The 70th annual Reese’s Senior Bowl kicks off on Saturday from Mobile, Alabama, with its players hoping to build on the past week of practice in a live game setting in front of NFL scouts, coaches, and GMs.
When: Saturday, January 26, 2019
Game start: 2:30pm EST / 1:30pm CST
Broadcast: NFL Network
Venue: Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama
I touched on the importance of the college all-star circuit to Titans’ general manager Jon Robinson’s scouting process in my 2019 East-West Shrine Game preview last week.
Here’s the list once again of Robinson’s selections from past Senior Bowls.
Tennessee Titans Senior Bowl Alumni
- Austin Johnson, 2016
- Kevin Byard, 2016
- Tajae Sharpe, 2016 (invited but did not play due to injury)
- Sebastian Tretola, 2016
- Taywan Taylor, 2017
- Jonnu Smith, 2017
- Luke Falk, 2018
The Titans have another important connection to the Senior Bowl outside of the players. In March of 2018, Jon Robinson hired Patrick Woo as a Titans’ scouting assistant. Woo had served as a Scouting Coordinator for the Reese’s Senior Bowl from 2014 to 2018, presumably scouting prospective invitees.
You better believe the Senior Bowl will be an important date circled on the Titans’ scouting calendar.
Over 100 players from around the country, divided into two teams based regionally on where they played their college ball, have gathered in Mobile for the 2019 Senior Bowl.
A few key players I’ll be watching closely in this game based on the Titans’ needs:
Deebo Samuel, Wide Receiver, South Carolina —
Perhaps no single player was more dominant in the past week of practice than South Carolina receiver Deebo Samuel. With a strong build and lightning-fast quickness, Samuel checks all the boxes and may wind up in the conversation for WR1 by the time the draft rolls around. His ability to line up in the slot or out wide is valuable, and he catches everything thrown in his vicinity. Samuel will be wearing #1 for the South team, and he’s already #1 in our hearts (ask Mike about Deebo).
Deebo Samuel was the star of Senior Bowl practices. Routes were sharp, never looked rushed, and he was consistently dominant at the catch point. pic.twitter.com/ia9N4r8sFz— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) January 25, 2019
Garrett Bradbury, Center, North Carolina State -
Garrett Bradbury is my favorite offensive lineman in this class. He was listed by countless sources as a “winner” in every day of practice this week, and his tape from North Carolina State supports his performance thus far in Mobile. His biggest strength is his athleticism; he profiles as an ideal fit for a zone blocking scheme.
Daniel Jeremiah says Garrett Bradbury (NC State) has the athleticism of Jason Kelce, lateral movement of Ryan Kalil and has been blowing teams away in the meetings with his football IQ - brings a huge element of leadership to the center position.— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) January 24, 2019
As a converted tight end, Bradbury still needs to work on his anchor in pass protection, but his ability to reach defensive linemen to open up holes in the run game could make the Rimington Trophy winner a first-round pick by April. Bradbury will be #65 for the North squad (ask SuperHorn about Bradbury).
NC State Center Garrett Bradbury is one of the quickest centers in the nation. Short yardage situation and he is able to fire out, reach and turn with exceptional pad level given the situation. This is ridic. pic.twitter.com/Ygnxbu6srH— Cover 1 (@Cover_1_) December 6, 2018
Montez Sweat, Defensive End, Mississippi State -
Recently mocked to the Titans by Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, Montez Sweat may have played his way into top-ten consideration with his dominant showings in practice. Showing off his length and power, Sweat was an unblockable force all week. If he’s still in the Titans’ range after the Senior Bowl, he would make a great power compliment across from Harold Landry’s speed. Look for Sweat wearing #9 for the South team.
LMAO bruh. Montez Sweat just bulldozes Tytus Howard. pic.twitter.com/Hh1Dun7qAP— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) January 22, 2019
There are a handful of others receivers I’m also interested to see play in this game, particularly David Sills (WVU), Andy Isabella (UMass), Alex Wesley (Northern Colorado), and Terry McLaurin (Ohio State).
There are some intriguing interior defensive line prospects, too, such as Daylon Mack (Texas A&M), who got the call up from the Shrine Game last week, Renell Wren (Arizona State), Khalen Saunders (Western Illinois) — who can easily do a backflip at 320 pounds — and Isaiah Buggs from Alabama.
Western Illinois DT Khalen Saunders is 320-pounds...— Team Athlete (@TeamAthIete) January 18, 2019
Oh, and he can also do a backflip. pic.twitter.com/jlcl9y1sja
Other interior offensive linemen to watch include Chris Lindstrom (Boston College), Michael Deiter (Wisconsin), Elgton Jenkins (Mississippi State), and Nate Davis (Charlotte). There’s also a lot of buzz surrounding Dalton Risner, who mostly lined up at tackle for Kansas State but may have the ability to play all five positions on the line at a high level (and he hasn’t given up a sack since the 2016 season).
A few more EDGE guys to keep an eye on are Charles Omenihu (Hook ‘Em), , Carl Granderson (Wyoming), and the NCAA’s record holder for career sacks, Jaylon Ferguson (Louisiana Tech).
Of course the quarterbacks are always interesting, but the quarterback class is weak overall in 2019. Many in Mobile were not impressed with this year’s crop. Even so, multiple guys in the Senior Bowl could end up as first-round picks, like Duke’s Daniel Jones or Missouri’s Drew Lock.
Interestingly, there are a few QB-WR duos who played together in college: the North has Ryan Finley and Jakobi Meyers (NC State), while the South has Tyree Jackson and Anthony Johnson (Buffalo). West Virginia QB Will Grier on the South team actually has two college receivers to throw to in David Sills and Gary Jennings.
As I mentioned, each of the two teams held practices on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week, consisting of individual drills, one-on-ones and other competition drills, as well as team practice periods, after the weigh-ins, measurements, and media appearances took place on Monday.
2019 #SeniorBowl practice awards. Notes: USC OT Chuma Edoga was a stud all week w/ beautiful footwork. South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel cooked every DB he faced. NC State’s Garrett Bradbury confirmed he’s IOL1. Maryland’s Darnell Savage showed off his aggressiveness and leadership. pic.twitter.com/ZuLdE2KeJF— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) January 25, 2019
Here’s a bunch of practice recaps from The Draft Network and NFL.com if you’re interested in catching up on the week-long scouting event (unfortunately due to weather, the Day Two practice was moved inside and general media were not able to view this session):
- Senior Bowl Day One Takeaways: North Team
- Senior Bowl Day One Takeaways: South Team
- Senior Bowl Notebook Day One
- Senior Bowl Notebook Day Two
- Senior Bowl Day Three Takeaways: North Team
- Senior Bowl Day Three Takeaways: South Team
- Senior Bowl Notebook Day Three
The Senior Bowl is the most significant scouting even between now and the NFL combine. This college all-star game is another chance for draft hopefuls to impress NFL scouts, although college seniors and graduated juniors are the only prospects eligible to participate.
Stand-out alumni of past Senior Bowls include Von Miller, Aaron Donald, Russell Wilson, and Zack Martin, among many others. Just last year, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen turned heads on their road to becoming top 10 selections in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Who will turn heads this year?
Find out today, and use this thread to discuss the game...