Senior Bowl Recap: Creating a Line-up from Senior Bowl prospects
To recap the Senior Bowl week (Game plus practices) I thought i would create a line-up with starters and key back-ups at every position. There will be a few extra “starters” given how teams use various offensive and defensive packages.
QB: starter- Garrett Grayson, back-up- Bryce Petty
-Not much to say here for the quarterbacks as none of them were great. Grayson had some issues, but was probably the most consistent QB of the week. Petty was inconsistent but may have the most talent of the bunch. Honestly though it is tough to consider any of these guys before the 4th round (and even then that is a push).
RB: starter- David Cobb, back-up: David Johnson, 3rd down back- Ameer Abdullah, Fullback- Tyler Varga
-A lot of good running back talent down here. Cobb was the most complete back of the week. He’s not a game breaker, but he is a guy who will keep the chains moving. Johnson had a similar week and a similar skill set though maybe a bit more athletic. If you do want a game breaker, Abdullah is your guy and he fits perfectly in a 3rd down back type of role. If you are a team looking for a playmaker who can pick up chunks of yards both on the ground and through the air, Abullah is your guy. He’s not a guy who is going to run the ball 17-20 times a game, but 8-10 carries and 4-7 catches a game is where you want him. Varga isn’t really a natural fullback, but he played here this week and he showed some nice lead blocking ability as well as some rushing ability. He’s a guy you want on your team and will help you in a variety of ways.
TE: starter- Clive Walford, back-up- Nick Boyle
-Walford and Boyle were clearly the top two tight ends down here this week. both are all around players who can help as in line blockers and are quality receivers as well. Walford has more athleticism and is a guy who could even split out in a Joker role.
WR: starters- Tony Lippett, Phillip Dorsett, slot receiver- Tyler Lockett, back-ups: Dezmin Lewis and Jamison Crowder
-Lippett, Dorsett and Lockett all had really strong weeks and it was pretty clear they were the most consistent receivers down here (though there were a number of solid guys). Dorsett and Lockett are guys with great speed who are playmakers. Lippett brings a good size/speed combo and is a very good route runner. As for the back-ups small school Dez Lewis really impressed this week and he’s a guy who has a ton of upside. He should find his way into the top 125 picks and could be a riser to watch. Crowder is undersized, but all he did was catch the ball and make plays this week. His size will limit his draft stock, but he will get a shot on the third day to be a slot receiver special teamer.
Offensive tackle: starters- La’el Collins and Rob Havenstein, back-up-Ali Marpet (better as a guard though)
-Collins had an up-and-down practice week, but played much better in the game. I still think he is similar to a Zack Martin or Joel Bitonio from a year ago where he could play LT and probably be above average there or he could kick inside to guard and quickly become elite. Either way he’s a good football player and a guy who should go in the top half of the first round. Havenstein is a guy who won’t come close to going in the first round, but day-in-day out he proved he could play at the next level. He probably won’t go until the 3rd day, but he had a very good week of practice. Marpet is best suited at guard at the next level and practiced there a lot, but he was listed on the game day program at tackle so I’m fitting him in there. He comes from a small school and played LT there, and could probably back-up the tackle spots as an emergency option at the next level. As a guard though he could be a very good starter as he already has excellent technique and does a great job using leverage.
Offensive guard: starters- Laken Tomlinson and Tre Jackson, back-up- Arie Kouandjio
-Tomlins and Jackson were the best guard from each team and both showed very similar skill sets of strong power, good feet and an ability to anchor. Kouandjjio is another similar offensive guard, but was just a tick behind the rest. All three of these guards should go in the top 75 picks and should quickly become starters.
Center: starter- Max Garcia, back-up: Reese Dismukes
-It was not a strong week for centers, but I thought Max Garcia did the best job of the week. He was a tough blocker and did a nice job anchoring against Danny Shelton. He doesn’t have the best prospect status, but expect his name to be called sometime during the 3rd day of the draft. Reese Dismukes is thought to be the top center in the class though based on this week he hasn’t played up to that level. He was much better in the game and that definitely helped some, but he needs to do a better job anchoring vs power.
Defensive end: starters- Preston Smith and Owamagbe Odighizuwa, back-up- Henry Anderson
-Now most edge rushers lined up as outside linebackers this week so we didn’t see as much of them. With a weaker slate of ends, Preston Smith really looked the best of the bunch. He excelled at both pass rush and run defense drills and did so without much in the way of refined technique. He’s a guy that NFL teams will look at as a guy who can get solid production now, but if they really develop him he could become a very good starter. Odighizuwa got a lot of hype this week from a lot of people and some of it was deserved. For me I saw a solid-to-good week, but not a lot to really rave about. Odighizuwa is a physical specimen, and there is some potential, but I am not sure if it will ever click with him. Anderson was hit or miss this week. Some reps he got pushed around like he wasn’t even there and other reps he looked fantastic. Two things that stuck out for me is he’s really only a 5 tech guy, when he lined up in some other sets he got more easily pushed around. Also his pass rush is ahead of his run defense. A lot of times where he lost was in run blocking when he couldn’t hold his ground. He may need to be a situational guy early in his career who plays in pass sets, until he gets stronger.
Defensive tackle: starters- Carl Davis and Danny Shelton, back-up- Grady Jarrett
-Between the game and the week of practice Carl Davis was the most dominant defensive tackle. He was quick off the line and extremely disruptive in the back-field. He plays with excellent power as well and can hold his ground even vs a double team. Shelton had the most hype and for most of the practice week he lived up to it, but he did not have a strong game. He was getting handled by offensive guards and centers that didn’t even play well during the week. One of the biggest problems with Shelton during the game was he was slow to get off the line. That is a bad trait to have as a defensive tackle and it can lead to you losing the leverage battle. Shelton is still a really good prospect, but the game raised some concerns. For the back-up spot it came down to either Grady Jarrett or Gabe Wright, both had strong weeks, but Jarrett’s was slightly better so he gets the nod.
Outside linebacker: starter- Lyden Trail and Nate Orchard, back-up- Hau’oli Kikaha
-Trail had one of the best weeks of any player as he showed a complete range of skills (including some offensive ones). He’s a raw guy, but the upside is there so teams will be highly intrigued with him. He might not go as high as some of the other guys in the draft, but the upside is there for him to be very good at the next level. Orchard followed up his break-out senior year with a really strong week of practice. He needs to work on coverage and run defense more, but he showed up where it mattered most; rushing the passer. He was relentless throughout the week and would have had a number of pressures/sacks if they were live game situations. Kikaha had a similar week to Orchard, but I felt he was slightly behind him. Still he’s a very good rusher and should go in the top 50 picks.
Inside linebacker: starters- Denzel Perryman and Stephone Anthony, back-up- Hayes Pullard
-This was one of the toughest groups to decide. Perryman for me was the best ILB coming in and though his practice time was cut short I think he flashed that talent when he was on the field. Anthony was the best ILB who played throughout the week and he shows up as a very violent hitter with good instincts. Pullard I thought had a solid week, though he didn’t do anything extra flashy that really made him stand out. He also didn’t do anything really negative either.
Cornerback: starters- Josh Shaw and Ladarius Gunter, slot corner- Kevin White, back-ups- Quinten Rollins and Eric Rowe
-For me Josh Shaw had a great week of practice at corner for the North team. He’s physical at the line and doesn’t allow receivers to get a free release. When he’s in off coverage he can still run with the top receivers and he does a nice job playing the football. The best corner on the South team was Kevin White who probably could play outside in a number of schemes but fits well here as the slot corner. For the other starter corner I thought Gunter from Miami had a really strong week. He’s another big corner who can run pretty well. A number of the north receivers mentioned him as one of the tougher guys to face this week (Shaw was another guy who got a lot of mentions), and you could see how he competed throughout the week. For the back-ups I went with the high upside Rollins and the utility guy Rowe. Rollins has a ton of potential, but he’s still raw overall, Rowe I actually like more of as a safety, but he’s another who can be physical off the line and match-up vs bigger receivers.
Safety: starters- Cody Prewitt and Jaquiski Tartt, back-up- Clayton Geathers
-This is an all South line-up as I felt their safety play was superior this week as a whole. Prewitt was the best all-around safety down here, and Tartt has excellent size and the potential to be an in the box safety (and great special teamer) at the next level. Geathers strong week as well and shows the versatility to play either safety spot. North teamers Kurtis Drummond and Adrian Amos had solid weeks as well and definitely deserve a mention.