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Lunchbreak: Defensive Linemen Shine on Day 1 of Senior Bowl

Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson
Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson

The festivities are off and running down in Mobile, Alabama, for the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Tuesday marked the first day of practices for the American and National teams that consist of draft-eligible seniors, with more sessions to be held today and Thursday.

Draft expert Dane Brugler of The Athletic recapped Day 1 and noted that a handful of defensive linemen made their presence felt in front of scouts and coaches from all 32 NFL teams.

Brugler wrote that Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson, his third-ranked senior, was among the standouts.

During 1-on-1s and team drills at the American practice (led by the Detroit Lions coaching staff), Johnson was a nightmare to block due to his power, length and relentless play demeanor. At 6-4 3/8 and 259 pounds with 34 3/8-inch arms, he is physically impressive but also showed nuance and diversity to his rush attack. He played behind his punch and allowed his length to work for him, leveraging contact and creating movement. Johnson also flashed his long arm move and an effective spin move.

At the end of practice, Detroit Lions assistant coach Duce Staley picked Johnson and Kentucky offensive lineman Darian Kinnard to face off in a 1-on-1 battle. Kinnard reset quickly and won the final rep, but Johnson showed off his power and length on the first rep.

Johnson had 18.0 tackles for loss and 12.0 sacks for Florida State in 2021 after transferring from Georgia.

As for the National team, Brugler also spotlighted another defensive lineman.

The most impressive player from the National practice (led by the New York Jets coaching staff) on Tuesday was Connecticut DT Travis Jones (6-4, 326, 34-inch arms). When you think of powerful two-gappers who can dominate vs. the run in this draft class, Georgia's Jordan Davis, who isn't here, is the top dog. But for teams who would rather target a nose tackle outside the first round, Jones will be a popular prospect. During drills, he showed off his developed strength to anchor the point-of-attack and also flashed as a pass rusher, pouncing out of his stance and bullying his way through contact. UConn has a few players with a chance to be drafted in April, and Jones could hear his name early.

The interior lineman had 7.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks for the Huskies in 2021.

ESPN lists Brady's most memorable moment vs. Vikings

A legend has retired from the NFL.

Quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement Tuesday morning, capping off an illustrious 22-season career that includes seven Super Bowls, three NFL MVPS and 15 Pro Bowls, just to name a few accolades.

He also is the league's all-time leader in passing yards (84,520) and passing touchdowns (624).

ESPN recently honored his storied career by picking out his most memorable moment against each of the 32 teams.

From a Minnesota perspective, ESPN Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin went with Brady's 2020 win over the Vikings while with the Buccaneers.

Cronin wrote:

The Vikings are one of four teams (Atlanta, Dallas and New England) to have never beaten Brady. Minnesota is 0-6 all-time against the GOAT and none of these losses was even close. In 2020, Brady threw for two touchdowns in his sole meeting against the Vikings while with Tampa Bay, which helped the Bucs rebound from losing three home games to begin a late-season winning streak that ended with Brady's last Super Bowl victory

Brady threw for just 196 yards, but that included a 48-yard touchdown pass that jumpstarted a Tampa Bay win.

And as Cronin mentioned, the Vikings might be glad to see Brady ride off into the sunset, as they are one of the few teams that have never beaten the future Hall of Famer.