2020 Senior Bowl Preview: Quarterbacks and Skill Positions
*Senior Bowl rosters subject to change. Preview updated based on rosters as of 1/18
Senior Bowl Previews: QBs and Skill Guys | Offensive Linemen | Defensive Front 7 | Secondary
Quarterbacks: Justin Herbert, Jordan Love, Jalen Hurts, Anthony Gordon, Steven Montez, Shea Patterson
– Justin Herbert leads a strong 2020 Senior Bowl QB class. Herbert didn’t have the senior season he was hoping for this past year, but still showed a very impressive skill set. He has the size, arm strength and accuracy to be a franchise QB at the NFL level. Herbert is generally considered the 3rd QB in the class and the bottom of the top tier. With a strong Senior Bowl week he could cement himself as a top 10 selection.
Love and Hurts make up half the 2nd tier of quarterbacks in this draft class (Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm are the other contenders), so this will be a fantastic opportunity for them to impress scouts. Love especially has a chance to unseat Herbert as the 3rd QB in the class, if he outshines him this week. Love has a great combination of mobility and arm strength, but his accuracy and decision making are a concern. He also had a carry a team without a lot of high level talent, so it should be interesting to see him work with more talented weapons this week. Hurts is a very intriguing quarterback as well. He was always known as a great athlete and runner, but his throwing ability was a bit of a question mark. Now have a strong season at Oklahoma he looks to be a more two-way option. Hurts still relies more on his legs than his arm, but with a strong Senior Bowl week he can be a top 50 pick.
After the top three there is a bit of a drop-off, but keep an eye on Anthony Gordon as a guy who could have a strong week and propel himself into the mid-rounds.
Running backs: Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Lamical Perine, Joshua Kelley, JaMycal Hasty, Darius Anderson, Eno Benjamin, Antonio Gibson
-Benjamin probably has the highest upside of this group, but there are some intriguing names to watch this week. Vaughn, Kelley and Gibson are three guys who could push to be top 150 picks, and guys who are at least part of a time share at the NFL level. Benjamin though is the guy who really could help his stock. Benjamin has over 2,700 rushing yards and 26 rushing touchdowns over the past two years. He’s also contributed with over 600 receiving yards and another 4 TDs in that time.
Wide Receivers: James Proche, Michael Pittman Jr., Denzel Mims, Kalija Lipscomb, Collin Johnson, Jauan Jennings, Van Jefferson, KJ Hill, Antonio Gandy-Golden, Bryan Edwards, Devin Duvernay, Chase Claypool, Brandon Aiyuk, Quartney Davis, Austin Mack
-Receivers might be the deepest group down in Mobile this year (and that is saying a lot). While there aren’t likely any first rounders (though Pittman or Aiyuk could make a case) this group is filled with 2nd-4th round guys.
Aiyuk appears to be the most talented of the group after a break-out season where he had nearly 1,200 yards and 8 TDs on just 65 catches. Aiyuk has some of the best deep speed in this class and is a playmaker with the ball in his hands in the open field. Seeing how he matches up in 1-on-1 coverage this week, will be one of the key things scouts will be watching.
Collin Johnson and Devin Duvernay from Texas are an interesting pair to watch. Johnson didn’t have the senior year he was hoping for as he only played in 7 games and finished with under 600 receiving yards. When he was on the field he was still productive, but he was also passed on the Longhorns pecking order by Duvernay who had nearly 1,400 yards and 9 TDs. Duvernay will try to show that he is more than just a slot receiver at the next level. Even if teams pigeon-hole him as a slot only guy, he shows enough playmaking ability to be worthy of a 3rd round pick.
Antonio Gandy-Golden is the smaller school guy everyone is talking about and for good reason. He has back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons including nearly 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns on just 79 catches. While Liberty does play at the FBS level now, the question on Gandy-Golden will be the level of competition he faced. He dominated a lot of bad teams in college and will get the chance to match-up this week versus a higher level of competition.
Chase Claypool is a player few analysts are talking about and that could change with a strong week in Mobile. Claypool has played in a low-volume inefficient passing offense during his career, yet he still managed to crack 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 66 receptions. Claypool is a big physical receiver who will be heavily scrutinized on his speed and short area quickness. If he can check those boxes this week in Mobile it could propel him into Day 2 discussion.
Tight Ends: Adam Trautman, Charlie Taumoepeau, Stephen Sullivan, Jared Pinkney, Sean McKeon, Brycen Hopkins, Josiah Deguara, Harrison Bryant
– The tight end group isn’t overly impressive this year, which matches the overall talent level of the class. Pinkey, Bryant and Hopkins are three guys to watch this week. All three are better receivers, and could show well to scouts in this type of format. Currently they all project as 3rd-4th round talents, but with a strong week, one or two could enter the 2nd round discussion. Pinkey especially is a guy to watch this week. He’s got a good combination of size, speed and hands.
Among the other tight ends Trautman is the most intriguing as a small school guy with excellent size and decent movement ability. If he shows well this week versus a step up in competition and a little development as a blocker he could move up to a higher tier.