Over the weekend, one of the showcase events around the NFL was held, with all-star players from around the country gathering to show they are some of the best players in the world. Of course, it was not the two-hand touch football game in Orlando, where the Pro Bowl was more about being named to the game than it was about playing a game. No, this showcase event was the annual Senior Bowl, with some of the top draft prospects getting a chance to show off their skills in front of coaches and scouts, while being coached all week by NFL coaching staffs.
The game itself, held on Saturday in Mobile, Alabama, is fun to watch, but the real scouting work is done in the week leading up to the game. Who helped themselves and who hurt themselves during this week’s Senior Bowl practices and game?
Stock up: Justin Herbert, quarterback, Oregon - This may not be a name Miami Dolphins fans want to see at the top of a stock watch, where the dreams are of Joe Burrow or Tua Tagovailoa, but Herbert did a lot to help himself this week. Throughout all of the practices and in the game, he looked poised, confident, and, most importantly, made the right throws. He showed some clean footwork and mechanics, and he never seemed rattled, and he earned the practice player of the week honor. It was a good week for a player who will likely hear his name called early in the Draft’s first round.
Stock down: Nick Harris, center, Washington - Maybe he was pressing all week, but Harris struggled throughout most of the practices. He would flash a great practice rep once or twice, then get beaten too many times. He seems small - which can be fixed, but is the truth right now - and bigger interior defensive linemen can eat him up. He is supposed to be among the top center prospects this year, but after his Senior Bowl performance, that could be a question mark.
Stock up: Stephen Sullivan, tight end, LSU - You know everyone who was a star on LSU’s offense this past season, and Sullivan was not one of those players. His Senior Bowl performance showed just how ridiculously deep LSU’s offense was, because Sullivan was an absolute star. He is huge with giant arms, and he has crazy speed. He can block, he can catch, and he will be a nice pick up in the Draft for someone.
Stock down: Lamar Jackson, cornerback, Nebraska - Maybe saying stock “down” is too harsh for Jackson, but he did not have a great week. He has the ideal size and attitude to be a stud cornerback in the league, but his footwork continues to be an issue. He was inconsistent all week, making some great plays either in press coverage or with a pass breakup, but he was also beaten on several plays. He comes out of the week with still some question marks about how he will play at the NFL level.
Stock up: Bradlee Anae, edge, Utah - Anae leads a great week for the pass rushers at the Senior Bowl. Anae recorded two sacks and a quarterback hit (leading to an interception) that effectively put the game away for the North team. Kenny Willekes, Michigan State, and Alton Robinson, Syracuse, also each had two sacks. Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina, showed teams that he has the potential to play as a pass rusher as he continues to add to his frame. The Dolphins need pass rush help this year, and Anae and the rest of this group prove there could be plenty of options for them.
Stock down: Devin Duvernay, wide receiver, Texas - Duvernay has speed, there is no denying that, but his route running is an issue, and you cannot deny that either. He never looks to be fluid or crisp during a play. He likely could be a solid slot receiver at the NFL level, but he is going to have to be developed into a route-runner, lose some of the stiffness with which he plays, and become a little more of a complete player if he wants to move from solid to star.
Stock up: Neville Gallimore, defensive tackle, Oklahoma - There are questions about Gallimore and was his production at Oklahoma from scheme or from him, but he showed he has skills during the week. He was able to generate pressure up the middle, and he was effective against the run.
Stock down: Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Oklahoma - Heading into the Senior Bowl, there were many questions surrounding Hurts and how his play would translate to the NFL level. He’s a bit undersized and relied heavily on his ability to run in college. Unfortunately, an ‘okay’ showing in Mobile didn’t help things, as questions surrounding how he might perform at the next level continue to circulate.
Stock up: Javon Kinlaw, defensive tackle, South Carolina - Throughout the first few days of practice, no player looked more dominant than Javon Kinlaw. In fact, he was so good, he decided to cut his week short after a flare up in his knee. Even with a short week, Kinlaw catapulted his draft stock and should be an early first-round pick this April.
Stock down: Shea Patterson, quarterback, Michigan - I really didn’t have high hopes for Patterson heading into this week, but he showed very little to prove to NFL scouts that he can play at the next level.
Stock up: Josh Jones, offensive tackle, Houston - If Javon Kinlaw was the best player on the defensive line, Jones was equally as dominant on offense. He looked natural at the position and proved to scouts he has what it takes to be a dominant tackle at the next level.
Stock down: Terence Steele, tackle, Texas Tech - Everyone remember Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner, who was in South Florida in 2012 and 2013? Well, he now holds the same position with the Cincinnati Bengals, and was coaching the offensive line for the South Team. We will say he was...spirited...with Steele during the week. Steele looked like a player who needs time to develop.
Stock up: Terrell Burgess, defensive back, Utah - Burgess could be a nickel cornerback or a safety. He is almost the same size as Bobby McCain, and he could fill a similar role. He has the ability to cover, and he has the footwork of a cornerback, so teams could look to him to primarily play in the slot, but his Senior Bowl performance showed he will not shy away in run support.