The Senior Bowl game itself was certainly no thriller as the South crushed the North 45-16. Still, there were quite a few guys that helped, and hurt, themselves on both squads. Which prospects saw their draft stock rise up and whose stock slipped after yesterday’s event?
South QB Mike White, Western Kentucky
Coming into this contest there was no contest between the quarterback prospects as Vance Joseph’s North Squad had the likes of Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. However, it was Mike White who stole the show early with his precision passing in the first half. White wouldn’t be the most accomplished passer of the day, or even on his South team, but he impressed with his poise and leadership.
After Mayfield and his North team were forced to punt, White took command and made short work of the North. Though there’s plenty of credit to go around, White set the tone and forced the action. He stood tall in the pocket, showed great spatial awareness, and delivered the ball perfectly to his playmakers. White led the South on a six-play, 81-yard drive that ended with a connection to UCF’s TreQuan Smith for the first score:
White also connected with DJ Chark on a beautifully timed deep ball down the sideline that was just masterful:
White currently ranks eighth among quarterbacks on Mel Kiper’s big board for whatever that’s worth. With his starting performance, he set the South in motion for this rout and undoubtedly helped his draft status. Overall, White went 8 of 11 for 128 yards and a touchdown.
North WR DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
After it was reported earlier this week by 247 Sports that Hamilton spoke with the Cowboys, he was placed squarely on the watch list. He was getting high praise for his work in these practices but he didn’t bring that same intensity to the game. Hamilton caught one pass for five yards on the day.
Hamilton’s calling card is consistent, crisp route running but that didn’t show up in this game. He had trouble finding separation while he was in the slot but he didn’t receive much help from the quarterbacks. Hamilton has great size for a slot player but he only has average athletic abilities and isn’t very shifty. He’s not going to win with speed so he has to rely on his route running ability which again is very nice but went missing in this contest.
North DE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
There will be a few pass rushers that make this list but nobody had a better statistical outing than Okoronkwo. He’s so disruptive at the point of attack with violent hand movements and is just so fun to watch for any pass-rushing enthusiast. Watch him easily destroy his man to take down the quarterback:
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE out of @OU_Football, showing some excellent bend, speed, and leverage while working against Alex Cappa in #Seniorbowl. Height wont hold him back with skills like those. #NFLDraft #NCAAF #OU pic.twitter.com/BepOitFTUa— Freshly Distilled Analysis (@Draft_On_Tap) January 27, 2018
He’s getting knocks for his lack of size at 6’1, 240 lbs, but apparently the Dallas Cowboys are interested as they have already met with the young man. He helped himself in a big way notching four tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble. Four tackles may not seem like much but all four were for losses including the two sacks. The Cowboys took another speedy rusher from Oklahoma a few seasons ago in Charles Tapper, they just might fall in love with this prospect.
South CB Danny Johnson, Southern
It’s a bummer when your pet cat doesn’t show up to greet you at the door. That was the case with Johnson who was another guy that had great practices only to go missing in the game. He’s a smaller guy at 5’10 but he’s certainly one of the better slot cornerback options in this draft class. He played like a small-school product in the Senior Bowl which is what he is at the end of the day. Johnson only had one tackle which was the same amount wide receiver DJ Chark had.
He does get credit for breaking up a pass but you wanted to see a lot more from the FCS leader in interceptions (7) this past season. He stood out at these practices in a big way with his ball skills only allowing a single score in 1-on-1 drills last week. Johnson just couldn’t carry over to the game what he was doing in practice and that’s a shame. He still has plenty of time to make up for it in this process so we’re not jumping off his wagon just yet.
South DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
When you’re a beast of an edge rusher that doesn’t go to a Power Five school, there are far more questions no matter how many records were set in the C-USA. Davenport was very impressive in this game in a multitude of ways. The explosiveness, speed, power, and burst were all on display. Davenport was a fringe first-round prospect before the Senior Bowl but he’s well on his way to being one of the top pass rushers in this class. Check out his ability here using his length to eventually get the sack on Mayfield:
Davenport is always there when a big play is ready to be made and he showed why his abilities can carry over to the next level. Late in the third, Davenport takes advantage of a strip-sack to scoop up the fumble and score the touchdown.
Davenport also played well against the run as you can see him squeeze down and stop the ball carrier on this play:
Without question, Davenport has earned the attention he’s going to receive after this Senior Bowl performance. He was dominating his opponent with regularity so you mix that with all other attributes and it sounds like you may have a quality NFL pass rusher on your hands.
South WR James Washington, Oklahoma State
Another prospect the Cowboys reportedly met this week in Mobile, Washington is Kiper’s 10th rated receiver. There has been some chatter that Marcel Ateman is the true Oklahoma State prospect that you want and Washington did nothing in this game to change that conversation. In fact, Ateman only had one catch but it was a 14-yards and a touchdown. Washington was one of college football’s most dynamic receivers as our man, Cole Patterson, previewed back in October. In 2017, Washington had 72 receptions, 1,549 yards, and 13 touchdowns. In the Senior Bowl, he zeroed out.
Through Cowboy lenses, he’s a perfect prospect for a spread offense that could be a natural fit with Dak Prescott. He’s got reliable hands and 4.4 speed but he’s not consistently explosive in that first-step which can hurt you big time in the NFL. He may be deceptively quick but so is Terrance Williams to an extent. Washington doesn’t always get the separation he needs to be at his best and isn’t known to make many defenders miss.
This week he earned PFF’s Receiver of the Week catching 10 of 12 targets but then has trouble with Siran Neal, Jacksonville State’s strong safety who was getting looks at cornerback:
He’s most definitely one of the top prospects in the position but he’s got to work on consistency. The Cowboys are in the market for receiver help but they don’t need another guy with separation problems.
There were a few others that had nice outings that deserve an honorable mention:
North QB Josh Allen, 9-13, 158 yards, two touchdowns
South QB Kyle Lauletta, 8-12, 198 yards, three touchdowns
North WR Michael Gallup, three receptions, 60 yards
South WR DJ Chark, five receptions, 180 yards, one touchdown
North DL Jayln Holmes, five tackles, two sacks
South LB Darius Leonard, 14 tackles
South S Jeremy Reaves, 8 tackles, one interception