Top 10 players with the most to gain at the Senior Bowl

The Senior Bowl is the most prestigious All-Star game for draft prospects looking to improve their stock. Every single year we see players come in as unknown guys and leave with 1st round grades. I took a look at this year’s roster and tried to predict which players I thought had the most to gain from a good week of Senior Bowl practices. I did my best to pick players from different positions and players with different draft ranges. This year’s roster is one of the best I have ever covered, so there is plenty of players who could have made this list that did not. If we are being honest, every single player has the opportunity to improve their stock on January 26th. If you have any questions be sure to follow me on twitter, and I’ll answer any question on any player. (@DanteCollinelli)

 

Number 10.

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Jalen Hurd

Jalen Hurd/Baylor, WR 

Projection with a good week: RD 2-3

Projection with a bad week: RD 4-6

 

Jalen Hurd started his career at the University of Tennesse as a running back who was in front of Alvin Kamara on the depth chart. At Tennesse, Hurd ran for 2,635 yards, including 1,250 yards in 2015. In 2017 Hurd transferred to Baylor with new head coach Matt Rhule and changed his position to wide receiver. In one season has a WR Hurd put up 69 rec, 946 yards, and 4 touchdowns for the Bears. The Senior Bowl is important to Hurd because he has the opportunity to prove that he has developed enough in one year as a WR to be a consistent threat in the NFL. Teams will love his athletic traits, but they will worry about his route running ability. That question can be answered with a good week running routes against some of the countries best corners.

 

Number 9.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Notre Dame

Germaine Pratt/ NC State, MLB

Projection with a good week: RD 2

Projection with a bad week: RD 3-4

 

Germaine Pratt is actually one of my favorite linebackers in this draft class because of the way NFL offenses now operate. Linebackers are often tasked with covering running backs and tight ends with the skills and the body types of wide receivers. Pratt is a former safety who can run sideline to sideline extremely fast and excels in coverage. Pratt finished his senior season with 106 tackles, 10 TFLs, and 6 sacks. Pratt will have to perform well in one-on-one drills because his biggest weakness is his strength in the run game. This years linebacker class is super thin after you get past Devin White, Mack Wilson, and Devin Bush, who should all be first rounders, so with a good week at Mobile Pratt can separate himself from the rest of the pack.

 

Number eight.

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Rock Ya-Sin

Rock Ya-Sin/ Temple, CB

Projection with a good week: RD 2

Projection with a bad week: RD 3-5

 

Rock Ya-Sin is a player that I have highlighted before because of his play at Temple University this season. In just one season in North Philly Ya-Sin racked up 47 tackles, 2 INTs, and 12 passes defended. Ya-Sin is a long physical man to man corner which makes him the ideal fit for a lot of NFL defenses. Ya-Sin will have his work cut out for him if he wants to sneak into the second round and a good Senior Bowl week would be a good start. This years cornerback class is very deep. Currently, I have six in my top 50 and nine, including Ya-Sin, in my top 100. With his appearance at the Senior Bowl, Ya-Sin will have the opportunity to stop all of the narratives that he is a one hit wonder at Temple. The biggest knock on his game is that he only played one year of D-1 football at a non-power five school. If he looks good against some of the best talents in the country his stock will soar.

 

Number 7.

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Nate Davis

Nate Davis/ Charlotte, OG

Projection with a good week: RD 2

Projection with a bad week: RD 4-6

 

The Senior Bowl is the best opportunity that small school players have to show that they belong with the big boys. Nate Davis is coming from a conference USA school so he needs a good week in one-on-ones. The redshirt seniors tape shows a powerful run blocker who is able to get out into space as a pulling guard. Davis played some tackle in college but there is a big drop off in technique when he played outside. Davis has a similar situation to that of Will Hernandez from last season. Hernandez was a small school guard who came into Mobile and blew scouts away with his power, fluidity, and passing sets. Hernandez ended up finishing with a round one grade on my board and was drafted in the top five of the second round. Nate Davis has the same opportunity in front of him to put himself in the conversation of being a first-round pick.

 

Number 6.

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Andre Dillard

Andre Dillard/ Washington State, OT

Projection with a good week: RD 1

Projection with a bad week: RD 2

 

I know you are thinking that Andre Dillard doesn’t have much to lose at the Senior Bowl, but hear me out. The difference between being a first-round pick is a lot of money and a lot of street cred. Dillard was a late bloomer at Washington State but shined this season protecting the back side of Gardener Minshew. Dillard is awesome in the passing game consistently showing great pass sets along with the athletic ability to handle speed off the edge. One flaw I saw on his tape was sometimes he lacks good technique with hand placement. Dillard will have plenty of opportunities at the Senior Bowl to show he has improved in that area already. One-on-one drills are the most important drill for all position groups but especially for lineman. If Dillard can control blocks at the point of attack down in Alabama then he should fly up some draft boards.

 

Number 5.

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Dalton Risner

Dalton Risner/ Kansas State, OG/OT

Projection with a good week: RD 1 

Projection with a bad week: RD 3-4

 

This spot was supposed to go to Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen, but he is no longer listed on the official Senior Bowl roster. Dalton Risner is a player who I have had a round one grade on since the summer. He is technically sound in the passing game and moves bodies in the run game. Risner does not get a lot of love from everyone though. I have seen reports of some NFL scouts viewing him more as a day three type player. In Mobile, Risner will have the opportunity to show off his versatility playing both guard and tackle, which should make him a coveted prospect for a team like Denver or Houston who needs multiple O-line spots filled.

 

Number 4.

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Oshane Ximines

Oshane Ximines/ Old Dominion, Edge

Projection with a good week: Top 15

Projection with a bad week: Early RD 2

 

 This year’s edge class is extremely deep and one of its small school guys, Ximines, has the opportunity to establish himself in the top 15. Coming from Old Dominion, the Senior Bowl is an opportunity to show his 18 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks senior season was no fluke. Ximines shows good speed and a variety of pass rushing moves that should get scouts excited. Last season Marcus Davenport came to mobile with a similar situation and he ended up being taken by the New Orleans Saints with the 14th overall pick. If you ask me, I thought Davenport was unimpressive at Moblie but it only takes one team to fall in love with a guy. Ximines is a much more NFL-ready prospect compared to Davenport so I would not be surprised if he slipped into the top 15 just like Davenport did.

 

Number 3.

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Nasir Adderley

Nasir Adderly/ Delaware, Safety

Projection with a good day: Top 25 pick

Projection with a bad day: Late RD 2

 

This year’s safety class is one weakest position groups and also one of the most muddled. Lots of people had Deionte Thompson, including myself, as the number one prospect. Thompson underperformed down the stretch for Alabama and has legitimate concerns about his frame. This leaves the door wide open for Adderly to steal the top safety spot with a good week at Moblie. Adderly had 4 INTs and 7 pass breakups last season showing the ability to create turnovers and be effective in coverage. Adderly has great ball skills and is a dynamic athlete in the open field. That combination of playmaking ability, coverage ability, and athletic ability will make the Delaware safety a coveted prospect come April.

 

Number 2.

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Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones/ Duke, QB

Projection with a good week: Top 10

Projection with a bad week: late RD 1

 

When I started writing this article I was going to group the quarterbacks all together at number one because they all have a lot to gain. Once I started writing, I realized that some guys just had much more to gain than the rest. If Daniel Jones has a good week in Mobile there is a chance that he is the first quarterback off the board. Jones is 6-foot-5 and moves quite well for his size which is something scouts always love. He has a decent arm and is accurate to most parts of the field. Jones also received NFL level coaching from David Cutcliffe, who is well respected in NFL circles. Most people have Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray in front of Jones, but they have flaws. Haskins only played one year for Ohio State, and Kyler Murray will not be everyone’s cup of tea at the QB position. Jones will also have the advantage of going to the Senior Bowl and being able to put out more tape than Haskins and Murray.

 

Number 1.

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Drew Lock

Drew Lock/ Missouri, QB

Projection with a good week: Top 15 pick

Projection with a bad week: RD 2-3

 

If you follow me on twitter (@DanteCollinelli) than you know I am not the biggest fan of Drew Lock. Lock is one of the most polarizing prospects in this entire draft class. Some people have him going high in the first round because of arm strength and good athleticism. Other people, like me, have him in the third round because he is inaccurate and has horrible footwork. Either way, Lock has a unique opportunity to come to Mobile and show improved footwork as well as improved accuracy which will win some people over. Josh Allen (Bills, QB) had the same opportunity last season and succeeded in improving his footwork in the short time leading up to the Senior Bowl. Allen is a much better quarterback prospect in my opinion, but someone will fall in love with Lock’s arm despite all his faults. The reason Lock has the most to gain is that with a bad week he could have the biggest fall of any prospect there. I know twitter seems to think he is a round one guy no matter what, but trust me there is a version of this where he gets taken in the third round.

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