The 2024 Senior Bowl gets underway this Saturday at noon in Mobile, Alabama. As the 2024 NFL draft approaches, this is perhaps the last opportunity that college athletes can showcase their abilities. Which players should be under the microscope?
The postseason bowl game is formatted as "National Team vs American Team" and each team is coached by current NFL personnel. The National team is coached by New Orleans Saints Quarterbacks coach Ronald Curry (Offensive Coordinator) and Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Backs coach Grady Brown (Defensive Coordinator). As for the American team, they are coached by Atlanta Falcons Quarterbacks coach Charles London (Offensive Coordinator) and New England Patriots Defensive Line coach DeMarcus Covington (Defensive Coordinator).
1. Darius Robinson, EDGE, Missouri
The 6'5, 295Ib edge rusher had a prolific 2023 season. Robinson led the Tigers' defensive front by having tallied 29 solo tackles, 8.5 sacks, and a forced fumble, respectively. Due to his play, Robinson was selected to the First-Team All-SEC team. Robinson had a solid outing during the second day of Senior Bowl practices by showcasing his speed and power coming off the line of scrimmage.
2. Cody Schrader, RB, Missouri
The 5'9, 215Ib halfback has fought for every inch to get to where he's at. The Missouri rusher started his collegiate career at division II school Truman State and eventually earned a spot on the Tigers roster as a walk-on in 2022. In 2023, Schrader averaged 5.9 yards per carry along with 1,627 total rush yards and 14 touchdowns, respectively. Schrader ranked third in the nation in total rush yards and earned First-Team All-SEC honors for his production in 2023. The All-SEC rusher has good field vision, solid ball security, and can garner extra yardage after initial contact.
3. Spencer Rattler, Quarterback, South Carolina
Rattler spent the last two seasons at South Carolina ('22-'23) after initially starting his career at Oklahoma ('21). In 2023, Rattler tossed for 3,186 yards (fifth in SEC),19 touchdowns, and eight interceptions, respectively. The Gamecocks offensive line was one of the worst in the country, as he was sacked 41 times last season. However, Rattler still managed to put up solid numbers and even had a competitive game against the then-defending champion Georgia Bulldogs early in the season. Rattler has been impressive during the senior bowl workouts as the NFL draft looms.
4. Malachi Corley, Wide Receiver, Western Kentucky
Corley, who garnered 984 reception yards and 11 touchdowns for Western Kentucky in 2023, has established himself to be a potential asset for a team that needs a playmaker. The two-time First-Team All-CUSA wideout stands at 5'10, 215Ib with a stout build. Corley thrives with the ball in his hands in the open field and can garner extra yardage after contact. The junior wideout is physical, low to the ground, and demonstrates good balance.
5. Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA
UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu has a high upside and is one of the many players to look out for heading into this years draft. In 2023, Latu tallied 28 solo tackles, 13 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions. The former Washington Huskie was selected to the All-Pac-12 First-Team in back-to-back seasons ('22-'23) after garnering double digit sack seasons consecutively. Latu is quick off the line and demonstrates solid lateral agility to get past offensive linemen. Latu suffered a neck injury in 2020 and went through surgery while at Washington. He transferred to UCLA in 2022 and solidified himself as one of the nations premier pass rushers.
The 2024 NFL draft is stacked with talent all across the board ranging from the quarterbacks, defensive linemen, and wideouts.