The 2023 edition of the Senior Bowl is set to kick off this week, with televised practices daily from Tuesday to Thursday, with the game itself expected to begin on Saturday, February 4th, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.
This year, practices are set to be aired on the NFL’s proprietary streaming service NFL+ on Tuesday, with ESPN handling Wednesday and Thursday practices. All practices are set to go from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time. The game broadcast is set for NFL Network.
Coaching staffs for the Senior Bowl will look radically different this season from the usual protocol, with the bowl committee asking all 32 NFL teams to name assistant coaches looking to gain experience for consideration. Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will coach the American Team, while Las Vegas Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will coach the National Team. A full list of the coaches who will be participating can be found at the provided link.
There will be some relevance for MAC fans this season, though perhaps not as much as last year, when the conference had five invitees. Two edge rushers will carry the #MACtion torch in BGSU’s Karl Brooks and Central Michigan’s Thomas Incoom.
(Former Miami linebacker Ivan Pace Jr., who transferred to Cincinnati for 2022, was also invited, and is listed on the National Team.)
We take a dive into both participants below:
Karl Brooks, EDGE/IDL, Bowling Green
Karl Brooks has been a mainstay on the Falcons defense since 2018, starting in every single game in his final four seasons after winning the job midway through his true freshman campaign.
Over his BGSU career, Brooks finished with 167 tackles, including 46 tackles-for-loss and 27.5 sacks, with an interception, five passes defensed and five forced fumbles to his name in 52 appearances (44 starts.)
Brooks, who moved from interior line to the end position in 2022, collected back-to-back all-MAC team appearances in his final two seasons (third-team in 2021 and first-team in 2022), while also picking up first-team All-American honors from Pro Football Focus and an honorable mention All-American nod from Pro Football Network.
His 2022 season was perhaps his best, finishing the 13-game slate with 50 tackles, 18 tackles-for-loss and 10 sacks, with four passes defensed and two forced fumbles.
Standing at six-foot-four, 300 lbs., Brooks is a long, tall pass-rusher, with standup ability on the outside and pass-rush ability in both the two and three-point stance along the line, with versatility at several DL positions. He pops up in film, with great length, leverage and footwork, showing workable burst and acceleration off the snap for a 300 lb. guy.
Brooks hovers around as a Day 2-3 prospect depending on the scouting service.
Thomas Incoom, EDGE, Central Michigan
Thomas Incoom is a raw, intriguing athlete at the edge position who has been the chatter of NFL circles for some time. A formerly unheralded tight end prospect who had to start his college football career at Valdosta State, Incoom found a way to contribute on defense, getting the attention of Jim McElwain and his staff.
Much like at Valdosta State, where he was a first-team all-Gulf South Conference defensive lineman in 2020, Incoom made an immediate impact for the Chippewas, claiming the starting edge role by the end of his first season, which featured 8.5 tackles-for-loss and four sacks.
Incoom had a lot of pressure to perform in 2022, with the task of replacing a two-time first-team all-MAC player in Troy Hairston. Incoom did that and then some, finishing the campaign with 56 tackles, 18.5 tackles-for-loss and 11.5 sacks, with two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery touchdown.
Incoom was named to the first-team all-MAC defensive line as a reward for his efforts, continuing a streak for the program which dates back to the 2017 season.
Incoom features NFL size at a position of value, standing at six-foot-four, 265 lbs., with a high motor and a variety of skill moves to utilize, including a strong bull rush and quick speed moves around the outside. He’s also a sure tackler, rarely missing stops and showing sure form. He’ll project as a likely Day 3 pick, but could vault himself into Day 2 conversations with an impressive showing.