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Path To The Draft

Senior Bowl Practice Report (1/22)

We have one day of practices in the books at the Senior Bowl. There was a lot to digest on Tuesday with over four hours of on-the-field work. Drills were being run simultaneously; seven-on-seven was being run at the same time as O-Line/D-Line one-on-ones. I tried to focus on the trenches. Here’s what I saw. 

South Practice

• I expected West Virginia’s Will Grier to steal the show at the quarterback position during South Practice, but instead it was Jarrett Stidham from Auburn who was the most consistent. He has smooth mechanics, gets the ball out quickly and had good velocity on his passes outside the numbers. It was a very solid performance. Grier’s accuracy got away from him a little bit during the team portion at the end of practice. 

• Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson is a monster at 6-7 and 245 pounds and stood out during drills. He has a cannon for an arm, but his accuracy was inconsistent. He appears to push the ball on shorter passes, which is a much different looking motion when he throws down the field. 

• New Mexico State linebacker Terrill Hanks made me take notice of him. At just 230 pounds, Hanks dominated in pass coverage against running backs and tight ends, using his physicality to stymie them at the line. On one bump and run rep, he knocked a running back to the ground. He carried his dominance over to run defense during team work, making some loud hits around the line of scrimmage. 

• West Virginia linebacker David Long was active in run defense as well. At just 5-11 and 221 pounds, he was quick to fill, and laid a loud hit on Slippery Rock running back Wes Hills in the hole that garnered some oohs and ahs from onlookers. 

• Edge rusher Montez Sweat, the highest rated player at the Senior Bowl in the eyes of many experts, had his share of wins in one-on-ones. On the final snap of the drill, he caught Alabama State’s Tytus Howard with a power move to the chest and put him on his back. Despite that rep, Howard did not look out of place amongst players from large conferences. He showed promise. Sweat also created some good pressure with penetration during team drills. Sweat’s arm length is a significant 35 5/8’, and he uses length as his primary weapon. 

• I was excited to see two edge rushers from smaller schools, NCAA sack leader Jaylon Ferguson from Louisiana Tech and Oshane Ximinez from Old Dominion, but neither player stood out or consistently won on the first day or practice.

• Aside from the aforementioned Tytus Howard, who got most of his reps at right tackle, some other offensive linemen stood out. Potential first round left tackle, Washington State’s Andre Dillard, had some good and bad moments in pass protection. Sweat beat him a couple of times inside. The raw talent with his feet is evident. Mississippi State center Elgton Jenkins played well and was sound in pass protection drills. 

• The only skill position player who really caught my eye was South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel. He got consistent separation out of his breaks and looked plenty fast and explosive. 

• Defensive tackle Daylon Mack, a late add from Texas A&M after playing well at the East-West Shrine game, proved he deserved to be in Mobile. He showed great power and leg drive at 6-1 and 320 pounds and pushed blockers deep into the backfield.

North Practice

• Jon Gruden’s practice was fast-paced and very physical early on. 9-on-7 (a run drill) was the first team drill of practice, while the quarterbacks and receivers did one-on-ones. There were loud hits and physical play that the defensive line seemed to get the best of from my vantage point. The South squad might have more names at the edge rusher position, but it was the North’s team that dominated more consistently up front. 

• The story of North practice for me was how the defensive line won often in one-on-one drills against their offensive line group. At one point, there were two straight reps where defensive linemen Dan Godsil and Charles Omenihu put the offensive linemen on their backs. 

• TCU lineman L.J. Collier showed good power at 6-4, 276 pounds. Boston College defensive end Zach Allen isn’t your uber-athletic edge rusher at 6-5, 285 pounds, but he showed plenty of strength to move his opponents backwards at the point of attack. Arizona State defensive lineman Renell Wren put together a few really good reps, winning inside at defensive tackle.

• It was a struggle for the North’s offensive line. I loved the nastiness Kansas State’s Dalton Risner showed during 9-on-7. He played center early in his college career and it’s possible he might get some reps inside later in the week. 

• Wisconsin’s Beau Benzschawel had issues at right guard. He was extremely consistent as part of a good Wisconsin offensive line this year, so I would expect him to bounce back in a big way.

• Duke’s Daniel Jones is very solid at the quarterback position. His arm is good enough to make all the throws. He is accurate. He has good fundamentals and displayed some mobility. It looks like he sees the field well and stays calm in the pocket. He fit the ball into some tight spots on Tuesday. You know exactly what you are going to get with Jones.

• Missouri QB Drew Lock has a big time arm, but he didn’t unleash it a ton during practice on Tuesday. He did hit Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin on one deep ball during one-on-ones that was perfectly thrown. At some point this week, Lock is going to unleash a throw that will make people gasp. He has that type of raw arm talent. 

• McLaurin was the most impressive receiver I saw on the field for the North team. He showed speed to separate and he made everything look smooth and easy. He will help his cause on draft boards if he keeps performing this way the rest of the week. 

• One sleeper receiver to watch is Andy Isabella from UMass. He looks like a classic slot receiver with good quickness, but he also showed some top end speed to win over the top. Jakobi Meyers, a receiver from N.C. State, also showed good speed pulling away from defenders after a catch. 

Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, Wednesday’s practice will be moved indoors and media will not be able to attend. We will do our best to find out what happened and let you know on giants.com.

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