For dynasty owners, preparation for the new season officially begins every year with the Senior Bowl. Excitement is high as a collection of some of the best seniors and fourth-year juniors that college football has to offer make their way to Mobile, Alabama.
For the players, the Senior Bowl represents a last chance to showcase their talents in a game environment. For fantasy owners, the game provides one last chance to look at players in pads, as well as the opportunity to reveal a few diamonds in the rough for your upcoming rookie drafts.
This year’s game left a bit to be desired, as neither team seemed too eager to open up the playbook or stretch the field much at all.
For much of the game, the South’s offensive unit was completely overwhelmed in the trenches, providing little opportunity for its passing game to operate. On the flip side, Matt Patricia seemed more than happy to grind out the clock with run-after-run in a 34-17 win for the North. The North’s three quarterbacks only attempted 28 collective passes - that’s the fewest since 2017 when Nathan Peterman and CJ Beathard combined for only 25 pass attempts. It was a disappointing result after hearing all week how impressive the wide receiver group was during practices, but I digress.
Joshua Kelley, RB UCLA
Kelley benefited greatly from Patricia’s decision to establish the running game.
A two-star recruit that began his college career at UC Davis, he transferred to UCLA after his sophomore season. After sitting out a year due to transfer rules, he put together two 1,000-yard seasons for the Bruins. At 5'10" and 214 pounds, he was actually one of the biggest backs in an underwhelming crop of running backs this year in Mobile.
After gaining praise for his performance in practices this week, Kelley turned 15 carries into 105 yards. He showed some nice burst and often was able to navigate his way through congested running lanes, seemingly always netting a positive gain. I would have liked to see him get involved in the passing game - he had only 11 receptions this year at UCLA - but that’s hard to do when the coaches limit the pass. His performance earned him some money, but he likely will project as a part of a committee at the next level.