It’s officially draft season and prospects from all over the country are attending all-star games over the next month. This past Saturday the 71st edition of the Reese’s Senior Bowl was played. From small school hopefuls to big school studs, this game puts everyone on a level playing field, so they can showcase their talents. The North squad was able to get the victory over the South squad by a score of 34-17. Now let’s take a look at this year’s stars and how they performed.
North Team Standouts
LB, Josh Uche, Michigan Wolverines
One of the North team’s best players today was linebacker Josh Uche, who was able to apply constant pressure on the South team today. Josh impressed on and off the field all week, then dominated Saturday’s game. He started out the week impressing in one on one drills and finished with a superb performance in the game. Considered a pure speed rusher by most, he showed he’s so much more than. While his speed, quickness and first step burst jump out the most, he showed excellent coverage skills. He was a nuisance all game, as the offensive line had no answer for his speed. Josh used that speed with good bend around the edge, to apply constant pressure throughout the game. He also showed good sideline to sideline range. Off the field, he impressed just as he did on the field, with his high IQ press conference answers. He finished the game with just two tackles, but it was the numerous quarterback pressures that stood out.
EDGE, Bradlee Anae, Utah Utes
The North was loaded with pass-rushing standouts and Anae was as good as anyone in this game. While Uche was blazing around the edge, Anae was just physically beating the offensive line into submission. Bradley had three sacks and a number of pressures, as the North was relentless all game. At one point in the 2nd quarter, he just took over the game for the defense. First, he would have a speed rush on the outside, while using a nice hand slap down to get his first sack. The very next play he uses the speed rush again to get one of his numerous quarterback pressures. On the next series, Bradley would use that hand chop again and get a straight pressure into the quarterback’s face, causing the pass attempt to be intercepted. His power, hand use, speed, and athleticism are something to see. Easily a top 50 pick in this year’s NFL draft. Can we go ahead and call him the Anaehilator?
EDGE, Alton Robinson, Syracuse Orange
Last weekend at the Shrine Bowl his teammate, Kendall Coleman showed out, and this week it was Robinson’s turn. Along with Uche and Anae, mentioned above, this trio terrorized the South’s offense every play. He was one of three players for the North to record at least two sacks in the game. He struggled a bit throughout the week, but once it was game time, he stepped up his game.
EDGE, Kenny Willekes, Michigan State
The rich get richer and the North was loaded with pass rushers. Kenny was one of three players, along with the aforementioned Bradley Anae and Alton Robinson, to have two-plus sacks in the game. He had a very good performance in front of the scouts, finishing with four tackles and two sacks.
LB, Malik Harrison, Ohio State Buckeyes
One player that I felt helped his stock a lot was Mailk Harrison. While he is mostly regarded as a run-stopper, he showed off his coverage skills and hands, as he picked off a pass to end a South drive. Along with the interception, he added four tackles as well.
DL, Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina Tarheels
Jason has the ability to play inside and outside along the front four. In Mobile for Senior Bowl week, he showed off his great hand usage and quickness. While he didn’t stack up any meaningful stats, he did have a couple of batted down passes in the game. To play inside at the next level he will have to bulk up but has the athleticism to make an impact.
CB, Troy Pride Jr. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
A player in need of a good week at the Senior Bowl and got it. After a somewhat down year in South Bend, he put on a good showing in Mobile. He locked down almost everyone he faced all week and had two tackles and an interception off Steven Montez in the 3rd quarter of the game. Troy did a really good job showing off his coverage skills and terrific speed. Being consistent all week and then translating that to the game helped his stock trend back up.
DT, Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma Sooners
Among all the interior defensive lineman, Neville may have had the best performance all week. He showed highly coveted versatility, lining up inside and outside and being a dominant force all week. While he only had one tackle, he did have a number of pressures on the quarterback. Disruptive interior pass rushers command a premium in the NFL.
South Team Standouts
FS, Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne Bears
Small school players often struggle to make the adjustment of playing with Division 1 talent. Kyle started slow but by week’s end actually reversed the role. His size is bigger than most D1 safeties and so is his game. He’s big, physical and loves to lower the boom. He led both teams in tackles with seven and added one interception to lead the South team. Kyle shined bright all week, making plays and even had a pick in one on one drills during the week. His size and athleticism stood out all week and helped drive his stock up. With his size, don’t be surprised if he plays some linebacker in the future. He also has added value as a punt returner. Kyle was named the Cliff Harris award winner for 2019, which is given to the best player in NCAA Division II. Not much he can’t do! No one player’s stock rose more than Dugger’s did this week!
DT, Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina Gamecocks
While he missed the end of week practices and the game, Javon really didn’t need to do much more than he did the first two practices to begin the week. He was a bully in one on one drills, as he abused the offensive lineman with brute strength and quickness. His blend of size, speed, burst, and power are to be awed. Javon was a constant and continuous shining star and not just a flash here guy. Just showing off those two days with what he’s already put on tape for his career, could easily make him a top 15 pick on draft day.
LB, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Appalachian State Mountaineers
If not for Dugger, ADG may have been the South’s best defender. He was all over the field making plays and finished the game with seven tackles. There will be questions about his size, like can he hold up at the line of scrimmage? He is athletic and physical enough and has the mentality to do so, but added mass would be a plus. He did show flashes of his coverage skills, as during the week’s practice he showed the ability to drop in zone coverage and break up a pass. For the game, he recorded seven tackles and showed good range.
S, Antoine Brooks, Maryland Terrapins
While the North won the game, it gave the South defenders a real good chance to show what they can do. Antoine finished the game with six tackles. He showed his high football IQ and overall skill to just get after it. The number five safety on my board just might move up a spot or two.
Thanks for reading my article and if enjoyed it, you can read more of my articles at dynastyfootballfactory.com. You can also follow me on social media, on Twitter at Hollywood@DFF_DWin, on Facebook on my IDPNation page, on Reddit in the fantasy football IDP sub I’m user KingTitan1 and you can tune in each week and listen to the podcasts, IDP Nation that I co-host, on a number of different platforms. Feel free to hit me up with any questions that you have, as I’m always glad to help fellow IDPers. #IDPNation #IDP #IDPDevy