Mobile, AL — All-star events are most valuable to confirm your pre-conceived notions about a player. When the practice habits, strengths and weaknesses fit your narrative, that’s a wrap in player evaluation. It’s a good feeling, knowing who a player is. But events like the Senior Bowl will also throw you a few curve balls.
What happens when a player shows you something you didn’t see at first? Well…then it’s time to go back and check the tape. This week’s Senior Bowl is no exception. A lot of players confirmed suspicions. But some have me ready to go back and check the tape.
USC OT Chuma Edoga
The Trojans left tackle flashed early this week and played well throughout the entire course of the week. His foot speed was obvious, as was his mobility in short spaces to get the needed depth to set on edge rushers in one on ones. When I first watched Edoga, that part was also pretty clear.
But Edoga was a player who I had some questions with regarding his play strength. I didn’t see a lot of that here in Mobile. So now I’m making it a priority to dig into another game or two and see if his functional strength issues were a figment of my imagination, if he had coaching here that helped him to improve or if I simply picked a bad few games to watch.
Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye
I’ve liked Amani ever since I first got eyes on him. Players of that stature are not supposed to move the way he does. But my viewings didn’t show the inconsistencies locating the football that I felt Amani showed this week. The issue was most prevalent on Tuesday, where Amani was late to find the ball often. Even on some well defended plays, he showed some cracks before recovering.
It was a frustrating week for Amani, who I still obviously like a lot. But did I pass over games that showed these issues? I’ll need to check another game or two to be extra thorough and ensure I’m not missing anything. The last thing you want is to miss a potential wart in their game, especially at such a difficult position like cornerback.
Missouri QB Drew Lock
I came into this week down on Drew Lock. I had significant concerns with his ability to process post-snap and handle pressure. Now: those issues weren’t addressed this past week, as quarterbacks live a luxurious life in all-star events. The different colored jerseys serve as caution to defenders: “DO NOT TOUCH.”
So yeah, I still have concerns with Drew. But seeing him up close, you can appreciate some of the qualities to his game that could provide him an avenue to be a pro passer and starting quarterback. His baseline arm ability is evident. I love what he referenced before the start of the week about defeating pressure with his arm slot.
I want to go back and re-watch Lock, especially the second half of his senior season. I’m hoping to find the silver linings there to get excited about him as a potential franchise quarterback.