Three prospects that should be on the Broncos’ radar after the 2022 Senior Bowl

National Squad defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey of Oklahoma (98) reacts after a play in the first half against the American squad at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
Feb 5, 2022; Mobile, AL, USA; National Squad defensive lineman Perrion Winfrey of Oklahoma (98) reacts after a play in the first half against the American squad at Hancock Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Every year the Senior Bowl gives fans and scouts alike a glimpse of the future, showcasing some of the very best prospects in the upcoming NFL draft.

This year being no different, there was plenty of talent on display.

Having all of this talent in one place competing against each other can offer a unique opportunity for NFL decision-makers to see just how these players stack up. For example, small school players are often knocked for playing against a lack of quality competition and the Senior Bowl gives scouts a chance to see these players against high-level talent that’s also headed for the NFL.

For the Broncos, there were plenty of players that stood out and fit a position of need, possibly catching general manager George Paton’s eye.

Travis Jones, Defensive Tackle, Connecticut 

While the Broncos’ defense was the strong suit of their team under former head coach Vic Fangio, their defensive line was suspect at best. Those shortcomings weren’t just in one aspect of the game but in both the run and the pass. With a new regime in place, these deficiencies may not be as well hidden and Jones could certainly help.

The most physically dominant player at the Senior Bowl, Jones came in at a massive 6-foot-4, and 333 pounds. Using this massive frame to his advantage, he was pushing opposing players into the quarterback’s lap the entire week. In doing this, Jones displayed a fantastic get-off paired with great pad level, maximizing the bull rush that gave offensive linemen fits.

For such a big guy, Jones also showed a good deal of athleticism, making him more than just your typical run-stuffing nose guard, and the collegiate film is there to match. While he will never be reaching double-digit sacks, Jones can consistently disrupt the pocket, making it easier for every other player on the defensive line.

In the run, Jones is a bully. Being so big and strong, he can be an act as an unmovable piece in the middle of the defense, cleaning things up for others to easily make a play on the ball carrier.

Cole Strange, Center, Chattanooga

Much like Broncos offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz, Strange is a small school player that had a lot to prove going against the elite collegiate competition that the Senior Bowl provides, and he did just that.

Coming from Chattanooga, there wasn’t much expectation for the Strange but he held up just fine at the Senior Bowl, surely catching the eye of NFL evaluators. Not perfect by any means but for a player like Strange, he looked like he belonged.

What most stood out through Strange’s week was his great hand placement and ability to anchor in pass protection. Once latched on to the defensive lineman’s inner chest, Strange often controlled the entire rep, having multiple high-level wins against fantastic competition in the one-on-one drills, a drill set up for offensive lineman to lose.

Perrion Winfrey, Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma

Another defensive tackle, Winfrey stood out among the Senior Bowl’s most dominant position groups, winning in a completely different way than the previously listed defensive tackle, and winning the game’s MVP award.

At a more slender 6-foot-4 and 291 pounds, Winfrey is more of a traditional three-technique that wins with quickness and suddenness up the middle. At the Senior Bowl, he showed exactly, and showed it off in dominant fashion, finishing the game with two sacks and three tackles for a loss.

Looking at Winfrey’s collegiate tape, it is easy to see just the type of athlete he is up the middle. With a very fast first step, great change of direction, and flexibility, Winfrey can get upfield in a hurry, blowing plays up before they even begin.

This was specifically shown in what was the most dominant period of any of the practices where Winfrey could not be blocked. Stringing together around four dominant reps in a row through one of the team periods, his unique style of play should excite teams looking for an interior pass rusher

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