As one of the premier all-star games for NFL prospects, athletes participating at the 2023 Senior Bowl understand their performance could make or tank their draft stock. That counts doubly for the eight FCS and Division 2 athletes facing presumably the stiffest competition of their careers.
FCS and Division 2 NFL Draft Prospects at the 2023 Senior Bowl
Cody Mauch, OL, North Dakota State
Looking for this year’s Trevor Penning/Cole Strange (an FCS lineman that could leap into the first round)? Cody Mauch is your guy. Offensive line tape typically isn’t “fun to watch,” but the NDSU OT will quickly become your favorite TV star.
In pass protection, Mauch makes up for his less-than-stellar arm length with proper hand usage and footwork. But where he shines most is as a run blocker.
Mauch swiftly dispatches defenders into the mulch, treating them like weighted balls in shot put. When paired with his downright merciless disposition, he paves rushing lanes wider than the gap between his front teeth.
Tyson Bagent, QB, Shepherd
Tyson Bagent may be the most prolific QB most fans have never heard of before. Across five seasons (only one game in 2020), he threw for 17,034 yards (321.4 per game) and 159 touchdowns, an NCAA record.
While his arm and athleticism aren’t much more than average, they aren’t limiting factors. The son of an all-world arm wrestler, Bagent’s next move after the Senior Bowl will likely be securing an agent — if he hasn’t done so already.
McClendon Curtis, OL, Chattanooga
Chattanooga sent a guard to the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft in Cole Strange. And while McClendon Curtis may not reach the same highs as his former teammate, he can secure his draft status in Mobile.
A member of Bruce Feldman’s Freaks List, Curtis deadlifted 775 pounds and power-cleaned 345 last offseason. Standing 6’6″ and nearly 330 pounds, he’s a walking oxymoron: A mobile immovable object.
Isaiah Land, EDGE, Florida A&M
Although his 7.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss pale in comparison to his 19 and 25.5 from 2021, Isaiah Land is still the same Buck Buchanan Award winner, given to the nation’s top defensive player in the FCS.
At 6’4″ and 225 pounds, Land doesn’t have the size to hold up on the edge in the NFL. Thus, a move to off-ball linebacker was always inevitable for his next-level prospects, and that’s where the Senior Bowl has him listed. Nevertheless, Land has the athleticism and tape to be a weapon as a pass rusher from wherever he lines up.
Aubrey Miller Jr., LB, Jackson State
After transferring from Missouri, Aubrey Miller Jr. became a second-level playmaker at Jackson State. He’s registered 226 total tackles, 23.5 TFLs, 8.5 sacks, nine pass deflections, and six forced fumbles over the last two years.
Whether filling rushing lanes in the box or generating pressure as a blitzer, Miller makes his impact felt. He’ll likely never be a plus-coverage defender, but there will be opportunities to dispel that notion at the Senior Bowl.
Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton
There’s speed, and then there’s Andrei “The Flyin Hawaiian” Iosivas’ speed. Iosivas ran the fastest 60 in NCAA heptathlon history (6.71) and logged a 39″ vertical last year. Oh yeah, and he’s listed at 6’3″ and 200 pounds.
North Dakota State’s Christian Watson was the “raw small-school athletic marvel” in the 2022 draft, and we saw him dominant down the stretch of his rookie year. Those are lofty expectations, and he may never live up to that early hype, but Iosivas may only be scratching the surface of his abilities.
Marte Mapu, DB, Sacramento State
Marte Mapu was one of my favorite FCS prospects entering the season, and all he did was cement his place this season. In high school, he played QB, WR, LB, CB, and S, and his time on offense has clearly paid off. Since 2021, Mapu has produced six INTs and 20 PBUs.
At 6’3″ and 220 pounds, the Sac State LB put his impressive fluidity and short-area burst to use in the slot. There were questions about his ability to stay in the box and stop the run in the pros. But after flashing that skill set at the NFLPA Bowl, he received the call-up to the Senior Bowl.
Joey Fisher, OL, Shepherd
Another NFLPA Bowl call-up, Joey Fisher will once again step onto the field with Tyson Bagent. Only this time, they’ll be on opposite teams.
At 6’4″ with 32″ arms, Fisher might kick inside to guard in the NFL, but his film might as well be an ad for IHOP with how many pancakes he delivered. If he’s able to hold his own as a pass blocker at the Senior Bowl, Fisher could earn himself a pretty penny come April.
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