Senior Bowl Players to Watch — Offense

Some of FAM’s favorite offensive prospects to watch in the 2018 Senior Bowl (January 27, 2018).

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen — Wyoming Cowboys — Love him or hate him, he’s going to be drafted pretty darn high for a guy who finished in the bottom half of the Mountain West in pretty much every category. As you can tell. we’re not fans, read more on why here.

Luke Falk — Washington State Cougars — One of college football’s most prolific quarterbacks for what seemed like years, we’ve been a fan for some time due to his great accuracy. Took some hits this season, and showed he’s human, but great size and a mastery of the passing game.

Baker Mayfield — Oklahoma Sooners — Another quarterback we’ve long been sold on, like Falk he’s deadly accurate. Unlike Falk he’s also a big time play-maker, part of what made him a FirstAndMonday All-FAMerican. Not ideal sized QB, but a proven star and Heisman winner.

Mason Rudolph — Oklahoma State Cowboys — Of the two NFL prospects from Oklahoma’s Big 12 schools, Rudolph is the NFL prototype, standing 6-5 230 with a huge arm and good accuracy (GREAT on deep balls).  Yet can he adjust to an NFL scheme, and can he improve his touch on intermediate routes?

Mike White — Western Kentucky Hilltoppers — Huge fan of his size (6-4 225), leadership, and accuracy, one of the Group of Five Guys we’ve highlighted and someone we’ve long identified as an elite college passer. Does it translate? We say yes. He’s been Brohm’d by a QB whisperer, grown because of it, and will shoot up draft boards. Doesn’t have Josh Allen’s arm strength, but deserves his hype.

 

Running Backs

Kallen Ballage — Arizona State Sun Devils — Will leave NFL scouts drooling with his size, speed, hands and physique. However needs to show better vision, as he wasn’t the most efficient runner at times for the Sun Devils (granted they struggled blocking at times). Will rise because of his testing, but right now is more an athlete than a pure runner.

Nick Bawden — San Diego State Aztecs — A fullback, but one of college football’s best blockers at the position over the past few seasons. The former quarterback has great size at 6-3 245, and paved the way for like 10k yards in rushing. As teams struggle with quarterbacks in the 2018 season, expect more fullbacks…

Royce Freeman — Oregon Ducks — Exceptional vision from Freeman, along with great power, make him a potential NFL chain mover. Injury concerns are there, but all else is a big plus, including his ability to move the chains via the passing game (79 career receptions).

Rashaad Penny — San Diego State Aztecs — Possibly our favorite running back prospect in the draft, his speed, power and balance are elite for a player of his size (5-11 220). Despite his workload this season was rotational before that and thus has plenty of tread on those very talented wheels. Just absurd in the open field, and he gets there on his own often. An All-FAMerican and player we’ve long highlighted in our Group of Five Guys pieces.

Jaylen Samuels — North Carolina State Wolfpack — Part tailback, part fullback, part tight end, we’ve long snubbed him due to our inability to classify him. The jack-of-all-trades will find himself a valuable weapon in the evolving NFL, with huge potential as a third down back independent of distance.

Ito Smith — Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles — Another runner with great vision and great hands, Smith was a beast for the Golden Eagles over the past few seasons. Sturdy despite his 5-9 frame, his scat-back abilities and hands will garner him some looks.

 

Wide Receivers

Marcell Ateman — Oklahoma State Cowboys — A huge receiver at 6-4 225, his production in 2017 was proportionate, with 59 for 1156 yards as the Cowboys number TWO receiver. He has great hands, and uses his size well, as a result providing big-plays with regularity. Huge ceiling for him if he can hone his route-running.

D.J. Chark — LSU Tigers — Another great physical talent on a big 6-3 frame, the LSU speedster was also an All-Conference return man. Needs to improve as a technical receiver (thanks LSU), and add some bulk, but his quickness is SEC-legit.

Michael Gallup — Colorado State Rams — One of the most productive receivers in the country the past two seasons since entering as a JUCO, we’ve long been a fan and touted him as one of the better big-lay threats. A Group of Five Guy to Watch, All-FAMerican, and all the like, we expect him to shoot up draft boards and into the first round potentially.

DaeSean Hamilton — Penn State Nittany Lions — We highlighted Hamilton in our East-West Shrine Bowl piece, and he’s a solid pro prospect with good size and quickness.

Allen Lazard — Iowa State Cyclones — A big-bodied receiver with great hands and route-running ability, we expect him to blossom in the NFL as a potential steal. His speed might come under question, but he’s otherwise a great physical, outside presence with the skills and make-up to win despite a possible lack of top-end straight line speed.

Anthony Miller — Memphis Tigers — Not big-bodied, but tough as nails and everything else you want in a receiver. Confident, fast, exceptionally quick and with great concentration, he’s a future slot-receiver in the NFL, unless he proves just a superstar. We love him as a later-round receiver prospect, and as a steal.

Jaleel Scott — New Mexico State Aggies — A big 6-6 target who showed great ball skills and a knack for big-plays for the BOWL WINNING New Mexico State squad. Will require some polish, but a possible gem down the line.

Tre’Quan Smith — UCF Golden Knights — Left early and with good reason, as he burned through secondaries and his coach is now departed. Good size, but elite speed, and will show it off in the testing. Another prospect in need of some finish, but he’s an NFL athlete for certain with plus hands.

Justin Watson — Penn Quakers — We highlighted him in our East-West piece, and he acquitted well in practices;, and now can again get against FBS talent in front of NFL eyes. Not going to go early in the draft, but a likely steal thanks to his hands, knowledge of the game, and good size.

Cedrick Wilson — Boise State Broncos — A wildcard, as he’s got great size, speed and production, but despite his dominance seemed raw at times. Will test well, and improve his stock, but we shall see if he matches his big-time potential.

James Washington — Oklahoma State Cowboys — One of the best receivers in college football, he’s a burner with home-run ability on every touch. However he must prove he can run all the routes, and make all the catches, as his running back size and use as a deep-threat causes concern as to whether he translates to Sundays.

 

 

Tight Ends

Adam Breneman — Massachusetts Minutemen — This is a who’s who of college tight ends, and the All-FAMerican is possibly the best receiver of the bunch. Superb hands and all the proof of them you need after a prolific career.

Tyler Conklin — Central Michigan Chippewas — One of many Group of Five tight ends we liked this season, he’s got some of the best size of the group at 6-4 240. Tough, clutch, and a willing blocker, lacks the recognition of the others but a solid prospect.

Troy Fumagalli — Wisconsin Badgers — The best overall tight end in the group? Possibly, as he’s a tough-as-nails blocker and the Badgers’ most reliable receiver for the past few seasons. Will run well, show great hands, and is a near lock to be a success in the NFL.

Dallas Goedert — South Dakota State Jackrabbits — The FCS darling of the draft, The South Dakota Savage is projected by some as the top tight end taken in the draft. Great size at 6-5 255, dominated FCS competition, and is shooting up draft boards. We are a big fan, but he might rise higher than his value in this deep, deep class.

Mike Gesicki — Penn State Nittany Lions — The Penn State phenom lived up to his lofty prep status and provided Trace McSorley a secondary weapon (also elite) to Saquon Barkley. Great size, speed and hands, hard to find a hole in his game. Super productive for a few seasons now, leaves few questions as to whether he is NFL ready.

Chris Herndon IV — Miami (FL) Hurricanes — The next great Miami pro prospect at tight end? Likely yeah, despite modest numbers in a struggling Miami passing game. All the athleticism you’d expect from a U TE, will rise once he gets running and shows his big play ability.

Durham Smythe — Notre Dame Fighting Irish — Four years ago he was projected as the class’s top pro prospect at the position, but he never quite panned out as expected. Part of it was depth at the position in South Bend, and the role of the position, so we expect Smythe to vastly improve his stock over the next few weeks.

 

Offensive Linemen

Bradley Bozeman — Alabama Crimson Tide — One of the SEC’s top centers the past few seasons, he’ll need to once again battle to gain prominence in a talented center group. Led the formidable Bama line as the one making the calls, and is likely destined for a long NFL career.

Austin Corbett — Nevada Wolfpack — One of the Mountain West’s best tackles the past few seasons, he’s a bit undersized for the tackle position in the NFL. Showed good run-blocking when the Wolfpack ran under the old regime, and as the offense shifted this year to a passing attack so did his skill usage. Showed well as a pass blocker in 2017, as a nimble left tackle. Where he moves inside is the question.

 

Colby Gossett — Appalachian State Mountaineers — A terrific run-blocker out of the Sun Belt, he’s been a staple in the App State machine for years. A road grader at 6-6 311, he’s also a honed technician and very well-coached. Will be a steal for a power run game. Another Group of Five guy we saw early on.

Will Hernandez — UTEP Miners — Arguably the best guard prospect not named Quentin Nelson, he’s a huge bodied bulldozer and shined on a terrible UTEP squad. A stalwart run or pass, steps in day one as a starter. The best Group of Five player in the draft? Likely.

Chukwuma Okorafor — Western Michigan Broncos — Another Group of Five stud we’ve been high on since before 2016 kicked off, he’s just scratching the surface of his potential with under seven years of organized football to his name. Huge body at 6-6 330, huge potential as well.

Brian O’Neill — Pitt Panthers — A super-athletic tackle prospect who showed off that prowess often as a tackle eligible. Yet he’s also a solid run blocker and has the feet necessary to be an elite pass blocker at the left tackle position. Will test very well, boosting his stock, but could use a year of seasoning perhaps before he returns on any investment.

Brandon Parker — North Carolina A&T Aggies — A mammoth man at 6-7 309, but moves well for his size. Dominated FCS competition in an All-American career, but must answer concerns about whether he can handle NFL edge rushers.

Frank Ragnow — Arkansas Razorbacks — The best center in college football the past two seasons, he’s a tenacious and powerful run-blocker, and an adept pass blocker for the position. Whether his draft stock lives up to the caliber of his play is a question, but he’s primed for a long NFL career regardless of when taken.

Wyatt Teller — Virginia Tech Hokies — Another All-FAMerican at the guard spot, he’s a mauler with natural strength and knowledge of the position, plus terrific pass protection skills. Still has room to add weight and be effective at just 6-5 315, he could end up a Pro Bowl caliber run blocker. One of the best pulling guards in the draft.

 

 

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