OL Zion Johnson (6-2, 314), Boston College
The former Eagle standout took a circuitous path to the Senior Bowl, transferring to Boston College after appearing in 22 games at Davidson and making 19 starts. As a junior, he made seven starts at left guard and played in 13 games. Then he actually played 11 game at LT in 2020 before moving back to guard in 2021. During the National team's first practice, the versatile Johnson took snaps at center in addition to guard. He was terrific in 1-on-1 drills and looked the part in team work as well. Listed at 6-2, Johnson anchors very well and gets his hands quickly on defenders, playing with physicality throughout. He's stout, compact and got off to a good start in Mobile.
TE Trey McBride (6-3, 249), Colorado State
Last season, the John Mackey Award winner was unstoppable for the Rams with 90 receptions and 1,121 receiving yards. McBride flashed his hands Tuesday and he is going to become a favorite target for the National quarterbacks. The impressive tight end is not a burner, but he can create space. And while he'll be an early-round pick because of his receiving prowess, McBride also is a willing blocker and you can tell he takes pride in his technique. Neither Johnson or McBride are long giants, but both of these guys play with power.
DE Myjai Sanders (6-4, 242), Cincinnati
Sanders showed bend, burst and strength Tuesday. He recovered a fumble on a botched snap exchange in team period and was impressive in 1-on-1s. He showed the ability to get around the corner against the big Minnesota T Daniel Faalele (6-9, 380) before putting him on his back on the next rep. Sanders, who is from Jacksonville, FL, earned first-team All-AAC in both 2020 and 2021. He was a part of a front in 2020 that led the American in rushing, scoring, pass efficiency and total defense. He was also named a semifinalist for the 2020 Bednarik Award and led the team with 10.5 TFLs and 7 sacks. Dane Brugler of The Athletic mocked Sanders at No. 40 in his latest mock draft.
WR Christian Watson (6-4, 211), North Dakota State
Watson was particularly impressive in the 1-on-1 portion of practice, first getting the best of Washington State CB Jaylen Watson, who ended up on the turf. C.Watson, who is from Tampa, FL, finished 2021 with 43 receptions, 801 yards and 7 TDs, finishing his career with 105 catches, 2,140 yards (20.4 avg) and 14 TDs. He also returned kicks for the Bisons, earning first-team All-America honors at KR in 2020 when he averaged 33.8 yards per kick return and had 2 returns for touchdowns. In Tuesday's practice, he clocked in at No. 5 in max speed according to Zebra Technology at 20.71 mph. Jordan Reid of ESPN called Watson one of his standouts from Day 1 and wrote, "A long strider with above average top-end speed, he raced past defenders on multiple occasions. Watson is a big target with strong hands, and he played fast throughout the entirety of practice, snatching every pass out of the air with confidence before displaying his catch-and-run ability."
DE Jesse Luketa (6-2, 261), Penn State
Wideout Jahan Dotson didn't participate in practice, but Penn State is still well represented in Mobile, AL with four players on the National squad. In 46 games at Penn State, Jesse Luketa had 8 PDs, 7 TFL and 143 tackles. He's a high-energy player and his motor was on display in the opening practice. Luketa played both 'backer and defensive end in college and he plays with an aggressive style.
See head coach Robert Saleh and the Jets staff on the practice field with the National Team leading up to the Senior Bowl in Mobile.