The 2024 Senior Bowl is rapidly approaching, and over 100 prospects have the biggest on-field interview in their careers in front of every team. Once again, the Senior Bowl is going with a multiteam coaching setup, so these prospects must adapt quickly to a collection of new voices. Who will rise to the top and claim their place as early-round draft selections and become the future of the NFL? Which prospects have a chance to improve their stock as sleepers? We’ll be looking at each position by the team they were assigned to in most cases. First up, the signal callers.
1. Carter Bradley | 6’3 217 | South Alabama
2. Joe Milton | 6’5 226 | Tennessee
3. Michael Pratt | 6’3 219 | Tulane
4. Spencer Rattler | 6’0 216 | South Carolina
It feels like Rattler has been anointed as a top-tier passer for a number of years now. He transferred from Oklahoma two seasons ago to South Carolina after losing the starter role to Caleb Williams. 2023 was more productive statistically for him than the 2022 season. He threw for 3,100 yards and 19 touchdowns in a campaign where much was expected of the Gamecocks, but the team didn’t live up to expectations. Rattler has a live arm that can reach all three levels and the touch in the short to intermediate game. The most impressive thing about him as a prospect is his footwork in the pocket. It helps accentuate his arm talent, giving him ample time to manipulate around oncoming defenders. He needs a pretty good week to solidify an early-round draft grade.
Pratt has been on the radar as a prospect for a couple of seasons as he led Tulane to 23 wins over that time frame, including a scintillating Cotton Bowl win over USC. He has over 9,400 yards and 90 touchdown passes in his career. One positive trait of his time in New Orleans is that he improved his accuracy annually, culminating in a 65% completion rate as a senior. However, regarding yardage, 2023 was a significant step back from his 2022 highs. Teams will have to determine why that occurred with an improved receiving room. He’s a good passer that doesn’t have the strongest arm in the class. The former Green Wave passer is an athlete who should test well at the Combine. His touch and ball placement are top-of-the-line in the class, but the anticipatory throws need some improvement. Also a solid passer on the run as well.
Bradley is a passer with some renown as he transferred from Toledo to the hometown team of the Senior Bowl. After four years at Toledo, he broke out as a junior with 3,335 yards and 28 touchdowns in Mobile. His senior season saw a dropoff in production as his attempts, yards, and touchdowns all fell across the board. He’s the son of longtime NFL assistant and former Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley. He had a huge week at the Hula Bowl earlier this month. He’ll need a big week to get on the radar as a prospect.
1. Sam Hartman | 6’1 210 | Notre Dame
2. Bo Nix | 6’1 225 | Oregon
3. Michael Penix | 6’2 204 | Washington
Bo Nix and Michael Penix
The parallels between these two Pac-12 rivals are fascinating. Both were transfer quarterbacks that needed a change of scenery and thrived. They were Heisman finalists this season with multiple dynamic future pro receivers. Nix is the more athletic of the two, but Penix has the bigger arm. Penix has more tools to work with in terms of physical attributes, but his running ability is muted due to the number of ACL injuries. Oregon’s Nix is an above-average athlete who can chew up some yards if defenses aren’t tuned in. He has a sufficient arm to make all the throws but is deadly in the short to intermediate game. The deep ball was inconsistent at best this season for Nix. Washington’s passer has the better deep ball placement and touch.
There aren’t any off-field concerns with either. Watching which pair can separate themselves as the process progresses will be interesting. As it stands, Nix is the more polished overall of the two, but Penix can get there with the right coaching. Both signal callers must have good weeks to vault themselves into the top 20 conversations come April.
Hartman is an experienced point guard who transferred to Notre Dame after spending most of his career at Wake Forest. While he isn’t the best athlete on the field, he can move around some in the pocket using paced, unhurried footwork. The arm talent is average on a good day, so he has built enough cache as an anticipatory thrower to get his receivers open. Football IQ is tremendous as he’s seen a lot of things in his career, including Wake’s confounding slow mesh offense. In comparison, Notre Dame was a sea change, and he adapted very quickly in his lone season in South Bend. If he has a good week in Mobile, he can elevate his stock into the Early Day 3 range with a possibility of Day 2. As it stands, he can be a spot-starter with longevity as a backup. Brock Purdy 2.0?