The Senior Bowl fast approaches as the NFL off season really begins to gain momentum. This is an event that will have a significant impact on the draft this April. So many of the best prospect come together to meet, compete and learn from NFL coaches. Draft stocks will rise and fall and teams will fall in love with the talent. Who has the most to gain? The most to lose? Who’s the best? Here’s how I see it in our 2020 Senior Bowl Preview.
2020 Senior Bowl Preview
Five players with the most to gain.
1. All small school prospects
This event is a chance to highlight talent regardless of where it comes from. That includes sub division one schools. This year brings a lot of talent from such schools. Guys like Kyle Dugger (S Lenoir Rhyne) Jeremy Chinn (S, Southern Illinois) Ben Bartch (OG, St. Johns) and Alex Taylor (OT, South Carolina State) will all have a chance to prove they can play with the big boys. All of these guys have a chance to really help themselves this week.
2. Wyoming LB Logan Wilson
One of the best five linebackers I’ve seen in this class, the Wyoming standout has a chance to see his stock skyrocket. He needs to show he’s got the speed to play with higher level of competition, but he’s got legitimate size to take on blockers and be an impact player in the box. As of now I expect him to be drafted in the 5th or 6th round, but I believe he should go higher than that. He’ll have his chance to prove it.
3. Florida RB Lamical Perine
In a group of running backs that are looking to separate themselves from the pack, I think the former Gator has the best chance of doing so. He’s a very well rounded player with size, speed and the ability to contribute in the passing offense. He’s my top rated running back in this game, but still only a mid day three prospect in all likelihood. This is his chance to put himself in the day two conversation.
4. Michigan State DE Kenny Willikes
The Michigan State defensive end has put together a really respectable career for the Spartans. However, it seems like he’s done nothing but drop in the rankings. For me he needs to prove one of two things. That he is strong enough to hold up as a good run defender or that he’s explosive enough to be an NFL pass rusher. If he can show he’s an NFL athlete then I expect him back in the mid day two conversation.
5. Washington OT Trey Adams
The Washington offensive tackles has been generating buzz for a long time. That happens when you’re 6’7 and 300+ who moves as well as he does. However, the big question around him is his health. He suffered a torn ACL un 2017 and missed most of 2018 with a back injury. Even after playing 2019 in good health, coaches will want to see him with their own eyes. If he plays like he can and answer those questions then I expect him to go in the second round and could even sneak up into the first.
Five players with the most to lose.
1. Washington center Nick Harris
Some say that Harris is the best interior offensive lineman in the class. The Washington center moves extremely well and should thrive in zone blocking schemes. However, Harris is undersized. He’s just 6’1 and maybe 300 lbs. It’s only natural that he struggles with strength and length. And who will he be matched up against this week? Javon Kinlaw, Leki Fotu and Raekwon Davis who are all 6’5 and 310 or bigger. This has potential to be a rough week for Harris.
2. LSU CB Kristian Fulton
Fresh off a national championship, Fulton is considered by many to be the second best corner in the draft. However much like Nick Harris he is very good but a little undersized and facing some big time opponents this week. Denzel Mims, Collin Johnson, Michael Pittman, Jauan Jennings, Antonio Gandy-Golden and Bryan Edwards are all big physical receivers who will be difficult for the sub six foot Fulton to cover.
3. Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts
Hurts had a breakout year with the Sooners after losing his starting job to Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama last year. Many believed he just didn’t have the passing ability to be a legitimate NFL quarterback prospect. However, after being a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 2019 many are reconsidering this. If he continues to look like he did this past year then he could be a day two pick. If not then he could drop like a rock come draft day.
4. Utah DE Bradlee Anae
Anae has improved his sack total every single year while at Utah, finishing with 13.0 as a senior. And while no one can deny that he’s been a very good college player, I’m not sure where he projects at the NFL level. I’m not convinced he has the burst and bend to be a high level NFL pass rusher and I’m not sure he’s got the size and strength to hold up in the trenches consistently. If these fears are confirmed then it’s hard to feel optimistic about his NFL future.
5. Cal LB Evan Weaver
Weaver is a classic thumper who can get physical in the box. Naturally that comes with classic limitations. In a weak linebacker class Weaver has a chance to go as high as the middle rounds. However, if he doesn’t show more athleticism than he did at Cal then he could go undrafted all together.
My ten best players in attendance.
- South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw
- Oregon QB Justin Herbert
- Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore
- LSU CB Kristian Fulton
- Utah State QB Jordan Love
- Auburn OT Prince Tega Wanogho
- Alabama DT Raekwon Davis
- Michigan OG Ben Bredeson
- Cal S Ashtyn Davis
- Houston OT Josh Jones