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Senior Bowl 2022 takeaways: Malik Willis shines, Perrion Winfrey boosts draft stock

Here are the biggest takeaways from the Senior Bowl.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022 Senior Bowl featured the top talent in college football going head to head as NFL draft preparations start to ramp up. In what turned out to be a defensive battle, here are a few takeaways from the game that will impact how teams evaluate and eventually select these players.

Malik Willis makes case for top quarterback in the class

Kenny Pickett had a solid game, going 6/6 in his stint at quarterback. He tallied 89 yards and a touchdown. However, Willis’ ability as a runner is sure to entice NFL scouts and front office personnel. The Liberty quarterback will have to show he can make enough throws from the pocket when needed but his rushing chops separate him from Pickett and Sam Howell.

The skill positions are dominated by underclassmen

Outside of some running backs, the skill positions are loaded with strong juniors. Jameson Williams, Treylon Burks, David Bell and John Metchie are just a few of the big names that weren’t part of this contest. Running back Abram Smith did have a relatively strong showing and could see his stock go up as a result.

This could be a big draft in the trenches

Players in this game shined on both sides of the trenches, showing this could be an important draft for building offensive and defensive lines. There are a few notable names not part of this game (Aidan Hutchinson, Jordan Davis) but this Senior Bowl class still has plenty of talent on both sides of the trenches. Oklahoma defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey was a menace in practice all week long and ended up with two sacks in Saturday’s game. Look for teams to start loading up on these positions once the top skill guys and quarterbacks are gone.