2024 NFL Draft Notebook: Kendall Milton is a sleeper, Senior Bowl notes, and more

In this week's edition of NFL Draft Notebook we take a look at the action at the East-West Shrine, and Senior Bowl and highlight why Kendall Milton is a sleeper in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Kendall Milton is a sleeper in the 2024 NFL Draft
Kendall Milton is a sleeper in the 2024 NFL Draft / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

This week was one of the most important weeks in the NFL Draft process, as we saw both the East-West Shrine Bowl and Senior Bowl occur. In our second edition of NFL Notebook, we examine what prospects helped and hurt their draft stocks during the week. We also highlight Georiga running back Kendall Milton who could be a sleeper in the 2024 NFL Draft, and much more.

NFL Draft News and Notes

Sleeper: A sleeper in this year’s running back could be Georgia’s Kendall Milton. The main reason he could fall in the 2024 NFL Draft is due to a lack of production and his injury history. However, when given the ball he has produced averaging 6.2 yards per carry during his Georgia career. He also led the Bulldogs with 14 rushing touchdowns this year despite only seeing over 10 carries in a game three times. His top trait as a pro prospect is his physical running style which routinely sees him run through arm tackles. He also shows good quickness for a 220-pound back and another positive working for him is he is a good pass blocker. However, he will need to prove he is a reliable receiver out of the backfield since he only has 12 career receptions.

Outstanding production: A player who caught my eye at the East-West Shrine Bowl was Holy Cross wide receiver Jalen Coker, and after studying him more I am even more impressed. What first sticks out with Coker is his elite production. This season he led the FCS with 15 touchdown receptions and also finished fifth in the FCS with 1,040 receiving yards. In addition to putting up strong numbers this year, he also is the school’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions (31), and receiving yards (2,715). The first trait that sticks out when watching his film is how well he does at catching the ball in traffic, which was something he also did well at the Shrine Bowl. This season he made numerous tough catches in double coverage and also showed the strength to break tackles after the catch. If he can run a good 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine he should hear his name called during the 2024 NFL Draft.

The next Evan Engram: Even though Florida State’s Johnny Wilson is listed as a wide receiver look for him to play a similar role to what Evan Engram does for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars use Engram primarily as a receiver and rarely ask him to block. This will likely be the same type of role Wilson plays as he has tight end size coming in at 6-foot-6 and 237 pounds, and lacks the speed to gain separation against NFL cornerbacks. If the team that drafts Wilson however lines him up more in a tight end role, he will likely be matched up against linebackers and safeties which should allow Wilson to get the advantage in coverage.

Shift inside: Speaking of players switching positions look for Arizona’s Jordan Morgan to move inside to guard at the next level. One of the main reasons he will be forced inside is his short arms. At the Senior Bowl, he weighed in with 32 7/8-inch arms which were the 5th shortest at the event, and all of the other players who came in with shorter arms play inside. On film, this gives him issues as it lets defenders into his body. At the offensive guard position though his athletic ability and impressive pass-blocking skill set should allow him to become a good starting offensive guard for the team that takes him likely in the second round.

Finally living up to potential: Going into the season I had high hopes for Baylor defensive tackle Gabe Hall, naming him to my All-Underrated team. However, he had a disappointing year only recording 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. both of which are drops from his 2021 and 2022 production. While this dip in production has not helped his draft stock his film from the Senior Bowl sure will. In drills this week he has shown impressive explosion off the ball and has been almost unblockable in one-on-one drills. He also came in with some impressive measurables coming in at 6-foot-6 with 34 ⅜-inch arms. His raw tools should be enough for him to be a mid-round pick despite his lack of elite production.

Drops: North Carolina wide receiver Devontez Walker battled his share of drops during Senior Bowl, practice which is also something he battled during the season especially when it came to catching the ball. He also came in at 6-foot-1 after being listed at 6-foot-3 by North Carolina, which won’t help his NFL Draft stock. On the positive side, he does look healthy from the season-ending injury he suffered this season and has shown impressive agility adjusting to several poorly thrown balls. One team that has shown a lot of interest in Walker is the New England Patriots who have met with him at least twice this week.

Center Number One: One of the most impressive players at this year’s Senior Bowl has been Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson, who has solidified himself as the top center. During the week he has shown immaculate strength at the point of contact and has dominated in both individual and team drills. In addition to showing the power to block one-on-one he has also displayed the ability to consistently make his block on the second level. One team that could be the right for for Powers-Johnson is the Dallas Cowboys who own the 24th overall pick.

"I would say that I play with a special type of tenacity. I’m extremely physical with a mean streak. I play with great leverage. I’m great in the run game and pass game. My passion for the game shines brightly on tape. I’m someone that embodies being a football player."

Jackson Powers-Johnson via Draft Network

Another offensive lineman having a strong Senior Bowl: While Jackson Powers-Johnson has been the most impressive center of the week Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga has been the top offensive tackle. This should not come as a major surprise though after watching Fuaga’s Oregon State film. On his game film, he proved he is an imposing run blocker who shows a good burst off the ball and is someone who plays with great intensity. He also was one of the better pass blockers in college football this season not giving up a sack on 351 passing attempts.

Chicago Bears looking at linemen: A team that has shown an interest in both offensive and defensive linemen at the Senior Bowl is the Chicago Bears. Along the offensive line the team is most likely looking at mid-round picks and one player who could make sense is UConn’s Christian Hayes. On the defensive line, the team could use the ninth overall pick on a defensive end and Laiatu Latu of UCLA could be a possible selection.

Pittsburg Steelers showing interest in Mohamed Kamara: One of the more impressive players at this week’s East-West Shrine Bowl was Colorado State edge defender Mohamed Kamara. In this game, he showed a terrific first step off the ball and was consistently making plays in the backfield. One team that has been impressed with Kamara’s game is the Pittsburgh Steelers. This could be a great fit for Kamara as he may be best as a 3-4 outside linebacker due to a lack of bulk to play defensive end in a 4-3 system. Plus he is a terrific pass rusher having picked up 13 sacks this year.

Tough break: A bit of injury news to come out of the East-West Shrine Bowl is that Zion Tupuola-Fetui has been battling a tear in his shoulder since spring ball, and will not be able to take part in drills at the NFL Combine. According to Huskies Wire, Tupuola-Fetui will also likely miss rookie minicamp but should be ready by NFL training camp. I currently have a fifth-round pick on Tupuola-Fetui.

Kansas City to target receivers: This week I came out with my first mock draft, and in the first round I have them taking Oregon’s Troy Franklin. If the Chiefs do add a wide receiver in the first round, look for them to also add another receiver or two in the mid-rounds. One player who seems like he would be a good fit early on day three is Texas A&M’s Ainias Smith.