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2023 NFL Draft Update: Senior and NFLPA Bowl Recap and Combine/Pro Day Preview

Tyrique Stevenson and Will Mallory (and Nesta Jade Silvera and DJ Johnson) did their thing in Mobile at the Senior Bowl and lead future ProCanes at the Combine in Indy this week

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: FEB 02 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Many offseason draft evaluators often say the NFL Draft starts in Mobile at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, which takes place in February and features the upper echelon of talent for the April in April. Over time, however, other senior showcases have gained notoriety, especially as draft analysis has become more and more involved.

This year, Miami was well-represented at numerous bowl games including the Senior Bowl where two players were able to raise their draft stock, and look to continue that trajectory at the combine.

Outside of the Senior Bowl, other Miami draft declarants participated in the NFLPA Bowl and Hula Bowl. Notably, each player has different expectations in the coming months, but here are the eight former Miami Hurricanes currently on the path to fulfill their dream:

DB: Tyrique Stevenson
TE: Will Mallory
DB: DJ Ivey
P: Lou Hedley
DL: Antonio Moultrie
OL: DJ Scaife Jr.
LB: Mitchell Agude
DL: Nesta Jade Silvera (Transferred to Arizona State)
LB: DJ Johnson (Transferred to Oregon after one season at Miami)

As noted, this group of eight did not all compete in the same senior showcases as their respective paths diverge from the start. However, for the most part, there is a rough timeline of events moving forward, which includes the NFL Combine and Pro Days.

Miami has not announced a Pro Day but the event usually occurs in late March. The Pro Day or personal workout schedule will likely be confirmed to take place at Greentree and the IPF, where the players will have the opportunity to get a more intimate look and interview with coaches.

Two Hurricanes were also invited to the popular NFL Combine in Indianapolis. In the next couple of months, there will also be in-person and virtual meetings with team coaches and scouts. That being said, more or less, this is what the prospective Canes will be looking at:

February - Senior Showcases: Complete (East-West Shrine Bowl, NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Hula Bowl, Tropical Bowl, and CGS Bowl)
February 28-March 6 - NFL Combine, Indianapolis: Tyrique Stevenson and Will Mallory invited
Late March - Miami Pro Day* (TBD)
April 26: Deadline to time, test, and interview draft-eligible players
April 27-29 - NFL Draft, Kansas City

Here is a brief update on each of the eight players current progress and general expectations moving forward.

Tyrique Stevenson/DB

Senior Bowl
NFL Combine Invite

Official Measurements
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 204lbs
Arm Length: 32 3/8”
Wingspan: 77 1/4”
Hand: 9 5/8”

  • Game Stats: No defensive statistics were recorded

Out of the players who increased their stock the most during the draft showcases, Stevenson was not just the best among Miami players, but possibly the best among all eligible draft participants.

Stevenson showed off his aggressive style of play as he blanketed all of the top wideouts during the practice sessions, and showed similar tenacity during the actual game.

None of this should really be a surprise. Stevenson is a former five-star recruit who competed at a high level at Georgia prior to transferring to Miami. He has an ample frame, overall physicality on the field, and plenty of length to work with 32 7/8” arms. In 2022, Stevenson worked on his ball skills as he set career highs with 7 PDs and 2 INTs. He is also versatile enough to play multiple areas on defense.

Expect big numbers at the Combine this week for Tyrique: he set the Miami squat record his first season with the program.

Will Mallory/TE

Senior Bowl
NFL Combine Invite

Official Measurements
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 239lbs
Arm Length: 32”
Wingspan: 78 3/8”
Hand: 9 3/8”

  • Game Stats: five receptions for 46 yards, highest graded TE according to PFF (80.7)

Mallory is a player who seemed like a fringe draft prospect due to some limitations from injuries. However, his performance during Senior Bowl week should cement him as a draftee (last year, all nine tight ends that participated in the Senior Bowl were drafted). Of note, Mallory graded the best out of all tight ends according to PFF with an 80.7 grade during the game. Mallory ended up getting open all day and showed off some of his blocking prowess during the week. He hopes to continue the #TEU moniker in the NFL after a 42 reception, 538 yard, 3 TD 2022 season.

DJ Ivey/DB

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Official Measurements
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 194lbs
Arm Length: 32 7/8”
Wingspan: 78 7/8”
Hand: 9 1/4”

  • Game Stats: two tackles

Ivey had a strong NFLPA Bowl week as he was a standout during the practice sessions. Ivey had 38 tackles, 2 INTs & 5 PDs in 2022 and would certainly be a darkhorse to be selected in the NFL Draft but so was Canes’ DT, Jonathan Ford, last year who was drafted in the seventh round and also participated in the NFLPA Bowl.

Last week, Ivey was drafted in USFL Draft in the third round (pick 20) by the New Orleans Breakers, but it will be interesting to see whether he signs or continues his quest toward the NFL.

Similar to Stevenson, Ivey should be able to test well at Miami’s Pro Day as he exhibits lengthy arms at 32 7/8”, and can also display speed.

Lou Hedley/P

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Official Measurements
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 224lbs
Arm Length: 32 5/8”
Wingspan: 76 5/8”
Hand: 9 1/4”

  • Game Stats: seven punts, 45.4 yards/punt, 51-yard long, 4 inside 20

Hedley was completely snubbed from the NFL Combine this week. Hedley was a Ray Guy finalist in 2020 (top three punters in college football) and averaged 45.2 yards/punt throughout his career, which would rank ahead of 3 of the 5 punters invited to the NFL Combine.

Hedley impressed at the NFLPA Bowl where he routinely booted punts over 40 yards and had 4 inside the 20.

Outside of that, Hedley has a lot of intangibles beyond kicking that should yield NFL interest, which starts with his journey from Australia to pursue the football career. Hedley also has a larger frame. He is a team leader on and off the field and also recently earned the 2023 Weaver-James-Corrigan-Swofford Postgraduate Scholarship Award for academic and athletic success.

Antonio Moultrie/DL

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 265lbs

Moultrie declared for the NFL Draft at the beginning of this year but has not gotten much traction. He has some versatility on the front line but is pretty scheme specific. The UAB transfer had 14 tackles in 2022. The prior season at UAB, Moultrie did have 62 tackles (second most on team) and 8.0 TFLs so there is some allure.

DJ Scaife, Jr./OL

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Official Measurements
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 322lbs
Arm Length: 33 3/8”
Wingspan: 81 1/4”
Hand: 9 7/8”

  • Game Stats: No recorded statistics

Scaife was a reliable fixture on the Canes’ offensive line as he stepped up and moved from right guard to right tackle in 2022. Scaife is likely a more natural guard but the versatility should help him get more looks from NFL teams. His reliability at the U also provides a strong foundation.

Scaife has displayed poise as a run blocker while with Miami but ended up being one of the better pass protectors in the NFLPA Bowl game.

Scaife was selected by the Michigan Panthers in the USFL Draft at pick number 24 (round 4), so we will wait and see how his track goes from here.

Mitchell Agude/LB

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl

Official Measurements
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 246lbs
Arm Length: 34 7/8”
Wingspan: 82 7/8”
Hand: 10 1/8”

  • Game Stats: one tackle

Agude’s NFL quest has been relatively under-the-radar but he did have a nice one-on-one technique win at the line of scrimmage during an NFLPA Bowl practice. He also only had one tackle in the game.

Agude had a decent season with Miami after transferring from UCLA as he recorded 39 tackles, 7.0 TFLs, and 4.0 sacks. However, it is somewhat of a surprise that he declared as he remains somewhat raw and can work on some additional power and consistency, which is evident by lack of pre-draft noise surrounding Agude.

Nesta Jade Silvera/DL (Arizona State)

Senior Bowl

Official Measurements
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 307lbs
Arm Length: 32 1/2”
Wingspan: 78 1/2”
Hand: 10 1/8”

  • Game Stats: No defensive statistics were recorded

Nesta is still appreciative of the crib and the U as noted by the below embedded tweet, as he spent four seasons with the Canes and recorded 105 tackles. That being said, Silvera really put his name on the NFL Draft map as he set single season career highs with 56 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 PDs, and 1 FF.

The American Heritage alum was the lone ASU player at the Senior Bowl but had the opportunity to reunite with Stevenson and Mallory. As far as his play, Silvera showed off his serious power for an interior defensive lineman as he disrupted all of his opponents and lived in the backfield. Silvera looks likely to hear his name in the NFL Draft in April.

DJ Johnson/LB (Oregon)

Senior Bowl

Official Measurements
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 260lbs
Arm Length: 33”
Wingspan: 79 5/8”
Hand: 9”

  • Game Stats: No defensive statistics were recorded

Johnson only played one season with the Canes and really only saw action in eight games with Miami, mostly on special teams. He finished that season with three total tackles after being ranked 74th in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite. Johnson then went to play with Mario Cristobal at Oregon and thrived as a pass rusher his final season with 39 tackles and 6.0 sacks. Johnson displays freakish athleticism as he was a rare TE-DE combo, who recorded three receiving touchdowns with the Ducks.

Johnson mostly had the (literally) tall task of lining up against 6’8” offensive tackle, Dawand Jones, as an edge rusher. However, he is a specimen and will test well at the NFL Combine as he posted a 22.88 mph on the GPS during training, as well as a 455-pound bench and 655-pound sumo deadlift.