Welcome to Senior Bowl week! The Senior Bowl is the premier event of the offseason draft circuit. All 32 teams will have representatives in Mobile, AL. In this post, I’ll be breaking down the offensive prospects to keep an eye on throughout the proceedings from both the North and South teams. I’ll be breaking down the defensive prospects tomorrow. Here we go!
Please note that until Monday’s weigh-in process (some say that’s the funniest part of the whole show), all height and weights are unofficial.
1. Baker Mayfield 6’1 215 QB RS Senior Oklahoma
- Last seen completely and utterly eviscerating one of the best defenses in the nation in the Rose Bowl against Georgia. Dynamic athlete with the ball in his hands. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner. He’s just so much fun to watch. I think he can be Russell Wilson 2.0 at the next level. He’s had some issues with being too confident (see antics against Kansas and the post game flag plant against Ohio State). Teams will question his many on and off field antics during interviews. The Denver Broncos (North coaching staff) specifically requested that he be placed on the North team. He also signed w/ a Colorado based agency. Do we have our first locked in pick in the first round? Hmm.
2. Josh Allen 6’5 223 QB Senior Wyoming
- The apple of Mel Kiper’s eye needs a huge week to change perception about him. He has the physical talents but people have begun to question his mental part of the game after a disastrous 2017 season marred by injury and woeful surrounding cast. He’s coming into Mobile overrated. In my view, he’s simply not that good enough to merit a top 5 selection.
3. Tyrell Crosby 6’5 320 OT Senior Oregon
- Crosby had an excellent 2017 season to rise up the boards to merit consideration as a top 5 tackle in the class. There are some excellent tackle prospects so this is no small matter. From the games that I watched, the lateral agility and ability to anchor down as a pass blocker is a huge plus. He mirrors the defender very easily and doesn’t allow much to get by him. He’s improved as a run blocker massively this year.
4. Chukuma Okorafor 6’6 330 OT RS Senior Western Michigan
- He had an standout 2017 season to maintain the stock of a top 3 tackle in this class. CO is a elite talent and is sure to be selected in the first round just like his former teammate Corey Davis was last year. He’s a physical threat to deal with for edge defenders. Excellent footwork. Watch for him to have a big week.
5. Mason Cole 6’4 297 OL RS Senior Michigan
- Cole is the most experienced lineman for Michigan as he has 51 starts under his belt. Position versatile as he’s played center and guard. One of the top center prospects in the country. Possible day 2 pick.
6. Jaylen Samuels 5’11 228 RB Senior North Carolina State
- Samuels is the Wolfpack’s go to weapon. He’s been used as a Swiss army knife of sorts throughout his career. Primarily a running back by trade but has played seemingly everywhere except offensive line and quarterback. Not the fastest athlete out there but in the view that he projects as a tight end / fullback, he has more than enough.
7. Kalen Ballage 6’2 230 RB Senior Arizona State
- He’s a big physical bruiser type of back. It can be argued that he is one of the best athletes in the Sun Devil program. An underrated prospect that is one of the best backs in the conference. Above average in the passing game. He’s a capable receiver out of the backfield though the stats don’t bear it out as much. There have been rumors that he was playing at as high as 235 in order to better absorb the heavy workload. Reportedly he has cut weight.
8. Michael Gallup 6’1 200 WR Senior Colorado State
- Gallup has been my WR2 all year long. He’s that good in a pretty deep class of receivers. The go to guy for the Rams. He’s a technically proficient route runner that can run virtually every route in his sleep. Mike Bobo’s offense is a variance of the “pro style” that requires its receivers to be great route runners. Production is very good. Posted 176 receptions for 2,690 yards in two years. Funny note: He’ll by coached by the home state Broncos in Mobile.
9. Allen Lazard 6’5 222 WR Senior Iowa State
- A big physical receiver that can go up and get it. The biggest knock on him is his testing numbers i.e. 40 time. Not the fastest guy out there so it will be very interesting to see how he looks against faster defensive backs in one on ones. Had a standout bowl game against Louisville to cap his career.
10. Troy Fumagalli 6’5 244 TE RS Senior Wisconsin
- Fumagalli burst onto the scene last year in the bowl game against Western Michigan and never really left. He’s a quintessential Wisky tight end. Good pass blocker. Plus route runner. Among the best tight ends in the country. I really like him as a fourth round pick. He will have to show out to get drafted on Day 2. One of the better all around tight ends in a relatively weak crop.
11. Cedrick Wilson 6’3 188 WR Senior Boise State
- Wilson might possibly rival Gallup for the honor of the Mountain West’s best wide receiver. He’s that good. Above average athlete. Has the physical traits that scouts love with the height. Lateral agility is a plus. NFL legacy as father CW, Senior played for the 49ers and Steelers in late 90s to the mid 2000s. Local tie for the Titans as he is a Memphis native. Garnered both Shrine Game and Senior Bowl invites. It’s pretty rare that a Shrine Game prospect gets a Senior Bowl invite without playing his way in.
1. Mike White 6’4 225 QB RS Senior Western Kentucky
- The record setting quarterback has all the physical attributes you want in a quarterback. Above average arm talent that can make all the throws. Footwork is a plus as well. He transferred to WKU from USF after being beaten out by Quinton Flowers. Ironically, the USF HC at the time was Willie Taggart (WKU alum). He is the most likely to break out like a Jimmy Garoppolo did in Mobile. QB5 in my book.
2. Kurt Benkert 6’4 215 QB RS Senior Virginia
- Benkert transferred from East Carolina to UVA for his junior and senior seasons. 2017 was a banner year for him. He has steadily risen up the boards. I like his game. He has the arm talent but the accuracy (below 60%) and yards per pass attempt (below 7) is a red flag without context. Given some context such as Virginia not being as talented as other programs in conference has something to do with it. The accuracy concerns isn’t a good omen for his future. He singlehandedly kept UVA in the Miami game before the Hurricanes pulled away late.
3. DJ Chark 6’3 198 WR Senior LSU
- Chark is the Tigers main receiving threat as he broke out in 2017 with 35 receptions for 811 yards thus far. Athletically, he’s one of the best in the class. He can get going in a hurry. LSU used him some as a runner during his junior season. A deep ball specialist with pretty solid footwork. Needs to show that LSU has QB issues instead of the other way around.
4. James Washington 6’0 205 WR Senior Oklahoma State
- Washington is the best receiver in the country and has the hardware to back it up. He won the 2017 Biletnikoff Trophy. The production is unreal, even by OSU standards. He has posted 221 receptions for over 4,300 yards to go along with 38 touchdowns. He’s built like a running back so hits are not as damaging to him. A four year starter.
5. Marcell Ateman 6’4 220 WR RS Senior Oklahoma State
- Washington’s running partner is no slouch himself. He’s a big body red zone threat that can run. A jump ball specialist. Route running is a plus. Really blew up as a senior, posting 59 catches for 1156 yards and eight touchdowns. He could be a steal for someone in the middle rounds.
6. Bryon Pringle 6’1 205 WR RS Junior Kansas State
- Pringle is one of the more unknown receiver prospects nationally. He’s the best weapon on offense for the Wildcats. An explosive deep ball specialist that can accelerate past anyone. Agility is a major plus. A key contributor as a return man. He just pops off the screen when I watch a KSU game. He should have a good week.
7. Rashaad Penny RB 5’11 220 Senior San Diego State
- Donnel Pumphrey who? The Aztecs saw one record breaking running back leave, only to have another one blow up the record books even further. Penny should’ve been a Heisman finalist. Rushed for over 2000 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior. A solid receiving threat out of the backfield as well. It can be argued that he’s the best running back in Mobile next week.
8. Isaiah Wynn OL 6’2 302 Senior Georgia
- Wynn is the anchor of the much improved Bulldogs offensive line. He has played pretty much everywhere on the line so position versatility is a major plus. Projects more inside at guard than outside at tackle for the next level. Best guard prospect in Mobile. It’s not even close in that regard.
9. Ian Thomas TE 6’5 248 Senior Indiana
- Thomas is underrated prospect that no one is talking up right now but with a good week, he can move up his stock tremendously. From the stuff that I watched him in, he was used mainly as a blocker. Hands are above average. The production isn’t there for some reason. He intrigues me as prospect, however. He won’t blow by anyone but just knows how to get open. Really came on during his senior season.
10. Desmond Harrison 6’6 313 Senior West Georgia
- Harrison could be the breakout star next week. He’s a road grading type of tackle that finishes his block through the echo of the whistle. Everything that I’ve seen of him shows signs that he can stick at left tackle with some refinements. He’s a punishing run blocker and above average pass blocker. Didn’t get beat too often in pass protection. Projects as a right tackle at the next level.
Bonus prospects to watch
1. J’Mon Moore 6’3 205 WR Missouri (South)
2. Taylor Hearn 6’5 330 G Clemson (South)
3. Jaleel Scott 6’6 216 WR New Mexico State (North)
4. Mike Gesicki 6’6 252 TE Penn State (North)
5. Tyler Conklin 6’4 240 TE Central Michigan (North)
6. Akrum Wadley 5’11 191 RB Iowa (North)