Day 2 of the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Alabama is in the books. The practices are taking place in Hancock Whitney Stadium–the home of the South Alabama Jaguars.
The practices mean even more this year for the players and NFL talent evaluators/decision makers. Let’s take a look at some of the players that stood out on Day 2. Both the good and the bad.
Alabama QB Mac Jones —Mac Jones looks like he can be a superstar quarterback in the National Football League. Not a lot of other people are willing to say this but I will. I’d gladly select Mac Jones ahead of Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft. Mac Jones is THAT good. He was absolutely on fire on Day 2. He had a really nice touchdown pass today to LSU WR Tracy McMath in team drills. Jones stepped up in the pocket, rolled to his right to elude pressure, and delivered the football right where it needed to be.
The guy literally places the football in the perfect spot time and time again. It looks effortless. Perfect spot. Perfect spiral.
He’s so poised and so calm in the pocket. He never looks rattled. He had a couple of missed throws in the drills today but I’m thinking his draft stock is only going to skyrocket because of his work this week. I’ve seen all I need to see out of Mr. Jones. If I’m an NFL team and I need a quarterback, I strongly consider taking him over all of the other top 5 quarterbacks. He’s been that impressive. I just don’t think there is that big of a margin between the current top four quarterbacks and Jones.
He stands flat footed in the pocket and is a little bit slow, but I think Jones has the very little, subtle movements that will allow him to elude pressure at the next level. Ask Tom Brady, you don’t need to be Lamar Jackson on every single play. Knowing the subtle movements in the pocket to elude pressure are essential and I think Jones has those in his arsenal.
For all the people out there that say Jones is tough to evaluate, turn on the tape of Day 2 practice at the Senior Bowl and let me know what you think. My mind is made up. I’m in love.
Check out this incredible pass he threw to Georgia’s Tre McKitty today:
Beautiful throw from Mac Jones and even better catch from Georgia’s Tre’ McKitty.
Mac Jones has stood out today, shown what we already knew, he’s the best QB in Mobile. pic.twitter.com/xVLvdPTNio
— Seven Rounds in Heaven (@7RoundsInHeaven) January 27, 2021
Gorgeous one handed grab by McKitty but wow one of the prettiest balls I’ve seen all year. Absolutely gorgeous pass by Mac Jones.
Wake Forest/Georgia QB Jamie Newman — Todd McShay was talking about how Newman struggles seeing the middle of the field and boy was he spot on. It was basically right on cue. A little bit after he said that on TV, Newman threw back to back interceptions across the middle of the field. It was on back to back plays. Newman is excellent when he gets to throw outside the numbers but struggles tremendously when he tries to attack the middle of the football field. Days like this are exactly why Newman should have gone back to college and developed his skill set.
I love Jamie Newman as a prospect. I really do. He’s got exciting tools to work with. I just wish he would have considered going back to school for one more year. I wish the best for him the rest of the week.
Clemson WR Amari Rodgers — Rodgers had a nasty contested catch in the end zone on Day 2. He looks a bit more polished than fellow Clemson Tiger WR Cornell Powell. But let me be clear, I absolutely LOVE both Clemson wide receivers at the Senior Bowl. Both are going to be special, special talents in the National Football League. I think you’ll probably have to selected Rodgers much higher in the draft, but both players are absolutely incredible talents.
Wake Forest DE Carlos Basham, Jr. — I like Basham as a prospect. He had a really nice strip sack on Day 2, forcing a fumble from Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond. I thought the breakdown from PFF on Basham, Jr. was really good. Basham was expected to make a huge jump this year after racking up 11 sacks in 2019. His production actually dropped to less than half of that, with only 5 sacks in 2020. That’s always a troubling sign and does not make me feel good about a prospect. If he keeps having a good week this week, Basham can really help his stock in a huge way. He needs it.
Florida WR Kadarius Toney — Toney has a ton of hype surrounding him but he had a very subpar day on Day 2. He was struggling to catch the football in drills. He needs to be more consistent with his hands. He was cramping up at one point during the practice, but came back in. He’s also battling through a rib injury. So maybe these nagging injury issues are part of what is bothering Toney. He’ll need to get it figured out.
He’s an explosive playmaker. I’m just not sure if I’m as high on him as other people are. The jury is still out on KT for me. I’ll need to see more later this week.
Notre Dame DE Daelin Hayes — I really like Daelin Hayes. He just jumps out at you every snap he’s out on the field. He had a really nice forced fumble on Feleipe Franks today. Todd McShay was gushing about Hayes and Jonathan Cooper of Ohio State in a segment.
The Notre Dame product seems like a player you are going to be able to acquire at value in the draft. Listening to his interviews, I just like Hayes’ demeanor. Call it gut instinct. Call it a feeling, but something tells me Hayes is going to be great at the next level. His stats aren’t mind blowing but he’s made a lot of big time plays in crunch time.
Arkansas/Florida QB Feleipe Franks — If I was Santa, Franks would be on the naughty list. He’s looked really, really bad this week. He’s holding onto the football entirely too long. He looks lost and looks like he’s just struggling to process the information fast enough on the field. He’s fumbled snaps and thrown a lot of ugly passes. What can I say but Franks has validated my earlier assessment that he has absolutely no future in the National Football League.
UNC RB Michael Carter — Michael Carter is speedy and explosive and I am absolutely enamored with his skill set. He looked really explosive in drills today and I love how he catches the football out of the backfield too. The UNC backfield was incredible this year with Williams and Carter. Just ask the Miami Hurricanes’ defense, whom Carter shredded to the tune of over 300 rushing yards in their 2020 game.
I’d buy lots of stock on both Carter and Williams. McShay mentioned how Carter comes from a military family and he’s got a great work ethic. There is a lot to love about Michael Carter and I can see him being an excellent all-purpose back in the National Football League.
Washington DB Keith Taylor — Washington he had a really nice pass breakup today in drills. In one on one drills, he was also the only DB to lock up Michigan’s Nico Collins. That’s an impressive accomplishment because Collins has been unguardable this week (more on Collins later).
Michigan WR Nico Collins — Like I said above, Collins has been virtually unstoppable all week and he really made himself some money today in the one on one drills (video linked below). He made the most impressive grab of the day when he was spinning in mid air against Benjamin St-Juste of Minnesota.
It was an absolutely incredible grab.
Collins drew rave reviews from ESPN’s Todd McShay in the broadcast as well. McShay noted that Collins has been the second best receiver at the Senior Bowl this week. No arguments from me. The kid is a monster. I love how Collins comes back to the football. His frame also makes it difficult for defensive backs to fight through him to the football. If you want to watch Collins and others in the one on one drills, check out the YouTube video below:
Western Michigan WR D’Wayne Eskridge — Eskridge continues to set himself apart as the best receiver in the field this week with his lightning quick speed and hands. Nobody can guard him. It’s that simple. I really like his release off the line of scrimmage and it’s going to be really fun to watch him ball out in the NFL.
UCLA RB/WR Demetric Felton — Felton continues to shine as one of the biggest stars this week at Senior Bowl week. He absolutely obliterated the competition again today. His change of direction skills combined with his route running and speed are flat out lethal. Good luck to whoever has to figure out defending this guy in the NFL. He shook Thomas Graham, Jr. with a stutter and go move that was jaw dropping in one on ones (video above). Felton left Graham, Jr. in his dust and caught the touchdown pass. Felton is going to be a very difficult matchup as long as NFL coaches utilize his skills properly.
Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace — Tylan Wallace was one of the best receivers in college football the past few seasons for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. This week has done nothing to dispel that notion for me. He hasn’t had an incredible week in the one-on-ones but not horrible either. He never matched his production in 2018 but I still really like Wallace as a receiver prospect in the NFL. He made a nice catch in the practices today.
Virginia RB Khalil “Juice” Herbert — Juice Herbert is so explosive. You don’t get the nickname “Juice” and not be fast. Period. Every time he touches the rock you feel like he can take it the distance. No plays in particular stood out to me today from him. I just know he’s really, really explosive with the football in his hands. He’s going to be a great all-purpose back in the NFL.
Arizona State WR Frank Darby — I’m a pretty big fan of Frank Darby. He’s fun to watch on the field. He’s also got a really good, smiley attitude in interviews. He had a couple of really nice catches in one on one drills today, including a TD catch.
He posted some solid numbers over the years for the Arizona State Sun Devils, even though he only played in four games in 2020. He had a rib injury that he had to deal with. His stats definitely aren’t anything that blow your mind but I really like watching him in one-on-one drills. I’ve got a good feeling about Darby.
Notre Dame/Northwestern WR Ben Skowronek — I really loved watching Skowronek this year at Notre Dame. I’m a huge fan of his game and I like his skill set. He’s had some mixed reviews in the one-on-one drills at the Senior Bowl. He’s been struggling to get any separation from some of the defensive backs in Mobile and he’s had some drops.
I’ve always viewed Skowronek as a TE/WR hybrid type receiver. I think if he’s lined up as a tight end in the NFL he’ll get more mismatches in his favor. But I LOVE the toughness that he plays with and he’s just seems like a dog out there on the football field. I haven’t studied his blocking tape but when I hear Daniel Jeremiah say that Skowronek is the best blocking receiver in this class; I have to believe him.
Some NFL team can find a place for him, no doubt in my mind.
South Dakota State WR Cade Johnson —Players like Cade Johnson are exactly why I love the Senior Bowl so very much. There are tons of under the radar players that come from schools all across the country just to get their shot against top competition in Mobile. Johnson looked very fluid and smooth in one on one drills today and demonstrated excellent hands. I really enjoy watching him play. I didn’t know much about him before the Senior Bowl, but rest assured he has won me over in a very short amount of time.
Wisconsin Whitewater OL Quinn Meinerz — Meinerz looked like a mauler out there on the football field today and has had an impressive week. He destroying an opposing defensive lineman off the snap on this run by “Juice” Herbert.
To make his story that much more incredible, the man is an actual lumberjack, part-time at least. If that isn’t the quintessential recipe for an offensive lineman I don’t know what is, I mean just take a look at this guy in action.
Here is the clip:
“This is kind of getting borderline ridiculous what he is doing up front this week.” 😤@MoveTheSticks checks out @UWWAthletics’ @QMeinerz at Day 2 of practice at the Reese’s @seniorbowl 👇 pic.twitter.com/fa1y443kmd
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 27, 2021
That’s it for now. Look for more Senior Bowl coverage/analysis from me later in the week, and be sure to check out my breakdown of the quarterbacks here along with my Senior Bowl Day One Practice Recap here.