The Reese’s Senior Bowl is one of the major milestones during draft season. The 2019 version saw a change in practice venue for the first time in the event’s history, as heavy rain forced the two squads inside a neighboring college’s practice facility.
Among those who were invited and either turned down their invitation, or pulled out with an injury were: Kentucky’s Josh Allen, Georgia edge rusher D’Andre Walker, and Michigan defensive lineman Chase Winovich. Without those three, some observers felt the pass rush was lacking, giving the quarterbacks some extra time in the pocket.
The Senior Bowl is just as much about the interviews that take place at night, as it is about the practices and the game itself. Unfortunately, we’re not privy to that information. We can only assess reports that come out, the practices and the televised game.
So let’s get down to business and talk about who helped, and who hurt themselves.
Nasir Adderley, S Delaware
Not only did he come up with an interception, but he also laid a couple of outstanding hits during the course of the game. During practice, he also demonstrated good coverage skills in the slot. He was interviewed during the second half of the game and came across good-natured and had an upbeat personality, something that will play well in talks with NFL teams. He could go anywhere between the middle of the first to the middle of the second round in the NFL Draft.
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Charles Omenihu, DE Texas
He definitely improved his draft stock during his week in Mobile. While the 6-foot-6, 275-pound lineman didn’t garner a ton of stats in Saturday’s contest, he was a disruptive force, making quarterbacks get off-platform and scramble. He also generated a forced fumble and had a tackle for loss that was five yards behind the line. Reports during the week were much of the same as Omenihu spent much of the week in the offense’s backfield. This week should cement him as a strong day two pick.
Kingsley Keke, DE Texas A&M
He didn’t shine nearly as bright in the game, but did have one or two splash plays. Most of his improvement came during the week impressing the South coaching staff, led by the San Francisco 49ers coaches. Keke may have moved himself from an undrafted free agent into an early day three selection.
Montez Sweat, DE Mississippi St
The captain of the “I made money this week” team, Sweat came in and wrecked shop, proving himself to be one of the best players in attendance, and perhaps vaulting himself all the way into the top ten in April’s NFL Draft.
Jimmy Moreland, CB James Madison
He was actually a Shrine Game call up and not only did he hold his own, but Moreland also thrived during the week and again on Saturday.
Rock Ya-Sin, CB Temple
His was the name everyone kept talking about all week. Ya-Sin spent the better part of the week matched up with South Carolina standout Deebo Samuel. And while Samuel had a good amount of highlight reel catches, Ya-Sin had his own fair share of break-ups and passes defended.
Khalen Saunders, DT Western Illinois
The backflipping big man (seriously, go look at it on YouTube) had himself a monster week. He tore up practice, became a father for the first time to a baby girl, then capped it off by showcasing his power and explosiveness on Saturday. Saunders moved into the fifth-round range with his performance, but that’s probably just the cherry on his week.
Seriously. Pick any one of them. They didn’t have much buzz all week and had very impact. Notre Dame’s Te’Von Coney had a fumble recovery, but that was forced by the defensive line and he just happened to be in the right place.
Kris Boyd, CB Texas
This was not Boyd’s best showing. From all reports, he struggled all week in practice, then during Saturday’s game, got flagged three times in the first half of the first quarter.
Sutton Smith, DE Northern Illinois
He looked outmatched all week. He didn’t show enough power to play down as a defensive end and didn’t show enough speed to stand up as an outside linebacker. He put his already slim hopes of being drafted in jeopardy.
Isaiah Buggs, DE Alabama
Most would say Alabama players should come into this event and dominate, but Buggs was hard to be found all week. The one time I spotted him on Saturday, he was getting pancaked.