Senior Bowl 2018: What the week meant for Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen and more

By On January 27, 2018

Senior Bowl 2018: What the week meant for Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen and more

Senior Bowl 2018: What the week meant for Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen and more

There was plenty to take away from Senior Bowl week beyond the performances of Mayfield and Allen

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Senior Bowl 2018 is in the books, and it was an intriguing week in Mobile, Alabama, with two of the most high-profile quarterbacks in attendance, an assortment of wide receivers showing out, an athletic freak at running back, and top-10 hype for a small-school pass-rusher.

It's imperative to keep in mind that the week of Senior Bowl practices and the game itself are an incredibly small portion of the predraft process.

Perceptions of prospects fluctuate between the last bowl game and the draft in April, but the week in Mobile won't absolutely make or totally plummet someone's draft stock.

Here are my takeaways from the week that was in Mobile.

The quarterbacks

During practice, Baker Mayfield was the most effective quarterback on either squad. He did have instances of hesitation if his first read wasn't open during the week, and he showed that in the game too. Overall though, Mayfield's stock is steady, and many teams will like that h e came down to Mobile and competed.

Josh Allen undeniably helped himself at the Senior Bowl. His second practice of the week had some ugly throws, yet it also featured two elite-level touchdown passes. In the game, he demonstrated something that's exceptionally rare on film: soft touch down the field. All week, there were instances in which he held the football too long; however, Allen should be happy with his Senior Bowl performance. Many expected him to tank against top competition in Mobile. That wasn't the case.

Kyle Lauletta taking home MVP honors is certainly helpful to his draft stock. Yes, there'll be Jimmy Garoppolo comparisons, and they won't be that crazy. Like Jimmy G, Lauletta is decisive, has a quick release, and is accurate at the short and intermediate levels. His last touchdown -- to Oklahoma State wideout Marcell Ateman -- was a tight-window strike. I thought he was the second-best quarterback dur ing practice too.

No other signal-caller did much to create any type of post-Senior Bowl buzz.

The guards

This is obviously not solely based on their Senior Bowl efforts, but I'll be surprised if UTEP's Will Hernandez and Georgia's Isaiah Wynn aren't the second and third guards taken after Notre Dame stalwart Quenton Nelson.

Hernandez looks like a five-year veteran, rarely loses a battle against a bull rush and is surprisingly nimble and under control at the second level. Wynn's left-tackle feet work wonders inside at guard, and his somewhat smaller stature gives him the leverage advantage over most interior defensive linemen. He's deceptively strong too. Both were excellent all week in practice and stood out in the game.

The Marcus Davenport train has long left the station

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Davenport was quiet in practice. Offensive tackles kept him a t bay in one-on-one and team drills.

Thursday was an entirely different story, and Davenport was unblockable in the game. The UTSA standout had a sack and a plethora of other quarterback pressures. He repeatedly got underneath the pads of offensive tackles and used his speed to generate power and his length to dispatch those blockers. He even got dinged and returned to the game, demonstrating his toughness.

Davenport was the most talked about non-quarterback in Mobile, and some chatter centered around him going as high as No. 4 to the Browns. Landing with the Buccaneers is a more likely top-10 possibility.

The wideouts

LSU's D.J. Chark, Iowa State's Allen Lazard, Oklahoma State's James Washington, and Penn State's DaeSean Hamilton all had fine weeks in Mobile, and Chark stole the show in the game. Gallup and Washington were effortlessly uncoverable, especially d eep, while Hamilton's crisp route-running got him open often, and Lazard was the best jump-ball wideout in practice.

This receiver class may not have insane top-end prospects, but it's a deep group.

Where'd that come from?

Rutgers outside linebacker Kemoko Turay had an up-and-down collegiate career plagued by injuries. His best statistical output came as a freshman in 2014 when he tallied 8.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. His film was generally underwhelming, with a rare flash of pass-rushing brilliance.

At the Senior Bowl, his explosion and bend around the edge was nearly unbelievable at times, particularly for someone a shade north of 6-foot-4 and 252 pounds. And that outstanding display of athleticism didn't happen once or twice. He was dominant often in practice and created pressure in the game. For perspective on Turay's physical profile, he has close to the same height and weight measurements as und errated 49ers defensive end Aaron Lynch.

The sleepers

South Carolina State's Darius Leonard was, by far, the springiest, most active linebacker in practice andwas credited with 14 tackles in the game. At 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds with plenty of speed and athleticism, he has a chance to be one of the first few off-ball linebackers taken in this draft in a class without many sideline-to-sideline second-level tackling-machines.

Virginia defensive lineman Andrew Brown got penetration on a handful of snaps in the game, and during practice he was a menace all week. Inside at three-technique, where he can attack upfield as opposed to setting the edge on at end, is where he belongs in the NFL.

Boston College cornerback Isaac Yiadom had himself a week in Mobile. Outside of one post-corner run by Hamilton, he was glued to receivers all week, and just as importantly, demonstrated the awareness to locate th e football in the air and knock it away. At 6-foot and around 190 pounds with 32 1/4-inch arms, he has nearly identical measurements to Lions star cornerback Darius Slay.

North Carolina State defensive tackle B.J. Hill was superb in practice, routinely showing off his ridiculous anchoring ability and heavy hands to beat offensive linemen at the point of attack. He'll give a sprinkle of pass-rush here and there, because he has some twitchiness relative to his size. His bread and butter is defending the run.

Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage had 10 carries for 57 yards in the game, and receiving drills were a breeze for him all week. He even was sturdy in blitz-pickup drills. The Sun Devil alum may not be an old-school feature back in the NFL. He should be a 15-20 touch offensive option who'll thrive in space and provide above-average ability between the tackles due to his jump-cut capabilities and power when f inishing runs.

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Source: Google News US Sports | Netizen 24 United States

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