I am down in Mobile, AL for the 4th straight year. The Senior Bowl is a great experience for everyone…the players, scouts, media and the town of Mobile. You could write a full story on every prospect here, but here is a preview focusing on select players.
10 to Watch – Offense
QB Bryce Petty – Baylor – There might not be a more divisive player in the draft than Petty. Some in the draft community hate him. Hate. Not personally of course, but as a prospect. I think some of this is backlash against Blaine Gabbert, another QB who thrived in a spread offense. Petty isn’t a great prospect by any means, but I think he’s better than some people are giving him credit for. He has solid size and a strong arm. He is a good athlete. He ran Baylor’s up-tempo offense about as well as you possibly could. Petty won’t be for every team, but he would seem to be a good match for the Eagles, and any other teams looking to run a fast break offense. He’ll get a chance to show what he can do in a conventional setting this week in Mobile. Huge opportunity for him.
OT T.J. Clemmings – Pitt – Clemmings might be the most physically dominant blocker in Mobile. It should be a lot of fun to watch him in the 1-on-1 drills. Clemmings played RT for Pitt, but some think he has LT potential. Hopefully he’ll get some reps there this week so we can see how he handles that role.
WR Jamison Crowder – Duke – He only lists at 5-9, 175, but Crowder plays bigger than that. He can play in the slot or outside. He can catch quick screens or go downfield for a deep ball. He attacks the ball in the air and isn’t afraid to play in traffic. Crowder could thrive in the 1-on-1 drills.
WR Antwan Goodley – Baylor – Very different from Crowder. Goodley is 5-10, 225, an unusual build for a WR. There are times when he reminds you of Anquan Boldin, which is the highest compliment I can give to a WR. Goodley needs to show he can get open on his own and not just through Baylor’s explosive attack.
OT Ty Sambrailo – Colorado State – 3 1/2 year starter at LT for CSU. Has good size, skills and athleticism. The only real question is how high he’ll go. A strong week in the 1-on-1 drills will give his stock a boost.
QB Blake Sims – Alabama – Who is the #3 QB in this class? Some think it is Sims. He is talented, but inconsistent. I want to see how Sims does on intermediate passes. He has good deep accuracy, but like most college QBs, you don’t see enough intermediate throws. It will also be interesting to find out his measurements. Sims lists at 6-0, 208. That might be generous.
WR Sammie Coates – Auburn – There is no question that Coates is talented. He has good size, speed and skills. But he was primarily a deep threat for AU, catching 34 passes for 741 yards and 4 TDs. Can he run crisp routes? Can he get open on short and intermediate routes? How does he catch those passes?
RB Ameer Abdullah – Nebraska – Great college player who now faces NFL scrutiny. Abdullah lists at 5-9, 190. How big is he really? How will he do in the blocking drills? We know he can flat out run and catch.
WR Devin Smith – Ohio State – Great deep ball receiver. Has good speed and does a great job of locating the ball. Really concentrates and can make contested catches. Doesn’t seem to pay attention to the DB at times. Like Coates, how good is he on short and intermediate routes?
OG Robert Myers – Tennessee State – Played LT for TSU, but will be playing OG at the Senior Bowl. You always want to see how the small school guys do and it gets even more interesting when they change positions.
10 to Watch – Defense
DL/LB Preston Smith – Very fun player to watch. Plays the left and right side. Plays DE and slides in to NT in some Nickel/Dime sets. Natural pass rusher who has good moves and athleticism. Can 2-gap when asked to. Can drop into coverage on zone blitzes. Great frame at 6-6, 265. Could be 3-4 OLB or could play DE in either system. Really intriguing player that teams will see in many different ways. Is he a light version of Calais Campbell? Is he a heavy version of Dion Jordan? Is he similar to JPP? Can’t wait to see Smith in action.
S Jaquiski Tartt – Samford – What a name, huh? Dude can play. Hits like a ton of bricks. I want to see what kind of cover skills he has. Is Tartt okay in centerfield? Can he play man? Is he more of a Cover 2 guy? Good size at 6-1, 220. Small school player with big time ability.
S Clayton Geathers – UCF – One of my favorite Safeties in the class of 2015. There is nothing great about Geathers, but he is good all-around. Has good man cover skills. Hits and tackles well. Good size and a solid athlete. 4-year starter. Can play in the box or deep.
CB Quentin Rollins – Miami OH – Former college basketball star decided to give football a try at the end of his career and boy was that a good idea. Rollins doesn’t have NBA talent, but absolutely has an NFL future. Natural football player. Had 7 INTs this year. Aggressive hitter and tackler. Nothing finesse about him at all. Has good size and is a gifted athlete. You can’t help but think of Richard Sherman when you read about Rollins. Sherman went from solid college receiver to elite NFL corner. I don’t know that Rollins has that kind of potential, but he will be drafted higher than Sherman was.
DE/LB Hau’oli Kikaha – Washington – Explosive, violent edge rusher. Stuns blockers with his hands. Fires off the ball and there’s no subtlety to his game. Has some cover skills, but is meant to attack off the ball and be disruptive. Really looking forward to seeing him in the 1-on-1 drills.
DL Danny Shelton – Washington – Goes 6-1, 339, but has the motor of a guy who is 285. Flies around the field. Can be a stout run defender when he wants to. NFL teams will want that part of his game to improve, but the potential is there for him to be dominant. There is speculation that he will be a Top 10 pick. Gets compared to Haloti Ngata a lot, but reminds me more of Dontari Poe.
LB Mike Hull – Penn State – Is he more of a WLB or MLB? Lists at 6-0, 230 and I’m curious to see what his actual size is. Reminds me of a poor man’s Luke Kuechly. Not as athletic or instinctive, but always around the ball and has a terrific motor. At the least, could be a great STer.
CB Imoan Claiborne – Northwestern State – Small school CB with a big attitude. Plays with a real nasty streak. Very physical CB. Solid size at 5-11, 187. Curious to see how he does in the 1-on-1s. Does he have the man cover skills needed for the NFL? Might also project to the slot.
DB Josh Shaw – USC – Has played both CB and S. Press corner teams will want him on the outside. Others will prefer him at S. Just had a strong week at the Shrine Game. Biggest issue for him will be interviews with teams. Shaw has to explain an incident from this past summer that got him suspended for much of the season.
DE/LB Deion Barnes – Penn State – Showed flashes of being a terrific pass rusher at PSU, but was inconsistent. Has good size at 6-4, 255. 3-4 teams will want to see if he can play LB or is strictly a DE.
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Senior Bowl Rosters