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Senior Bowl Positional Breakdown: Offense

Steve Shoup

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Defensive Positional Breakdown 

Quarterbacks:

-Overall this Senior Bowl group of quarterbacks is solid, with quality depth of draftable QB’s. While this group has two potential first round picks in Drew Lock and Daniel Jones, this year lacks an elite option like we’ve seen in the past with guys like Baker Mayfield and Carson Wentz. In many ways this Senior Bowl group is reflective of the overall QB pool in the draft that has some first round talents, but they all come with question marks and are probably guys who need additional development. That shouldn’t discourage NFL teams from taking some of these quarterbacks, but it should be talked about in terms of this class from a broader context.

Lock and Jones are the most talked about signal callers down in Mobile, but that doesn’t mean they are the only ones deserving of consideration. Ryan Finley and Will Grier both are intriguing day two draft targets, and Jarrett Stidham and Tyree Jackson have some intriguing developmental potential. Finley’s accuracy and consistency have been notable this week, and his quick release helps him get by with just average arm strength. He’s a guy who could really help himself as the week progresses. Also worth noting that while generally most starting QBs come from the first round, the Senior Bowl has done a nice job in showcasing 2nd-4th round guys who have developed into starters or starting caliber. Since 2011 the Senior Bowl can count Andy Dalton, Russell Wilson, Nick Foles, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett and Dak Prescott among their alumni.

Overall I’d say this group is solid with likely a couple future NFL starters in the mix. They might not be guys who succeed in the first or second year, but a couple should eventually develop into quality NFL starters. The player with the highest upside and the chance to be a true franchise QB looks to be Drew Lock, with Daniel Jones next on the list.

Running backs:

-This is not a strong running back class in the draft to begin with and at the Senior Bowl there isn’t much to get excited about in terms of early round options. While generally the Senior Bowl doesn’t have a strong running back group, we have seen in recent years David Johnson, Kareem Hunt and Rashard Penny on rosters. This year doesn’t seem to have much to get excited about for the first few rounds of the draft, but there are a couple later round guys who are potentially intriguing.

Bruce Anderson from North Dakota State, Dexter Williams from Notre Dame and Wes Hills from Slippery Rock have probably been the guys with the biggest buzz. Hills has probably had the best practice and coming from a small school and off a big week at the East/West Shrine game, he’s getting on NFL team’s radar. Overall this group is unlikely to produce any top 100 picks and might not generate any draft picks until rounds 6 and 7.

Wide Receivers:

-Receiver is typically another group that doesn’t have “elite” talent down at the Senior Bowl, but we typically see 4-6 guys taken in the 2nd-4th rounds of the draft. This year that seems to be a little ambitious as the only guys who seem likely to go that high are Deebo Samuel and Andy Isabella. Others like David Sills, Penny Hart, Anthony Johnson and Keelan Doss have the potential to get into that range, but are a bit more uncertain. Hart and Doss especially have had good weeks so far and are opening eyes with their upside. Another receiver who should get some real consideration in the 4th round range is Ohio State WR Terry McLaurin. McLaurin looked really good in Tuesday’s practice and had positive reports from Wednesday’s practice as well. He has big play ability and was routinely getting open deep. He was overshadowed at Ohio State, but is definitely making a name for himself here.

Overall I’d say this group is a bit below what you typically see out of the Senior Bowl class, but it should be fine overall. There is some real upside and talent in this group that should push a couple into that 3rd-4th round range to go along with Samuel and Isabella.

Tight Ends:

-While it is a very strong TE class overall in the draft the Senior Bowl group is pretty average. Foster Moreau, Dax Raymond and Drew Sample all look like solid TE options, but none are likely to push for top 2 round status, and they might not even be in the 3rd round range. That is a bit of a drop off after the last two years saw TEs like O.J. Howard, Evan Engram, Mike Gesicki, and Dallas Goedert at the Senior Bowl. This group feels more like tight end 2’s versus every down starters. You can still find quality here, but it likely won’t be in the early rounds.

Interior Offensive Line:

-This is a strong group of interior prospects, particularly among early round potential guys. Garrett Bradbury, Michael Deiter, Dalton Risner, Elgton Jenkins, Erik McCoy and Chris Lindstrom could all be taken in the first four rounds. Others like Beau Benzschawel, Nate Davis, Ben Powers, Ross Pierschbacher, and Dru Samia are intriguing guys in the next tier, a couple of whom could join the first group.

In the first practice a couple of the bigger names (Deiter/Risner) struggled, but they rebounded some on the second day according to reports. Others like Bradbury and Jenkins are doing everything to confirm the pre-Senior Bowl hype. Nate Davis from Charlotte is having a really impressive week so far and hasn’t looked out of place at all. He’s a smaller school guy that is looking to be NFL ready. The Oklahoma tandem of Ben Powers and Dru Samia have been really impressive as well in 1-on-1 drills and are continuing their dominance from their Sooner days.

Not everyone from this group will end up a starter of course, but it’s a deep group of guards and center prospects with a lot of upside and potential. Overall that is a pretty good outcome for a positional group. We could see maybe 5 of these players selected in the top 2 rounds, which is a pretty solid amount especially considering that guards and center’s aren’t valued the same as offensive tackles in the NFL.

Offensive Tackles:

-The Offensive tackle group isn’t as strong this year at the Senior Bowl, but there are still some good options to be had. One guy who is nominally down here as a tackle, Dalton Risner, clearly is better on the interior. Andre Dillard from Washington State is the top offensive tackle here and he is making a push to be in late first round consideration. Dillard has looked really good as a pass protector and has the foot work and quickness to protect the edge from speed rushers. He might end up the 3rd or 4th offensive tackle in this class and is clearly the top option down here this week for NFL scouts.

A pair of smaller school tackles Max Scharping from Northern Illinois and Tytus Howard from Alabama State have shown the upside to be eventual NFL starters, though they might need a year of development before they are ready. Howard in particular was impressive with his quick feet and length. He was inconsistent with his technique, which allowed him to get beat at times, but the potential is there. Some safer options like Dennis Daley, Chuma Edoga and Kaleb McGary are potential mid-round picks, but might max out as swing tackle types.

Overall, this isn’t a great tackle group as it lacks certainty beyond Dillard. Dillard though is a good prospect and has the chance to be a very good long term left tackle in the league. While the rest of the tackles at the Senior Bowl are more likely to be taken in the 3rd-5th rounds, there is enough upside there to expect one or two emerge as starters down the road.

 

Offensive Overview:

Of late the Senior Bowl has produced 5-8 1st round picks and another 30-40 picks in 2nd and 3rd rounds. So the expectation is a little less than half of the Senior Bowl rosters will get selected in the top 100 picks. So how does this year stack up? While it’s early, on offense it looks pretty solid.

I think there are likely 2-3 first round picks on the offensive side of the ball. With the most likely being Lock, Jones and Dillard with potentially some interior OL like Dieter, Risner, and Bradbury in the mix as well. After those six players, there are probably 2-3 more quarterbacks, 4-6 receivers, maybe one tight end and 6-9 offensive linemen who could go in the top 100 picks. That means we could see 20-25 of the top 100 picks come from the offensive Senior Bowl roster alone. Now a lot can still change between now and the draft, but relative to this class it’s a good group of offensive talent down at the Senior Bowl.



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