Senior Bowl Recap

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The Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama is the first big step into the true draft process after the college football season. A whole week of practices and interviews with NFL personnel is concluded with the game on Saturday. Just like during the regular season, there were risers and fallers from the Senior Bowl.

I must say, though, every player who participated in the Senior Bowl helped their cause. They got more face time with NFL teams, they showed what they could do in a new environment, and they showed their willingness to compete. Below I’ve listed far more risers than fallers, as the term “faller” is almost a misnomer in this situation.

Risers:

Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

Kinlaw didn’t finish the week due to a minor injury, but he was still one of the biggest winners. He dominated one-on-ones showing off his abilities as a power pass rusher. Kinlaw left zero doubt that he will be a first-round draft pick.

Van Jefferson, WR, Florida

It was a great week for receivers in Mobile, but Jefferson had the best overall showing. Before the Senior Bowl, he was projecting as a third or fourth rounder. Absolutely dominating every cornerback all week and running routes that were nothing short of incredible, Jefferson is now trending towards an early Day Two selection.

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Herbert walks away from the week as the Senior Bowl MVP capping off a brilliant week of practice in which he was named the Practice Player of the Week. He showed off great touch and ball placement, two areas of his game that still had some question marks. I still believe Tua will be drafted at 3 once the Lions trade out of that spot, but Herbert shouldn’t have to wait too long after that.

Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Love had a very similar week as Herbert, showing off elite touch and ball placement. This week was very key for Love as he was able to throw to some really great receivers and tight ends. Some team will love his upside and traits and will take him in the top 15.

– Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton

There were many small-school prospects who stepped up on a much bigger stage than usual, but Trautman shined the brightest. He showed a great knack for getting open due to his surprising agility and route running for his size. Trautman was widely viewed as an early Day Three selection before last week, he might be a solid Day Two pick now.

Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Jones might have had the biggest rise from just last week. There were many top tier edge rushers and defensive linemen at the Senior Bowl, and Jones was able to contain them. He suddenly is trending towards a second round pick, at the latest.

Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah

Anae is one of those high-end edge rushers I was just talking about. He dominated offensive linemen all week during practice, and then he couldn’t be stopped in the game on Saturday either. Anae seems like a prospect that has all the tools as an edge rusher, but was just overlooked during the season. Expect his name to be called between late round one and early round two in April.

Damien Lewis, OL, LSU

In a class that is a bit weak on the interior offensive line, Lewis proved he’s more than a round three or four pick. He dominated one-on-ones displaying great technique with his feet and hands. After a great week in Mobile, I’m not sure Lewis will make it to the third round.

Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma

Gallimore was not an easy assignment for anyone trying to block him last week. He routinely destroyed blockers during all portions of practices and the game. Gallimore proved he is a big time pass rusher along with being able to stop the run so well. While he might not fit in the first round, he’s a first round talent.

Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame

Overall, the receivers in Mobile dominated the cornerbacks, but Pride was the exception. He displayed great agility and movement allowing him to stick to receivers, while also being one of the fastest players on the entire field. Pride capped off a great week of practices with an interception in the game. This is a top heavy cornerback class, but Pride can find himself in Day Two conversation with a good performance at the Combine next month.

Michael Pittman, WR, USC

Pittman is one of my favorite prospects in this class and he had a tremendous week. He displayed an ability to continuously get open due to great route running and agility despite his bigger size. I like Pittman to ride up into the early second round.

Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA

Kelley did exactly what he need to do in Mobile last week. Playing on the West Coast, it’s likely that scouts didn’t see much of him live before the Senior Bowl. Kelley has a great week of practice and then he erupted in the game with a huge touchdown run. Ability to have explosive runs is crucial for running backs potentially not being drafted until Day Three.

Fallers:

Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan

I’ve watched Patterson at Michigan for several years and earlier this season I essentially wrote him off as a draftable quarterback. He didn’t buck that opinion in Mobile. He struggled mightily with accuracy and didn’t have enough zip on the ball. He’s still undraftable for me.

Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

Don’t get me wrong, I still like Hurts as a round three prospect. But he struggled with accuracy and timing most of the week, including the game. I saw him as an early second rounder over the summer, then as a fringe round two/three guy before last week. With a good week, I would’ve expected him to be a top 40 pick. A so-so week drops him down to the third round.

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