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Five NFL Draft prospects to look out for after 2022 Senior Bowl

The Nationals beat the Americans in the 2022 edition of the Senior Bowl, which showcases the best NFL Draft prospects at their end of their college eligibility.

Feb 5, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA;  American squad quarterback Bailey Zappe of Western Kentucky (17) is sacked by National Squad defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey of Oklahoma (98) in the second half at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seeb
Nathan Ray SeebeckUSA TODAY Sports

The 2022 edition of the Senior Bowl, college football’s major all-star game, saw the Nationals beat the Americans 20-10 in Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday.

Played at the conclusion of the NCAA season, the annual game showcases the best NFL Draft prospects who have reached the end of their college eligibility.

Here are five players to watch out for after this weekend’s Senior Bowl:

Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma Sooners

Winfrey, who was named MVP, registered two of the Nationals' eight sacks and picked up three tackles for loss. If any team needs to reinforce its defensive line in the middle rounds of the Draft, Winfrey is the answer.

Winfrey arrived at Oklahoma two years ago after seeking a transfer from a junior college, and since then has played 20 games, accumulating 40 tackles, 16.5 of which for loss, six sacks, three passes defended and one forced fumble.

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty Flames

Although Willis didn’t have his best afternoon in terms of throwing for the American Team (2-4 for 11 yards and a sack), he showed his versatility by running with the ball (four carries for 54 yards) without being sacked.

Willis arrived at Liberty after two years as a substitute with the Auburn Tigers. With the Flames, he has played 23 games in two seasons and completed 377 out of 604 passes for 5,107 yards, 47 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. He has also run for 1,822 yards and 27 touchdowns from 338 carries.

American squad quarterback Malik Willis of Liberty (7) drops back to pass in the first half against the National squad at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
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American squad quarterback Malik Willis of Liberty (7) drops back to pass in the first half against the National squad at Hancock Whitney Stadium.Nathan Ray SeebeckUSA TODAY Sports

T.J. Pledger, RB, Utah Utes

In his seven offensive touches for the Americans, Pledger registered 58 yards and one touchdown from scrimmage. His best play was a 23-yard run.

After three campaigns with the Oklahoma Sooners, Pledger spent the 2021 NCAA season with the Utes. In his college career, the running back has rushed for 1,585 yards and 12 touchdowns from scrimmage, from a total of 260 offensive touches.

D'Marco Jackson, LB, Appalachian State Mountaineers

Jackson led the Americans with four tackles in the Senior Bowl. He also picked up one quarterback hit. In his four years with the Mountaineers, Jackson has totalled 291 tackles, 35 of which for loss, 14 passes defended, 11.5 sacks and three interceptions.

Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State Rams

McBride only caught two passes in the Senior Bowl, but one was a six-yard scoring combination with Desmond Ridder, the Cincinnati Bearcats’ quarterback.

Standing at 6’4” tall, McBride will be an end zone target that QBs will have no trouble at all finding. In his time with the Rams, he has caught 164 passes for 2,100 yards and 10 touchdowns.


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