2019 Senior Bowl Rumor Mill

This is Charlie Campbell’s Thursday 2019 Senior Bowl Rumor Mill. Charlie is reporting live from Mobile, Ala., and he’ll describe what he sees at practice and whom certain prospects talk to all week.

If you want to see other 2019 Senior Bowl Reports, click the link.

Follow me @walterfootball for updates, and stay tuned all week for tons of 2019 Senior Bowl coverage.

2019 Senior Bowl: Thursday Rumor Mill

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

  • Team sources said that the most impressive prospects to them were three edge rushers. They said the best of the group on Tuesday was Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat. A little bit behind him was Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson, and a bit behind Ferguson was Granderson. All three of them showed speed, functional strength, and natural feel as pass rushers.

    Sources said Sweat (6-6, 252) entered the Senior Bowl as a prospect some saw as a late first-round or early second-round pick. Back at the East-West Shrine, some sources asked me if I thought Sweat would get to Round 2, and I said no. If he continues this caliber of play throughout the week of practice in Mobile, there will be no doubt that Sweat ends up being a first-round pick.

    Ferguson (6-4, 256) has some fans and skeptics in the scouting community, but a big week in Mobile could put him in the first round conversation. Granderson (6-4, 246) is more of a second-day prospect, but he could be helping himself to move up in Day 2.

    Sweat, Ferguson and Granderson all must add weight and strength for run defense in the NFL. They also would probably fit best in a 3-4 defense as outside linebackers. Opinions will vary, and some sources will prefer other players, but those were the three that some team sources said performed the best.

  • Earlier this week, we reported that some underclassmen prospects like Greedy Williams, Jerry Tillery and Jachai Polite have character concerns. Of course, that list is going to expand greatly in the weeks and months to come as teams start to remove players from their draft board because of similar issues. Another early-round prospect WalterFootball.com has heard has some concerns about his makeup is Iowa tight end Noah Fant.

    Sources say the issues with Fant are more along the lines of maturity. “There is some knuckle headedness to him,” said one source. They also feel that Fant really needs to improve his blocking and hands. However, they feel that Fant can run well for his position, so despite those concerns, they think he could go in the 40-60 range of the second round.

  • There could be some significant changes in New York this year, as the Giants’ roster gets rebuilt by second-year general manager Dave Gettleman. Of course, New York is in the quarterback market and they are considering all options in the draft and in free agency. While that plan has yet to be decided, sources with the Giants say they think there is a real possibility that the team will move on from veteran edge rusher Olivier Vernon. Vernon has a big contract, and the production is not what it needs to be to justify paying him that according to some personnel.

    The other veteran with an uncertain future in New York is pro bowl safety Landon Collins. The team wants him back, but at a price that they are comfortable with. Collins is expected to draw a lot of interest as a free agent with big money being offered to him. Thus, the Giants aren’t sure that he will be back as the bidding could pass their comfort zone. The team could use the franchise tag on him to ensure that Collins returns to New York next season. Right now, it sounds like Vernon could easily be let go, while Collins’ future with the Giants is up in the air.

  • The Raiders are firmly in rebuilding mode after their trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. After those deals, there were some rumors that Oakland could be interested in moving quarterback Derek Carr. After the trade deadline passed, those rumors were laid to rest for a while, but don’t be surprised if they start up again. By the sounds of it, the Oakland organization really likes Carr and believes in his potential. At the same time, they are looking to get better in any way possible, so if a team offered them a massive trade package for Carr, they would considerate it. The Raiders are looking to get better in any way possible and are not closed to anything at this point. By speaking with sources, it sounded like a trade of Carr was very unlikely, but not impossible.

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