NCAA

What To Watch At The 2016 Senior Bowl

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MOBILE, AL– Just five years ago, then Texas A & M, now Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller was wowing scouts during Senior Bowl week in Mobile, Alabama.

This year there are a new set of prospects looking to boost their draft stock, and we are going to key in on some players and match-ups.

Here’s a quick primer about what you should need to know about the Senior Bowl:

  • Practices are significantly more important than the game.  Everyone would like to have a nice performance on Saturday, but the scouts, coaches and other executives are in person watching each of the drills from Tuesday through Thursday.
  • The Senior Bowl is more important than Pro Days and in some ways more valuable than the NFL Combine. The reason is that the players are actually doing football drills and competing against one another, ultimately in contact during the game.
  • Senior Bowl week is usually very difficult on the quarterbacks so judge them accordingly, and with a bit of leniency.  Mobile is usually very windy and we’re expecting some rain this week.  QB’s are also throwing to players that they’ve never thrown to and timing will be off.  Few quarterbacks ever look great there.
  • Running backs can improve their stock during this week, but you have to know what to look for.  Since there isn’t any contact in practices, it’s tough for backs to stand out.  Look for the RB’s to shine in pass catching drills and also in pass protection.  Just last year we saw what Arizona Cardinals rookie David Johnson could do as he picked up a lot of momentum in Mobile.

Here are some players to watch:

QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State- At the Shrine Game, we talked to plenty scouts and front office execs and everyone was excited to see Wentz.  Most believe that he is the most talented quarterback in this draft class and a good week in Mobile could catapult him to the first quarterback taken in the draft (which could be the No. 2 overall pick to Cleveland).

QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State- Prescott is certainly a raw, work in progress, but he was a very productive player for the Bulldogs and his size (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) and arm strength is intriguing to scouts.   He won’t be a first round pick, but a good week could elevate him into the Day 2 conversation.

WR Braxton Miller, Ohio State- The former quarterback was moved to wide receiver during his senior season after missing his junior year with a shoulder injury.  At times Miller looked like the best athlete on the football field and although he’s raw at the position, he can make a meteoric rise with a good week.  Just like former Arkansas QB turned WR Matt Jones in 2005.

DE Carl Nassib, Penn State- The younger brother of Ryan set the Penn State single-season sack record with 15.5.  It’s going to be interesting to watch him in one-on-one drills to see just how many moves he has.

S Miles Killebrew, Southern Utah- Killebrew is a throwback type of safety, as he stands 6-foot-2, 230 pounds.  There seems to be little place for those types of guys in the current NFL, but he will be able to prove that he can cover too, similar to a Kam Chancellor.  The NFL needs good safety play more than ever right now, and Killebrew could step forward.

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.