Three Giants writers share their thoughts on Senior Bowl Week which kicks off Monday:
In this week's Cover 3, our writers talk about what they will be looking for at the Senior Bowl this week in Mobile, Alabama.
I want to see how some of these players, especially on offense, play in more pro-style systems. How do Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen perform? How does Mayfield measure? Can the offensive linemen hold off a talented group of pass rushers? How quickly can the players take in and utilize the stuff the Broncos and Texans coaching staffs are teaching them? How do some of the players from smaller schools perform in one-on-one situations against players from bigger schools?
More questions will present themselves once on the ground in Mobile, but this is what I'm looking forward to seeing.
We'll ooh and aah at the Olympic-caliber track numbers the top prospects turn in next month at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, but the Senior Bowl is a great first look at how players react to an NFL-style workweek.
From meetings to practices, prospects will have to prepare and perform in a competitive environment. That's when scouts and coaches will really see how a player handles those rigors and which ones have the mettle to make it in the NFL. Within that context, I'm looking forward to some good old one-on-one drills, whether it's an edge rusher on an offensive lineman or a cornerback on a receiver. It will be like training camp in January. Also, we're hearing from scouts that there are some good BBQ joints down there.
Usually when it comes to the Senior Bowl all eyes are on the quarterback class and this year is no different, especially with the Giants having the second overall pick. I'm very interested to see Heisman Trophy winner Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield following an impressive career at Oklahoma, as a walk-on, as well as Wyoming's Josh Allen, who has dealt with an injured right shoulder this past season. Those two in particular are projected to be first round picks and while one performance in an All-Star Game shouldn't overshadow an entire collegiate resume, it's beneficial to see how they interact with NFL coaching staffs.
I also like to focus on players from schools outside the Power 5 conferences to see how they match-up against some of the best talent in the country. Fresh off its victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl earlier this month, Central Florida has three prospects taking part in the Senior Bowl including Jordan Akins, considered to be one of the best tight ends in the nation. UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport is another player to keep close tabs on against competition that is very different than what he saw in Conference USA. There's also some depth at wide receiver with certain players having an opportunity to separate themselves from the rest of the group including Colorado State's Michael Gallup.