Reese’s Senior Bowl: M.J. Stewart receives praise after first day in Mobile


M.J. Stewart receives some praise after his performance at Tuesday’s Reese’s Senior Bowl practice

Former University of North Carolina Tar Heels’ defensive back M.J. Stewart is hoping to be the next standout cornerback in the NFL.

With the 2018 NFL Draft still a few months away, Stewart is participating in the annual Reese’s Senior Bowl down in Mobile, Alabama.

The cornerback is hoping to up his draft stock by impressing in front of hundreds of NFL scouts, execs, coaches and writers that are in Mobile this week ahead of the game.

During Tuesday’s practice, Stewart shined and received some praise from a lot of scouts and writers on hand.

ESPN’s Matt Bowen praised Stewart, pointing out some of his strengths:

"UNC CB M.J. Stewart (5-foot-11, 198 pounds) had a really impressive session during one-on-ones today. Stewart displayed the footwork to mirror releases and he challenged the break at the top of the route. Quick to drive and close on the ball. Stewart has the ability to bump inside to the slot at the pro level too."

Among the practice routine featured one-on-ones with cornerbacks and wide receivers. That was an area that Stewart excelled in.

Stewart held his own in the one-on-one drills Tuesday, going up against senior wide receivers entering the upcoming draft.

FanRag Sports’ Joe Marino tweeted that Stewart was pattern matching and made some plays on the football while in coverage. The cornerback stayed on his breaks and wasn’t fooled by his opposition.

More praise came from scout Jonah Tuls who tweeted this:

As for Stewart’s measurements, he came in at 5-foot-10 1/2, 198 pounds. His hands measured at 9 3/8 and his arms at 31 1/2 inches.

For UNC fans, hearing that Stewart was one of the top performers at the first day of practice is nothing new. He played well in his career at UNC and was one of the Tar Heels’ best players on defense.

Stewart has a shot at being a first round pick come April but needs to consistently perform well this week and then again at the NFL Scouting Combine.

He received the ultimate praise from former UNC defensive coordinator Gene Chizik who tweet out the following in response to Tuls’ tweet:

The Senior Bowl continues on Wednesday with another practice session. The actual game will take place on Saturday, Jan. 27 and will be televised on NFL Network.

Next: Full 2018 UNC Football schedule released

For more on Stewart at the Reese’s Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine, check back with Keeping It Heel for the latest.