Senior Bowl “North” Practices Recap

Introduction:

Though the weather may have been somewhat bleak, Senior Bowl week was far from it. In attendance live for the first time, the whole atmosphere was certainly overwhelming, but I tried to make the most of my surroundings. Focusing in on specific drills and particular positions rather than watch every player (which is near impossible) I caught snaps and reps of most in attendance, but in many cases just didn’t get a good enough look to make full-fledged opinions on them. With that being said, here is my EXTREMELY LATE recap from what I saw down in Mobile throughout “North” practices.

The Terry McLaurin Show:

I like to think I was as high on McLaurin as anyone coming into the week. But after the performances he strung together on Tuesday and Thursday, it wasn’t nearly high enough. Nearly unguardable, the OSU product displayed top-notch speed (fastest recorded of any prospect in attendance), precise routes, and fantastic coordination skills virtually the entire week. Highlighted by a blazing nine route, Terry had numerous impressive catches, including a toe-tapping sideline out, and flashed easy vertical separation on a consistent basis. He also had a string of impressive “gunner” reps, and almost single-handedly made the Special Teams drills interesting to watch. On a roster that was very new to the intricacies of kick coverage, McLaurin looked about as savvy and experienced as you can get. Underutilized on a strong Buckeye team, McLaurin’s elite blocking and special teams ability seemed to have had him pegged as the perfect next level role player. But if this week’s receiving reps were any indication, he can do a whole lot more than just that.

QB’s a Mixed Bag:

Just like in the South Practices, it was an up and down week for the North signal-callers. Yes, the weather was iffy, it was their first time with a whole new batch of receivers, and all they had was a total of like 4 hours. But besides some glimpses every now and then, it was hard to truly get excited over anyone.

Thankfully, despite the inconsistencies, Drew Lock made it clear he was best QB in attendance. Displaying his patented velocity and quirky sidearm throws, Lock delivered some absolutely gorgeous deep balls and commanded everyone’s attention from the very start. The spin on his throws was something to behold, and he looked like a natural passer out there. Like his tape constantly suggested, Drew did struggle with accuracy at times, and his mechanics are still a massive work in progress (lower body wasn’t in sync), but it was a decent week for the Missouri QB.

After Lock, Daniel Jones was arguably the biggest “name” in Alabama. A potential Top 10 pick, Jones is ranked far, far lower on my board than his stock suggests, and unfortunately, his Senior Bowl outing did nothing to quell my concerns. Bland per usual, the Duke QB did layer a couple nice throws, one being arguably the best of the event, and also showed nice ball placement on most intermediate routes. But the Blue Devil’s deep ball was atrocious, his passes consistently hung in the air, and he struggled with accuracy. Most notably, he had one screen drill where he threw two passes so far off target that they hit the side fence. Sure, it might be nerves, but Jones certainly could have fared better.

For a more in-depth look at Jones, see my recent article on the Duke QB.

https://dynastyfootballfactory.com/daniel-jones-not-the-answer/

WR’s have their way:

Terry McLaurin may have stolen the show, but there wasn’t a single Wideout on the North side who hurt their stock during Senior Bowl practices. (Okay, besides Louisville’s Jaylen Smith.)

Small Schoolers Keelan Doss and Alex Wesley probably had the most to prove out of the group, and each handled themselves extremely well, Doss in particular. A big target with a strong catch radius, Doss’ routes were crisp and nimble, and he did a great job working his way back to the QB on several occasions. He also had a beautiful contested catch that fell just out of bounds at one point.

Lumped together as the “explosive slot guys”, Andy Isabella and Penny Hart caused fits for defenders all week, showing off exceptional quickness at the LOS, and crisp breaking ability at the stem of their routes. Isabella struggled with drops, but each got open with ease.  If you didn’t get a hand on them early – it was over.

Lastly, N.C State’s Jakobi Meyers may have been the most balanced of the group. There wasn’t necessarily a play or moment that stood out in particular, but the lanky Wolfpack product was polished, fluid, and efficient on every route he ran.

Dieter Disappointments:

Wisconsin Offensive Lineman Michael Dieter was a player I came in with extremely high expectations on. Sadly, the Badger didn’t have the greatest of starts to the pre-draft process. A versatile prospect who played all across the line in College, Dieter’s movement skills looked good, but that was about the only positive that could be taken away. Driven backward constantly, Michael really had no anchor and was being pushed around by the likes of Charles Omenihu, Renell Wren, and company fairly routinely. He looked much more comfortable on Day 3 as opposed to Day 1, and maybe it was just because the other high profile Lineman had exceptional weeks, but Dieter looked out of place. I was expecting him to dominate, so while he didn’t necessarily hurt his stock, others shined in his so-called “absence”.

Scrimmage Takeaways:

While Dieter struggled, the majority of the OL prospects, namely Chris Lindstrom and Garrett Bradbury, excelled. In the scrimmages Lindstrom was moving defenders at ease, showing off the mauling style people were expecting and clearing truck type holes in the process. Physical and nasty, the Boston College product got in the gritty areas and wasn’t afraid to muck it up. Bradbury meanwhile, was as smooth and fluid as ever and displayed why he’s as safe a prospect as any in this class. He may never excel against power, but he’s the definition of plug and play.

Stetson University TE Donald Parham also happened to play well and stood out like a sore thumb (in a good way). The human tree’s otherworldly movement skills were made very evident, and his catch radius covered the entire stadium. His week was cut short due to injury, but Parham is going to be a guy I’m sticking my neck out for come draft time.

Other Notes:

Dexter Williams was the best RB in attendance, and it wasn’t all that close. Rocked up and sporting the Zeke Elliott crop top, the former Irishmen was dynamic, physical, and most importantly, showed off an elite burst that instantly separated him from the rest of the group. Creating massive yards behind a dominant O-Line, it was a major stock up performance.

Delaware’s Nasir Adderley wasn’t a disappointment like some other media outlets may be insinuating, but given he was my top player in attendance heading into the week, he was relatively quiet. Not given the opportunity to do a whole lot, Nasir was solid, but just didn’t shine.  And that’s perfectly fine. For what it’s worth, he looked a lot more comfortable at Safety than he did Corner. Range is his best asset, and the farther from the line he is, the more he can use it.

Finally, it was a near-disastrous pair of practices for Kris Boyd, as he was the main casualty of Terry McLaurin’s utter dominance, having matched up with the Buckeye on most 1 on 1 reps. In usual Boyd fashion, the Texas prospect showed off fantastic physicality, great compete, and a natural swagger. But also in typical Boyd fashion, got turned around way too often, whiffed at the line, and failed to make several plays on the ball. It was prototypical of the Longhorn, and after a rough 2018 season, his draft stock is nearing life support levels.

Conclusion:

That’s it, folks!  Stay tuned for the rest of my Senior Bowl Coverage, and make sure to check out the “South” Recap.

You can also find me on Twitter at @CDonScouting for more information regarding the NFL Draft.

cdonnick

NFL Draft fanatic and writer for @DFF_Devy #DevyWatch. Just a kid wanting his opinions heard, who happens to love his Seahawks, Jets, and Jazz. Follow me at @CDonScouting. #DraftTwitter

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