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Senior Bowl roundup: A preview of the Seahawks’ starting C/RG combo for 2023?

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NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to part two of the Senior Bowl review. You can find part one here.

Last week, we took a look at defensive players who stood out throughout Senior Bowl week, most of whom will end up being day two/three picks (notable exception being Derick Hall, who could sneak into the first round). This week, the focus is on the other side of the ball, and at least a couple of these players may end up in the latter half of the first round. I feel like there is some consensus around the Seattle Seahawks and their needs on offense: interior linemen (particularly center and right guard), a wide receiver to complement Lockett and Metcalf, and potentially a tight end with some contracts looming for their current players. Running back isn’t a major need, but the team has drafted at least one in 9 of their last 13 drafts, according to StatHead. At least one quarterback stood out and made a strong case for themselves as a potential developmental prospect, so we will take a brief look at him as well. But first, we’ll start with the trenches.

O’Cyrus Torrence — OG — Florida and John Michael Schmitz — OC — Minnesota

Both of these guys deserve their own write up, but two of the draft’s top interior linemen had an opportunity to team up together during Senior Bowl practice, and they looked great doing it. Corbin Smith is projecting Seattle to take Torrence with the 20th pick, noting that he didn’t allow a single sack during his collegiate career. He projects as a solid pass blocker who may thrive best in a power running scheme, according to the Draft Network.

John Michael Schmitz is currently viewed as a day two selection, but he reportedly had a strong showing throughout the week and boosted his stock accordingly. Dane Brugler referred to him as the second best center in the draft, saying that he and Joe Tippman (his top overall center prospect) will both be “immediate NFL starters.”

Torrence will likely end up in the mid/late first round, but Schmitz could be available on day two. The Seahawks found their bookend tackles in the draft last year; could they solidify the interior with a pair of rookie starters this year?!

Jake Haener — QB — Fresno State

I don’t think that the team expected to find its quarterback of the future at the Senior Bowl, but Jake Haener made a great case for himself as best passer of the week on his way to winning MVP. Indeed, he was the only quarterback to throw a touchdown during the game. Dane Brugler suggested that he may be the “Brock Purdy in this year’s draft class,” for what that is worth. He could start creeping up draft boards following his strong showing at the event, so his draft stock is definitely worth monitoring. His ceiling may be a mystery at this point, but he does at least seem to have a decently high floor as a prospect. Among the top four QB prospects (Young, Levis, Stroud, and Richardson), only Will Levis had a quicker average Time to Throw on dropbacks with a pass attempt than Haener, according to Pro Football Focus.

Jayden Reed — WR — Michigan State

The fastest player in the Senior Bowl, Reed is a talented and versatile offensive weapon who can do a bit of everything. From the sounds of it, he may have boosted his stock considerably following a down year in 2022.

Per Justin Melo of the NFL Draft Network:

The Spartans enjoyed success when moving Reed all over their offensive formation. Reed’s tape study displayed a versatile receiver that lined up at X, Z, and in the slot. That versatility will be appreciated by all 32 NFL teams. Reed occasionally lined up in the backfield and was utilized via pre-snap motion, jet-sweeps, and other creative manners that stressed defenses. Rostering a player with Reed’s dynamic skill set opens up an offensive coordinator’s playbook.

Tank Dell — WR — Houston

Nathaniel “Tank” Dell looks like a player who could factor in immediately as a weapon out of the slot. Per Michael-Shawn Dugar:

“As you’re reading this, Houston receiver Tank Dell (5-8, 163) is probably somewhere running wide open, having just found yet another way to separate from a defender in man coverage. Being a quality slot receiver is about more than being adept at beating man coverage, but when you watch Dell, you see how he was able to rack up nearly 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Cougars last season. This week, his combination of quickness and breakaway speed stood out among the rest. He feels like a potential third-round pick.”

Michael Wilson — WR — Stanford

Michael Wilson had more than a couple shining moments during practice, but his biggest achievement was catching the only receiving touchdown during the actual game on a pass from Haener. He was named “best pass catcher” at the Senior Bowl, and he looks like he could be impactful as a pro. Injuries marred his college career, unfortunately, but at 6’2” and 216 lbs, he does project as more of a traditional outside receiver than either Reed of Dell.

Luke Musgrave — TE — Oregon State

After Notre Dame’s Michael Mayer, Luke Musgrave is among the best Tight Ends of the class. He is an athletic freak, to be sure; at 6’6” and 250 lbs, he still projects to run a 4.5 40-yard dash. He isn’t afraid to block, and he has the straight-line speed to be a match up nightmare in the NFL. If he hadn’t lost almost the entirety of the 2022 season, his stock could be even higher right now. Even still, he could be a top-50 pick, and his upside could very well justify it.

Payne Durham — TE — Purdue

Payne Durham has been a consistent performer for the Purdue Boilermakers over the last two seasons, but he demonstrated more than just consistency at the Senior Bowl. His great hands were on display as he was voted “Tight End practice player of the week” by opposing defenders. Corbin Smith projects him going to Seattle in the fifth round in his latest 7-round mock draft. He may not have the measurables of Musgrave (few tight ends do), but he could still be a legitimate depth piece with a sneaky amount upside.

Evan Hull — RB — Northwestern

The NFL Draft Bible called Evan Hull a “twitchy back with true utility as a pass catcher and zone runner.” He led all FBS running backs in receptions and receiving yards (54 for 536) in 2022. A versatile offensive weapon, he may have turned enough heads to justify hearing his name called on day two.