As several of the NFL's best players gear up for the 2023 Pro Bowl Games next weekend in Las Vegas, the next wave of future stars is transitioning from the collegiate level this week at the Reese's Senior Bowl.
More than 100 draft-eligible prospects are scheduled to practice three days this week before donning their college helmets a final time Saturday. The game is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. (CT) kickoff on NFL Network.
With Senior Bowl practices starting Tuesday, Chad Reuter of NFL.com broke down his top 10 prospects to watch for ahead of Saturday's game.
Reuter wrote Georgia Tech defensive lineman Keion White is one of the top defensive players to keep an eye on.
[White] has the combination of size and athleticism to take offensive tackles to task on the field in Mobile, both as a pass rusher and run defender. In one-on-one drills and live action, he'll have a chance to earn fans across the league by proving he has the bend to turn the corner and the agility to spin inside on tackles.
In the middle of the defense, Reuter noted University of Cincinnati linebacker Ivan Pace, Jr., is another key name and could have a similar career path as San Francisco's Dre Greenlaw.
Pace transferred from Miami (Ohio) to Cincinnati, reuniting with his brother, Deshawn, who had been one of the stars in the Bearcats 2021 run to the College Football Playoff. Ivan became the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, blowing past offensive linemen with strength and hustle despite lacking ideal height or length for the position.
On the other side of the ball, Reuter said Brigham Young University quarterback Jaren Hall is a potential "riser" on his list. He wrote:
Hall left school with eligibility remaining, but he is a mature 24-year-old (having served a two-year Mormon mission before playing with the Cougars) possessing the physical tools to make it in the league. Hall's velocity and tight ball out of the pocket allow him to deliver to his first, second or third read — but he also shows touch when needed. Hall's a wizard on the move, as well, finding downfield targets or racing for big gains.
Reuter added Purdue University wide receiver Charlie Jones could have an opportunity to showcase his skills as a pass catcher and a returner.
I fully expect Jones to put on a show at the Senior Bowl, much like Cooper Kupp did six years ago when he was coming out of Eastern Washington. The quickness and crispness of Jones' routes, strength of his hands and his elusiveness after the catch will wow those in attendance. He might not have elite speed, but will be a workhorse in the passing game from the slot or outside.
Up front, Reuter said University of Tennessee—Chattanooga offensive lineman Curtis McClendon brings a balance of both speed and size with his 6-foot-6, 328-pound frame. He wrote:
Offensive tackle Cody Mauch from North Dakota State is already widely considered a value option for the first or second day of the draft, so Curtis is my pick among prospects from outside the FBS to make a name for himself in Mobile. His former teammate at Chattanooga, Cole Strange, performed well at the Senior Bowl last year and became a first-round selection of the New England Patriots. McClendon is a different type of prospect, though, using his pure bulk to muscle opponents in the run game. That said, his agility on second-level blocks is good enough for teams relying primarily on the power game to value him as a starter.
View home and away photos of the Vikings 2023 regular season schedule.
Vikings Legend Alan Page's 'TESTIFY' exhibit to return this week
Whether it was as a player representative and Executive Committee member for the NFL Players Association during his 15-year NFL career or becoming the first African American to be elected to the Minnesota Supreme Court as an Associate Justice, Vikings Legend Alan Page has spent several decades making significant impacts in other people's lives.
Over the past few years, the Pro Football Hall of Famer has impacted lives in a different capacity.
Alan Page and his late wife Diane Sims Page's collection of African American artifacts from the Jim Crow era was originally put on display in 2018. This week, Page and the NFLPA are working together again to highlight the collection, which will be on display at the Minneapolis Central Library's Cargill Gallery.
On Tuesday, Page will lead a tour of the collection for Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks and defensive tackle Harrison Phillips.
Beginning Wednesday, the exhibition "TESTIFY: Americana From Slavery to Today" will return and be on display until March 29.