The 2018 Senior Bowl was a showcase for the questionable quarterbacks and a slew of mid-round draft prospects, but as always, it was entertaining.
Daily Five: 2018 Senior Bowl
5. The really, really good guys weren’t there
The Senior Bowl is for the prospects looking to standout and show enough to improve their draft stock. Most of the non-quarterbacks who know they’re good at this football thing have absolutely no reason to be a part of the week or the game – despite what the drafty draft types might say.
NC State DE Bradley Chubb, Michigan DT Maurice Hurts, Notre Dame G Quenton Nelson, Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph – all weren’t playing. And, of course, the superstar underclassmen prospects weren’t going to be a part of this – it’s the Senior Bowl.
However, UTSA DE Marcus Davenport looked the part of a first rounder. Oklahoma State’s Marcell Ateman is looking more and more like a sure-thing top 50 pick – he caught a touchdown pass.
What’s the party line on this? Unless you’re an offensive lineman and you’re painfully exposed for having no discernible NFL athleticism, you probably can’t hurt your stock, but you can help it.
And you can really help it if you’re …
4. San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny
Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage helped himself in the game by doing his Marshawn Lynch impersonation on a brutally hard 57 yards on ten carries, and NC State’s do-it-all Swiss Army knife Jaylen Samuels looked the part of a real running back on a few carries, but Penny was the star among the running backs.
Saquon Barkley, Derrius Guice, Sony Michel and Ronald Jones are among the top running back prospects, but Penny might be this year’s Kareem Hunt. The former Toledo star was solid during Senior Bowl week, and obviously turned in a nice rookie season for Kansas City.
Penny was explosive in his 2,000-yard season for San Diego State, and unstoppable in the bowl loss against Army. But his big moment came on a nice catch for a 73-yard touchdown.
He ran hard for a game-high 64 yards on nine carries, giving the type of max effort all that make scouts feel all warm and squishy inside.
The running backs are fun, the quarterbacks are always the story, and the pass rushers are always a big deal, but the interior linemen are what the NFL guys really want to get a feel for during Senior Bowl week, and …
3. Will Hernandez is the truth
Everyone knew the 6-3, 330-pound mauler from UTEP could destroy everything in his path for the running game, but could he move? He’s not exactly Bruno Mars out there sliding around, but he showed enough agility to get by at either guard spot.
With Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson expected to be the first guard off the board – and with a top ten price tag, if not top five overall – Hernandez is looking more and more like a good value pick somewhere late in the first round or in the early second.
Hernandez was the star of the the interior linemen, but in a relatively weak class of receivers …
2. D.J. Chark stood out
The line on the LSU Tiger was that he’d be a far better pro than a college player. Underutilized in the LSU offense, the 6-4, 198-pounder was good, and he had his moments as a deep play threat, but he only came up with 66 career catches for 1,351 yards and six scores.
Dangerous with the ball in his hands, he ran for four scores and averaged over 20.5 yards per catch, but could he break out in Mobile?
Great all week, he blew up in the game with five catches for 160 yards and this touchdown …
QB Mike White was getting praised for the throw on the scoring play, but if was Chark who got wide open. That was a common theme all week.
1. The quarterbacks just weren’t that great
Who looked the part?
Josh Allen was fine. He showed off what everyone already knew – he’s got otherworldly skills.
The problem was his consistency throughout the week. In the game, he struggled early, but finished strong hitting 9-of-13 passes for 158 yards and two scores. Of course, there wasn’t any blitzing or anything funky from the defense. He is who we thought he was – great, but needs a whole lot of work.
Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta was sharp, hitting 8-of-12 passes for 198 yards and three scores, WKU’s Mike White bombed away – after a great week with the scouts and GMs – hitting 8-of-11 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.
And Baker Mayfield?
3-of-7 for nine yards. And he looked small.
Yeah, the big news was that he measured in at just over six feed tall, but in the game, he struggled to get his throws off and looked out of place.
Nebraska’s Tanner Lee threw an interception – because that’s what Tanner Lee does – and Virginia’s Kurt Benkert completed 4-of-11 throws for 90 yards – almost all on a play by Penny – with a touchdown and a pick.