Senior Bowl North Practice Takeaways: Day 3

Photo: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

With the weather in full cooperation on Thursday, the practices returned to Ladd-Peebles Stadium to close out the week. Under the direction of Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, an energetic and competitive session provided plenty of opportunities for useful scouting reps. Let's take a look at my top takeaways from Day 3's North Squad practice.

  • I had my concerns with pegging where to play Boston College DL Zach Allen in the NFL and Thursday's practice revealed his limitations pass rushing from the outside. While his motor is likable and he does well to use his hands, he lacks the juice and mobility to challenge the outside hip of offensive tackles. With that said, he also struggles to hold up on the inside as a run defender given his lack of bulk and play strength. Allen is just a limited player and it's time to accept that.

  • Western Illinois DT Khalen Saunders is massive and can do back flips, but more importantly he has some exciting football ability. His blend of power and quickness for a 320-pound man is rare and I like his potential to challenge the depth of the pocket on passing downs while being a stout defender against the run. A little-known prospect from the FCS, Saunders made a name for himself this week.

  • I was hoping to see a lot more from Charleston DL John Comisky. The Senior Bowl is an important showcase for all prospects, but even more so from small-school prospects like Cominsky to see how they fare against top competition. Unfortunately, he didn't look like he belonged with his peers in Mobile.

  • Arizona State DT Renell Wren is a first off the bus player but he is as raw as it gets and it showed throughout the week of practice. I like his ability to defend the run but for a guy with his traits, more pass rushing ability is needed. NFL teams are willing to invest resources on toolsy prospects so Wren has a chance to get drafted, but his work ethic and personality didn't receive positive reviews from people I spoke to.
  • The Wisconsin interior offensive line pairing of Michael Deiter and Beau Benzschawel had a dominant week. Both were  long-term starters for the Badgers and they shined in 1v1 drills. Both are walls in pass protection with outstanding play strength. You can just tell they are technically refined players that have early starting potential in the NFL.

  • Charlotte OL Nate Davis had a terrific week and drew rave reviews from multiple scouts I spoke to. His hip hinge and play strength were very impressive this week as he proved he belonged with the best seniors in the nation. He is the perfect mid-round developmental prospect with eventual starting upside.

  • I know I have mentioned several offensive lineman already, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention Boston College IOL Chris Lindstrom and Texas A&M's Erik McCoy. These dudes were dominant and McCoy was arguably the top blocker during Thursday's 1v1 drills. McCoy illustrated a stout anchor and exceptional ability to stay square to blocks. I can't wait to dig further into his tape. Kansas State's Dalton Risner and NC State's Garrett Bradbury were also among the standouts.

  • Ohio State WR Terry McLaurin may have elevated his draft stock as much as any prospect did this week. His route running turned heads while his hands and ball skills also popped. Our resident WR expert Brad Kelly labeled him a top-10 receiver in this class based off his work in Mobile.

  • So... about these quarterbacks. Let's get through this quickly. Trace McSorley proved he isn't a draftable commodity. Daniel Jones had some first-round buzz entering the week but he struggled immensely. Everything was calculated, his ball velocity was poor and nothing looked natural. He was pressing hard throughout the week. Ryan Finley was Ryan Finley... primed for a long carer as a backup. Drew Lock was clearly the best of the group but he didn't put on a show like we've seen in recent years at the Senior Bowl from Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen and Carson Wentz. That said, he was in a tier of his own.

Want more takes on Day 3 practices on the Senior Bowl? DO NOT MISS our recap show!

Written By:

Joe Marino

Senior NFL Draft Analyst

Joe Marino is a Senior NFL Draft Analyst at TDN. Marino comes to TDN after serving as a draft analyst for NDT Scouting, FanRag Sports and Draft Breakdown dating back to 2014. In 2017, Marino became a Huddle Report Mock Draft Champion when he produced the most accurate mock draft in the world.