TE Jeremy Ruckert (6-5, 250), Ohio State
Ruckert has put together a pair of good practices. He had a career-high 26 receptions in 2021 for the Buckeyes and wasn't given a ton of opportunities catching the ball in Columbus. TE coach Ron Middleton, who is serving as the head coach this week in Mobile, told reporters Wednesday that Ruckert made plays when targeted in college. He added: "I don't know the extent of his route tree he ran, but he had no issue catching the ball when it was thrown to him and did not pass up a chance to knock hell out of somebody. He likes contact and once he gets the ball in his hands, he still likes contact and he moves good. He has a burst after the catch, so a lot of positives about that kid." Middleton's comments echo draft analysts say one of his strengths is blocking, particularly in the run game. He's shown his receiving ability in Mobile over the past two days and is one of the many talented tight ends in the group.
RB Jerome Ford (5-11, 215), Cincinnati
Ford had a walk-in touchdown Wednesday that was blocked perfectly. The line blocked down while Ford cut to his left for a wide-open score. He's flashed at times throughout the first two practices. Ford began his career at Alabama and played two seasons for the Crimson Tide before transferring and playing two seasons for the Bearcats. Last season, he ran for 1,319 yards and 19 TDs (sixth most in the nation) on 215 attempts. One of six players from Cincinnati in Mobile, Ford was a first-team All-AAC performer in 2021 as his 20 total touchdowns tied a school record set by Michael Warren in 2018. His QB Desmond Ridder, who is also on the National Team, said in September of Ford, "The first time he stepped on the field (last year) I was like, 'Whoa,'. "This is not a back we have seen before. … He's got hella speed, good footwork, but he has power too."
See head coach Robert Saleh and the Jets coaching staff on the practice field with the National Team leading up to the Senior Bowl in Mobile.
DL Perrion Winfrey (6-3, 306), Oklahoma
The Sooners have five players on the National roster and three of them are defenders. When you thought of Oklahoma in recent years under former HC Lincoln Riley, it was offense first as the likes of RB Joe Mixon, QB Baker Mayfield, TE Mark Andrews, QB Kyler Murray, WR Marquise Brown, WR CeeDee Lamb, QB Jalen Hurts and RB Rhamondre Stevenson all were early-round picks since 2017. But Winfrey is one to track this draft season after he had 11 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2021 while starting 12 games at defensive tackle. He made his presence known throughout an impressive second practice that included multiple wins in one-on-one work in addition to a would-be sack of Kenny Picket that was immediately followed up by a takeaway that was caused by backfield penetration and then a great rip on Arizona State RB Rachaad White.
LB Chad Muma (6-2, 241), Wyoming
A tackling machine for the Pokes, Muma amassed 142 tackles last season with 8 TFL. That followed a 2020 campaign when Muma averaged 11.8 tackles and 1.3 TFL per game. Lining up at the Mike 'backer on defense, Muma is always communicating with his teammates and he is in constant pursuit. The former high school DB has a nose for the ball and you'd expect him to be a stat stuffer in the game on Saturday. He could cement his status in the very early rounds with solid coverage against tight ends and running backs.
DT Travis Jones (6-4, 326), Connecticut
Last season, Jones finished with 47 tackles, 7.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks. But we must consider Jones posted that production on a 1-11 team and while facing multiple blockers on most snaps. In a few months, he will become just the second UCONN player drafted since Folorunso Fatukasi went to the Jets in the sixth round (No. 180) in 2018. Jones has been a beast in one-on-one work and he's a strong, explosive dude in the middle. He looks like a guy who is going to be a linebacker's best friend on Sundays.