt, he transferred up twice from Temple to Vandy and then Vandy to Kentucky and excelled in every role he’s been thrust into. Also of note is his dad, Ray Davis Sr., is probably the most active player parent I’ve ever seen when it comes to keeping tabs on his Ray Davis Jr.’s college fantasy football rankings. So be forewarned if you rank Davis too low on your 2024 rookie boards.

Kansas State TE Ben Sinnott

Sinnott is versatile enough to line up all over the formation at the next level and checked in bigger than I expected at 6’4/254. If you watch a highlight reel of his Senior Bowl practices, Sinnott is hands down the TE3 in the 2024 group. However, he also has had some miscues and costly drops that have tempered my optimistic expectations a bit. Regardless, Sinnott has a very fantasy-friendly profile and should be drafted in most five-round, 12-team dynasty rookie drafts.

South Carolina WR Xavier Legette

Legette spent Day 1 trying to burn opposing corners on go routes in an effort to land a viral moment in 1-on-1’s. He came up empty downfield, but showed some signs of life at the end of the session, making a very difficult sideline reception at full extension with a defender draped on him. He carried over the promising Day 1 finish into a borderline MVP-level showing on Day 2. Legette ran a full array of routes, focusing on running precise ones that showcased his advanced ramp-down capabilities to complement his field-stretching speed. Keep in mind he’s 6’1/223 pounds and can split the secondary if you can hit him in stride over the middle. Legette is living up to his current early-to-mid second round dynasty draft capital.

Texas Tech WR Ainias Smith

Smith has been a staple of the A&M offense for what seems like forever, where he started out as a running back before gradually transitioning into a potent slot weapon for the Aggies’ limited passing game under HC Jimbo Fisher. After a nondescript Day 1, Ainias spent the 11-on-11 session ripping the secondary for three chunk gains in a 10 play span. You could argue, outside of Legette, Smith was the most impactful receiver on the field Day 2. I had him in the backend of my initial top-70 rookie dynasty rankings, but he’s bound for a post-Senior Bowl bump.

Florida State WR Johnny Wilson

The elongated (6’6/235) Seminoles WR entered the Senior Bowl sessions with many analysts clamoring to see him line up at TE to see if he might be better suited for interior work. It’s a narrative that Wilson is combatting by getting clean wins on the outside against boundary corners, which he did multiple times on Day 2. Though the specter of his ghastly 12.8% career drop rate did rear its ugly head on a couple of occasions, FSU’s gangly wideout has had some encouraging moments. I still think Wilson’s path to fantasy relevance is through the TE position, but you might have to wait a season or two until that dynasty investment pays off.

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.

While none of the quarterbacks have dazzled the spectators, I’d have to say Penix Jr. has been the best of the lot. I had the opportunity to see Penix Jr. at the Elite 11 Final last summer, where he was a counselor, and twice this season with the Huskies, so I had a pretty good handle on his game. Penix Jr. has nice touch on his intermediate-to-deep balls, but hasn’t shown NFL-caliber accuracy when moved off his spot and forced to improvise. Conversely, Oregon QB Bo Nix has underwhelmed me both days with his tendency to fade on his throws and not step into them, causing intermediate area inaccuracy. I’m sure Nix would have difficulty connecting with his receivers downfield as well, but he’s barely even tried in team drills, preferring to check down. I’m taking Penix Jr. over Nix in my 2024 rookie drafts, if given the choice.