The 2023 college football season is over, but post-season bowls will be occurring over the next few weeks. Mountain West alums are taking part in the Tropical Bowl, the Hula Bowl, the East-West Shrine Game, and the Senior Bowl. This post will focus on the Senior Bowl.
These events are used primarily as camps with a game at the end. Invited players get officially measured and weighed upon checking in. Then, there are a few days of practice with NFL coaches. The practice time for players is really at the heart of these events.
This is due to the time players and coaches can spend together honing their craft collaboratively. It gives the players a chance to be looked at by coaches who know the NFL game. What better way to understand where and how to improve than to hear it from the source. Receiving this feedback can give the players an edge as they head into their training for the NFL Combine or their respective Pro-day.
Finally, and somewhat related, this gives players a chance to stand out. If a player was overshadowed on his team by other talented individuals, wasn’t featured in his offense, or in the case of those in this article, playing in a Group of 5 conference, they have the opportunity to open the eyes of the coaches with their play and jump onto the radar before draft time. While the combine and pro-days are also good opportunities for this, the more chances of coaches seeing one play and compete, the better position they put themselves in.
This year, there is only one player from the Mountain West participating in the Senior Bowl. Below we will provide a brief description of each player and illustrate what kind of showing they need to improve their draft stock.
Saturday, February 3
- Senior Bowl Game: 11:00 am MT
- Mobile, Alabama. University of South Alabama, Hancock Whitney Stadium
- NFL Network
DB Carlton Johnson (Fresno State)
After starting his Fresno St career as a rotational player in 2022, he moved into the starting lineup for 2023 and doubled his number of tackles while adding 4 interceptions. His game against Arizona St was the high point of his season with 3 turnovers forced against the Sun Devils. While he may miss some plays because he’s going for the turnover, he steps up in the biggest moments and makes the play the defense needs.