The 2023 NFL draft cycle is officially under way with both the Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl behind us. Both games offered a little glimpse into what prospects from the 2023 class can do, but it's the week of practices that are the best evaluation tools.
The opportunity to work out and practice with an NFL coaching staff provided several prospects the stage to show what they can do.
Every year there are those who use those All-Star Games to elevate their stock and capture the eye of scouts. This year was no different.
There were multiple players who drew praise for their weeks in Mobile (at the Senior Bowl) and Las Vegas (at the Shrine Bowl). Here's a look at what teams would make sense for each of those prospects based on their skill set, the team's needs and scheme.
DL Adetomiwa Adebawore, Northwestern
Best Fits: Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit Lions
It isn't always easy for a defensive tackle to shine in the Senior Bowl setting. One-on-one pass-rushing drills tend to favor offensive linemen on the interior, and there isn't a lot of run defense that goes on.
Yet, Adetomiwa Adebawore was a standout who made a name for himself against a talented group of offensive linemen on the inside.
The Northwestern product had some outstanding highlights throughout the week. He has serious pop in his hands and the kind of powerful bull rush that can make linemen look foolish if they aren't quick enough to anchor against it.
Even in team situations, Adebawore proved to be incredibly difficult to stop from getting to the quarterback.
At 6'1", 284 pounds, he's undersized at defensive tackle, but he has the length and explosion to work through those shortcomings and become a productive NFL player. His pass-rushing skills he showed at Mobile didn't necessarily always show up on film.
At this point, he's a plus run defender with high upside as a pass-rusher. That's a skill set that plenty of teams could use, but the three best fits here are all three teams that struggled to stop the run and need new blood on the inside.
S Trey Dean III, Florida
Best Fits: Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders
Versatility is a key trait in the modern-day safety, and Trey Dean III utilized the Shrine Bowl stage to showcase his to NFL teams.
The 6'2", 211-pound safety played a nearly equal distribution of snaps as a deep player and box safety with some time in the slot as well at Florida, per PFF.
At the Shrine Bowl, he showed off the ability to play in those alignments at the next level too. He had the combination of athleticism and strength to stick with tight ends in coverage and work through their body to disrupt bigger-bodied players who may have leverage.
In the game, he did a great job of playing as a deep safety and even netted a tip-drill interception that helped him take home defensive MVP honors.
Ideally, Dean will go to a team that utilizes some three-safety sets that could get him on the field early in his career. With his ability to play in the box, deep or in the slot he could be the third option who comes in and plays wherever the formation dictates.
Teams like the Kansas City Chiefs (fourth), New England Patriots (first) and Las Vegas Raiders (sixth) were fairly heavy in their usage of dime looks that included three safeties, per The 33rd Team.
Each of them could be looking to add a young safety to their ranks based on potential retirements and/or free agents.