Every year, the Senior Bowl brings the unofficial start of the lengthy process of the NFL Draft. There are many players whose stock has risen due to their impressive performances either in the practices or in the Senior Bowl game. These work they put in at practice and the performance showcased at the game are presented in front of the nation and more importantly, NFL scouts and coaches. These former collegiate seniors are some of the best in the nation but almost all are at a disadvantage due to the early departures with elite talent. Here are the prospects who have accelerated their 2019 NFL Draft stock significantly.
DE Montez Sweat (Mississippi State)
Montez Sweat became the center of attention for the South Squad’s defensive line after Kentucky’s Josh Allen had to drop out. From the first day of practice, Sweat was the most dominant and physically gifted player in position drills. Before the Senior Bowl, he was highly regarded despite his lack of elite pass rush skills. Throughout the week, he displayed great strength and violent collision along with his quick burst off the ball. There are still measures of his pass rush where he doesn’t show completely mobility in his pass rush, but he still exhibited dominance in pass rush on the tackle’s outside shoulder. This was a huge attribute that Sweat was able to prove wrong to scouts and coaches. With his excellent Senior Bowl week, multiple analysts can see him being selected in the top ten of the 2019 NFL Draft.
WR Terry McLaurin (Ohio State)
While this Senior Bowl had many players that had credible names, there were a few dark horses that turned themselves into top performers. Terry McLaurin had one of the best Senior Bowl overall performances throughout the entire week. His elite speed and reliability as a great catcher were on display in front of coaches and scouts. He displayed many great attributes that will define him even more in the NFL with great hands and excellent route running. In the game, McLaurin accounted for four receptions for 53 yards. Three of his receptions set up touchdown plays inside the red zone. Even though he didn’t get the huge plays, he set up game-changing scores and helped his North Squad win 34-24.
C Garrett Bradley (NC State)
Not only was Garrett Bradley one of the most impressive interior linemen in this Senior Bowl, but was one of the top overall offensive linemen. Scouts and coaches were impressed by the rare combination of his size and great athletism he possesses. Originally recruited at NC State to play tight end, he ended up playing the center position exceptionally for four seasons. Bradley was able to withstand hard hits with his steady footwork, as well as recover and drive the defender back. He dominated in the game and was highly impressive in one-on-ones. This will be a trait that will be most favorable to NFL teams who face teams with 4-3 front defenses. With the rise of needed centers in the league, Bradley could be a potential 1st round selection in the Draft.
QB Drew Lock (Missouri)
There were many quarterbacks who are currently or have been evaluated as a first-round selection in this upcoming Draft. The only quarterback that was consistent throughout the week was Missouri’s Drew Lock. Lock showcased three great days of practices as he was smooth in his passes, displayed his strong arm, and the ability to move on past mistakes. Throughout the week, Lock was battling Duke’s Daniel Jones and West Virginia’s Will Grier for not only the best quarterback in the Senior Bowl but also to have a higher Draft stock. In the game, Lock accounted for nine completions (out of 14 attempts) for 57 yards. He didn’t have the biggest game but was graded higher in decision-making and being composed. Many of the analysts and scouts now have Lock rated as the third highest quarterback in this Draft.
DT/DE Daylon Mack (Texas A&M)
Daylon Mack was another player in this Senior Bowl that had one of best performances in practices and in the game. Finding a 6’1, 320-pound defensive tackle that can explode off the ball, get great leverage, and great push is hard. Mack dominated against the run as well as creating a high amount of pressure in his pass rush. Although he only had one tackle in the Senior Bowl game, Mack was a behemoth the entire time. He would give up less ground than his other defensive linemen when double teamed and he was giving the opposing o-line constant problems. Of all the players in this year’s Senior Bowl, Mack’s dominant performance might have given him the biggest rise in terms of Draft stock. One analyst graded him as a 1st round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
CB Rock Ya-Sin (Temple)
The last Temple Owl to have a fantastic Senior Bowl performance was OLB Haason Reddick. He went on to have a great NFL Scouting Combine and Pro Day. The Arizona Cardinals eventually drafted Reddick with the 13th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Rock Ya-Sin was a player who excelled throughout the Senior Bowl week through his excellent lockdown coverages. He excelled against every receiver and stayed in consistent coverages as he didn’t give up space while defending. His ability to stay on his receiver while being physical at the line of scrimmage makes him an excellent potential at corner in the NFL. Bleacher Report gave Ya-Sin a third-round grade before the Senior Bowl. After the Senior Bowl, they gave Ya-Sin a first-round grade in the 2019 NFL Draft.
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