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Senior Bowl Updates: DL and DB prospects making waves in practice

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 01 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Senior Bowl week is in full swing, and a number of players are making a strong case for themselves in practice throughout the last week. As you are likely aware, Pete Carroll and John Schneider love players with experience, and you will find that in droves here. Last year alone they drafted a number of participants; Tariq Woolen, Coby Bryant, Abe Lucas, Tyreke Smith, Bo Melton and Boye Mafe. All three had sizeable impacts on the team in year one, to say the least. So who are some standouts this year who may pique their interest?

Karl Brooks — DL — Bowling Green

The Seattle Seahawks love versatility and unique traits, and Karl Brooks possesses both. While he may not have ideal physical traits in certain respects, he was one of the most productive pass rushers in the nation over the last two seasons. Originally projected as an EDGE, Brooks reportedly tipped the scales at over 300 lbs, but he still put up 10 sacks in 2022. He has the capability to play inside and out, and could have potential as a 3T/5T. He is the kind of guy who just seems to flash every time you watch him.

Derick Hall — EDGE — Auburn

Hall is earning comparisons to Montez Sweat. You may recall that there was some speculation that the Seahawks were interested in Sweat in 2019, but after their trade down with the Green Bay Packers, he was off the board and they ended up selecting L.J. Collier, who was himself a Senior Bowl participant that year. Obviously, Sweat has been a productive player in the NFL and L.J. Collier has not. Hall was recently mocked as a first round pick, but some project him as a second round prospect. He has a long wingspan, explosive hands, and looks to have the ability to set the edge in the run game. He was a productive pass rusher in the SEC (19.5 sacks over the last three season, with a career high 9 in 2021), and has been making waves at the Senior Bowl.

JL Skinner — Safety — Boise State

A tall rangy safety with ball-hawk tendencies who can hit? Who is projected as a mid-round prospect? Sign Pete Carroll up.

Here is a snippet from The NFL Draft Bible:

His exceptional length is really what gets the adrenaline pumping when eyeing up Skinner. Today he showed a knack for getting to the deep ball and range that likely impressed NFL scouts in attendance. The All-Mountain West First Team safety held back on one play. If it were full contact, he would have leveled the receiver. Skinner maintained his composure and left the moment to unleash a magnificent hit left to our imaginations.”

Julius Brents — DB — Kansas State

A versatile defensive back who can line up at safety or corner, Brents reportedly has the same wingspan as Tariq Woolen. Also like Woolen, he is projected as a mid/late round pick. By his own admission, he is a student of film, and he looks to be a potential ball hawk after picking off multiple passes during practice, as well as posting 4 interceptions for the Wildcats in 2022.

These are just a few of the players who caught my attention. Senior Bowl participants are typically on the older side for NFL prospects, obviously, but as noted above, that hasn’t dissuaded the team from going after these guys in previous drafts. Most of the players listed above are currently projected as Day Two/Day Three picks, but this week of practice can do a lot to elevate their draft stock. With a majority of the focus on the fact that Seattle has two first round picks, the reality remains that many of their most productive players last season (and in seasons of old) have been drafted in the mid/late rounds. Could one of the above guys follow in the footsteps of Tariq Woolen, Kam Chancellor, or even Boye Mafe?