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2024 NFL Draft: Ranking the top 15 Senior Bowl prospects to watch in the College Football Playoff

One of the most prolific running backs in Michigan program history, Blake Corum has rushed for 55 touchdowns in 43 games, including a nation-leading 24 in the 2023 campaign. (David Dermer/AP)
One of the most prolific running backs in Michigan program history, Blake Corum has rushed for 55 touchdowns in 43 games, including a nation-leading 24 in the 2023 campaign. (David Dermer/AP)

The College Football Playoff presents two excellent semifinal games replete with NFL talent this coming Monday (New Year's Day):

  • No. 4 Alabama at No. 1 Michigan | Rose Bowl: 5 p.m. ET on ESPN
  • No. 3 Texas at No. 2 Washington | Sugar Bowl: 8:45 p.m. ET on ESPN

The winners of those two contests will face off in the CFP National Championship at NRG Stadium in Houston at 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 8.

Below, I've listed a total of 40 players from those four squads to whom NFL scouts will be paying close attention. All of them are considered seniors for the 2024 NFL Draft (April 25-27 in Detroit), save one underclassman who has already accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl (Texas DT Byron Murphy II).

The top 15 prospects are fighting for top-100 draft slots, while a few of the additional 25 players spotlighted at the bottom of this file could jump up to Day 2 or hear their names called on Day 3. Michigan guard Zak Zinter is not listed because he is recovering from surgery on a broken leg suffered against Ohio State. Alabama running back Jase McClellan and Texas cornerback Ryan Watts have NFL futures, as well, but they have missed time due to injuries in recent weeks.

Some of these prospects may return to school in 2024 to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility awarded by the NCAA to players on rosters during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.


  • Heights and weights are via school measurements.
  • * Denotes the Senior Bowl announced that the player has accepted an invite to the game as of 1 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 29.
  • The 2024 Senior Bowl will be held at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, on Feb. 3 and broadcast live on NFL Network (1 p.m. ET).

15) Malachi Moore, DB, Alabama (6-foot, 198 pounds)

Moore has contributed for the Tide since Day 1, intercepting three passes in his freshman year, as opposing offenses attempted to pick on the first-year player. The raw production dropped in Moore's sophomore campaign, as he fought injuries and inconsistency, but he bounced back the past two seasons. Moore's versatility will be appreciated by NFL defensive coordinators searching for DBs on Day 2, as he's been an adept nickel defender who takes on slot receivers and tight ends, but he might ultimately grow into a starting free safety because of his tackling ability and ball skills.

14) Edefuan Ulofoshio, LB, Washington (6-1, 236)*

A second-team All-Pac-12 pick in 2020, Ulofoshio missed significant time due to injury in the following two seasons. Healthy throughout the Huskies' undefeated 2023 campaign, the former walk-on garnered All-America and first-team all-conference honors, while also being a finalist for the Butkus Award (given to college football's top linebacker). "Eddy" is an ultra-active run defender who, when maintaining gap discipline, fights off linemen's blocks and securely tackles ball-carriers. He also possesses the athleticism to stay with running backs and tight ends downfield, often taking away what opponents think is a mismatch.

13) Mike Sainristil, DB, Michigan (5-10, 182)

What Sainristil lacks in size, he makes up for with physicality, strong hands and knowledge of routes as a former Michigan wideout (36-532-14.8, 5 TD from 2019 to 2021). The second-team All-Big Ten selection will be in the slot as a corner or nickel safety at the next level, covering all types of receivers inside and attacking ball-carriers while supporting the run or blitzing off the edge. Sainristil's recovery speed and willingness to challenge receivers through the catch will help him find the field quickly as a rookie.

12) Jaylan Ford, LB, Texas (6-3, 242)*

Ford was named a first-team All-Big 12 linebacker for the second straight season, pacing the Longhorns with 91 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss so far this year. He projects as a thumper in the middle of an NFL defense, coming downhill in the run game and attacking open gaps to challenge quarterbacks in the pocket. Ford probably won't be a cover linebacker on Sundays, but he moves well enough to handle traditional and match-zone responsibilities. His six interceptions over the past two seasons show he can create turnovers when given the chance.

11) Justin Eboigbe, DT, Alabama (6-5, 292)*

This Georgia native bounced back from a season-ending neck injury in 2022 to become a first-team All-SEC pick this season. Eboigbe has tackled as many ball-carriers this season (60) as he had in the previous four years combined, while his 11.5 tackles for loss with seven sacks are about three times his career totals (4.5 TFL, two sacks). The 6-5 lineman takes long strides to track down ball-carriers. His excellent length and strong lower body allow him to play with leverage and shed blockers. He'll start in the NFL, following in the footsteps of several other Day 2 defensive linemen who came out of Alabama over the past decade.

10) Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas (6-1, 308)*

Murphy only started one contest in each of his first two seasons in Austin, but he was always on scouts' radars. A season-long starter in 2023, Murphy garnered All-America and first-team All-Big 12 accolades due to his active play, whether lined up on the nose or at 1-technique. The DeSoto, Texas, product is always moving forward, penetrating past man-up blocks with quick feet and hands and forcing double-teams to hang on tight. At times, Murphy finds himself on the ground and gets moved by better linemen because of his average size, but he's capable of holding the line and shedding in the run game.

9) Blake Corum, RB, Michigan (5-8, 213)

Corum, who suffered a knee injury in November of 2022, reminds me of Nick Chubb when he was coming out of Georgia. Despite needing time to regain his full explosiveness after suffering a serious knee injury, Chubb bounced back to star in college and has now made four Pro Bowls in the NFL. While Chubb possesses a larger frame than the two-time Big Ten Running Back of the Year, they are both north-south runners who are efficient with their movements in tight quarters and when cutting in the open field. Watch for Corum to excel in the College Football Playoff and as a runner/receiver during his rookie year in the NFL, which will be his second season since knee surgery.

8) Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (6-3, 213)

Penix's accuracy from the pocket during the first half of the season put him at the forefront of the Heisman conversation, and he ultimately finished second in the voting for college football's most prestigious award, behind LSU QB Jayden Daniels. Penix stayed healthy for a second straight year at Washington, partially offsetting his injury-riddled Indiana tenure, but he was inconsistent getting away from a busy pocket and hitting targets on the run. The Maxwell Award winner's efficiency dropped in the season's later stages, as he completed fewer than 60 percent of his passes in five of the last eight contests. Penix is a tough player who delivers in the face of a pass rush, however, and will improve his draft stock if able to do so accurately while making plays on the move during college football's "final four."

7) Kris Jenkins, DT, Michigan (6-3, 305)

While the younger Kris Jenkins is a defensive lineman like his father -- a second-round pick by Carolina in 2001 who went on to make four Pro Bowls with the Panthers/Jets -- he plays a different game. Best as a 3-technique or 5-technique at the next level, the second-team All-Big Ten selection is not the massive space-eater his dad was at Maryland and in the NFL. He can hold up his man using leverage in the run game, but he is most effective attacking a gap or using his quickness outside or on twists. Like with his former Michigan teammate, 2023 first-rounder Mazi Smith, Jenkins' stats (32 tackles, three for loss with one sack in 2023) don't scream NFL star, but he will stand out in the right system.

6) Jermaine Burton, WR, Alabama (6-0, 194)

Burton is what I call a "possession playmaker" in the mold of Amon-Ra St. Brown and Stefon Diggs -- players who may not have ideal size or speed compared to other receivers, but who are difficult to cover because of their strong hands, quickness and route-running acumen. Burton has grown considerably as a receiver after transferring from Georgia to Alabama two years ago, becoming an all-around threat on short, intermediate and deep throws. I think he will be a more productive pro than college player, as he gains familiarity with his new quarterback and his technique matures.

5) Chris Braswell, Edge, Alabama (6-3, 255)

Braswell waited for his turn to star for the Tide, starting across from All-American Dallas Turner in his fourth year on campus. The stud edge rusher only trails Turner on the team with eight sacks, bringing powerful hands and a strong long-arm move, routinely sling-shotting by leaning blockers or ripping past OTs to get the corner. He's disciplined in maintaining the edge against mobile quarterbacks and the run game and willing to take on short-zone coverage duties. A big playoff performance by Braswell, winning against top tackles and disengaging from blocks to chase down plays in the open field, can push him up draft boards.

4) Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington (6-4, 317)*

Opinions on Fautanu's NFL position vary, with some likening him to Jets guard Alijah Vera-Tucker and others believing he can stay at left tackle like the Bills' Dion Dawkins. Either way, the third-team AP All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 lineman is a major key to Penix and the Huskies' smashing success this season. Fautanu's flexibility and foot quickness keep him on balance and able to anchor in pass protection despite his average size and length. Teams looking for larger tackles will project him inside, where he can use his mobility to reach block interior defenders and hit second-level targets.

3) Bralen Trice, Edge, Washington (6-4, 274)

Trice returned after excelling as a fourth-year player in 2022 to help the Huskies win a Pac-12 title and make the playoff at 13-0. He came on strong in the second half of the season, racking up six tackles for loss with four sacks in the final six games. The 6-4, 274-pounder's strength holding the edge and shedding tackles has NFL teams projecting him as a base end, and he can cover ground in the open field if standing up outside. Trice is not the bendy edge some teams desire, but power rushers like George Karlaftis, Myles Murphy and Greg Rousseau have provided value late in recent first rounds.

2) T'Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas (6-4, 362)*

The first-year starter for the Longhorns won the Outland Trophy as the nation's top interior lineman and earned first-team All-America and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors. His statistics (42 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks) are outstanding, given that he stands 6-4 and weighs 362 pounds. Sweat will be must-watch television on New Year's Day, finding the ball after the snap and discarding blockers to swallow ball-carriers. When playing with good pad level, he overwhelms offensive linemen with his bull rushes, yet is agile enough to wrap up quarterbacks or running backs trying to avoid him.

1) Rome Odunze, WR, Washington (6-3, 215)

A Biletnikoff Award finalist, Odunze has been the straw that stirs the drink for Washington's high-octane offense. He accumulated 13 receiving scores by beating corners downfield with speed, strong hands and a late arm extension, while also covering big chunks of yardage after the catch on screens and intermediate routes. His most impressive feat, though, was returning from a broken rib and punctured lung suffered recovering an onside kick against Arizona in September; just two weeks later, he caught eight passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns in Washington's massive win over rival Oregon. NFL teams appreciate that sort of toughness and desire to play.

25 more prospects to watch in CFP games

Payers listed alphabetically by team.


  • Will Reichard, K (6-foot-1, 194 pounds)*
  • Tim Smith, DT (6-4, 302)


  • AJ Barner, TE (6-6, 251)
  • Michael Barrett, LB (6-0, 239)
  • Jaylen Harrell, Edge (6-4, 242)
  • LaDarius Henderson, OL (6-4, 315)
  • Cornelius Johnson, WR (6-3, 208)
  • Trevor Keegan, OG (6-6, 320)
  • Braiden McGregor, Edge (6-6, 267)
  • Drake Nugent, C (6-2, 301)
  • Makari Paige, S (6-4, 208)
  • Josh Wallace, CB (6-0, 190)
  • Roman Wilson, WR (6-0, 192)


  • Jahdae Barron, DB (5-11, 192)*
  • Alfred Collins, DT (6-5, 317)
  • Christian Jones, OT (6-6, 321)*
  • Jordan Whittington, WR (6-1, 204)*


  • Carson Bruener, LB (6-2, 226)
  • Devin Culp, TE (6-4, 237)
  • Dillon Johnson, RB (6-0, 218)
  • Tuli Letuligasenoa, DT (6-1, 292)
  • Jalen McMillan, WR (6-1, 192)
  • Jabbar Muhammad, CB (5-10, 183)
  • Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Edge (6-4, 254)
  • Jack Westover, TE (6-3, 248)

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