The Senior Bowl has come to represent the official start to draft season for many fans. This year’s annual congregation of college football’s finest talent is no different. After a week of practices in Mobile, the media, fans and analysts are ‘all in’ on draft season. It is the time of year draft coverage starts to permeate into broadcasts on NFL Network and ESPN and fans begin to hone in on prospects who best fit their team. The talent on display in Mobile will be enough to keep us analysts talking until the combine comes around in late February. In his first year running the show in Mobile, Executive Director Jim Nagy has done a fantastic job assembling the Senior Bowl rosters. A ton of talent will be on display in mobile, our 2019 Senior Bowl Preview looks at who to watch out for in practices this week.
2019 Senior Bowl Preview
The 10 Best Prospects
Dalton Risner, OT/G/C, Kansas State
Risner’s draft stock is tough to gage at the minute. Some view him as a sure fire first rounder, whereas others see him as a day 3 prospect. The Senior Bowl will be big in determining his value at the next level. I graded Risner as a 2nd round prospect and think he kicks inside to guard at the next level. He plays with a mean streak and is refined with his hand use. He is very similar to Braden Smith from last years draft.
Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
With Josh Allen withdrawing, Sweat is the best edge rusher at the Senior Bowl. He is an explosive rusher who wins with speed off the edge. He is solid against the run and flashes plus hand use. There are a good group of offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl this year, so it will be fun to see how Sweat holds up in 1on1’s.
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
I recently finished my eval on Samuel and he graded out as a 1st rounder. He is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands, a solid route runner and controls his body well at the catch point. Against this group of DBs I think he can make himself some money.
Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
I have been on the Savage train for a while now. He is an incredibly instinctive safety with awesome speed and short area quickness. Savage has the ability to play man coverage over the slot, underneath zones or in deep zones, his versatility will make him a favorite of NFL teams in Mobile.
Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Jones is the best QB at the Senior Bowl this year and I expect him to be a round 1 lock after a week in Mobile. He has the mobility, accuracy and processing skills to be an instant starter in the league. Whilst he won’t have the strongest arm at the Senior Bowl, that belongs to Drew Lock, his accuracy, ability to vary ball speeds and command of the offense should impress.
Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
Adderley has dominated the FCS level, the step up in competition will be a great measuring stick for his draft outlook. Adderley graded out as a high 2nd rounder for me. His combination of ball skills, anticipation and tenacity standout, he also has some special teams value and positional versatility.
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
Oruwariye is one of the better corners in this years class and comfortably the best at the Senior Bowl. His combination of length and atheltic ability give him a high ceiling. There is some inconssitency to his tape and a big week in Mobile would make teams feel a lot better about Oruwariye in the drafts first frame.
Zach Allen, DL/Edge, Boston College
I absolutely love Allen’s game. His hand use is excellent, plays with a constant motor and made huge strides as a pass rusher this season. However, some are on the fence with where Allen projects at the next level. At 6’5″, 285lbs, he could play on the edge or even kick inside. I actually think that versatility is a positive and he will offer a team a weapon they can move around and rush the passer at the next level.
Germaine Pratt, LB, NC State
Going into Mobile, Pratt may be one of the more underrated prospects. He is a well rounded LB who plays the run well and has some legit coverage skills. All Star games give LBs a lot of opportunities in 1on1 coverage drills, I expect Pratt to impress against RBs and TEs, boosting his stock in the process.
Charles Omenihu, DL/EDGE, Texas
Omenihu is a versatile defensive lineman who will likely get reps on the edge and inside during practice. He has an explosive first step and really made strides with his hand use this season. His skill set will shine in 1on1’s at the Senior Bowl. He will be a tough matchup wherever he lines up and should wreak havoc all week.
Michael Deiter, G, Wisconsin
Deiter has played all over the line for Wisconsin and the NFL will value his ability to play all 5 positions on the offensive line. He has the look of an instant starter in the NFL. Deiter has a strong punch and plays with a mean streak, he will be a tough matchup for interior defenders in 1on1’s.
Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Thornhill will be a long time starter in the NFL. He is a former corner, who converted to safety two years ago. The coverage instincts and ball skills stand out on tape, but I don’t think he is a top tier athlete. This week of practices should be a good indication of how his athletic ability holds up.
Offensive Sleeper – Donald Parham, TE, Stetson
Parham was a late addition to the Senior Bowl, but I am incredibly intrigued to see him in action in Mobile. He is a former basketball player with a 6’8″ frame and excellent movement skills for his size. I will be interesteed to see how he holds up against superior competition this week. Even in a loaded TE class, Parham could challenge to be a top 100 pick with a good showing in Mobile.
Defensive Sleeper – Jordan Brown, CB, South Dakota State
Brown is a great press corner with NFL size (6’1”, 200lbs) and the speed to carry receivers deep. He is incredibly tough to shake in man coverage and has good anticipation skills. I think he may be one of the most impressive CBs at the Senior Bowl. The length and athletic ability are everything you’re looking for at the position and he has a high ceiling Look for Brown to be a big time riser in Mobile
Matchup’s to Watch
Michael Deiter, OL, Wisconsisn Vs. Renell Wren, DL, Arizona State
Deiter is a true mauler with heavy hands. I expect he will get most of his reps at Guard despite having the ability to also play tackle. That is where he will go up against Arizona defensive tackle Renell Wren. One of the more explosive defensive lineman you will see, Wren has embarrassed a few blockers during his college career. None with the ability to anchor like Deiter does though. Wren converts his incredible burst and leverage into power and unlocks a nasty bull rush and the pairs duels will have an unstoppable force, immovable object kind of vibe.
Donald Parham, TE, Stetson Vs Germaine Pratt, LB, NC State
As aforementioned, Pratt is an excellent coverage LB, Parham is an athletic tight end with ridiculous length. This will be an interesting matchup as it will answer questions surrounding Parham’s ability to win against NFL level LBs and will give us an indication of what Pratt’s ceiling is in coverage. This should be a fun matchup
Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State Vs Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, La. Tech
Dillard is a fleet footed offensive tackle with excellent balance. He deals with speed rushers incredibly well, but his anchor is somewhat lacking against power rushes. That is Fergusons bread and butter. He is quick off the snap but uses a lethal push pull to win on the edges. He has a long, thick frame and will be a real test for Dillard.
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina Vs Rock Ya Sin, CB, Temple
Deebo is the best receiver at the Senior Bowl in my opinion and Rock Ya Sin is someone creating a lot of buzz. I am not sold on Ya Sin, he doesn’t seem very instinctive in zone and his transitions look labored. If he can get some wins against Deebo, it would really make me feel better about his projection at the next level and show he can hang with NFL calibre route runners despite his limitations. This matchup also is a good test of how well Deebo can defeat physical coverage.