The 2016 Senior Bowl is set for Saturday at 2 PM ET on NFL Network. The real important aspect of the Senior Bowl however are the 3 practices by each team (North and South team) while NFL front offices and coaches evaluate the senior talent in an NFL practice setting. Yes WE TALKIN BOUT PRACTICE!!!
The Jaguars coaching staff is coaching the South team and the Cowboys coaching staff is coaching the North team. Let’s take a look at some practice reports and see which players are rising and falling on draft boards.
Here are the weigh-in results for all participants
Here are the full rosters for each team
Practice Reports North
Practice Reports South
Several players have stood out at the Senior Bowl so far. The defensive tackle group has been strong with Sheldon Rankins (Louisville), Vernon Butler (Louisiana Tech), Jarran Reed (Alabaman) and Austin Johnson (Penn State). Rankins is the pass rusher out of the group while Johnson is a nose tackle that can provide pass rush and tackles for loss. Butler and Reed are more run defenders but both are very strong in the run game. Aldolphus Washington is a strong day 2 candidate but was kicked off the Ohio State team due to solicitation.
Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) is a man among boys at QB in the Senior Bowl. He already is getting first round indications and could rise with a strong combine and pro days too. Connor Cook elected not to participate which may help Wentz leap frog him. Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) has the SEC production but needs to show more accuracy. Brandon Allen has a lot to prove from Arkansas but has a decent arm. Jake Coker (Alabama) is the QB everyone loves to hate. He was a winner with Alabama and had a strong playoff performance. Coker has to prove he can have success without a NCAA Championship team supporting him.
Braxton Miller made the transition from QB to WR for Ohio State last season. Miller is showing well at WR with good routes and great athleticism. Aaron Burbridge was incredibly productive for Michigan State and is a good route runner. He needs to show some athleticism to move his way up the draft board. Sterling Shepard I mention because of Raji.
Noah Spence played for Eastern Kentucky after transferring from Ohio State for an ecstasy drug problem. Spence is explosive and is having a good week. He must quell his off field issues quickly.
Jason Spriggs (Indiana) is a left tackle that is holding strong in pass protection and is a better run blocker than advertised. Spriggs could jump into the late first round with a good Senior Bowl and combine. Spencer Drango (Baylor) is another tackle that could be a late 1st round pick. Drango may be better suited for guard though. Joe Haeg (North Dakota State) protected Wentz’s blind side and is rising after some good practices.
Nick Varnett (Ohio State) leads an underwhelming TE class. Glenn Gronkowski (TE/FB) is Rob Gronkowski’s brother. That is something I guess.
Darian Thompson (Boise State) looks to be the best safety in the draft class. Thompson is a play maker with the size to play in the run game. Jeremy Cash (Duke) is a big safety that has a lot of production for Duke over 4 years. Cash has some coverage concerns that he must address as Duke used him often in the box.
The CB group is pretty weak in this game with some small school prospects and not much size and speed.
Shawn Oakman (DE from Baylor) is very athletic but the tape doesn’t back him up. Carl Nassib (DE from Penn State) was the NCAA sack leader after a monster senior season out of nowhere.
Reggie Ragland is a great ILB for Alabama who is showing versatility switching to OLB this week. Ragland could be a more athletic CJ Mosley (Baltimore LB and 1st round pick from Alabama). Kyle Frackell (OLB from Utah State) is a pass rushing OLB specialist that could put his hand in the ground. 3-4 teams will take a long look at Frackell. Jordan Jenkins (Georgia) and Joshua Perry (Ohio State) are athletic OLBs that can make some splash plays.
The Senior Class is strong at DT and Linebacker but weak at CB, DE and WR. Carson Wentz looks like a 1st round pick. Many of these players could be 1st round picks and many will be leapfrogged by the underclassmen (96).
Here is a list of all underclassmen
Enjoy the game. It’s better than the Pro-Bowl at least.