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NFL Draft: 2023 NFLPA Bowl 5 Money Makers - Team National
Ric Serritella examines five draft risers from the National Team led by head coach Eddie George.
Practice week for the 11th Annual NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is in the books. Here are five players from Team National who have boosted their draft stock at the #NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
TEAM NATIONAL – STOCK UP
An elusive dual-threat quarterback, Cunningham took full advantage of his opportunity to perform in front of 300-plus scouts in Pasadena this week. He demonstrated nice touch in the short-to-intermediate range throws and has enough arm strength to push the ball downfield if needed. However, his deep balls tend to lose some accuracy on them. Privately, Cunningham has told NFL teams that he’s open to playing another position (wideout) but would participate in the all-star circuit strictly as a quarterback. He will attend Reese’s Senior Bowl following the NFLPA Bowl Game.
After earning the moniker ‘Hollywood’ Baptist with an electrifying week of practice at the NFLPA Bowl, it’s safe to say that all 32 NFL teams are well aware of Harris. The all-purpose dynamo owns top-notch burst, change of direction skills, and phenomenal body control while displaying the ability to separate after the catch. Catch him if you can, Harris has been making an impact ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft.
One of the more underrated players in this year’s draft, Russell drew lots of attention with interview requests after a solid week of practice. His route-running is crisp, showcasing sharp breaks when getting in and out of his routes. In fact, Russell was extremely difficult to guard during one-on-ones, especially inside the red zone. Despite lacking prototypical size, he’s a scrappy blocker who gets after it and can be utilized in an array of ways such as H-back or in the backfield, in addition to a tight end; he also has long snaps. A former walk-on and Buffaloes team captain, should Russell follow up with a strong pro day workout, he may have done enough this week to play himself into the backend of the 2023 NFL Draft.
What a sight to see FCS stud ‘Joey Pancakes’ steamroll Power Five prospects all week long! He has put the NFL on notice with his menacing style of play, power, and pop. A three-year starter (Shepherd did not participate in the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Fisher is an enticing prospect due to his tremendous upside. His competitiveness anted up the practice atmosphere a notch, as he dominated day after day. The Rams team captain will join his quarterback Tyson Bagent at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
A lengthy, explosive defensive back, Smith demonstrates excellent ball skills, to pair with an aggressive, physical style of play. Smith is a pure pro who has gone about his business like a boss in Pasadena. He did well in press coverage during one-on-one matchups and his versatility is sure to be a mass appeal. Smith has the versatility to play corner or safety, something he has done during his collegiate career at Mississippi and then Kentucky. It was no surprise to learn that Smith has also earned an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
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