The Senior Bowl has released an additional 17 accepted invites, which means that we have 17 more prospects to scout. The game is shaping up to be an exciting one already, with some great names on last week's list (including Cooper Kupp), and Vince Biegel and Florida State fullback Freddie Stevenson among this week's acceptances. Let's take a look at this week's players!--Mike B.
Biegel, Vince. OLB. Wisconsin. Vince Biegel is a player I really like. Last year, he received a 3rd-through-6th round grade from the Draft Advisory Board, and chose to return to Wisconsin for his senior year. This year, NFLdraftscout.com has him ranked as their 7th rated OLB. He's an aggressive player who pursues hard on every snap. He missed some time this season due to foot surgery, a fact which might explain his low ranking; in the right scheme, Biegel could be an NFL starter for years to come, and should be taken before Day 3 of the 2017 NFL draft provided he checks out medically. He's a guy to pay attention to at this year's game. Here are some highlights.
Dawkins, Dion. OT. Temple. Dawkins is one of the best offensive tackles in the nation. NFLdraftscout.com has him ranked as their #4 tackle in this year's draft, and at 6'5", 320 pounds, Dawkins has the size to survive in the NFL. He's also a guy that see time at guard in the NFL. Here's some game film from 2015. Here's some more film. There's starter upside, but Dawkins needs a bit of time to progress and work on his form. He's an athletic guy but he occasionally gets out of position on plays. NFL defensive coordinators will take advantage of that until he fixes it. He's also a scrappy guy who faced legal troubles with assault charges in March 2015. Teams will have questions about his NFL readiness and his character, but Dawkins has the talent and grit to develop into a very good NFL offensive lineman. There are holes in his game, but there are also things that catch your eye. He might struggle to adjust early in the NFL, but should come up to speed and emerge as a solid player.
Dunker, Jessamen. G. Tennessee State. Dunker is a player I struggle to get a really solid read on. He transferred from Florida to Tennessee State in 2013 after facing off-the-field issues, and has dominated with Tennessee State since then. He's extremely mobile and athletic, and stands out whenever you watch him with Tennessee State. Then again, he was a four star recruit for Florida, so him standing out is not overly surprising. NFLdraftscout.com has him as their 8th ranked guard, largely a knock based on his transfer I feel like. Love the kid's talent, and will be interested to see how he navigates the interview portion of Senior Bowl week. He should stand out on the field, and if he practices well and interviews well, Dunker is a guy that could rocket up drop boards heading into the draft. There's a lot of upside here if he can stay out of trouble. He won't dominate NFL talent the way he dominated in college, but he has the tools to emerge as a good NFL player. There's starter potential, but Dunker will likely start out his NFL career as a backup.
Engram, Evan. TE. Ole Miss. Engram has been extremely productive at Ole Miss. He's the best receiving tight end the school has produced. At the next level, he projects as a TE/WR hybrid; he's not a mauling blocker, but he's bigger and tougher than an NFL receiver. He is extremely aggressive and physical, but doesn't have the size to stick at tight end as a blocker. I think he could emerge as a big slot receiver in the NFL; he's a playmaker, and breaks lots of tackles. Should be an extremely productive role player at the next level, even if he doesn't have a set spot on every snap. NFLdraftscout.com has him as his 4th ranked TE, but he's not a true NFL tight end. Needs to improve on his route running to stick at the next level. Here are some highlights.
Feeney, Dan. G. Indiana. I don't always agree with pre-draft player rankings, but when I do, they have Dan Feeney ranked as the best guard prospect in this draft. Feeney has great hands and is an extremely aggressive run blocker who helped propel Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard into the NFL. Should be an every down NFL starter and a first round pick in 2017. Not much to say here; this kid is worth watching. Here's some film.
Ford, Johnathan. DB. Auburn. Ford is a productive defensive player for Auburn. Puts up a lot of tackles, and has started at safety and nickel corner. He's also returned kicks and spent time on offense. He's a solid player, but what's his ultimate role in the NFL? He's a guy that will likely be drafted in the 4th or 5th round and stick around in the NFL as a jack of all trades due to his versatility. One thing's for sure, he will stick on an NFL roster. NFLdraftscout.com has him projected as their 3rd overall free safety prospect, but even if he doesn't stick at safety, he will have a role in the NFL. Here's some film.
Gonzalez, Zane. K. Arizona State. NFLdraftscout.com has Gonzalez rated as the top kicker prospect in this year's draft. He's the all-time leader in field goals in the NCAA, and has made a 59 yard field goal this season. He'll get a chance with an NFL team this spring and summer.
Jones, Zay. WR. East Carolina. Jones is a guy who can flat-out ball. 388 career receptions (leads the FBS all-time) and 151 catches for 1,685 yards so far this season. He's had 6 games with at least 170 yards receiving this year. NFLdraftscout.com has him ranked as the 4th best receiver in this class, and that rating might actually be low. Extremely underrated receiver prospect who could be a solid NFL player. Could emerge as at a #2 in the NFL with the potential to be a #1 WR in the right system. Expect him to gain momentum heading into the draft. He's underrated right now, but that should change soon. Here are some highlights.
Kpassagnon, Tanoh. DE. Villanova. Kpassagnon is a 6'6, 285 pound pass rushing machine out of Villanova. NFLdraftscout.com has him rated as their 15th overall defensive end in this year's draft, but that's low. I think he has the ability to dominate as an NFL pass rusher; has all the tools necessary to thrive, even if he ends up being used as a DE/OLB hybrid EDGE rusher. His highlights show a player who is extremely quick with great tackling skills who plays hard to the end of every snap. Rotational player early in his career, but in the right situation, someone could be getting a huge steal with this kid. I like Kpassagnon a lot. Expect his stock to rise with a strong performance at the Senior Bowl. Here's some film.
Ogunjobi, Larry. DT, Charlotte. Ogunjobi is a member of Charlotte's first ever recruiting class. NFLdraftscout.com has him ranked as the 8th DT prospect in this year's draft. As an NFL prospect, he's a work in progress; he's a guy that should emerge early in a rotation though. That being said, there is a ton of upside here. Love this kid's motor, and he could present problems for blockers due to his speed and aggressiveness. In the right system, Ogunjobi could be a pretty productive player. In some systems, Ogunjubi could struggle. It's all about system fit here. That being said, he looks coachable on film, and does some really nice things, so there's potential here. Here's some film.
Riley, Duke. LB. LSU. Riley spent most of his time at LSU as a backup before emerging as a starter in his senior year. He's a bit of a question mark; NFLdraftscout.com has him ranked as the 76th ranked OLB in this year's draft class. He's a guy that still needs a few years to develop and will likely start out as a practice squad player or backup in the NFL. That being said, he's quick and aggressive and could develop into a very solid backup 3-4 OLB at the next level as he gets used to the NFL. Here's a highlight.
Robinson, Ezra. CB. Tennessee State. Ezra Robinson is a rather underrated cornerback prospect. NFLdraftscout.com has Robinson ranked as their 41st overall cornerback. A transfer from Michigan State in 2014, Robinson is a versatile player who can play both CB and FS. He'll likely start out as a practice squad player or core special teamer in the NFL, but there's potential for more as well as he develops. He needs a strong Senior Bowl week to help his draft case.
Smart, Tanzel. DT. Tulane. Tanzel Smart is one of the biggest sleepers in the 2017 NFL Draft. NFLdraftscout.com has him rated as the 11th overall DT in this year's draft, and that rating is low in my opinion. He was productive in college, but what stands out is his high motor. This kid is a tank who fights hard on every snap. He's got great hand work, and sheds blocks nicely. He also reads and reacts well to offenses. This kid has all the tools to succeed in the NFL, and has the talent to be a key rotational player or even a starter early in his career. There's a lot to like with Smart. Here's some film.
Stevenson, Freddie. FB. Florida State. Call me old fashioned, but I get excited about gritty, tough blocking fullbacks with experience playing linebacker. That being said, the NFL unfortunately does not share my love for blocking fullbacks or the power run game. Both those things being said, Freddie Stevenson paved the way for Dalvin Cook's historic run as FSU running back. NFLDraftscout.com has him rated as their #1 fullback in this draft class, and I can agree with that ranking. This kid is a gritty blocker that reminds me of why I had a mancrush on Lorenzo Neal. Here's some film. I'd love to pair him with Dalvin Cook in this year's draft if I'm a team that needs help at RB.
Taylor, Trent. WR. Louisiana Tech. Taylor has had an extremely productive 2016 season, with 103 catches, 10 touchdowns, 1,343 receiving yards, and 8 straight 100-yard receiving games. He's mainly a slot receiver in college. He hasn't generated a huge amount of buzz as of yet; NFLdraftscout.com has him ranked as their 30th overall receiver prospect. At 5'8, 180 pounds, teams are likely going to pigeonhole him as a slot wr at the next level as well. Not elusive enough to stand out as an undersized player, but could carve out a role as a reserve or practice squad player early in his career. Here's some film.
Westbrook, Dede. WR. Oklahoma. Westbrook is a special receiver prospect, and I'm excited to see him play at the Senior Bowl. NFLdraftscout.com has him ranked as the 2nd overall receiver in this class, and he's been a quick riser throughout this season. He's a big play waiting to happen at WR with 16 total touchdowns this year, five of them receptions of 60 or more yards, and one of them a 71 yard punt return touchdown. Should be a #1 WR in an NFL offense who can contribute in the return game as well. Here's some film.
Williams, Jamaal. RB. Brigham Young University. Jamaal Williams is a bit of a sleeper at the running back position, and offers proof that this draft is filled with talent at the RB position from top to bottom. NFLdraftscout.com has him rated as the 41st overall RB prospect in this draft class, and that ranking, to me at least, is low. He's the all-time leading rusher at BYU, and has generated 10 rushing touchdowns and 1,034 rushing yards while dealing with an ankle injury this season. He runs a bit high, and goes down quickly on contact, which means he might struggle to succeed in the NFL. That being said, has moments where he flashes plays that make him look like a legitimate NFL prospect. He's a guy that will likely fall into the 7th round or UDFA territory, but there's the potential for a nice return on investment. He's likely a practice squad player or reserve early in his career at the next level, but there's the potential for him to emerge as a capable rotational back in the right system. He's decent as a receiver out of the backfield as well, so that will help his case. Needs to work on some elements of the game but every so often, flashes a glimpse of something more. He'll need some development, but he's intriguing. Here are some highlights.
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