MOBILE, Ala. — Princeton wide receiver Andrei Iosivas showed up to this year’s Senior Bowl as one of the guys with the most to gain ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. When the first day of practice in Mobile, Alabama wrapped up on Tuesday afternoon, Iosivas could rest easy knowing he got off to a great start.
For someone from a smaller school that is more well-known for their educational prowess than their football success, it would be easy to understand if Iosivas came into Senior Bowl practices with extra pressure to show out. He never had to face as high a level of competition in college as he would in Mobile, so this was a massive opportunity to prove what he could do against some of the best defenders in his draft class. According to the former Princeton Tiger, that wasn’t something weighing heavily on his mind ahead of this week.
“I don’t feel [extra] pressure; I just put the pressure on myself naturally just to perform,” Andrei Iosivas said after Tuesday’s practice. “As an athlete, I always expect the highest of myself, so it was just all self-driven.”
Watching him practice on Tuesday afternoon, that confidence in his skills showed up in spades. Iosivas is playing for the American Team in Mobile, a squad that has some of the best secondary defenders that have come to play—Kansas State cornerback Julius Brents, South Carolina’s Darius Rush, and Miami (FL)’s Tyrique Stevenson, to name a few. Facing those guys in one-on-one drills, Iosivas didn’t flinch. He showed off a great release that created separation from his defender immediately and increased that breathing room with some quick cuts and excellent route-running downfield. If none of that was enough to guarantee his success on a rep, his great hands did the rest and allowed him to win at the catch point, even in contested situations.
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If there were any doubters wondering whether Iosivas’ skill set would hold up against a higher level of competition, he seemed to put many of them to rest by the end of his first practice. For the rest of the week, he’ll be able to build off of his strong day by getting even better at taking advantage of his great releases and big frame to win downfield against some of the strongest secondary defenders present at the Senior Bowl.
It’s only been one day of practice, but Iosivas’ first impression was one of the strongest of all wide receivers. For him to continue to raise his draft stock, he’ll need to show he can be consistent in having those kinds of practices against the defenders in Mobile. Strong performances throughout the week that build off the strong foundation set on the first day are the biggest key to “winning” Senior Bowl week. Iosivas has the foundation and now some extra confidence to carry into the rest of his practices this week.
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