The all-star circuit is upon us! After we send 5 staff members to the Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, our entire staff is heading to Mobile for the 2019 Senior Bowl.
To get you ready, we continue to preview the prospects slated to participate at the Senior Bowl, today looking at the inside linebackers.
Otaro Alaka, Texas A&M
Alaka finished the year strong as a redshirt senior, logging 11 total tackles against the LSU Tigers, one shy of his career high in a game. At 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, Alaka is the first of several jackhammer types in this year’s event. The Senior Bowl seemed to make it a priority to get some size on the inside, Alaka will be among that group competing to see which big guy moves the best.
Te’Von Coney, Notre Dame
Te’Von Coney isn’t going to win many agility drills, but he’s an impressive physical specimen between the tackles. Coney likes to bang in inside gaps, he’s quick to plug and step forward to occupy space. The pass coverage drills figure to pose a challenge for Coney, who doesn’t exactly illustrate loose hips. But showing he’s receptive to new coaching techniques could unlock some added range to his game in space.
Deshaun Davis, Auburn
Davis is the hometown hero. Davis was the recipient of a phone call from Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy in early December and they Senior Bowl and Auburn staffs were kind enough to share it with the world:
Happy to announce @AuburnFootball ILB Deshaun Davis (@_Davis_Boy12) will be playing in the 70th annual @seniorbowl. We’ve been holding back a couple weeks to do something special for our Mobile native and Vigor HS alum. Thanks to @CoachGusMalzahn for helping us make it happen. pic.twitter.com/GHt3987kYr
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) December 13, 2018
Davis, a Mobile native, is big, mean and physical on the inside. He’ll likely be fired up to come back to his roots and perform one last time. He’s a high motor kid.
David Long Jr, West Virginia
Long is a bit of an outlier: he isn’t overly physical. But he’s got one heck of a stat sheet after three seasons of playin Morgantown…Long has racked up tackles for loss like few linebackers in the country. Slightly undersized, Long gets by with a great feel for anticipating lanes developing and an aggressive mentality to get into gaps.
Bobby Okereke, Stanford
Okereke is probably the best athlete of the bunch…but he’s also still a little raw around the edges. Bobby flashed to me early in the season but in preliminary watches of his A-22 tape, I’m stuck on how I feel. The Senior Bowl can be a great showcase for Okereke to show he’s a quick learner and study up on his play recognition skills.
Germaine Pratt, North Carolina State
A former Safety, Germaine Pratt enters the Senior Bowl coming off of a career season (104 total tackles, 6 sacks, 3 passes defensed). My concern with Pratt is that he’s gone too far into the linebacker realm…I was expecting more athleticism from a former Safety. What weight does Pratt walk into weigh-ins with? Does a lower weight help his show some more range?
Cameron Smith, USC
Smith flirted with the NFL last off-season after breaking out in a big way as a junior. This year? Not so much…it was tough sledding for Smith, who also battled through a knee injury for a portion of the season. But the senior captain looks to show he’s fully healthy and ready to get back to his 2017 form, in which his mental processing shined bright and put him in position to make a ton of plays.