2016 Senior Bowl Recap

This is Charlie Campbell’s 2016 Senior Bowl Recap. Charlie reported live from Mobile, Ala., and he has described what he saw at practice and whom certain prospects talked to all week.

If you want to see other 2016 Senior Bowl Reports, click the link.

Follow me @walterfootball for updates, and stay tuned all week for tons of 2016 Senior Bowl coverage.

2016 Senior Bowl: Recap

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • Some of the scouts and evaluators we speak to watch the tape of the Senior Bowl game, but many of them don’t. Some evaluators like to see how they compete and whose competitiveness stands out. Overall though, this game means next to nothing in terms of players’ draft grades. Teams give a lot of credence to how the players practice during the week, and that is why all of the evaluators leave town after the practices are finished. Still, the game is fun to watch to get a glimpse of players who will be playing for NFL teams next fall.

  • North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz never got into a groove as the offensive line allowed a ton of pressure, and Wentz had some well thrown passes dropped by his receivers. Wentz’s best play was a 29-yard reception down the seam to Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett. Wentz completed 6-of-10 passes for 50 yards, but it was mission accomplished with his practice performance. Wentz definitely helped himself with his Senior Bowl week.

  • Ohio State wide receiver Braxton Miller was the best practice player of the week, but he didn’t star in the game. He dropped a pass from Wentz and was held in check on offense. Miller had two catches for eight yards and one carry for five rushing yards. Miller did have a nice kick return to the 30 after starting deep in the end zone and he drew a pass interference in the end zone from Alabama’s Cyrus Jones. The Senior Bowl game is irrelevant toward the great week that Miller had to send a jolt into his draft stock.

  • Eastern Kentucky edge rusher Noah Spence was superb in practice, and he carried it over to the game, as he got a lot of pressure on the quarterback. Spence is too fast for the offensive tackles and has a nose for the signal-caller. There is no doubt that Spence has a first-round skill set, but his off-the-field issues could send him to Day 2 like Randy Gregory a year ago.

  • Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman didn’t impress in practice this week, but he had a quality game. He looped to the inside to get a strip-sack of Wentz, and he cleaned up another sack that was created by Virginia Tech edge rusher Dadi Nicolas. Oakman needs to get stronger in his lower body, and needs a lot of work and should be a mid-rounder.

  • Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott had a nice game, completing 7-for-10 for 61 yards and rushing for 14 yards on three carries. Teams love Prescott’s leadership and football character, so he could easily go on the third day of the draft to be a backup quarterback.

  • Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen had an impressive game. He was seven-for-10 for 106 yards. He got going as he climbed the pocket and hit fullback Glenn Gronkowski down the seam for a gain of 44 yards as Ohio State Tyvis Powell lost him down the middle. Allen followed that up by throwing a dart down the field to Paul McRoberts on a skinny post. On the third day of the draft, Allen could be chosen as a game-manager backup.

  • Notre Dame defensive tackle Sheldon Day finished the week of practice in tremendous fashion and carried it over into the game. He was routinely getting penetration into the backfield with his explosive get-off. He used that speed to get past Texas Tech left tackle Le’Raven Clark for a sack. Day has tweener size, and in a deep defensive line class, he has gotten lost in the shuffle, but he could be a day-two steal for some team.

  • Boise State safety Darian Thompson really played well in the Senior Bowl. He had an impressive pass break-up and a special-teams tackle, and was generally in good position. However, he missed a play on a touchdown pass to Paul McRoberts that Thompson should have prevented. Thompson could be a day-two pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

  • Kentucky linebacker Josh Forrest had a quality week in practice and capped it by performing well in the game. In the first half, he showed good diagnosis and read-and-react skills when he exploded into the backfield to blow up a run, and then he darted into the backfield to snuff out a screen. Forrest is a tough run-defender who showed more in pass coverage than expected this week. He is a sleeper linebacker who could be a steal in the mid-rounds.

  • On the offensive line, Notre Dame center Zack Martin and Arkansas guard Sebastian Tretola played well. Each one was getting the job done at the point of attack. Tretola had a big block to spring TCU running back Aaron Green for a 25-yard touchdown run. Martin was getting movement and pass protecting well. Both of these linemen won’t be high picks, but they are tough offensive blockers who could have 10-year NFL careers.

  • Here are some honorable mentions of defensive players who flashed in the game and probably would have had some big plays if the reps weren’t so split up. That group includes Ohio State defensive tackle Adolphus Washington, Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed, Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler, Utah State outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell, and Virginia Tech outside linebacker Dadi Nicolas.

    2016 Senior Bowl Home
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