Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Dane Brugler’s Top 10 Senior Bowl storylines

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Dane Brugler’s Top 10 Senior Bowl storylines

    Dane Brugler’s Top 10 Senior Bowl storylines: Drew Lock vs. Daniel Jones the main attraction
    By Dane Brugler Jan 21, 2019 19

    For​ one week every January,​ the​ NFL​ invades Mobile, Ala.,​ for the annual​ Reese’s Senior​ Bowl. The​ all-star exhibition fields​ the top​​ senior college prospects for an audition in front of hundreds of NFL scouts, coaches and evaluators.

    The Senior Bowl game is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2:30 p.m. ET at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will be aired on NFL Network. However, it is the daily practices throughout the week that truly matter for the NFL evaluators in attendance.

    The North Team will be coached by the Oakland Raiders and the South team will be coached by the San Francisco *****.

    Below are 10 storylines to track during Senior Bowl week.

    10. Washington State’s Andre Dillard is the top offensive lineman in Mobile — does he live up to that high billing?
    Evaluating Washington State offensive linemen can be a difficult task with the wide splits and the quick-strike design of the offense. Nonetheless, left tackle Andre Dillard is one of the most impressive blockers I have studied on tape this fall, projecting as the top senior offensive lineman on my draft board.

    With his light feet, body flexibility and core power, Dillard is rarely beat around the corner, maintaining his balance in his movements. His lack of length is a concern, but he uses quick reflexes and a violent swipe to eliminate the reach of rushers. Dillard’s ability to process and play under control will be vital traits during practice drills.

    A strong week in Mobile could help Dillard go from a possible first-round pick to a probable first-round pick. But it won’t be easy going up against the quarterback assassins on the South squad like Old Dominion’s Oshane Ximines, who also is looking to prove why he belongs in the top-32 discussion.

    9. Premium pass rush talent ready to steal the show
    Regardless of the names on the back of the jerseys, the quarterbacks are always the main attraction at all-star games. However, the quarterback hunters off the edge like Ximines will attempt to change that this week during Senior Bowl practices.

    The NCAA’s all-time sack leader, Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson, surpassed Terrell Suggs’ record with 45 career sacks and is looking to make it back-to-back years with a first-round Conference USA pass rusher (Marcus Davenport). It is easy to spot Ferguson on film because he is routinely the first defensive lineman out of his stance, using his quickness, motor and length to get blockers off schedule. If those traits show during practices, he will cement top-40 status in the eyes of some scouts.

    Although he is a better run defender than pass rusher right now, Boston College’s Zach Allen has the violent hands and contact balance to win off the edge. He projects as more of a base end at the next level, but an improved pass rush sequence will only help his first-round case.

    Only 185 pounds when he arrived at Wyoming, Carl Granderson developed into a 260-pound edge rusher with tons of potential. While he certainly looks the part, he is still a novice at the art of the pass rush and scouts question if he will ever reach his full potential. Showing improved technique and tempo during one-on-ones at practice could be enough to move the needle on his draft grade.

    Other pass rushers with a chance to make money this week: Oregon’s Jalen Jelks, TCU’s L.J. Collier and Texas’ Charles Omenihu.

    8. Positional versatility or players without a natural position?
    Senior Bowl practices are a great opportunity for teams to experiment with hybrid players who might have position flexibility or questions about scheme fit.

    Northern Illinois pass rusher Sutton Smith, who was a late call-up as a junior graduate, will stand up and play off-ball linebacker in Mobile. In college, he started at running back before switching to linebacker, but he played his best once moved to edge rusher as a sophomore, collecting 56.5 tackles for loss and 30 sacks over the last two seasons.

    However, Sutton’s undersized frame and length aren’t ideally suited for the edges in the NFL. How will his pass rush speed and nose for the ball translate when asked to play in reverse and handle space? Teams know he can get upfield as a rusher, but Sutton has a chance to make himself money this week if he looks comfortable dropping and playing away from the line of scrimmage.

    On the offensive side of the ball, Kansas State’s Dalton Risner played center his entire life up until his sophomore year in Manhattan when he was moved to right tackle. He does a nice job on tape protecting the edge, but his body type and athletic range suggest he is ideally suited inside. Risner told me he doesn’t have a preferred position, but his excited voice when he was talking about center gave me the impression he wouldn’t mind a move back to his original position.

    Risner started an impressive 50 games at Kansas State, but Wisconsin’s Michael Deiter has him beat, finishing with a school-record 54 straight starts. And even more impressive, the former Badger logged double-digit starts at all three offensive line positions: tackle (14), guard (24) and center (16). Deiter has versatile experience on paper, but will it translate to the next level? Senior Bowl practices will help answer that question. It will be interesting to see which positions he plays throughout the week.

    Washington’s Kaleb McGary, Mississippi State’s Elgton Jenkins and Dillard are three other offensive linemen who could see time at different positions during practices in Mobile.

    7. Who are the ‘small school’ players ready to shine?
    The biggest step for non-FBS prospects is an invitation to a scouting all-star game to prove they belong on the same field as players from Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State. At this time last year, South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard, North Carolina A&T left tackle Brandon Parker and Humboldt State offensive lineman Alex Cappa weren’t considered locks to be drafted in the top-100 picks. All three performed at a high level in Mobile and were eventually picked on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

    This year’s Senior Bowl roster is well-stocked with non-FBS prospects, starting with Delaware free safety Nasir Adderley (more on him further down the list). The second-best small schooler is Alabama State left tackle Tytus Howard, who could help lock up Day 2 draft grades with a positive Senior Bowl week. A former tight end, he didn’t look out of place against Auburn this past season and flashes the raw traits to develop into an NFL starter. After Howard, the next “small school” offensive lineman drafted could be Elon’s Oli Udoh, who played well at the East-West Shrine Game and earned the call-up. He is a light-footed big man who has tackle-guard versatility.

    Another late call-up, running back Wes Hills out of Division II Slippery Rock, had an outstanding week at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and earned this opportunity. A grown man at 6 feet 2 and 218 pounds, his size and quick feet make him a chore to finish to the ground. Former NFL head coach Mike Tice, who coached Hills at the NFLPA Bowl, compared the Delaware transfer to a “not as fast” Robert Smith. At wide receiver, UC Davis’ Keelan Doss and Northern Colorado’s Alex Wesley don’t show suddenness in/out of breaks, but they use tempo and pace as route runners to earn separation, catching the ball well away from their bodies. Stetson’s Donald Parham might be listed as a tight end, but he is basically an overgrown wide receiver (listed at 6-8 and 240 pounds). He is a gliding athlete who demolished FCS competition in the middle of the field with his enormous catch radius.

    Western Illinois nose tackle Khalen Saunders carries his 310-pound frame very well with agile feet and smooth movements. His tape doesn’t show a playmaker or bully, but his natural balance and stout frame are assets. South Dakota State cornerback Jordan Brown has controlled feet in his pedal and redirection, staying centered mid-transition to stay on top of routes. His long speed will be challenged during one-on-one drills in Mobile, but his ball skills should shine as a former wideout.

    6. Year of the large-framed senior cornerback in Mobile
    Teams that value size and length at cornerback will be intrigued by this year’s group of Senior Bowl cornerbacks. Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin (6-1), Penn State’s Amani Oruwariye (6-1), Kentucky’s Lonnie Johnson (6-3) and Houston’s Isaiah Johnson (6-4) are all listed at 6-1 or above.

    Ya-Sin enters the week as the top-rated senior cornerback on my draft board. The FCS-level transfer quickly put himself on the NFL map with his play for the Owls this past season, showcasing outstanding play strength, eye use and ball skills. Oruwariye certainly looks the part, but issues with his balance and transitional quickness will be tough to hide during one-on-ones vs. receivers.

    A pair of late bloomers, Lonnie and Isaiah Johnson look like they are straight out of central casting with their tall, long frames. A JUCO transfer, Lonnie made steady improvement this season, but marginal ball skills and false steps in coverage led to spacing issues. A former wide receiver, Isaiah has outstanding wheels to stay attached to receivers vertically. He has long, strong strides, but it is his short-area quickness and route recognition that will be scrutinized during drills.

    All four of these corner prospects pass the eye test with flying colors but will need to show the cover athleticism to earn a spot in the top-100 picks. One-on-ones vs. the receivers in Mobile will be watched closely by evaluators.

    5. Who is the top wide receiver prospect in Mobile?
    This year’s crop of Senior Bowl pass catchers is one of the strongest position groups, containing receivers of all shapes, sizes and talents.

    Entering the week, Massachusetts’ Andy Isabella receives my vote for top receiver in Mobile. Although he might have the most unimpressive weigh-in of the group, his combination of speed and sudden footwork will be tough for corners to contain during drills. If he catches the ball well, Isabella will prove why many, including myself, believe he could be drafted in the top-60 picks.

    While my vote goes to Isabella, South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel and Buffalo’s Anthony Johnson have plenty of fans in the scouting community, and, despite productive careers, both have something to prove this week. Samuel isn’t a sudden athlete or true burner, with most of his impactful plays coming vs. off-coverage, but he moves with twitch and is one of the better yards-after-catch receivers in this class. Johnson has the size and physicality to leverage routes and outmuscle coverage, but how will his speed look on an island? Will he be able to detach and make plays?

    An under-the-radar receiver who is a potential riser after this week is Old Dominion’s Travis Fulgham. A late bloomer who was a standout on the basketball court in high school, he has shown steady development over the years and posted 1,083 receiving yards in 2018. Fulgham, who recorded a touchdown in the final nine games of his collegiate career, is a large-framed athlete who is still discovering how good he can be. The Senior Bowl could be a launch pad for his rise.

    4. Will Nasir Adderley cement his status as the draft’s top safety?
    After studying his film in October, I was quickly sold that Adderley was one of the best defensive back prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. And the more I studied the other safety prospects, it became clear that the Delaware product was the best at his position, earning the No. 21 overall spot on my top-50 draft board.

    A former cornerback, Adderley, who is related to Hall of Fame defensive back Herb Adderley, moves like a corner with his quick feet, closing speed and smooth change-of-direction skills. He is a magnet to the ball as a run defender and competes with an edge to him. His eyes will find themselves in the wrong place at times, but the natural ball instincts are evident.

    Underclassman safeties like Alabama’s Deionte Thompson and Washington’s Taylor Rapp won’t be participating in Mobile, so the stage is set for Adderley to shine.

    3. With Josh Allen out, Montez Sweat is the highest-rated NFL prospect in the game
    Every year there are top-rated seniors who initially accept their Senior Bowl invitation only to later pull out of the event. Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen was one of those prospects this year, which wasn’t surprising considering he is a projected top-five draft pick.

    With Allen out, Mississippi State pass rusher Montez Sweat becomes the highest-rated prospect in Mobile, according to my draft board. The Michigan State transfer spent a year at the JUCO level before arriving in Starkville for the 2017 season. Over the past two years in the SEC, Sweat combined for 29.5 tackles for loss and 22.0 sacks, establishing himself as one of college football’s best edge rushers.

    The first step for Sweat this week will be the weigh-ins. He has a tall, long frame with lean muscle tone — how much room is there to add bulk? Listed at 245 pounds, does he hit 250 pounds, or will he be closer to 240? With immature moments in his past, the interviews in Mobile also will be paramount.

    On tape, Sweat wins with his first-step burst, flexibility and outstanding length to consistently threaten the edge. He also showed improved play identification and patience to be a better run defender. There is a logjam of different “types” of edge rushers in the first round, and Sweat will have an opportunity to separate himself from the pack in Mobile.

    2. Dissecting every pass, decision and sneeze of the quarterbacks
    I started attending the Senior Bowl 10 years ago, and this year’s crop of quarterbacks is among the best we’ve seen in Mobile over that span. Last year had Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen, the 2016 game had Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott and 2012 saw Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins and Nick Foles in Mobile. But it was only two years ago when the top Senior Bowl quarterbacks were Davis Webb, C.J. Beathard and Joshua Dobbs.

    On the North squad, the headliners are Missouri’s Drew Lock and Duke’s Daniel Jones, but more on them later. Joining them is N.C. State’s Ryan Finley and Penn State’s Trace McSorley. Finley, who reminds me of Foles when he was a prospect coming out of Arizona, doesn’t have high upside, but he is likely the most ready to start an NFL game today. Although Finley might not have a rocket arm, he delivers with touch and will be expected to perform well in a practice setting. McSorley’s highly competitive, instinctive play style has earned him the “gamer” label, which shows on game days, but what about practice? He enters the week ranked as the eighth quarterback (out of eight) and will be looking to change the narrative.

    The South team has an interesting group of passers with a lot to prove. Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson has a power arm, but his hose lacks direction and his tape suggests he might not be quite ready for the Senior Bowl microscope. Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham did not have the 2018 season most had hoped, but how much to blame is Auburn’s third-grade offense? Unleashing his arm, athleticism and intriguing traits during practice could lead to optimism among scouts.

    A graduate transfer from East Carolina (and Troy and JUCO before that), Washington State’s Gardner Minshew thrived in Mike Leach’s wide-open offense, but the pro-style concepts in Mobile will be much different. His performance outside the Air Raid scheme will be paramount to his draft grade. And then there is West Virginia’s Will Grier, who is receiving backseat treatment behind Lock and Jones. Projected as a Day 2 draft pick, he is a rhythm passer who can be deadly accurate when on time with his mechanics and decisions. He undoubtedly will benefit from Kyle Shanahan’s coaching, and it won’t hurt that he will have former teammates David Sills and Gary Jennings as targets. Grier might have the most to gain among the quarterbacks this week as he tries to prove he is worthy of top-32 consideration.

    1. Heavyweight battle: Drew Lock vs. Daniel Jones
    In my opinion, this is the story of the week. Like last year with eventual top-10 picks Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen, Missouri’s Drew Lock and Duke’s Daniel Jones are on the same squad (North), giving evaluators a chance to compare them throw-for-throw during practices.

    On tape, Lock has the stronger arm while Jones is the more accurate touch passer — will that hold up during drills, especially with the inclement weather expected in Mobile? It can be intimidating enough just being in this setting, and how will their competitive juices respond with hundreds of scouts and coaches in attendance panning each pass? With Missouri’s Emanuel Hall injured, Lock and Jones will be working with unfamiliar receivers, so how long will it take to adjust and develop that chemistry?

    Lock and Jones will be coached by the Oakland Raiders and Jon Gruden, who is notorious for his aggressive coaching with quarterbacks. How they respond throughout the week is another interesting variable in the equation.

    Does Mayfield still go No. 1 to the Cleveland Browns if he chose not to participate last year? Does Allen go No. 7 to the Buffalo Bills? We’ll never know for sure, but there is no doubt their performances in Mobile helped push their draft value to its peak.

    This early in the process, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins is the favorite to be the first quarterback drafted and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray is a first-round wild card. But Lock and Jones are in the first-round conversation and jockeying for position, possibly as early as the top-15 overall.

Related Topics

Collapse

  • Nick
    2019 Senior Bowl: Here are the four most compelling storylines to keep an eye on
    by Nick
    2019 Senior Bowl: Here are the four most compelling storylines to keep an eye on
    The focus in Mobile will be on the quarterbacks and a handful of defensive prospects
    By Chris Trapasso
    @ChrisTrapasso
    Jan 21, 2019 • 4 min read

    Still coming down from those ridiculous NFC and AFC championship games? Yeah, me too.

    As you're probably fully aware, essentially outside of Fourth of July week, there's always something happening on the NFL calendar, and Senior Bowl week is upon us.

    The annual all-star exhibition is an important event at the beginning of the pre-draft process relative to it consisting of three practices per team and a singular game on Saturday.

    These are the storylines to follow from Mobile, Alabama this week.

    Can any QBs generate serious buzz to catch the top underclassmen passers?
    We're not yet to February, and talk of Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins is ubiquitous. It's like the group of senior quarterbacks are invisible.

    Drew Lock, Ryan Finley, and Will Grier, your opportunity to change that awaits in Mobile. Compared to one-year starters Murray and Haskins, the seniors are grizzled veterans who enjoyed thoroughly productive careers.

    Oh, by the way, Lock's currently my QB1. His accuracy, decision-making, and pocket presence improved in his final year in Columbia, and he has the best arm of any quarterback in this class. Finley sat atop my signal-caller rankings for a large portion of the season, but antsy movements when pressure mounted along with a limited arm led to a late-season plummet. His film is, however, loaded with high-quality, pinpoint accurate tosses.

    Grier doesn't have traditional NFL size -- which is increasingly mattering less -- and a weak arm. He's coming from an Air Raid system -- which is increasingly becoming more of a luxury than a deterrent -- that greatly boosted his statistical output. At times, Grier can be amazingly patient in the pocket and methodically progress through his reads. In other instances, he panics, runs into pressure, and makes bad decisions his arm can't neutralize.

    A lot of those strengths and weaknesses apply to Duke's Daniel Jones ... but he's 6-5 and has more arm talent than Grier.

    With a strong effort in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar receivers, one -- if not more -- of these quarterbacks should be talked about in the same first-round conversation as Murray and Haskins.

    Will Nasir Adderley, Andy Isabella, and Sutton Smith prove they belong?
    Adderley and Isabella are two small-school prospects heading into Senior Bowl week with a serious amount of buzz.

    With good reason.

    Adderley's explosive, springy athleticism pops on film, whether it be on a play where he ranges from center field to break up a downfield pass or when he flies across the field to stop a runner in his...
    -01-22-2019, 02:27 PM
  • Nick
    2019 Senior Bowl Winners & Losers
    by Nick
    2019 Senior Bowl week winners and losers: Sweat, Samuel, Lock improve stock; Grier among those to struggle
    While it was a big week for some players, others failed to take advantage of a prime opportunity to impress
    By Ryan Wilson
    CBS Sports Writer 1m ago • 8 min read

    MOBILE, Ala. -- The practices are over, the general managers, scouts and coaches have left, and all that remains is Saturday's Senior Bowl game. And while the players here still have much to prove when the ball kicks off at 2:30 p.m. ET, the scouting departments of all 32 teams will pour over the hours of practice footage in the coming weeks as they formulate their draft boards.

    With that in mind, here are some of the players that did the most to help themselves this week.

    Players who improved their stock

    Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

    It sounds like a broken record at this point in the proceedings but Sweat has been lights out from start to finish. He came into the week with gaudy college numbers -- he logged 22.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss his last two seasons -- but the big question mark about Sweat's game was if he had the flexibility to consistently beat offensive tackles around the edge.

    Well, he answered that question and plenty of others in Mobile.

    We've had Sweat as a late first-round pick in our mock drafts dating back to October but if the next few months play out like Senior Bowl week, he'll be a top-15 selection. He's been that good.

    Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

    We loved Samuel in 2017 when he got off to a red-hot start but a broken leg ended that season. He flashed some of that talent in 2018, when he played in 12 games but had just 62 receptions for 882 yards. Good numbers, for sure, but just not great. He can line up outside, in the slot, in the backfield, he can run the jet sweep, return kicks -- anything a coach could dream up. Samuel can run every route and he does it aggressively, but scouts have expressed concerns about his deep speed.

    Samuel, for his part, isn't worried. "Today I was smoking," he told us after Tuesday's practice, regarding his ability to blow past defensive backs in one-on-one drills. And he wasn't joking. According to the Senior Bowl, he was one of the fastest players on the field that day, hitting 21.1 mph. As it stands, Samuel is a second-round pick, but if he continues to tear up the predraft circuit -- the combine, pro days and private workouts remain -- he could work his way into the first round.

    Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

    Lock may have had the smallest hands among all the quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl but it certainly didn't affect his ability to spin it better than anyone else here. The Tigers standout got off to a slow start to his senior season, going 0-3 at one point with one touchdown and five interceptions. But over the following...
    -01-25-2019, 02:16 PM
  • Nick
    Senior Bowl 2019: Defenders who can enter first-round conversation if they impress
    by Nick
    Senior Bowl 2019: Defensive prospects who can enter NFL Draft first-round conversation if they impress
    Three edge-rushers and two defensive backs can move into the first-round discussion if they impress in Mobile
    By Chris Trapasso
    @ChrisTrapasso
    Jan 16, 2019 • 3 min read

    While just a week of practices that precede an exhibition all-star game, every year an assortment of draft prospects see their stocks fluctuate based on what happens on the field at the Senior Bowl.

    The annual showcase takes place in Mobile, Alabama and boasts an impressive list of early-pick alumni, including Baker Mayfield, Carson Wentz, Von Miller, and Aaron Donald.

    This article examines the defensive prospects who start the pre-draft process in the Day Two conversation yet can jump start an ascension into Round 1 with strong showings at the Senior Bowl.

    Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
    Boyd had 15 pass breakups in 2017... and followed that up with 15 more pass breakups as a senior on a feisty, relatively stingy Texas defense. At 6-foot-0 and 195 pounds, Boyd has good, not great size to play on the outside in the NFL, but he's a twitchy plant-and-drive player who's very aggressive when the ball's arriving to its intended target, as evidenced by his high pass-breakup numbers.

    The Senior Bowl will be vital for Boyd as he tries to move into the first-round tier at the position. He's not a man or zone specialist necessarily, but his sticky coverage skills and the speed at which he closes on the football will be tested in Mobile. If he thrives in coverage, knocks away some passes, and shows the same tenacity stopping the run as he did in Austin, he could be on the fast track to Round 1 status.

    Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech
    Ferguson's production speaks for itself. He had 67.5 tackles for loss and 45 sacks in his four seasons at Louisiana Tech and has NFL defensive end size at 6-5 and 262 pounds. But his counter moves are more impressive than his initial moves off the snap, meaning it can take him extra time to get to the quarterback. Also, he's not a bendy edge-rusher despite being a good, relatively explosive athlete.

    If Ferguson can piece together a solid week in Mobile, and does it by winning his reps quickly, landing in Round 1 will not be out of the question whatsoever.

    Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
    Thornhill made the switch to full-time safety in 2018, and it paid off. He went from 63 tackles to 98. His interception total increased from four to six, and he still defended seven passes after knocking 12 to the ground in 2017. At 6-0 and 212 pounds, Thornhill has legitimate NFL safety size and is a fluid mover too who isn't timid about flying downhill in run support. However, despite his excellent range (that comes from his acceleration and sustained speed), Thornhill has a tendency to make out-of-control tackling attempts that,...
    -01-22-2019, 02:24 PM
  • Nick
    2017 Senior Bowl: Underrated South WRs, North's Reddick shine on Wednesday
    by Nick
    2017 Senior Bowl: Underrated South WRs, North's Reddick shine on Wednesday
    NFL teams have different plans for Haason Reddick, and he's showing he could fit anywhere
    by Dane Brugler & Rob Rang 21h ago • 8 min read

    NFL teams value versatility. But there is a difference between being versatile and then not having a true position. Temple linebacker Haason Reddick (6-foot-1 1/2, 237 pounds) is trying to show that he belongs in the former of the two categories with his performance this week in Mobile, Alabama.

    And through two practices, Reddick, who debuted at No. 38 overall on my initial top-50 board, has lived up to expectations.

    Reddick was primarily used as an edge player this season at Temple, standing up or rushing with his hand on the ground as a defensive end. He would occasionally stand up as an off-ball linebacker, but mostly as a spy, limiting the opportunities for scouts to evaluate him in coverage.

    During Wednesday's practice, Reddick was used on rushing, blitzing and off-ball linebacker drills, showing his wide range of abilities. As a rusher, blockers had a tough time slowing him down thanks to his initial burst and flexibility to dip around the edge. He got the best of Pittsburgh offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty on a quick inside move that left the Pitt blocker helpless to counter. During pass pro drills for the running backs, Reddick blitzed from different angles and made several of the backs attempting to slow him down look silly.

    The telling test this week for Reddick is his ability to hold up in coverage drills. It is obvious he is still feeling out the position as an inside linebacker, taking things slowly as he figures out where his eyes need to be. When asked to cover running backs out of the backfield, Reddick was a tad wild with his lower body, but even though he gave up initial spacing, his athleticism allowed him to recover in flash, knocking the ball away.

    Some teams will view Reddick as an edge rusher while others will look for him to make the full transition to inside linebacker. Regardless, he has shown this week that his athleticism allows him to be a quick study with new responsibilities.

    Temple has produced only one NFL player drafted in the top 50 over the past two decades (Muhammad Wilkerson, 30th overall to Jets in 2011), but Reddick is on his way to being the second.
    More observations from Wednesday's North practice:

    The tight end group on the South squad receives most of the attention, and rightfully so, with a roster that boasts O.J. Howard, Evan Engram and Gerald Everett. But Florida International's Jonnu Smith (6-foot-2 3/4, 245 pounds) deserves praise thrown his way for his performances this week during practice. He is an athletic route runner with a smooth release and sharp footwork in and out of his breaks to create room to work as a pass-catcher. Smith is guilty of allowing...
    -01-26-2017, 02:31 PM
  • Nick
    Rang: Ten bold NFL draft predictions for the 2019 Senior Bowl
    by Nick
    Ten bold NFL draft predictions for the 2019 Senior Bowl
    By Rob Rang
    1 day
    -edited

    With perspective from scouting since 2001, Rang predicts small school stars, weigh-in winners and game's top draft picks

    With the football-loving world still buzzing with Sunday’s compelling (and controversial) NFL conference championship games, the attention will shift this week away from the excitement in Foxboro and Los Angeles and heartbreak in New Orleans and Kansas City to the sleepy gulf town of Mobile, Ala. for the annual Senior Bowl, the most prestigious amateur all-star game in modern sports and a mecca for scouts, media and top-rated prospects for the 2019 draft.

    Like the draft, itself, coverage of the Senior Bowl has changed greatly since my first trip there, back in 2001 – when future All-Pros LaDainian Tomlinson, Chad Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Steve Hutchinson and Kris Jenkins provided those paying attention a glimpse into the future.

    The perspective of having attended senior all-star games like that one for nearly 20 years is precisely what separates my own analysis (and that from NFLDraftScout.com, as a whole) from the competition.

    As such, here in descending order is my 10 Bold Predictions of what will take place over the next few days at the Senior Bowl and how it will impact the 2019 NFL draft.


    10. Duke QB Daniel Jones takes a big steps towards becoming the draft’s top QB

    Former NFL general manager Scot McCloughan told our listeners on the Instinctive Scouting Podcast that he believes Jones will answer all questions about his arm strength this week in Mobile, just as the quarterback he helped the Cleveland Browns decide on – Baker Mayfield – did last year. Jones currently ranks second on NFLDraftScout.com’s (and my own) board to Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and just ahead of Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, neither of whom are participating this week.

    9. Weigh-in winners will include Wyoming’s Carl Granderson, Washington’s Kaleb McGary

    While the heavily-attended practices on Tuesday and Wednesday are the most critical element to boosting one’s stock at the Senior Bowl – even more than the game, itself – the weigh-ins provide prospects a wonderful chance at making a first impression. Many of the scouts and coaches attending the game will have not seen these players live before and measuring in well can create a buzz. Scouts out west know the twitchy long-limbed Granderson and prototypically built right tackle McGary well – and so will everyone else.


    8. Defensive line talent dominates from the get-go

    Stop me if you’ve heard this before but this year’s defensive line class is truly a remarkable collection of talent and that extends to the Senior Bowl. Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat and Boston College’s Zach Allen are legitimate first round prospects with Granderson, Iowa’s Anthony Nelson,...
    -01-22-2019, 02:25 PM
Working...
X