The NFL community came together this past Saturday for the 70th Annual Reese’s Senior Bowl where 100 of the top NFL prospects went on their biggest interview showcasing their mental capacity, personality, and talent. The North team coached by Jon Gruden snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating the South team coached by Kyle Shanahan. This was a very exciting week for NFL hopefuls as they attempted to improve their draft stock and make their childhood dreams a reality. Let’s take a look at the biggest standouts from the Senior Bowl.
QB Daniel Jones Duke
The 2019 Senior Bowl Offensive MVP struggled quite a bit during practices but Jones showed up in the game completing 8-of-11 passes for 115 yards and TD, he also ran for another score. Watching the game it was apparent that the scheme/play-calling really helped Jones out as he was put on the move with rollouts, got the play-action game going, and his receivers bailed him out making tough catches and racking up yards after the catch. I don’t knock his performance at all however because coaching matters and if he is going to be a successful quarterback then his coach will need to put him in the best system to be successful, just like all young quarterbacks.
QB Ryan Finley North Carolina State
Although Finley had an up and down practice week, I thought he was best quarterback on the field at the Senior Bowl. He was impressive with his decision making and touch on the football. Out of all the quarterbacks, Finley looked like the most comfortable quarterback under center, in the pocket, and working through his progressions. Finley’s arm strength is his biggest question mark but a QB needy team that doesn’t want to take the risk on Daniel Jones or Drew Lock in the first round can get Finley much later and groom him to be their guy.
QB Tyree Jackson Buffalo
The Senior Bowl participant that got the most buzz on Twitter was Tyree Jackson and for good reason. Jackson flashed his tremendous arm strength on a deep downfield pass to Gary Jennings for 60 yards. He demonstrated that he can also use his athleticism to make plays and put touch on the football with his back shoulder TD pass to David Sills. The big 6’7 250 pound quarterback from Buffalo is an exciting prospect but his inconsistencies will make it hard for a team to select him during the first two days of the draft. Right now he is a developmental guy with raw tools and ability. That being said Jackson is reminiscent of Josh Allen from last year’s draft who was selected in the first round; so who knows where Jackson will land as teams tend to fall in love with quarterbacks and overdraft them.
RB Tony Pollard Memphis
A back with decisiveness and juice is always a good back to grab in the draft. Memphis’ Tony Pollard may not have been the most heralded back at the Senior Bowl but he grabbed my attention quite a few times due to his explosiveness. He’s a guy that I circled to go back to the tape. Pollard is an under-the-radar guy that improved his draft stock on Saturday. He had seven kick-return touchdowns for scores at Memphis tying the NCAA record and caught 104 passes so he stands to make the game day roster out of the gates at the next level.
FB Alec Ingold Wisconsin
Full-Backs are people too! A position that has become increasingly scarce remains an integral part of a handful of NFL organizations (see the New England Patriots). Ingold is a Badger so you know he is physical at the point of attack; he helped open up holes for Jonathan Taylor while at Wisconsin and will help an NFL team do the same. Fullback, pass catcher and athleticism typically aren’t terms used in the same sentence but Ingold adds intrigue as a pass catcher with plus athleticism for his position. The team that picks him up won’t win the press conference nor dominate headlines but they’ll get a guy that can play special teams and do the dirty work.
WR Keelan Doss UC Davis
The small school stand-out Keelan Doss was the best receiver on the field at the Senior Bowl. His silky smooth route-running and strong hands were in full effect. He can line up inside or outside the numbers and win quickly for his quarterback. His ascension in this game reminds me of Zay Jones a couple of years ago which means teams will strongly consider taking him in the 2nd round. With a chance to transfer to a bigger school, Doss opted to stay put at UC Davis and dominated competition with 223 catches over the last two seasons. Doss has now shown he can dominate lesser competition and the all-stars at the Senior Bowl.
WR Andy Isabella UMASS
The diminutive receiver from UMASS, Isabella was everywhere on the field this past Saturday. I tweeted out he’s looking like the next great Patriots slot receiver. He was winning short with yards after the catch, intermediate, and deeper down the field. His size will relegate him as an inside receiver but as we’ve seen in the NFL lately, that is perfectly fine and has become a dynamic weapon. Isabella caught a game high 7 passes for 74 yards and displayed his excellent route running quickness throughout.
WR Deebo Samuel South Carolina
The best player during the Senior Bowl practices didn’t get many opportunities in the actual game but Deebo Samuel already made his presence felt and didn’t have to do much to solidify his rising stock. He won quickly off the line of scrimmage continuously through the week showcasing his physicality, route running, strong hands, and what might be his best trait, yards after the catch. His ability to turn into a running back after the catch is reminiscent of D.J. Moore from last year’s draft. Next up for Samuel is the NFL Combine, if he runs sub 4.45 this will all but guarantee he gets selected within the first 32 picks.
WR Hunter Renfrow Clemson
Here is another slot dynamo that was all over the field and a player that ACC teams are happy is finally heading to the NFL. Third and Renfrow is what he was dubbed at Clemson as he has a knack for getting open on the money down and making difficult catches. Renfrow will probably be a Day 3 draft selection because of his physical limitations and athleticism but he could thrive in the right offense at the next level. A player who wins early from the slot is a quarterback’s best friend.
OT Dalton Risner Kansas State
A versatile lineman that played center, guard, and tackle at Kansas St. demonstrated that he can prosper just fine on the outside. Risner will probably push to play tackle at the next level because that’s where the money is but being a versatile big man will get him more love as the draft process continues. He took a big step forward this past week bullying opposing defenders in practices and in the game. Risner is a riser that can be a plug and play starter at the next level.
OT Chuma Edoga USC
Limited by an injury riddled senior season, Edoga needed a big Senior Bowl week to elevate his draft stock. He surely accomplished that task by showcasing his nimble feet, athleticism, and technical savvy. Teams will be getting a steal if he can get back to his junior season form where he allowed a mere six quarterback pressures the entire season.
OT Andre Dillard Washington State
Dillard was getting the most buzz as a top 10 prospect coming into Senior Bowl week. Measurables and potential are often times brought up when describing Dillard but personally those words scare me when evaluating offensive line prospects. I am more of a technique and fundamentals over talent and potential type of guy for that position. He was a bit inconsistent in the game as his athleticism stood out at times but his technique, footwork, and functional strength was shaky. I look forward to evaluating Dillard some more before I give my final grade.
OG Chris Lindstrom Boston College
Here is a nasty guy with the requisite technique and fundamentals. Strong at the point of attack, Lindstrom helped spearheaded a North offensive line that was dominant all week long. Playing guard at the next level, he will probably come off the board on Day 2 but whoever selects him will have improved the most important position group in football.
OG Ben Powers Oklahoma
The Oklahoma Sooners had one of the best offensive lines in college football, if not the best, and Powers was a big reason why. He outplayed fellow Sooner guard Dru Samia who was also at the Senior Bowl. Powers is a very physical guard with plus strength. Defenders attempted to bull rush Powers this week and he didn’t budge living up to his name.
OC Garrett Bradbury North Carolina State
Bradbury was another one of those North offensive lineman this week that dominated in the trenches. Not only does Bradbury have the strength to move defenders but he also has plus athleticism to get to the second level with bad intentions. Technique and fundamentals is the name of the game and Bradbury displayed both for N.C. State during his tenure as he was named the winner of the Remington Trophy (best center in the country).
DT Khalen Saunders Western Illinois
The quickest way to a quarterback is a straight line right up the middle. Khalen Saunders jumped off the screen early at the Senior Bowl with a swim move utilizing his violent hands and getting a sack. He actually dominated that whole drive by beating his man consistently, putting pressure on the quarterback, and throwing the timing of numerous plays off. The stocky built Saunders plays the game like Grady Jarrett winning with quickness and athleticism. Saunders is one of the top small school, FCS standouts, who is disruptive and makes plays in the backfield against the run and the pass.
DT Daylon Mack Texas A&M
Mack dominated during the Shrine Game practices and got the call up to the Senior Bowl where he didn’t disappoint. Back-to-back weeks of dominance for the Texas A&M defensive tackle has certainly improved his draft stock. A former 5-Star recruit, Mack didn’t quite live up to the billing in his time with the Aggies but better late than never, as he has flashed over the last two weeks and demonstrated why he was so highly touted. Mack is a powerful guy that’s hard to move off of his spot in the run game. As of now he will be a two-down player at the next level but don’t be surprised if he improves his pass rushing technique as he surely has the talent to do so.
DT Kingsley KeKe Texas A&M
While Mack was doing work in the trenches playing stout run defense, his partner in crime Kingsley KeKe was getting after the quarterback. A better pass rusher than Mack, Keke utilizes an explosive first step to penetrate the line of scrimmage. The biggest question with KeKe is his physicality playing run defense and getting off blocks. He slimmed down to improve his quickness but at what cost? Time will tell if he can play on the field in running situations at the next level.
DE Charles Omenihu Texas
Omenihu stood out to me before I even saw him take a snap. The 6’6 275 pound former Texas Longhorn is a long limb athlete built like a stallion. Teams fall in love with pass rushers every year that have his size and I don’t think it will be any different with Omenihu. Technique and fundamentals are important traits for a pass rusher but if there is a position I’ll take a raw, freakish high-ceiling guy, it would be an edge rusher. Omenihu flashed in the game as well by powering through potential first round pick Andre Dillard, playing solid run defense, and showcasing his relentless motor time after time.
DE Jaylon Ferguson Louisiana Tech
Ferguson had an inconsistent practice week at the Senior Bowl and didn’t really flash in the game outside of a strip sack where the quarterback held on to the ball too long, but sack production translates to the next level. Ferguson broke Terrell Suggs all-time NCAA sack record with 45 career sacks. Yes this was mainly against lesser competition but he is a name to watch and a guy I am looking forward to watching more tape on.
DE Montez Sweat Mississippi State
One of the biggest risers from the Senior Bowl, Montez Sweat is now getting some top 10 grades from evaluators after showcasing his pass rushing and run defense prowess. Sweat’s play-style is similar to last year’s top edge rusher Bradley Chubb as he gets it done with power and can handle all situations whether it be containing the edge or getting after the quarterback. He doesn’t have the same talent as Chubb but Sweat can be a productive edge rusher for the next 10 seasons. His length and first step can mitigate some of the bend issues that scouts point out. Sweat has cemented himself as a top 20 pick with his play in the Senior Bowl and can become a top 10 guy if he tests well during the Combine.
DE L.J. Collier TCU
Shout out to CPGM Juice who was in attendance at the Senior Bowl and singled out Collier as a player that flashed continuously throughout the game. The stout 276 pound end impressed by overpowering top tier offensive lineman throughout Senior Bowl week. He has a relentless motor and the requisite pass rushing technique to get it done at the next level. An overpowering force with 34 2/3 arm length and the ability to use them is a troubling scenario for offensive linemen. A potential late round sleeper before last week made himself some money and is now considered a day 2 guy.
CB Iman Marshall USC
He may not be the most talented and he himself admitted that he didn’t give his best effort in the past, but Marshall kept making big plays each day at practice and in the game. He was a former 5-Star prospect, so a team will take a flier on him later in the draft with hopes of unlocking his potential.
CB Lonnie Johnson Jr. Kentucky
There are quite a few long corners with size in this draft class and Johnson is no different standing at 6’2. He needs to work on his technique and transitions but I like his physicality and swag on the football field. He displayed solid cover skills this week and had a highlight hit in the game. A move to safety isn’t out of the question.
CB Jimmy Moreland James Madison
When Deebo Samuel (the best receiver at the Senior Bowl) stated that Moreland was the top corner he faced this week, I started to pay attention. Small school standout Moreland made quite the impression with his cover skills and is a player I circled to go to the tape. I’m a big fan of ball skills and Moreland’s 18 collegiate interceptions is impressive. You can’t teach that. He’s on the smaller size but if you can cover and make a play on the ball then sign me up.
CB Rock Ya-Sin Temple
He was touted as the best cornerback coming into the Senior Bowl due to his size, length, speed, and toughness. Per PFF he was one of the top rated cornerbacks this season only allowing 22 catches on 43 pass attempts into his coverage. He was inconsistent throughout the week and his inexperience showed at times but he also displayed solid ball-skills and fluidity. Rock Ya-Sin is not a finished product but his ceiling is mighty high once he fixes some of his technical issues.
S Nasir Adderley Delaware
The top safety in Mobile in a pretty good group of safeties, Adderley showcased his versatility excelling against the run and the pass. In today’s league having a safety that can cover like a corner is a major plus. Guys like that go in the first round and Adderley has a strong chance to fit the bill. A smooth safety that can run, Adderley has the ability to come down in nickel to play man-to-man coverage against slot receivers. The Senior Bowl tends to drive guys up the draft board, especially a guy like Adderley whose skill-set not only translates to the next level but is in-demand.
S Jaquan Johnson Miami
University of Miami players tend to have better pro careers than college careers. Coaching is the direct culprit for this. Johnson is a solid football player with ball-skills, a high football IQ, and instincts. He also showcased at the Senior Bowl that he can be a good player in the box. He made some terrific run fits and made plays in the opponent’s backfield. A well-rounded safety but with athletic limitations, Johnson will probably slot somewhere in the middle rounds.