The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl takes place this afternoon. In today’s game, could be some potential future New York Jets.
In last year’s incredible haul of a draft for the Jets, Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh spent four of their seven selections on players in this game. Those Jets being Jermaine Johnson, Jeremy Ruckert, Max Mitchell, and Micheal Clemons.
The Senior Bowl is just the first step in a long process filled with hype leading up to the draft. While there are certainly many to note, let’s go over 10 players worth watching in today’s game for the Jets.
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Players to watch for the New York Jets in the Senior Bowl:
John Michael Schmitz, C:
The first player to watch in today’s game has been discussed by Jets fans and lauded by draft media analysts all throughout the week. John Michael Schmitz, center, from Minnesota, spent six years of college all at the University of Minnesota, where he started 35 all in the last four seasons. He will turn 24 in March.
Michael Schmitz measured in at 6-foot-3, 306 pounds, and with 32 3/4″ arm length. Whether it has been in the run game, pass game, or even out in space, Michael Schmitz was a force all week throughout practice.
Michael Schmitz has both the athleticism and strength to be a successful center. He could very well be in play for the Jets in the second round.
Jayden Reed, WR:
Jayden Reed has garnered buzz all week long. Reed is a wide receiver who spent five years in college, his first at Western Michigan, before transferring to Michigan State in 2019, where he was the last four years. He turns 23 in April.
Reed was listed at 5-foot-10 and 191 pounds earlier in the week. Throughout practices, Reed has shown his combination of speed and quickness as a route runner. His top speed this week was 20.03 seconds. Reed seems likely to be a mid-round option that goes in the early part of day three.
Christopher Smith, FS:
The Jets could certainly use a free safety, and Christopher Smith is not only one of the best at the position at the Senior Bowl but in this draft class. He spent all five of his years in college at Georgia, winning two straight National championships. Smith turns 23 in May.
Smith measured in at 5-foot-10 and 188 pounds earlier this week in Mobile. Some of his best traits are his instincts, range, quickness, and versatility. Smith recorded three interceptions in each of the last two years at Georgia. He had four passes defended in 2021 and five in 2022. Along with his ball skills and ball production, Smith is dynamite in coverage, where the Jets could use some help at safety. Smith seems likely to go in the second or third round.
Keeanu Benton, DT:
One of the more polarizing defensive tackle prospects in this draft is Keeanu Benton. He spent his four years of college at Wisconsin. Benton only turns 22 in July.
Upon arrivals this week, Benton measured in at 6-foot-3, 312 pounds, with 33 3/4″ arm length. He uses all that size to his advantage as he possesses power and play strength. Benton has a reputation as a great run defender. He is also coming off a career year as a pass rusher in which he posted 4.5 sacks. Benton has shown some explosiveness and quickness this week. He seems slated to be a third-round selection.
Andrei Iosivas, WR:
One of the players I picked and discussed in my mock draft at the beginning of the week. Princeton wide receiver Andrei Iosivas is one very exciting prospect. He spent the last five years at Princeton.
Iosivas just had a year in which he produced his best stats across the board with 66 catches, 943 yards (14.3 per catch), and seven touchdowns. At measurements earlier this week, Iosivas was listed at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, with 31 5/8″ arm length. Not only does he have the size, but ridiculous speed. Iosivas, also a track and field runner at Princeton, has reportedly been clocked running a 4.29 40-yard dash time and hit 22.2 miles per hour on a touchdown in college. With his speed, Iosivas can be a deep threat the Jets’ passing game could use.
Jarrett Patterson, iOL:
Jarrett Patterson spent his five years of college at Notre Dame. Over the last four years, Patterson started 46 games. Patterson played at both center and left guard at Notre Dame. He turns 24 in September.
Patterson measured in at 6-foot-4 and 304 pounds. Physically, he has good power at the point and the strength to finish. He attained some success as a pass-blocker in college. The big question is whether Patterson is a center or a guard at the next level. Either way, he projects as a third-round prospect.
Will McDonald, EDGE:
The Jets may not have a need for any edge defenders, but we know how much of a deep rotation they love to keep along their defensive line. Will McDonald from Iowa State is one gifted pass-rushing talent. He spent all five of his college years at Iowa State. McDonald gained tons of experience playing in 54 games. He turns 24 in June.
McDonald had at least five sacks in each of the last four years. He recorded 10.5 sacks in 2020, followed by 11.5 in 2021. Whether it be speed, bend, pass rush moves, or counters, McDonald is loaded with enticing traits. McDonald measured in at 6-foot-3, 241 pounds, with very long 35″ arms. He has many pass-rushing skills that give him the chance to be impactful. McDonald was recently in the first round of Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft.
Jaelyn Duncan, OT:
The Jets added one athletic offensive tackle prospect in the mid-rounds last year in Max Mitchell. With still some concerns at tackle, Jaelyn Duncan from Maryland is one intriguing prospect worth watching in today’s game. Duncan spent his five years of college at Maryland, where he played in 41 games. He turns 23 in July.
Duncan measured in at 6-foot-5, 298 pounds, with 33 1/2″ arm length. The reason he has so much upside is because of his great athletic ability. Duncan is gifted with tons of foot quickness and can move with ease. The key for him to fulfill his potential is improving his hand technique. Duncan seems set to get in the second to third-round range.
Trey Palmer, WR:
Trey Palmer is one of the fastest wide receiver prospects in the 2023 NFL draft. As mentioned above, the Jets could use one pure deep threat with speed, and Palmer would provide just that. He spent the last four years in college, with his first three at LSU before his final year at Nebraska in 2022. Palmer turns 22 in April.
Palmer measured at 6-foot, 193 pounds, and has 31 7/8″ arm length. He had by far his best year of college this past season, posting a final stat line of 71 catches, 1,043 yards (14.7 per catch), and nine touchdowns, with a longest catch of 87 yards. He also had two other catches go for over 70 yards, proving his speed and big-play threat ability. Palmer was clocked at a rapid 21.15 miles per hour in practice this week. Palmer seems to be valued in the third to fourth round currently.
Isaiah Foskey, EDGE:
The final prospect here is Notre Dame edge defender, Isaiah Foskey. As noted earlier, the Jets will always look for pass-rushing help along their defensive front. Foskey spent all four of his college years at Notre Dame. There, Foskey played in 41 games and started 25, all of those over the last two years. He turns 23 in October.
Foskey measured at 6-foot-4, 262 pounds, with 33 3/4″ arm length earlier in the week. In college, Foskey tallied up 26.5 sacks, with 11 in both 2021 and 2022. He is gifted athletically with speed and bend. Also, Foskey can convert that speed he has to power with his size. Foskey will be selected in the first rounds of the draft.