Senior Bowl Preview and Live Updates

By Matthew Durgin
Oct 31, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10) throws a pass at Bryant-Denny Stadium during the second half of Alabama’s 41-0 win over Mississippi State. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

Senior Bowl week is here! Without a traditional combine this year, the Senior Bowl is the most important pre-draft event of the 2021 season. Luckily, we have you covered! We’ll be covering the practices all week so continue to check in on this blog with live updates. As a preview for what is to come, we broke down our top ten prospects coming into the week and another ten we are intrigued to watch.

Thursday (1/28) Practice

Collins stock rises
What Toney did to this DB should be illegal
Mac Jones is going in the first-round… book it

Wednesday (1/27) Practice

Demetric Felton is Mr. Versatility
Receivers continue to impress
Let’s give the big boys some love
Mac Jones stock looking like Gamestop

Tuesday (1/26) Weigh-In and Practice

DJ Daniel has looooooooooooooong arms
Hometown kid Kadarius Toney comes up big
Mac stands out amongst quarterbacks
WR’s Surratt and Eskridge rise to the occasion
Devonta declines height/weight measurements

Smith, who is probably around 175 pounds, wisely choose not to weigh in. The biggest knock on him is his lack of size and due to his hand injury, I doubt he’s at a weight that will make NFL teams happy. He has about two months to gain ten pounds or so for his pro day.

My Top 10 Prospects

1. Devonta Smith, WR Alabama*

Devonta Smith is head and shoulders the best prospect in this year’s game despite not participating due to a hand injury. A probable top ten pick who might go as high as third, Smith dominated this season en route to winning the Heisman and figures to be an elite receiver in the NFL.

2. Najee Harris, RB Alabama

My favorite running back in this class, I really do believe Najee Harris could go in the first round even though running backs draft value is relatively low. He’s an all-around back whose one downfall is his lack of speed. However, he’s a battering ram who has improved as a receiver every season.

3. Alex Leatherwood, OL Alabama

A versatile offensive lineman, Leatherwood could conceivably play any position along the line. He’s a plug and play starter who excels as both a run and pass blocker while doing dirty work on a historic Alabama offense.

4. Creed Humphrey, IOL Oklahoma

Centers don’t typically get too much love in the draft process, but Humphrey is by far the best center prospect this year. He’d excel in a scheme that allows him to use his strength and IQ to his advantage.

5. Kadarius Toney, WR Florida

A small, but electric receiver who will be a RAC monster due to his speed and elusiveness. He’s more than likely going to be lined up as a slot receiver, but can impress scouts with his route-running during the Senior Bowl week. With a strong week, he could become a first-round lock.

6. Liam Eichenberg, OT Notre Dame

Death. Taxes. Notre Dame offensive linemen being excellent run blockers. Eichenberg won’t wow anyone athletically, but is a technically sound player who figures to play left or right tackle.

7. Patrick Jones, EDGE Pittsburgh

Jones is an old school defensive end who does well against the run and the pass. His 17.5 sacks over the past two seasons makes me believe that at worst he can become a pass rush specialist. He has the size and motor to carve out a nice role for himself in the NFL.

8. Mac Jones, QB Alabama

He may never become an elite level starter, but Jones proved this past season he can be an accurate thrower which bodes well for his draft stock. Not overly athletic, he reminds me a lot of current Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins but has more hype coming into the draft than Cousins did.

9. Quincy Roche, EDGE Miami

Despite being undersized, Roche provides versatility as a 3-4 outside linebacker and edge rusher. After a breakout 2019 season at Temple where he totaled 13 sacks, Roche didn’t have the same impact this past season as a member of the Miami Hurricanes. With a strong week, he can regain some of that first-round buzz he had entering the season.

10. Trey Smith, IOL Tennessee

There aren’t many nastier offensive linemen than Trey Smith. He’s built like a Ford truck but moves like a Corvette and has the versatility to play in multiple schemes. However, Smith does have a checkered health past and might need a strong week to solidify his status as one of the top guards in this class.

Players I’m Most Intrigued By

1. Hamsah Naasirldeen, S Florida State

From an athletic standpoint, Naasirldeen is a first-rounder and impact safety. However, he’s quite raw and is coming off of a torn ACL that cost him most of the 2020 season. He needs to show that he’s fully healthy and that he can adequately defend tight ends and running backs on a consistent basis.

2. Nico Collins, WR Michigan

Collins is another guy who is a physically elite talent, but his play never quite lived up to the hype. After opting out of the 2020 season, this is Collins’ chance to prove to teams that he can become a reliable NFL receiver.

3. Dillon Radunz, OT North Dakota State

Before the season, many saw Radunz as one of the top tackles in this class, but after North Dakota State’s season got pushed back into the spring, it was clear that Radunz was going to forego this season in favor or training for the draft. He’ll be going up against a lot of talented edge rushers so if he were to have a strong week, he will see his stock bounce back.

4. Charles Snowden, LB Virginia

You don’t see many defenders as tall as Snowden, so he’s intriguing alone from that standpoint. Where he’ll line up at at the next level is still a question so he needs to prove to scouts that his measurables will match his play in order to become a day two selection.

5. Sam Ehlinger, QB Texas

The first four quarterbacks seem to be set in stone, but the fifth spot is up for grabs. Ehlinger was a successful college quarterback, but he is supposedly working on some new mechanics to improve his arm strength. If he can show that off this week then there’s a legitimate comparison to Jalen Hurts, who went in the second round.

6. Camryn Bynum, CB Cal

Bynum is a defensive back I highlighted earlier this season and I think he has the chance to become a solid pro. He doesn’t have the athleticism desired for the position, but has four years of experience and is a very developed player. Hopefully, he does well against some quicker receivers and it’ll improve his stock.

7. Paddy Fischer, LB Northwestern

If Paddy Fischer played ten years ago, he’s a first-round pick. However, in 2021, linebackers need to be able to defend the pass as well as they defend the run and Fischer doesn’t have the athleticism to keep up with tight ends. If he can flash some coverage abilities, some may think twice about his upside.

8. Shaka Toney, EDGE Penn State

The NFL is always in need of good pass rushers and Toney is precisely that. He’s one of the more athletic players in the class but needs to prove that he can dominate against elite opponents. Also, he hasn’t been much of an edge setter against the run, so if he comes to the Senior Bowl physically stronger, questions about that might be answered.

9. Ben Skowronek, WR Notre Dame

Maybe I’m just a Notre Dame homer, but I think Skowronek can carve out a nice role for himself as a big target. He’s not the most athletic receiver, but at 6-3 225 pounds, he can become a third-down or red-zone weapon. I wouldn’t even rule out the possibility of him gaining another 10-15 pounds and becoming an F tight end.

10.Elijah Mitchell, RB Lousiana-Lafayette

Not many teams run the ball better than Lousiana-Lafayette, but they utilize a running back by committee approach. Because of this, Mitchell had a few good seasons, but never a break out one. This week is his chance to show he can take on a bigger load and be the three-down back that he’s shown the potential to have in the past.

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