Senior Bowl: Day 1 standouts who can rise in 2023 NFL Draft

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Plus, a post-practice interview with Princeton WR Andrei Iosivas.

Princeton wide receiver Andrei Iosivas (pronounced Yoshi-vas) is no stranger to change— going 4,961 miles away from your home will definitely force you to change some things about your life. However, Iosivas was ready for that moment then, and is ready for the moment he has this week as he practices at the 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

“It was always Stanford or the Ivy League,” Iosivas told reporters after Day One of Senior Bowl practice in Mobile, AL. “Coming out of high school, I always made sure I had a good GPA. I went to a Stanford camp and was offered a preferred walk-on scholarship, but then I toured the Ivy League and went to Princeton.”

The culture shock was huge in his first year, Iosivas said, but he knew he would adjust once he got to full speed.

And Iosivas at full speed is an amazing sight to see.

Iosivas doesn’t run, no—he glides. Stretching his legs out at 6’2 and striding past defenders, en route to 16 career touchdowns and 15.3 yards per catch for the Tigers, earning accolade after accolade, including First-team All-Ivy League. Iosivas is also a world class sprinter, setting the NCAA Indoor record in the 60 meter hurdles. When Iosivas goes pedal to the medal, he leaves DBs and opposing runners in the dust.

In Mobile, Iosivas aims to prove that he can hang with the bigger, more physical DBs from the Power Five level. “I think I did well today with the press coverage, but I have to focus a bit more on where my hands are and how low I am,” Iosivas said. “Coming from an Ivy League they always knock you for the competition, but I’m keeping up with it.”

Iosivas has blazed a trail already, from Honolulu, HI to Princeton, and now to Mobile. If he continues to practice well, he could zoom up draft boards come draft time.

Day One Practice Notes

National Team

  • Ohio State OT Dawand Jones is MASSIVE. He measured in today at 6’8, 375 pounds with a 89 4/8 inch wingspan, he’s less right tackle and more double wide RV. He performed really well in pass pro 1-on-1’s, shutting down an Isaiah Foskey long arm rep and a DJ Johnson pass rush move with ease. I want to see him tested against true speed guys but he’s off to a roaring start.
  • North Dakota State OL Cody Mauch is one of the more interesting guys in this Senior Bowl. He came to Fargo as a tight end, left as an offensive tackle, and is now playing guard in Mobile. He has shorter arms (measured in at 32 1/8 inches) and lighter at 305, put really handled strength well. He’s going to be a very interesting prospect for multiple teams.
  • Troy C Jake Andrews had a really solid day of practice, and stood out a lot. He came in with a lot less hype than the other center, Michigan’s Olu Oluwatimi, but today Andrews more than held his own. He was able to anchor really well against power, and also looked nice in the run game. He’s a guy I definitely have to go back and watch on film.
  • Bowling Green DT Karl Brooks was a MONSTER on Tuesday. At 6’3, 303 pounds, he played on the edge a lot for Bowling Green, but man he dominated inside all day. His burst and first step quickness was too much for most of the interior offensive linemen all day, and he was blowing up plays in both the run and passing game, If your team needs instant pass rush juice on the interior, Brooks is your guy.
  • Despite losing the rep to Jones, I think Foskey had a pretty good day. He knows what his pass rush plan is (long arm to death), and when it hits, it looks like this:

Foskey also forced a fumble in team drills and was active for most of the day. I want to see him use more counters to that long arm move that he has, but an overall solid first day of work.

  • Georgia Tech DL Keion White carries his weight really well. He measured in at 6’4, 280 pounds with a 33 inch wingspan, but you wouldn’t think he’s 280 with the way his weight is distributed. He’s very well built and made a lot of nice plays in team drills with his quickness and length.
  • Boise State safety JL Skinner looks less like a safety and more like an NBA shooting guard. He came in at 6’4, 211 pounds with 32 4/8 inch arms and is extremely high waisted. I worry about his ability to cover in man situations, but he looked very comfortable as an overhang defender today and covering underneath zones. His best fit is probably somewhere that’ll let him buzz down into the box after the snap, or in a zone heavy scheme that’ll let him play underneath.
  • Army EDGE Andre Carter received a lot of extra coaching today. Carter measured in today at 6’6 and 252 pounds, with a 34 inch wingspan, but he’s all arms and legs right now. His play strength was tested a lot today, and he got washed out in the run game and was beaten badly by Jones in pass rush reps today. He’s more of a project than ready-made contributor right now.
  • Stanford WR Elijah Higgins might benefit more from a switch to tight end or H-back in the NFL. He doesn’t have the change of direction skills to be a receiver, and really struggled to drop his hips.

American Team

  • Houston WR Tank Dell has got capital J JUICE. He has such amazing change of direction and stop-start skills and was able to beat almost everyone he faced in 1-on-1’s today. He’s small (measured in at 5’8, 163 pounds), but if you’re looking for a slot receiver with some explosiveness and ability to get open in any situation, Dell is one of my guys in this draft to keep an eye on.
  • SMU WR Rashee Rice is a guy that I had my eye on coming in, but today he didn’t stand out too much. He was beating defenders, but then the ball would sail way over his head. Rice definitely showed the ability to make tough catches over the middle and the ability to be a big YAC guy at the NFL level. Think Brandon Aiyuk, physically (I’m not saying he’s going to be like Aiyuk, I’m saying the play styles are similar).
  • The DBs for the American team are very physical. They’re unafraid to get in opposing WRs faces and jam them to cause problems. Kansas State DB Julius Brents was very impressive today, using his length to disrupt routes, yet not being overly grabby. He picked off a pass in 1-on-1’s today that was really nice to see. Miami DB Tyrique Stevenson also had a pretty good day. He got popped with a couple of holding flags, but physically tested receivers all day. The battles between he and WR Jonathan Mingo were fun.
  • Iowa State EDGE Will McDonald IV intrigues me. In a EDGE class that’s lacking guys with true bend, McDonald showed some really nice movement skills today. He flashed an inside spin move in pass rush 1-on-1’s, was able to bend the corner, and even beat Tennessee RT Darnell Wright on the first rep of team drills today. He also flashed in 7 on 7, breaking up a pass and looking comfortable dropping into coverage. He’s a very slender 241, but I think there’s a role for him at the NFL level.
  • Tulane RB Tyjae Spears has a nice second gear. He showed good burst today in practice (although there was no tackling today), and took a screen pass for a big gain. He’s got the ability to turn a 3 yard gain into a 30-yard one at any moment, and that’ll be valuable for an NFL franchise.
  • Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is the head coach of the American team, and I think he did a great job of easing the minds of the players at the end of practice. The American team held a series of six 1-on-1s, 2 EDGE rushers vs left/right tackle, DT vs OG, RB vs LB, WR vs DB and TE vs Safety. Losing side had to do 15 push-ups. Defense won the day, but instilling that kind of competition lets the players play a bit more loose, and let’s them have more fun. That’s what we’re all here for right?

Day 1 Vibe Check

  • Mobile is a beautiful city, but man the fog is TERRIFYING. Driving over a bridge thinking you’re heading into Narnia is a scary sight.
  • South Alabama’s campus is nothing like a Group of Five campus I’ve been at. It’s spacious, but not way too spacious, the basketball gym is HUGE, and the football stadium is really nice. Props to them.
  • The fog in the morning is deceptive, because the moment you think it’s chilly, you remember you’re in Alabama and the sun hits you with the force of 1,000 gods.
  • Cook Out sweet tea is nectar from the gods.

Super Bowl Prediction: Will the Eagles or Chiefs win the Lombardi Trophy?

Syndication: Arizona Republic
Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Super Bowl matchup is set with the Eagles and Chiefs ready to face off. In this week’s Reacts survey, we want to know who you think will win.

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.

Super Bowl LVII is set, with the top teams from both the NFC and AFC holding serve. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs will face off in a little over a week in Arizona.

Between now and then there will be roughly a million different storylines that will feel like they have a huge impact on the game. But for the most part, it’s just a bunch of talk. With the exception of players getting a bit more healthy between now and then, not much else will change.

The Eagles have more or less dominated their two opponents so far. They boat-raced the Giants two weeks ago and put away the 49ers in the second half, leaving almost nothing in doubt. The biggest question left to be answered is how the Eagles will handle a postseason game that isn’t a blowout in the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, have had to fight through both of their playoff games. Kansas City held off a comeback effort from the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game that saw Patrick Mahomes suffer an ankle injury. Then in the AFC Championship Game it took everything the star quarterback had to squeak out a win over the Bengals on a last-second kick. The Chiefs have had to run the gauntlet, leaving fans to wonder how much they have left in the tank.

In this week’s SB Nation Reacts survey, we want to know who you think is going to earn the victory. Cast your vote now and be on the lookout for results later in the week.

Travis and Jason Kelce set to make history meeting in Super Bowl LVII 

Los Angeles Rams v Kansas City Chiefs
Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images

The Chiefs’ Travis Kelce and Eagles’ Jason Kelce will become the first sibling players to face each other in a Super Bowl.

On Sunday afternoon, we were treated to commercials for a movie featuring two brothers, one in red clothing and the other in green, and were promised a release date of April 7. It turns out we do not have to wait that long to witness an epic brother matchup that rivals anything Hollywood can script.

Feb. 12 will see Super Bowl LVII played in Glendale, Arizona, and when the proverbial toe meets the ball we’ll be treated to two brothers facing off against one another in the biggest of big games the professional football has to offer.

With the Philadelphia Eagles winning the NFC Championship and the Kansas City Chiefs taking the AFC title we are assured of a clash between a superior version of Mario and Luigi in Jason Kelce and Travis Kelce. Yep, Super Bowl LVII is going to be the Kelce Bros. Bowl.

The Kelce Bros. may moonlight as podcast hosts but they are also both very good football players who both already have a Super Bowl title each … which surely makes for fun conversations at the family dinner, headed by Momma Kelce of course. She is in for quite an exciting two weeks.

As noted, this is indeed the first time that two brothers will face off in the Super Bowl, but doing so as players. There have been some smaller circumstances where this occurred before, however, and we all remember the Harbaugh Bowl where head coach brothers John and Jim faced off in New Orleans for Super Bowl XLVII. That matchup was a decade ago and we still don’t know how Beyonce took the lights out. If you don’t recall, John’s Ravens beat Jim’s 49ers in that game.

For what it is worth, each Kelce plays on offense for his respective team so it is not like we will truly get to see them match up “against” one another, but there will likely of course be some gamesmanship played between the two and their teammates regarding any potential advantage that can be obtained. There’ll no doubt be some championship-worthy trash-talking between the two bros, as well. Beyond what they know about one another, they both have a fair amount of knowledge on Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, seeing as how he is both of their “football father” having been the head coach of the team that drafted each of them when they were brought into the NFL.

Bring on the Kelce Bowl. We all deserve it.

Travis Kelce called Cincinnati mayor a ‘jabroni’ after viral social media video

Travis Kelce invoked The Rock when he addressed the Cincinnati mayor after the AFC Championship Game.

Aftab Pureval, the mayor of Cincinnati, sent the trash talk for the Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs AFC Championship Game into overdrive with a viral video that upset several players on KC. In the video, Pureval refers to Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium as “Burrowhead Stadium” and says star QB Joe Burrow had a take a paternity test to see if he’s Patrick Mahomes father. You knew this video was going to come up again if the Bengals lost — and guess what, that’s exactly what happened.

The Chiefs beat the Bengals, 23-20, on Harrison Butker’s 45-yard field goal to advance to Super Bowl LVII where they will face the Philadelphia Eagles. Superstar tight end Travis Kelce couldn’t to talk some smack back to the mayor of KC. With the AFC Championship trophy in hand, Kelce imitated The Rock’s famous saying from pro wrestling 20 years ago: “know your call and shut your mouth, jabroni.”

Watch the video here:

Kelce also interrupted a Patrick Mahomes interview to yell “Burrowhead, my ass” after the game:

If you haven’t seen Pureval’s video yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.

What a power move by the mayor, but maybe next time don’t give the opponent some bulletin board material.

The refs missed obvious foul on LeBron James that would have changed Lakers-Celtics

How do you miss this call?

The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have the most storied rivalry in the NBA, but these days the teams are at opposite ends of the standings. The Celtics are coming off an NBA Finals appearance and currently have the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers are just hoping to make the play-in tournament in the West, and right now own the third-worst record in the conference. The two teams played on Saturday night and gave us a more exciting game than anyone could have anticipated.

The Celtics beat the Lakers, 125-121, in an overtime thriller that came down the wire and had plenty of controversy at the end. The Celtics tied the game with four seconds left in regulation when Jaylen Brown finished an and-one through Patrick Beverley and made the foul shot. The Lakers had one last chance and put the ball in the hands of LeBron James. James drove to the basket and missed a layup as time expired, but it sure looked like he got fouled. The refs never blew the whistle.

The NBA has already determined they got the call wrong. Watch the video of the play here:

Here’s a closer look at the play that makes it obvious James was fouled:

LeBron couldn’t believe that he didn’t get the call:

Lakers head coach Darvin Ham also couldn’t believe LeBron didn’t get the call:

Anthony Davis is probably going to get fined for his comments on the last play of regulation:

Patrick Beverley even brought a camera out to the floor to show the refs video of the play. This is an absolutely incredible moment:

The Celtics improve to 36-15 on the season. The Lakers are now 23-27 overall. James continues to play at a remarkably high level — he finished with 41 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists on 15-of-30 shooting from the floor — but the Lakers just don’t have enough supporting talent as Anthony Davis slowly works his way back from injury.

The Lakers are no stranger to having a call go against them late this season:

The league admitted they got the call wrong after the game:

The Last Two Minute Report isn’t going to make the Lakers feel any better tomorrow. James should have been going to the line for game-winning free throws.

Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid are beefing over crotch chops and tweets

KD didn’t like Joel Embiid’s crotch chops against the Nets.

The NBA knew exactly what they were doing when they scheduled the Brooklyn Nets at the Philadelphia 76ers during “Rivalry Week.” This was all about Ben Simmons returning to Philly after his infamous struggles in the 2021 NBA Playoffs led to a trade request, a decision to sit out games, and eventually a move to Brooklyn that returned James Harden to the Sixers.

The rivalry between Simmons and Philly fans is a bit ugly, but as the 76ers pulled out a 137-133 win over the Nets on Wednesday night, a new rivalry might have emerged between two MVP candidates. Kevin Durant really did not like Joel Embiid summoning the power of legendary pro wrestling stable D-Generation-X and doing multiple crotch chops to celebrate a bucket against Brooklyn.

The play happened in the third quarter when Embiid completed an and-one. He immediately went into the crotch times — three times. Watch the play here:

Kevin Durant — who has been out for weeks with an MCL sprain — thought Embiid’s celebration was in poor taste. Durant immediately tweeted that Embiid’s celebration was “trash.”

Embiid responded on Twitter, because of course he did. Embiid quoted Durant’s tweet and responded with the hashtag #suckit — a reference to DX’s catchphrase from ‘90s pro wrestling — and sent a an edited video of himself doing crotch chops over DX’s theme song and entrance video.

This is a lot.

It looks like we have a real rivalry between two of the NBA’s most online superstars during “Rivalry Week.” With the NBA All-Star draft set to be a live event before the game this year, I’m wondering if Durant — who is likely to be a captain — will decide not to choose Embiid for his team.

A Sixers-Nets playoff series would be so fun. Fingers crossed.