MOBILE, Ala. — Of all of the prospects present at the 2023 Senior Bowl, the skill player who has seemed to turn the most heads over the first two days of practice is Houston wide receiver Tank Dell. He came to Mobile to prove that he’s one of the best receivers in his draft class and is off to a great start.
The nation’s leader in receiving touchdowns has been balling out at Senior Bowl practices, where his combination of a great release, excellent route-running, and phenomenal hands have allowed him to make play after play through two days. Along the way, he’s raising his draft stock and making himself some money.
Standing at 5-foot-8 and 163 pounds, Dell was always going to have to lean on his traits and strong skill set to turn the heads of NFL scouts and coaches. His speed is a premium asset—Dell is fast and agile—but he’s starting to take advantage of his separation skills and excellent hands as well in Mobile. According to him, those skills have been something he prides himself on after working hard to get to this point.
“In the NFL, speed can only take you so far… unless you’re Tyreek Hill,” Tank dell said before Wednesday’s practice. “Everybody’s fast in the NFL, so you’ve got to know how to be able to separate and make those 50/50 catches.”
Of course, Dell wasn’t born with all of these skills. These are things he’s worked on and grinded at for years. To get his hands to where they are now, he’s made sure to get 150-plus catches in every day that he practices—some of which come naturally with his practice reps but more come by throwing around with his fellow receivers at their training facility or using the JUGS machine. Watching him through two days of Senior Bowl practice, it’s not hard to see how that work has paid off.
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That grinder mentality doesn’t only apply to Dell’s efforts physically and on the field. Since coming to Mobile, he’s also tried to make sure he’s one of the guys most familiar with the playbook. The players have had busy schedules so far this week, but Dell said he spends almost every moment of his free time and even sacrifices some time to sleep to be sure he knows the playbook better than anyone.
It’s intangible qualities like that mindset and passion to get better on top of his skills that really make the Houston product stand out. He isn’t the biggest or most physical guy, but Dell has found a way to win consistently with his high football IQ, excellent separation creation, and fantastic hands. By the time Senior Bowl week is over, he’ll have raised his draft stock quite a bit.
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