NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his top 50 prospects ahead of the Senior Bowl. Coming out of it, there might be some names moving up.
Saturday's showcase game is still to come, but the week of practices have wrapped up with several players standing out from the rest of the pack.
Here are Jeremiah's top 10 winners from the week of practice down in Mobile:
DE Carlos Basham, Wake Forest
RB Michael Carter, North Carolina
RB/WR Demetric Felton, UCLA
S Richie Grant, UCF
OL Robert Hainsey, Notre Dame
WR Cade Johnson, South Dakota State
QB Mac Jones, Alabama
IOL Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater
EDGE Quincy Roche, Miami
OT D'Ante Smith, East Carolina
Catch up on all the action with must-see photos from the 2021 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
With three months still to go before the start of the 2021 NFL Draft, several of Jeremiah's practice MVPs could find their way into his top 50 rankings as the class takes shape.
Speaking on the Giants Huddle podcast last week, Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy said that the wide receiver class is a "really loaded group." One player who helped the group live up to the hype this week was Demetric Felton out of UCLA.
The hybrid wide receiver/running back registered 132 rush attempts for 668 yards (5.1 avg.) and five touchdowns in 2020 while adding 22 receptions for 159 yards and three receiving touchdowns. Felton also returned eight kickoffs for 168 yards (21.0 avg.) in six games. He was named Second-Team All-Pac-12 for his performance this season.
"Felton played running back last season for the Bruins, but he primarily lined up as a receiver at the Senior Bowl, although he did get a little bit of work at RB, too," Jeremiah wrote. "He has some dynamic qualities. UCLA coach Chip Kelly told me Felton practiced at both running and wide receiver throughout the 2020 season. That familiarity with each position showed in Mobile. He's an explosive player.
Nagy also talked about the edge rush group being the best he's ever seen at the game, while stating that this year's group of offensive linemen are "off the charts." This was put on display throughout the week with the performances of Miami's Quincy Roche and Wisconsin-Whitewater's Quinn Meinerz.
Roche played in 10 games this season, his first with the Hurricanes. He spent three years at Temple where was named AAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 after picking up 13.0 sacks and 19 tackles for loss before transferring prior to the 2020 campaign. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound edge rusher racked up 4.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one pass defended on his way to being named Third-Team All-ACC this season.
"I think Roche came into the week as a likely early Day 3 (Rounds 4-7) pick, but he probably pushed himself up to Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) based on his work at the Senior Bowl," Jeremiah said. "I came away impressed by how hard he battled from rep to rep. He just kept showing up in team drills. He has heavy hands and a motor that runs hot."
Meinerz did not play this past season as Wisconsin-Whitewater's 2020 campaign was cancelled due to COVID-19. However, he did play in 29 games from 2018-2019 and was named First-Team All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference both years. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound lineman was one of the stars of practice this week.
"Meinerz was the most impressive player during practices, from start to finish," Jeremiah noted. "He was a relative unknown coming into the week, hailing from a Division III school. Well, not only did he prove he belonged, he showed everyone that he's one of the best players here. Meinerz was dominant, displaying plenty of power and strength. No one should have any questions about his toughness either, as he reportedly played through a broken bone in his right hand on Thursday. He's going to be a quality starting interior offensive lineman in the NFL."
Another edge rusher who shined at practice was Wake Forest's Carlos "Boogie" Basham. Standing in at 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, Basham played in six games for the Demon Deacons this season. He finished the year with 5.0 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss to go with his impressive four forced fumbles, earning himself a selection as Third-Team All-ACC.
"Basham made himself some money this week by showing his inside/outside versatility," Jeremiah wrote. "Some defensive linemen just have a knack for getting into the backfield no matter where they line up, and Boogie is one of those players. His quickness was a problem for guards when he rushed from the inside, and he's going to be a good edge setter against the run. I'd like to see him play as a 4-3 DE in a base defense at the next level and then kick inside in sub packages. There was no top-tier defensive end in this year's Senior Bowl, but Basham really stood out from the rest of the group."
Finally, Jeremiah couldn't talk about the standouts of Senior Bowl practices without discussing North Carolina running back Michael Carter.
Carter played in 11 games in 2020 and put up strong overall numbers. He ran the ball 156 times for 1,245 yards, good for an average of 8.0 yards per carry, and nine touchdowns while adding 25 receptions for 267 yards and two receiving touchdowns. He also returned eight kickoffs for 156 yards (19.5 yards per return) on his way to being named First-Team All-ACC in addition to Third-Team All-American by the Associated Press.
As Jeremiah put it, "Every now and then there's a player who just pops off the screen when I sit down to watch tape, and Carter was that guy this year. He showed burst and an ability to make plays out of the backfield as a receiver. I think he has a legitimate shot to be a Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) pick. In an era when running backs are being devalued, he has a unique skill set. I envision him playing a role similar to the one Nyheim Hines fills for the Colts."