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Senior Bowl Recap- Who Stood Out?

Senior Bowl Recap- Who Stood Out?

The Senior Bowl game took place last Saturday on January 30th, capping off a competitive week of practices that helped some prospects' "draft stock" rise. While I wasn't able to make it down to Mobile, these were players who I thought stood out from my TV viewing or practices and the game.

North Risers

Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio St.- Braxton Miller was uncoverable all week showing how much work he's put into his craft of being a complete wide receiver. It's well documented what kind of athlete Miller is but his ability to cut in and out of breaks and show natural hands had everyone buzzing in Mobile. There is talk that with his strong week Miller could have put himself into the first round consideration. 

Darrian Thompson, S, Boise St.- Darrian Thompson was the most complete safety at the Senior Bowl this year . With a pretty weak class of safeties in this years draft, he put his name in talks of being the first safety off the board come May. Thompson wasn't without some mistakes in practices but during the game, he was arguably the best player on the field in the 1st half. Thompson has been a ball hawk during his time at Boise St., registering 19 interception in his 4 years.

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota St.- Wentz proved throughout the week that he was far and away the best quarterback in attendance. His ball had more velocity than any other quarterback and his accuracy was much more consistent than his teammates. Wentz didn't light it up during the game but he was also was the victim of a few drops. Wentz was the hottest topic while at the Senior Bowl and did nothing to hurt himself to make teams think he can't be a franchise quarterback.

Jason Spriggs, OT Indiana- While it wasn't a strong group of offensive tackles at the Senior Bowl, Spriggs stood out as the best of the bunch. Cowboys coaches had him play both right tackle and left tackle and he certainly held his own. There were a few times the coaches gave him pointers to work on, but as far as wins vs losses in one on ones, Spriggs came out more often on top. Spriggs is definitely a first round caliber prospect and it wouldn't be surprising if teams had him rated as high as their #2 offensive tackle.

Sheldon Day, DL, Notre Dame- Day's weigh-in created some confusion on where his best fit might be. After watching him play I would say he definitely has a home somewhere on the defensive line for an NFL team. Day became a favorite of the Cowboys coaching staff and was very hard to block during one on ones. It didn't matter if he was going against a tackle or a guard, Day beat them with either quickness or power. Day's stock is firmly in day 2 and I wouldn't be surprised if a team with a early pick in round 2 drafted him.

Nick Vannett, TE, Ohio St.- Vannett was the highest rated tight end at the Senior Bowl and he proved why all week. There were a few instances of some body catching but overall he was able to beat coverage and use his body to shield defenders. With a lot of the underclassmen tight ends deciding to go back to school, Vannett will see his stock rise. He could potentially challenge to be the #1 tight end selected but more likely the 2nd and will probably come off the board on day 2.

Nick Martin, OG, Notre Dame- There were quite a few guards who stood out at the Senior Bowl but non more so in my opinion than Nick Martin. His brother Zach Martin of the Cowboys was an excellent guard almost immediately and I see Nick having similar success. He has the strength and technique to be a valuable starter from day 1. I see Martin getting draft early on day 2.

Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech- Dixon showed explosiveness throughout the week and really solidified his status as a day 2 running back. He has the ability to catch passes out of the backfield and the size to carry the load. A team could be getting good value if he falls into the 3rd round.

Honorable Mention: Tyler Ervin, RB San Jose St.; Matt Loannidis DT, Temple; Austin Johnson, DT, Penn St., Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech

South Risers

Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky- Aside from Braxton Miller, Noah Spence might have made the most money in Mobile. Spence couldn't be stopped all week during practice and was just as dominant in the game. Spence combines first step quickness as well as good hands to make him a real force getting to the quarterback. Depending on how interviews went, Spence could easily be a top 10 pick in this year's draft.

Jalen Mills, DB, LSU- There weren't too many defensive backs that stood out in Mobile, but Jalen Mills was one. All week long she showed tight coverage and loose hips to stick with wide receivers. Mills has some experience playing both cornerback and safety which will certainly boost his value to NFL teams.

DJ Reader, DT, Clemson- Reader topped the scales at 340lbs but his movement skills on the field is that of someone 50lbs lighter. He showed quick feet during practice and the ability to win some one on one matchups. While he wasn't very productive at Clemson, much of his impact didn't show up on stat sheets. Reader made some money this week and with his ability to play the nose in a 3-4 defense or defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense, he should be drafted somewhere on day 2.

Sebastian Tretola, OG, Arkansas- Much like Larry Warford and Gabe Jackson in year's past, Tretola was a absolute rock during the Senior Bowl. His strength was evident in one on one drills, nobody had any success bull rushing him. Any team running a power scheme in the NFL would love to plug and play him immediately.

Deion Jones, LB, LSU- Despite weighing in smaller than most thought, Jones's athleticism was on full display during the game and it flashed during practice. An NFL team may need to get creative on where they play Jones so he can thrive, but when in the open field, he is a sound tackler and can really fly to the ball.

Honorable Mention: Sterling Sheppard, WR, Oklahoma; Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama; Cody Whiteair, OG, Kansas St.; Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama

 

Cody Bauer is an NFL Draft features writer for CheeseheadTV You can follow him on twitter https://twitter.com/CBauerNFLDraft

 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (13) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

EdsLaces's picture

He is a total idiot ..but definitely a difference maker.

RCPackerFan's picture

Honestly, we could use a bold move like that. Moving up for a difference making type of player.

That being said the last 2 drafts have given us some really good players.

Spence this year could definitely be a difference maker type of player. But is he going to be trouble off the field? There are problem type of players that you simply can't bring into your locker room. The Vontaze Burfict, Adam Jones, type of players. Is Spence going to be one of those type of players?

EdsLaces's picture

I think grabbing Spence would be bold. But wouldn't grabbing scooby in the first round be bold too? I don't understand why he's slipping so far. Smith is injured and they are still saying top 10 for him. Scooby had 160 tackles and 29 tfl in 2014. I mean that's freaking crazy numbers. If he woulda stayed healthy he's a top 5 overall pick. Long story short .....I ....want...Scooby.

EdsLaces's picture

I like Dixon as a change of pace back. Excellent hands as well. I'd like to see us snag him if he fell to the 3rd round...although not likely.

RCPackerFan's picture

Dixon did flash to me as well..

There are a number of RB's that I think could be really good pickups in the 2nd - 4th round area. Guys that could be the change of pace type of RB that the Packers need.

Just from the Senior Bowl Dixon, Drake and Green all showed they could be good players.

Bearmeat's picture

RC -

Don't you think Lacy could become the all-around back we need him to be if he loses that spare tire? If he's as light as L'Veon, watch out! And I just think depending on Lacy to do the work is TT's MO - rather than take a high pick on a RB.

That said, it probably would be wise to pickup a RB relatively high in the draft, just in case Lacy flames out. Especially if Starks leaves.

RCPackerFan's picture

Lacy for sure can be the every down RB we need. That being said you still need a change of pace type of RB. And they could easily find one in the 3rd-4th round area.
Maybe that guy will be Crockett. I like what he brought in the 1 game he played in. Hopefully with an offseason to learn the offense he will be much better. But I still would like to see some more competition at the position.

Something else that could really add to our offense is a really good Receiving RB. A guy similar to Theo Riddick.
Maybe that guy will end up being Ty Montgomery. But I still would like to see them find another RB that could be that guy.

EdsLaces's picture

Yea Bear I meant un case starks leave. That way we keep the smash n dash goin. Green and Drake are also good options like RC said. These guys have some serious speed which we kinda lack.

DrealynWilliams's picture

I don't care who falls where or where we pick a player. If the coaches and TT really like a player and feel that he can make an immediate contribution -- go for him. Don't wait.

jeremyjjbrown's picture

"All week long she showed tight coverage and loose hips to stick with wide receivers."

Awesome, a female NFL Prospect with loose hips! :P

RCPackerFan's picture

A few guys that stood out to me to add to your list.

QB - Dak Prescott and Brandon Allen. Both really played well.

RB - Aaron Green. He has some really nice shifty moves. I would be happy if the Packers took him in the middle rounds of the draft. He would provide a nice change of pace.

TE - Jerell Adams. He is the type of TE the Packers really need. He has size and good speed. He has a little bit of Finley in him. He would be the type of TE that Packers could use on those flat passes and actually gain yards after catch, something Rodgers couldn't do.

DL - Sheldon Rankins. While he didn't play in the game, he really did well in practices.

Cody Bauer's picture

Those are great additions.

I was impressed with Aaron Green during the game, he showed good patience with the ability to get tough yards up the middle. His touchdown run was also impressive.

Sheldon Rankins was terrific in practice, no offensive lineman had much success against him. He made himself some money during the week.

RCPackerFan's picture

Green is a guy that I would love to see as a change of pace to Lacy. While I like Starks and hope they bring him back, having a guy like Green could really add something to the offense.
His inside running impressed me, and his receiving skills seemed to be really good as well.

Rankins really made money this week. Actually a lot of d-lineman did last week. I would say the strength of the draft, at least the top of the draft is the DL. There are potentially 12-13 DL that could go in the first round. That is pretty impressive.

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