On Day 2 of the 2023 Senior Bowl, the Stanford Cardinal had a pair of draft hopefuls showcase their talents in receiver Michael Wilson and corner Kyu Blu Kelly.
MOBILE, Ala. — On a day when receivers were dominant, Michael Wilson stood out.
Wilson, a 6-foot-1, 216-pounder out of Stanford, dazzled during practice with the National Team, catching balls from an underwhelming group of quarterbacks.
With Wilson, there’s no singular trait that immediately grabs an onlooker. He has good size, decent speed, and enough hops, but it’s the entire package put together that works when factoring in quality route running. In 1-v-1 drills, Wilson consistently worked himself open against overmatched defensive backs, winning on both short and longer patterns.
At Stanford, Wilson played five years but only appeared in 36 games, largely because of COVID cutting one season short, and a foot injury that lingered for 11 months. When healthy, Wilson caught a career-best 56 passes for 672 yards as a sophomore in 2019.
For NFL scouts and general managers, Wilson is likely worth a Day 3 pick with upside. If he shows well at the Scouting Combine next month, his combination size and route tree could intrigue someone to take him in the mid-rounds.
Wilson’s teammate, cornerback Kyu Blu Kelly, had one of the best days of anybody in Mobile. At 6-foot and 193 pounds, Kelly contested throughout the afternoon, highlighted by a terrific interception and subsequent return for a touchdown. He consistently blanketed receivers in both team and individual drills, showing excellent fluidity and ball skills.
While Kelly won’t be seen as a first-round pick in a year with ample corners worthy of a top-30 choice, he should fit nicely into the Day 2 conversation. With the decent size and good traits, running well at Indy could bump his stock even further after a good start here in Mobile.
Rough day for quarterback play
If your team is looking for a starting quarterback come 2023, look somewhere other than Mobile.
The talent amassed by director Jim Nagy and his team is once again terrific, but this is a weaker crop of quarterbacks. There’s certainly not a Daniel Jones, Kenny Pickett, or Justin Herbert in this group. The closest thing would be Fresno State’s Jake Haener, but he’s in need of polish. Max Duggan of TCU is an athlete, but he’s inconsistent and often late on throws.
Both Haener and Duggan are worth a draft pick, but nobody could reasonably expect any of these quarterbacks to play in the next year at the NFL level and have success.
Other receivers who deserve some spotlight
While Wilson was superb, he wasn’t alone.
While the National Team was on the field, Nebraska’s Trey Palmer put a ridiculous double-move on tape, leaving the defensive back stumbling while Palmer scored an easy touchdown. There was also Michigan State’s Jayden Reed, who twice did a phenomenal job of tracking deep balls into the corner for scores.
On the American side, Tank Dell has been spectacular for two days. Nobody has gotten open more consistently with an array of jukes and moves, showing the quick-twitch burst which makes him such a special athlete.
Dell is small at 5-foot-8 and 163 pounds, but the Houston product has been a force in Mobile. With the Cougars, he totaled 190 catches, 2,727 receiving yards, and 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Few receivers at any level of college football can rival such productivity.
If a team can get over Dell’s size, he’d make an ideal Day 2 pick, giving a franchise value the receiving and return game.