The 2023 Senior Bowl practices started today and Bucs Nation Writers James Hill and Will Walsh were there to cover the first day of practice. In this article, we are going to be taking a look at the first day of practice and talk about things that did and didn’t impress with both the National and American Teams and who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be interested in.
First, for the National team, O-linemen Blake Freeland from BYU and Dawand Jones from Ohio State both did very good jobs in pretty much every situation that they were placed in throughout the first practice. Jones specifically was amazing on the day showing great technique to go with an absolutely amazing size that he boasts. Both players could garner some level of interest from the Bucs as they could use not just offensive tackle depth, but also a possible successor to current starting LT Donovan Smith. Both Freeland and Jones would be good options in that role and should be able to develop early in their NFL careers.
On the defensive side of things for the National team, Georgia Tech DL Keion White, Notre Dame DL Isaiah Foskey, Bowling Green DL Karl Brooks, and Army EDGE Andre Carter II all showed flashes of good pass-rushing ability throughout the day, especially in 1 on 1 drills. Foskey was likely the most consistent defender on the day for the national team, making multiple plays both in 1 on 1’s and during the offense vs defense periods as well. With the Bucs needing depth at pass rusher, they certainly will have a lot of decent options based on the Senior Bowl alone.
For the American team, Alabama OT Tyler Steen was the best lineman for the American team and won in pretty dominant ways throughout the day during 1v1 drills. Syracuse OL Matthew Bergeron, and Oklahoma OL Wanya Morris were other O-linemen who had strong days for the American team as well. It should also be said that Oklahoma RB Eric Gray, Georgia RB Kenny Mcintosh, and TCU QB Max Duggan also looked good on the offensive side of the football as well. Duggan made multiple tough throws and looked like the best QB by far in the early portions of the week at the Senior Bowl.
On the defensive side of the Football, South Carolina DL Zacch Pickens, LSU EDGE Ali Gaye, Georgia Safety Christopher Smith II, Oklahoma DL Jalen Redmond, and Alabama DL DJ Dale all showed very good moments throughout the practice as well. Dale and Gaye showcased very good pass-rushing ability and could very well be options for the Bucs in the upcoming draft as there are major of positions of need there for the team.
Overall the first day was a blast to cover and it should be great to see the players mentioned above continue to grow and develop throughout the remainder of the week!