5 big risers from Day 1 of Senior Bowl practice

Senior Bowl week is always a very exciting time of the NFL draft process as players from all over the country congregate in Mobile, Ala., with the goal of raising their draft stock.

The Bears were well-represented during Tuesday’s practice, where general manager Ryan Poles, head coach Matt Eberflus and assistant GM Ian Cunningham were in attendance. Not to mention, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy is serving as the head coach of the American team, which is giving him an up-close look at the prospects.

There were several names that everyone seemed to keep saying throughout the first day of practice on Tuesday, and Bears fans should become acquainted with the following players through the draft process:

WR Puka Nacua, BYU

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Nacua was the best receiver on the field Tuesday. He made a really nice back shoulder grab falling to the turf to haul in a pass from Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener. A few plays later, he made a leaping grab from Haener on the same sideline. He is really deliberate with his route running, and has no problems making the tough catches. Bears fans would love him, and so would Justin Fields.

OT Dawand Jones, Ohio State

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This guy is as advertised. Jones is a mammoth of a man, but it’s not just his size that he uses to his advantage. He has quick feet, can move, and you will not beat him with hand-fighting. Jones will be among the highest-drafted players in Mobile.

CB Julius Brents, Kansas State

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Brents was phenomenal Tuesday. He intercepted TCU quarterback Max Duggan during one-on-ones, and ran stride-for-stride with his man on a nine route that ended up being incomplete on a deep shot to the end zone in his following rep. Brents is sticky, smart, and doesn’t get too handsy where you worry about potential flags. He was the best defensive back on the field – a really good day for Brents.

RB Tyjae Spears, Tulane

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It felt as if anytime you would look up during American team practice, Spears was doing something that made people take notice. His vision was spectacular. In 11-on-11s, he got a carry out of a heavy I-formation and  immediately punched it through the A-gap. He’s got a very good mixture of elusiveness and power, and he doesn’t shy away from contact.

DL Yaya Diabi, Louisville

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Oddly enough, it looked like Diabi was the one in that aforementioned clash with Jake Andrews in the pit of offensive and defensive linemen. He had a very productive day, though. Diabi plays with controlled violence, he’s very aggressive and a thumper when he gets to the ball carrier. Keep tabs on Diabi being a potential mid-round to late-round pick by Chicago.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire