— I’ve only been able to watch the practise sessions on the NFL Network and due to the weather, didn’t see any of Wednesday’s practise. Based on what I have been able to watch, the three best players in Mobile were — Andre Dillard, Terry McLaurin and Deebo Samuel.
— Terry McLaurin tied Texas cornerback Kris Boyd in knots on one rep — flashing a superb inside/out move before catching a fade over his shoulder in the redzone. On his third rep in the WR vs DB drill he ran a delightful slant and exploded off his break to create about five yards of separation. McLaurin is so sudden and explosive, consistently gets open with a mix of athleticism and savvy, he’s a consistent catcher and he doesn’t have any wasted movement. Jon Gruden was chatting to McLaurin near the end of the session and was looking at him like a proud father. He’ll run in the 4.3’s at the combine, jump a 40-inch vertical and finally he’ll get the grade he deserves. McLaurin looks like a second round pick at worst and could easily be Seattle’s first pick in the draft. He blocks, he has special teams value, he’s a difference-making athlete, he’s sudden, he competes for the ball. He’s exactly the type of player they love.
— Deebo Samuel is right alongside McLaurin with the way he has performed in Mobile. The South team started their session with some red zone drills. All of the receivers ran pretty basic in-cuts, slants or fades. Samuel saw it as an opportunity to show off a bit. He destroyed the DB’s on both of his reps with moves reminiscent of Doug Baldwin vs the Rams in 2016. After each rep he was barking ‘I win’. Samuel, like McLaurin, has just been on a different level to the defensive backs in Mobile. What a fantastic week for the pair — two of the absolute biggest winners at the Senior Bowl.
— Washington State’s Andre Dillard was getting first round buzz before Mobile but that was practically confirmed here. After a terrific performance on Tuesday and (reportedly) an even better display on Wednesday — Dillard capped things off with a dominating rep against Jaylon Ferguson today. It was men against boys stuff. Dillard controlled the block, Ferguson desperately tried to disengage but couldn’t. He was attempting a counter, he was trying to shake Dillard off. No dice. It was an outstanding display of finishing a block. It really feels like it’s no longer a question of whether Dillard goes in round one — it’s a case of how early could he go with teams always desperate for good pass-protecting left tackles.
— There’s been talk of Montez Sweat as a top-10 pick this week but we really didn’t see any evidence of that today. Sweat took his 1v1 reps against Elon’s Oli Udoh. It was a massacre. Udoh easily handled Sweat’s attempt at a bull rush then followed up by driving him into the turf on a speed rush. The two reps had the O-liners hooting and hollering. “Oh yeah baby” was yelled. Sweat clearly has appealing length and quickness. However, this was a big reminder that he still has a lot to work on and has to prove that he can be an every down EDGE at the next level and won’t be bullied by pro-linemen.
— George State’s Penny Hart had some eye-catching reps at receiver. He has absolutely zero wasted movement. He eats up a cushion with blistering speed and then just explodes away from defensive backs to create separation. There are some concerns about how he catches the ball and whether he’s a better athlete than receiver but this was an impressive showing from Hart today. Like McLaurin and Samuel, he’s incredibly ‘sudden’.
— Washington tight end Drew Sample had a good first day and again looked really good today. He handled himself in the blocking drills. The Raiders had the running backs and tight ends blocking on an island. That’s a difficult challenge for a tight end — often they’re playing inside out and have support from a tackle. Sample’s footwork, ability to plant and stick and his hand-placement was all on point. In the catching drills he consistently found ways to get open. He easily beat Nasir Adderley in one rep with a fluid route. Sample can be a factor at the next level as an all-round, classic tight end. He helped himself based on the two workouts made available for broadcast.
— Another Husky who’s really helped himself this week is Kaleb McGary. Without doubt, in my opinion, he’s been the top offensive line performer in Mobile after Andre Dillard. His first rep today came against John Cominsky of Charleston. McGary absorbed contact, got his hands into Cominsky’s frame and just dumped him into the turf. It was a dominant rep that had the coaches howling. On his second rep he walled off a speed rush from Charles Omenihu. The Raiders gave him three successive reps to test him out. The final attempt was a little ragged — he seemed to catch his feet a little and give up a pressure to Ben Banogu. Later in the session the Oakland coaches introduced a drill involving stunting defenders. Many of the prospects struggled with this except McGary. He passed his guy off inside and easily handled the player stunting outside. The coaches decided to move him to left tackle to see if he could thrive there and he gave up a pressure to Omenihu and didn’t look comfortable. Even so — he leaves Mobile as a big winner and any team wanting a starting right tackle is possibly thinking he’s a viable target in round two.
— Khalen Saunders looked highly athletic on Tuesday if a little raw. Today he looked like an absolute beast. In his first rep he stunned Chris Lindstrom with an amazing jolt to the chest, driving Lindstrom off balance. The Boston College guard recovered well and prevented a total disaster but it still goes down as a win for Saunders. Later on the pair had another battle and Saunders walked him into the backfield. He has exceptional size and quickness, tremendous strength. It won’t be a surprise if he’s worked himself into a third round grade by the end of the week.
— Oklahoma duo Ben Powers and Dru Samia both had really good weeks. They’re tough, physical and have exactly the type of attitude you want from your interior linemen. Powers is 6-4, 310lbs and has 34 1/8 inch arms. He barely put a foot wrong in any of his 1v1 reps. He had a superb rep against Kinglsey Keke today showing off balance, hand-placement and power. He plants the anchor very well. Samia wants to fight and scrap with everyone.
— Mississippi State center Elgton Jenkins came into the week seen as the top player at his position in the class. There’s no doubt now (unless you like Jonah Williams and think he projects to center — it’s amazing how he still gets marked in the top-10 as a tackle). Jenkins had two great reps against Dontavius Russell today.
— Jonathan Ledbetter struggled a bit in his two reps against Dennis Daley. Earlier in the week he refused to be blocked but in this instance Daley controlled him.
— Greg Gaines does a nice job driving into interior linemen and pushing them into the backfield. Unfortunately his lack of arm length and hand use is a problem. When he wins with leverage and gets the initial push, in every rep he stays blocked and can’t disengage. When he doesn’t get that initial victory, too often he can be handled by longer offensive linemen. Nobody can question his effort and he had some wins again today. His stock will be severely limited though as long as he’s unable to use his hands to swim/rip and create a clean route to the backfield or find a way to disengage and not just run into linemen. Gaines had one particularly ugly snap against Garrett Bradbury.
— Michael Deiter had a better day today in the 1v1’s but he, Dalton Risner, Max Scharping and Chris Lindstrom all looked a little lost on the stunt-drill. Lindstrom and Deiter didn’t do anything outstanding today but they looked particularly solid.
— Zach Allen again looked pretty average — failing to flash any speed or quickness off the edge. He has good size and length. His 2018 season was extremely good. You’re left wondering about his upside though and whether he’ll be able to create pressure at the next level.
— Renell Wren played with a lot more control in his reps but didn’t really flash on day three. That might be the way forward for him to be a more rounded player but it did eliminate some of the ‘wow’ factor today.
— Trace McSorley had a rough outing among the quarterbacks with several wayward passes. It’s been difficult to get a read on the QB’s this week. Based on the TV broadcasts it’s been tough to get a feel for any hierarchy among this group. It might’ve been a lot clearer to those watching in Mobile.
— There’s been very little evidence of Nasir Adderley being an early pick this week. He toiled in coverage against even the TE’s. Drew Sample easily beat him in one instance. ‘Draft twitter’ seemingly got a little carried away with Adderley. He isn’t a bad player by any stretch but talk of round one and running a 4.4 forty seems way off based on his Senior Bowl display.
— USC tackle Chuma Edoga has some talent and looked like a natural fit at left tackle.
— Travis Fulgham flashed with some nice red-zone routes, showing off some quickness and snap for his size. Fulgham will be one to watch if he gets a combine invite based on the athleticism he showed here. With nearly 35-inch arms and a 6-2, 210lbs frame — he looked good in Mobile.
If you missed it earlier, don’t forge to check out the Seahawkers Podcast. We talk in depth about the Senior Bowl and Seattle’s off-season in general.
Check it out below: