It was wet and rainy, yet Day 2 of the Senior Bowl saw some significant risers from the field at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Despite the conditions, multiple players excelled in all facets. From those in attendance, here are the top NFL Draft risers from Day 2 at the Senior Bowl.
Senior Bowl Risers | Day 2
After a sluggish first day, a certain Cincinnati quarterback had a nice comeback. And it was yet another standout day from Baylor’s do-it-all safety, as well.
Jeremy Ruckert, TE, Ohio State
If you want an all-around tight end in the 2022 NFL Draft that won’t break the draft capital bank but will prove to be a better pro than college player, look no further than Jeremy Ruckert. The Ohio State product showed off his mitts today in individual drills all the way through the team period. Athletic testing isn’t always important, but it’s proven to be recently at tight end. If Ruckert tests well, he should have a shot at sneaking into the top 100. — Dalton Miller
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Desmond Ridder shined today and was far and away the top quarterback from the initial practice. He really stood out in scrimmage, dropping several nice intermediate passes into a place where only his target could make the catch. Ridder also protected the ball well and made a lot of good decisions. — Tony Pauline
Eric Johnson, DT, Missouri State
A standout at the NFLPA game, Eric Johnson made the leap to the Senior Bowl this week, and he hasn’t looked any less disruptive. The former Bear has a legit NFL frame and has already showcased a lot of the necessary traits for production at the next level.
He’s explosive off the line and can shoot his pads into contact. He has great straight-line power, and he can drive guys back. On top of all that, he’s flashed impressive agility, highlighted by a devastating spin move levied on an unsuspecting offensive lineman. Johnson went from good to great on Wednesday, and he’s only trending up. — Ian Cummings
Rachaad White, RB, Arizona State
Nobody on the National Team moves like Rachaad White. His lateral agility made defenders incredibly uncomfortable in the open field. He already proved in 2021 he can be a high-volume pass catcher out of the backfield, and that’s been evident during the first two Senior Bowl practices. It should be no surprise to hear he was the third-fastest player lasered during the first day.
Although White weighed in with good enough size, he struggled a bit with the physicality involved in pass protection. However, what he showed as a runner and receiver outshines that negative. — Dalton Miller
Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor
Jalen Pitre, who was a hybrid linebacker/safety in college, has displayed a well-rounded game at the Senior Bowl. Showing he’s much more than solely a run defender, he’s been terrific in coverage drills, displaying a quick pedal, smooth hip turn, and the ability to stay with receivers across the field or out of breaks. He’s shown next-level ball skills and proven he’s much more than an in-the-box run defender. — Tony Pauline
Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
Boye Mafe‘s traits draw eyes wherever he goes, but he expanded on those traits and started to build more consistency on Day 2 of Senior Bowl practices. The Minnesota EDGE has well-documented athleticism. He’s rumored to have a 4.57 40-yard dash and a 40.5-inch vertical jump, even with his powerful frame. Some guys don’t play up to their testing numbers, but Mafe has done it all week.
Today, Mafe was electric. He had one rep where he tried to bend underneath his man and got leveled. But aside from that, he was consistently disruptive. He has searing quickness off the line and can shrink his surface area effortlessly for his size. Combine that with his linear power off the line, and Mafe has it all. He could easily go Day 2 with his traits, but if he keeps showing out at the Senior Bowl, perhaps Round 1 shouldn’t be ruled out. — Ian Cummings
Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama
Brian Robinson Jr. developed at Alabama for years before getting the call to be the guy, but he’s showing why he became the guy here in Mobile. At 226 pounds, Robinson shouldn’t be able to move as fluidly as he does.
On Wednesday, he showed out as a pass catcher during individual drills. It can be difficult for running backs to shine at the Senior Bowl because there isn’t much contact, but Robinson has found a way to do it as an athlete. And we already know from teammate Phidarian Mathis that he’s like trying to tackle an old-school Cadillac. — Dalton Miller
Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis
In wet, miserable conditions, Calvin Austin III was terrific. He ran scissor-sharp routes, kept his focus, and consistently caught the ball with his hands. Austin also competed for the ball. Though he’s slight in size, he plays big football. He also showed decent downfield speed and will be a real nice slot receiver at the next level. — Tony Pauline
Matt Waletzko, OT, North Dakota State
Few offensive linemen were perfect on Day 2 of Senior Bowl practices. Everyone had their hiccups, but all things considered, Matt Waletzko made his opportunity count more than most. The North Dakota OT measured in a bit heavier than expected, and that came with questions regarding his movement. But on Wednesday, Waletzko put together a complete showing, with mobility, grip strength, leverage, and resolve.
With his athleticism and length, Waletzko can easily redirect defensive linemen who give up leverage. He did that a couple of times on Wednesday, and even drove his man into the dirt with his power capacity. He’s not the strongest or the heaviest blocker, but he clearly has the tools to be an effective NFL lineman. Wednesday drove that point home. — Ian Cummings