It was another cold, windy day in Mobile as the last practice of the week got underway.
Due to rain, we moved facilities from the typical outdoor Ladd-Peeples Stadium, where the Senior Bowl game will be played, to a covered practice field on South Alabama’s campus.
Practice 03 ✅ #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/QFwxPvkF6X— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) January 23, 2020
I was able to check out the 7v7 red zone drills from the North Team.
Denzel Mims continued his dominant week with a TD catch on a slant. He caught nearly everything thrown his way. The only one I saw him miss was a fade ball right into the corner, that just glance off his hands a little high.
Denzel Mims illustrates “late hands” on this go route. pic.twitter.com/InkWWfV9CL— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) January 23, 2020
KJ Hill rebounded from what wasn’t a bad day yesterday, but just a normal one and put on a show that was reminiscent of his first practice.
He had a nice catch in traffic over the middle during the red zone drills, and then put up the highlight of the day during team “move the ball” periods. While running full stride, Hill reached back to snag a ball thrown way behind him and hauled it in with one hand, and continued up the field.
The entire building literally went “oooooh” when he made that catch. Check out the video below that Andrew Mason got of the catch.
K.J. Hill, ladies and gentlemen pic.twitter.com/5Z6Ch1M584— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 23, 2020
Quartney Davis had a pair of catches in the corner of the end zone adding to a nice body of work over the last few days, and Antonio Gandy-Golden had a nice catch. Add in Michael Pittman, and the receiver talent on the North Team was top-notch.
Quartney Davis with a nice grab in the corner of the end zone. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/WD3ROrISVR— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 23, 2020
On the TE side, Brycen Hopkins had a couple nice catches in the team period and a TD grab in red zone drills.
Also, Dayton TE Adam Trautman had a big catch toward the sideline, coming across the field. He put together a nice week. Has good movement skills for a guy his size. I talked with him at media days, and he said he played at 257 pounds last year.
Nice burst at the top of the route by Dayton TE Adam Trautman. Extends away from his body to make an impressive hands catch. pic.twitter.com/wrgrbzd5pb— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) January 24, 2020
Jason Strowbridge continued a strong week and almost got a batted pass off the edge in team drills.
Both safety Terrell Burgess and linebacker Logan Wilson recorded INTs during the team period. Burgess’ was particularly impressive as he came underneath and robbed a skinny post route.
Utah safety Terrell Burgess has been fantastic this week. Opens up his hips, finds the tight end and times the ball perfectly to pick it off.— Gavino Borquez (@GavinoBorquez) January 23, 2020
I absolutely loved his tape. He's going to finish as a top-5 safety for me. pic.twitter.com/7076NbuQKZ
I think one of the guys who helped his stock the most this week was Hakeem Adeniji. He was a starting left tackle for the Jayhawks and hadn’t played guard since high school, and switched over to guard for the Senior Bowl, as that’s where most teams are projecting him.
Each day he got more comfortable there and really impressed me, especially in the pass blocking department, where it was easy to see his tackle roots coming out.
Excuse the terrible video angle. Look for big #78, Hakeem Adeniji in the top left corner of the screen handling Jason Strowbridge and then looking for work. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/0cxke5RbX2— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 24, 2020
Adeniji stonewalled Jason Strowbridge during teams periods, who has been having a breakout week himself, and had already applied some pressure earlier in the team drills.
Lastly, one of my favorite tackle prospects going into the week had another standout day. Josh Jones put his guy on the ground during 1-on-1s and repeatedly shut down Alton Robinson from Syracuse during the team periods.
Been a lot of scouting buzz about @UHCougarFB OT Josh Jones this week. Here he swallows up one of the best pass rushers in Mobile, UNC's Jason Strowbridge.#SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/NM6eiVRfZ1— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) January 23, 2020
I talked with Jones after practice and he said all the teams he talked to were really high on his performance this week and he was really happy with it.
He worked a little at right tackle today because the coaches wanted to mix things up, but said teams primarily view him as a left tackle. Jones also confirmed he had met with the Broncos. He made himself a lot of money this week. I think he has solidified himself in the first round conversation.
JOSH JONES (Houston) is impressing @seniorbowl ... He has “QUIET FEET and LOUD HANDS” pic.twitter.com/gBYLPftJab— Paul Alexander (@CoachPaulAlex) January 23, 2020
For the South portion of practice, I got a good, up close look at the trench battles, and was able to get some good video clips that I’ll drop in here as we go along.
First up is a guy I’ve talked about throughout this week who I didn’t really know much about before coming down here, but he caught my eye every day.
Keith Ismeal is a bit undersized and will likely be a later round guy, but I think he has some really good potential in a zone scheme. He showed adequate strength to hold up at the point, and has good movement skills.
Coming away from the Senior Bowl, one of my sleepers is Keith Ismeal from SD State. He'll likely be a later round guy, but I was impressed by him all week. Here's some clips from today's practice. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/Go5NqR2Icz— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 24, 2020
Ismeal got kudos from the coach on the drill for an “excellent first step.”
January 24, 2020
Here are a few of his reps. He is a sleeper for me, coming out of this week.
January 24, 2020
Lloyd Cushenberry probably looked the most human today, as he was caught reaching on a few blocks, which caused him to lose leverage. But overall, another good day for the LSU center, who solidified himself as the top center on the board, in my mind.
I’m not sure exactly where he slots, I think it depends on if teams see him as a center/guard or just a center, but I would love to see him land in Denver.
Good rep from Cushenberry here. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/mfZDkb7asg— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 23, 2020
I’ve continued to keep an eye on Alex Taylor. He is super raw, and I don’t think will ever be a big force in the run game, given his leverage issues at 6’9”, but he continues to show why teams may want to take a chance on him with his pass protection. He’s a toolsy prospect who I think could be molded once he gets into an NFL program. Talking with him at media days, he said he thinks he can put on another 10ish lbs to play at 315. I think that would help a lot, too.
Logan Stenberg continued his momentum from a bounce back day yesterday and looked solid in pass pro again. I think he has a ceiling, given his athletic limitations, but he continued to look more comfortably and play with that edge you saw on tape, throughout the week.
With Marlon Davidson and Javon Kinlaw out, it was once again the Terrell Lewis show on the Dline. He put in another good day, and had some good battles with Alex Taylor in the trench drills.
Alex Taylor getting some solid reps in the 1v1s.#TheDraftStartsInMOBILE pic.twitter.com/L31VF0rUk3— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 23, 2020
After OL/DL 1-on-1s, I was able to catch some of the 7v7 red zone period.
Van Jefferson had a solid day. I didn’t see much from Jennings, and Duvernay, but I didn’t catch their 1v1s today. With Brandon Aiyuk out, the South WR group really wasn’t super strong, in my opinion. It would’ve been fun to see the North WRs playing with the South QBs, Justin Herbert in particular.
#Florida WR Van Jefferson beats #PITT CB Dane Jackson with a really well-placed ball by #Oregon QB Justin Herbert pic.twitter.com/k2DvtwAcUM— Jerod Brown (@JerodBrown_) January 23, 2020
FAU TE Harrison Bryant caught a TD pass from Jalen Hurts in the red zone period, continuing to build on a solid week for him.
On the DB front, Darnay Holmes and Kyle Dugger looked good from what I saw. Who really jumped out at me though was UCLAs Dane Jackson.
Massive stock up for Pitt CB Dane Jackson this week. Been feisty and physical all week. He’s showing out and it’s going to pay off.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 23, 2020
He had been having a decent week, but today he really brought it in the red zone period, notching three pass breakups, two of which came from under cutting slant routes in the end zone. He really showed good aggression and stickiness going after the ball and making plays.
My big winners from today’s practices were Dane Jackson, KJ Hill, and Josh Jones.
2020 @seniorbowl North Squad Offensive Practice Players of the Week (voted on by the position group they competed against in practice)— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) January 24, 2020
QB: Jordan Love, Utah St.
RB: Joshua Kelley, UCLA
WR: K.J. Hill, Ohio St.
TE: Brycen Hopkins, Purdue
OL: Josh Jones, Houston pic.twitter.com/PxcdxwsL03
Well, that’s all I have for you. It was an incredible experience once again to be down in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. Thanks for following along, and drop me any questions in the comments if there is something I didn’t cover - and I’ll do my best to answer.