SENIOR BOWL RECAP: OFFENSIVE SKILL POSITIONS

February 2, 2016

The 2016 Senior Bowl Week has come to a conclusion, and that means we are officially heading into the heart of Draft Season. While we were not physically in Mobile for the week, we have been tirelessly combing through the content of who we consider the most esteemed of #DraftTwitter and aggregating data, takes, and sprinkling in our own opinions from watching every minute of practice and game coverage on ESPNU and NFL Network.

 

In this recap, we have ranked every Senior Bowl player regardless of North/South affiliation, and included a brief synopsis of how their week went as it relates to their draft stock. Based on all of our observations, we will update our Big Board and Mock Draft at the end of this week. We have also listed the teams that each prospect spent some extended time meeting with throughout the week (insert "every player talks to every team" cliche here, I don't care). If we missed a team, please tweet us (@ScouTurf) with a link to the tweet or blog connecting the player and team and we will be happy to update.

 

To avoid turning this article into a novel, we have split the recap up into four articles - Offense (Skill Positions), Offense (TE/OL) Defense (DL/Edge), Defense (LB/DB/K/P). The measurements follow the player name in the format of (Height, Weight, Hand, Arm).

 

QB

Carson Wentz (6052, 233, 10, 3238)

Despite starting only 23 games at the FCS level, Wentz checked all the boxes in Mobile, showing off his athleticism, arm strength, and above-average accuracy. Now we go on #WentzWatch to see if Jason Garrett and the Cowboys enjoyed the young gunslinger enough to convince Jerry Jones to pull the trigger at 4. Wentz was good, but as Jon Ledyard of NFL Draft Wire points out, we must temper our expectations for the young Bison.

 

Teams Interested: Browns, Cowboys, Eagles, Jets

 

Dak Prescott (6022, 226, 978, 3138)

Dak had a nice showing in the actual game, going 7/10 for 61 yards and a TD pass to Paul McRoberts. Dak seemed to have been the consensus #2 QB in Mobile this week, and I'm sure he enjoyed playing behind a better offensive line than he did at Mississippi State, where Prescott was sacked a combined 16 times in the Ole Miss & Alabama games alone.

 

Teams Interested: Jaguars

 

Jacoby Brissett (6034, 236, 912, 3278)

Overall, Brissett probably helped his stock in Mobile this week, showing off his athleticism and ability to process reads. According to Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks), Brissett created the most buzz of the QB group outside of Carson Wentz, and may have moved himself into the bottom 3rd/early 4th round conversation.

 

Interested Teams: Jets

 

Jacob Coker (6054, 236, 912, 3278)

Coker got to realize his life-long dream of playing in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, but his play this week really led to a mixed bag of takes. Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) was bold enough to anoint him the best future NFL QB on the South roster, but Jon Ledyard mentioned that despite his impressive measurables, Coker won the "Tom Brady weigh-in look alike" award. In our opinion, Coker often abandoned his progressions in his reps and was fast to revert to his legs to take off out of the pocket.

 

Interested Teams: None Reported

 

Brandon Allen (6014, 221, 812, 3012)

Allen's week started off slowly before he even stepped onto the field, measuring in at barely over 6'0" with 8.5" hands. Measurements aside, Allen turned it on for gametime, going 7/10 for 106 yard in the 3rd quarter (game-high). In fact, Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) dubbed Allen the best QB in the entire game. There are times when Brandon Allen steps up and looks like the real deal, but can he become more consistent at the next level, which will only be faster?

 

Interested Teams: Cowboys

 

Cody Kessler (6012, 224, 978, 32)

Kessler's week was pretty consistent with his college career, keeping his feet active in the pocket but clearly lacking elite-level NFL arm strength. He didn't do anything in particular to stand out in practices, but actually made things happen in the actual game, piloting a few nice series and rising to the occasion when his number was called. The former basketball Point Guard averaged 29 ppg in high school, and we like Kessler as a career NFL back-up.

 

Teams Interested: Steelers

 

Jeff Driskel (6036, 230, 934, 3212)

By far the coolest thing Driskel did this week was scrambling around as time expired to launch a Hail Mary completion to Aaron Burbridge. The former Gator cast-off showed this week that not only is he draftable, he belongs in the conversation with Kessler and Hogan in that third tier of QBs. Emory Hunt (@FballGameplan) highlighted Driskel's ability to work the deep sideline, deep middle with ease and impressed with his timing this week.

 

Interested Teams: Jaguars

 

Kevin Hogan (6032, 217, 1018, 32)

Hogan did a lot of things OK, but he really doesn't do any one thing great. Hogan was a victim of a violent sack in the game that stemmed from a Dadi Nicolas rush (Shawn Oakman finished the play and notched the stat on the scoresheet),  and he validated that he is a decent athlete in practices this week. Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) mentioned that Hogan and Wentz throwing deep outs back-to-back didn't do much to help Hogan, as there was a huge contrast in velocity.

 

Teams Interested: Patriots

 

RB

Kenneth Dixon (5100, 215, 812, 3038)

Dixon validated everything that he put on tape at Louisiana Tech, and according to the great Josh Norris (@JoshNorris), Dixon cemented himself as a top 40 talent. Dixon did a great job catching the ball out of the backfield all week, despite a bad drop in the 3rd quarter on a 2nd & 5 that deflated the drive. Can the Cowboys go back-to-back Senior Bowl picks at 1 and 2 with Wentz & Dixon?

 

Teams Interested: Cowboys

 

Aaron Green (5106, 203, 838, 2978)

My favorite take surrounding Green this week came from Emory Hunt (@FballGameplan), mostly because I was thinking the exact same thing watching him. Hunt said Green had exceptional footwork and vision with "hammerhead shark periphery." Green had a great showing in the game, turning what looked like a tackle for loss into a long TD run just from his patience, vision, agility and quickness. Green would be a great #2 RB behind TJ Yeldon in Duval, and is the prototype Patriots RB. Oddly enough, both teams showed a lot of interest in Green this week.

 

Teams Interested: Jaguars, Patriots

 

Kenyan Drake (6005, 210, 834, 3034)

Drake reinforced that he's good at what he's good at (quickness, acceleration) and struggles where he struggles (pass blocking). According to Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline), teams have been comparing Drake to former Heisman winner Reggie Bush this week. Drake's scamper to the sideline escaping Jason Fanaika for a TD helped seal the game for the South squad.

 

Teams Interested: Ravens

 

Jonathan Williams (5107, 219, 10, 3034)

Williams looked good this week in jump cut drills but took a limited approach, as he was recovering from a major injury that cut short his 2015 campaign. Williams was the only RB to record over 10" hands at the weigh-in, and just being present this week and talking to teams certainly helped his stock.

 

Teams Interested: Dolphins

 

DeAndre Washington (5077, 199, 834, 2958)

Washington made himself a ton of money this week in Mobile, consistently flashing and showing off his electric athleticism. Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) compared the ex-Texas Tech rusher to Bengals RB Giovani Bernard, and one team will get a bargain in the later rounds for Washington. He also showed that he can pick up blocks - impressive for being 5'7"

 

Teams Interested: Falcons, Jets

 

Tyler Ervin (5097, 192, 914, 30)

Although Ervin's reps came in garbage time, he certainly made the most of it, finishing with 130 all-purpose yard (39 rushing, 42 receiving, 49 on returns). If the Patriots miss out on Aaron Green earlier in the draft, Ervin will be a nice consolation prize at arguably a better value. They spent quite a bit of time with the former Spartan.

 

Interested Teams: Patriots

 

DJ Foster (5102, 193, 918, 30)

Foster didn't do much with his Senior Bowl opportunity this week, and his life was almost ended by West Virginia S KJ Dillon in the backfield during the game. Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) pointed out that the reason for Foster's quiet week stemmed from him only lining up at RB, even though he is better suited at WR. We agree, Dan.

 

Teams Interested: None Reported

 

FB

Glen Gronkowski (6022, 238, 938, 3078)

It was hard to me to pick between "Baby Gronk" and Vitale, as I really liked the week Vitale had. Listed as a TE in Mobile, Glen Gronkowski is really an H-back at the next level showing this week that he can catch the ball out of the back field. How high can a player like him get drafted? I'm not sure, but there is a particularly interesting team that met with him.

 

Teams Interested: Vikings, Patriots, Eagles

 

Dan Vitale (6006, 240, 10, 31)

Good week for Vitale, with his "play" being the stoning future first-rounder Reggie Ragland cold on a run block. Vitale also obliterated Eric Striker earlier in the week in practice, showing he has no chill. Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) confirmed that Vitale had been solid all week, being a monster in pass pro, catching the football, and flashing some speed in space for a FB.

 

Teams Interested: Bears

 

Chris Swain (6000, 247, 912, 3418)

The Navy fullback didn't play in the game after picking up a shoulder knock during practice, but he certainly seemed to have some interest throughout the week from teams. The Saints, who are currently in need of a fullback, seemed to be big fans of Swain, and we wouldn't be surprised if the Patriots are as well with Bill Belichick's fondness of Navy players.

 

Teams Interested: Falcons, Saints

 

Soma Vainuku (5113, 249, 958, 3234)

Meh. In the words of Gus Bradley, Vainuku had a "solid" week. If you don't know what that means, just ask someone from #JagsTwitter to translate.

 

Teams Interested: None Reported

 

WR

Braxton Miller (6013, 204, 918, 3078)

I don't need to beat the dead horse here. Braxton Miller was the darling of Senior Bowl week, showing 4.2 speed and elite agility and shiftiness. His route running was stellar and his hands were strong, showing that he could consistently catch the ball outside the frame of his body. Dane Brugler (@DaneBrugler) tweeted that no one should be surprised if Miller lands somewhere in the first round, and unless that first round team is the Panthers to replace Ted Ginn, I personally think the "Braxton Miller is a sure-fire first rounder" narrative is a bit of an overreaction.

 

Teams Interested: Falcons, Bears

 

Sterling Shepard (5103, 193, 918, 3014)

One word - polished. Shepard was the most savvy route runner in Mobile this week, and he has my vote for this year's Tyler Lockett. What I mean by that is Shepard will likely be the WR who will get grossly underdrafted and be a steal for some team. Kyle Crabbs (@NDTScouting) listed Shepard as one of the best players in Mobile this week, and we agree. Jake Coker threw a pass in the game that hung Shepard out to dry, but his effort in an exhibition like this was absolutely noticed by scouts, even though it took him a while to get up.

 

Teams Interested: Broncos

 

Jay Lee (6017, 214, 958, 3278)

Lee gets our "Made Most Money in Mobile Award." #DraftTwitter consistently listed Lee as a "winner" in the daily practice recaps and Lee put a cherry on top with a solid Senior Bowl game, catching a few Dak Prescott darts despite being targeted on three consecutive throws. The Ravens spent a lot of time with Lee, and even the team's official Twitter account was gushing about the Baylor Bear with this Vine.

 

Teams Interested: Ravens, Bengals, Jaguars

 

Leonte Carroo (5117, 217, 938, 3038)

Carroo's week got cut short with an ankle injury, but the Scarlet Knight certainly made an impression before shutting it down. More importantly than his on-field play, however, this this week was huge for Carroo to assuage the speculation of NFL teams in regards to his well-documented off-field concerns.

 

Teams Interested: Ravens, Colts, Patriots, 49ers

 

Aaron Burbridge (6001, 210, 8, 3114)

Aaron Burbridge is wild, man. Some plays he looked like the best WR on the field, and then he would do something that would make you "Homer Simpson withdraw back into the bushes." His Hail Mary snag in the dying embers of the game was impressive, but his 8" hands may have cooled some teams that were on the fence on Burbridge. On the other 8" hand, however, pundits like Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) believe that his small hands will knock him down draft boards, giving a team like the NY Giants a steal.

 

Teams Interested: Giants

 

Jordan Payton (6010, 216, 1018, 3214)

Payton confirmed this week that he is what he is - a reliable tertiary WR who you can trust on 3rd down to go across the middle and pick up 5-7 yards for the first. The former Bruin said that he was excited about the Rams moving to LA, but it's a different California team that showed a bunch of interest in the receiver, and we like the fit.

 

Teams Interested: Raiders

 

Malcolm Mitchell (5113, 194, 1038, 3278)

Mitchell turned a ton of heads early this week making some circus one-handed catches, but once defensive backs started to figure out his rhythm and flow, his production subsided. With that said, Mitchell still made some money this week. Ex-Bengals WR and PFF Godfather Cris Collinsworth singled out Mitchell as one of the more consistent pass catchers of the week.

 

Teams Interested: Broncos

 

Paul McRoberts (6016, 202, 934, 3312)

Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) summed up McRoberts' week perfectly when he said that Roberts needs time to learn how to be a route-runner, but he caught everything thrown his way all week. It was great to see McRoberts' effort pinnacle with a second quarter TD catch from Dak Prescott, who put the ball on the money for the SE Missouri product.

 

Teams Interested: Eagles

 

KJ Maye (5083, 194, 1038, 3278)

Maye turned some heads in his hometown Mobile this week with his explosiveness not only as a receiver, but as a returner as well. Maye will need to find a unique role and join the right offensive coordinator that will play to his strengths and get him the ball in his hands in space. Overall, Maye helped himself this week, but will likely need to contribute on special teams out of the gate.

 

Teams Interested: None Reported

 

Chris Moore (6006, 203, 914, 3214)

A lot of scouts were enamored with Chris Moore this week, but to be honest, he was too inconsistent for us, hurting his team with some crucial drops when the (sun)lights came on. With that being said, he wasn't even on our radar before the Senior Bowl, and I know he impressed some scouts during practices, so his stock still went up. Luke Easterling listed Moore as one of his "under the radar" prospects that used the Senior Bowl to vault themselves into the mix for teams.

 

Teams Interested: Packers, Raiders

 

Geronimo Allison (6031, 197, 9, 3314)

Allison was called in as a late add to the Senior Bowl to replace Carroo, and I thought following a hot 2 TD Shrine Game performance, Allison would use his mystery to sneak up on some of his opposition during the game as a sleeper. Aside from a catch on a curl route, he did not do much during the game, but his astronomical rise the past few weeks has shown enough for scouts take a second look at the tape. One things for sure - he has an elite name.

 

Teams Interested: None Reported

 

Ed Eagan (5100, 187, 912, 2818)

Like Allison, Eagan was a super late add to the roster. Unlike Allison, Eagan showed some unexpected production with a couple of catches to keep the chains moving late in the game. But what I like best about Eagan? According to Tatum Everett (@tatumeverett), Eagan left at 3:15am Thursday to make it Senior Bowl after only getting a call at 11:30pm the night before. Talk about being prepared. 

 

Teams Interested:

 

Charone Peake (6022, 208, 812, 3418)

Our only impressions of Peake prior to the Senior Bowl were that he was a nasty run blocker as a WR. Emory Hunt (@Fballgameplan), however, went so far as to say that Peake was the best route runner on the South team all week. He was impressive in 1v1s, but his hands need to be more consistent. Peake had one of the largest wingspans of all Senior Bowl WRs (81 1/4") despite having some of the smallest hands (8 1/2"). It doesn't hurt that he's a Clemson WR, either. They seem to be doing OK in the NFL.

 

Teams Interested: None Reported

 

 

*Team took player into either an extended or a secondary meeting

 

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