While Saturday’s game will represent the final session of the week, with each of the three practice sessions now complete, it’s time to look back to who rose above the crowd on the offensive side of the ball at this year’s Senior Bowl.
QB: Malik Willis (Liberty)A dual-threat talent whose skill set blew away scouts and talent evaluators throughout the fall, Malik Willis used his platform this week to wow those in attendance. While day one left much to be desired from each of the signal-callers in attendance, Willis was dynamic in all facets the remainder of the practice sessions, showcasing both his ability to dissect within the pocket and his outstanding creativity outside of structure.
RBs: Dameon Pierce (Florida); Tyler Badie (Missouri)There were two of the four SEC running backs in attendance. Let’s start with Dameon Pierce. An underutilized talent during his days at Florida, as impressive as Pierce was as a runner both inside and outside the hashes, his strength in pass protection and as a weapon in the American teams’ aerial attack has become a massive plus in his scouting report. Two traits that have become musts for prospects to display for a potential three-down workload, Pierce’s success in that facet presents a prospect with an awfully well-rounded player profile heading into the NFL Scouting Combine. For Tyler Badie, although he measured in a tick smaller than teams expected, he’s been everything as advertised. Quick feet, excellent ability in the passing game, and a high level of vision amongst the trees up front saw him enjoy an excellent week of work from the opening whistle to the final buzzer of practice.
TEs: Greg Dulcich (UCLA); Grant Calcaterra (SMU); Isaiah Likely (Coastal Carolina)While Colorado State’s Trey McBride holstered TE1 headlines as Mobile approached, he was substandard—in comparison to expectation—throughout the three practices. However, Greg Dulcich, a big-bodied target who was able to separate with ease all year long, turned heads. The same can be said for Grant Calcaterra, a prospect with a well-documented injury history during his time at Oklahoma. Both operated with smooth feet, sure hands, and the ability to block vertically in the run game, and in one-on-one situations in pass pro. For Isaiah Likely, his speed up the seam—as it was all year long—was obvious in both individual and team work. He consistently outran linebackers and safeties, and projecting his skill set to the next level, he has the chance to hold a significant role in the passing game.
WRs: Calvin Austin III (Memphis); Christian Watson (North Dakota State); Braylon Sanders (Ole Miss)Calvin Austin III was in his own class in Mobile. While I would have liked to have seen him work some more against press-man, as he was awarded free releases for the majority of his snaps, there wasn’t a corner he went against that was able to hold his lunch. For Christian Watson, he secured his stock. A supremely raw talent whose film popped off the screen similar to the class’ elite pass-catchers, his enticing blend of length, speed, and size was hard to holster from the secondary defenders in attendance. For Braylon Sanders, a late addition to the National Team roster, he thoroughly impressed with his twitch and ability to create substantial throwing windows at every level of the defense. After watching his teammate in Dontario Drummond in preparation for the event, Sanders was not just the better of the two former Rebels, but one of the standouts of the receiver group.
OL: Zion Johnson (Boston College); Trevor Penning (Northern Iowa)A deep group up front, Zion Johnson and Trevor Penning were CLEAR standouts. While Penning represented the bouncer at the club, throwing and mauling defensive lineman in all periods, Johnson was just as impressive on the interior, also earning snaps at center—a nice showcase of the versatility he could provide along an NFL front five. For Penning, while his nastiness and physicality teetered along the lines of causing a full-blown brawl as frustrations increased from opposing defensive lineman from rep to rep, his violent tendencies saw him shine.
- Feb 16, 2022
- Feb 08, 2022