2020 Senior Bowl: Wednesday Hot Press
This is Charlie Campbell's Wednesday 2020 Senior Bowl Hot Press. 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 2020 Senior Bowl Reports, click the link.
Follow me @walterfootball for updates, and stay tuned all week for tons of 2020 Senior Bowl coverage.
By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell
With all the general managers, coaches and scouts in attendance for the Senior Bowl, there is a lot of chatter going around. Here are some of the highlights from around the league from the third day of the 2020 Senior Bowl week.
One player who could use a strong Senior Bowl is California safety Ashtyn Davis. Some in the media have been very high on Davis, projecting him to be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but NFL teams have him lower than that. Some teams have graded him on Day 2, and a couple of teams told me they gave him a fourth-round grade. Here's what one national scout said about Davis:
"I graded him in the fourth, but might move him up to the third. He's not strong, not physical, and misses a ton of tackles. It looks like he doesn't have the heart to tackle. On tape, some of the lack of physicality was utterly criminal. He is athletic, but doesn't make a ton of plays in coverage and is not a rangy instinctive centerfielder. In the NFL, he going to get run over and run off the map."
At the weigh-in, Davis checked in at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, which is significantly undersized for a pro safety. Being below 200 pounds sets off alarm bells, and that further reinforces the tackling concerns. Davis needs a strong week at Senior Bowl during which he displays the ability to make a lot of plays in coverage. He has to show that he makes up for the lack of physicality, size and tackling by being excellent in coverage. That is going to be critical for him to end up being an early-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The national media was in love with Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts over the 2019 season and worked hard to hype him up as the heir apparent to the Sooners' quarterback train to the NFL following Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Hurts got a lot of positive press for being improved as a passer and being a team leader. However, league sources say Hurts is not the personality he was made out to be and they heard from some staff at Oklahoma who are happy to see Hurts move on to the NFL. Behind the scenes, it sounds as though things weren't as smooth for him in his transition from Alabama to Oklahoma.
In speaking to team sources, they think Hurts might sneak into the second day of the 2020 NFL Draft as he could be a seen as a backup quarterback who also contributes in other ways, similar to how the Saints use Taysom Hill.
The quarterback market in free agency will be fascinating with a trio of future Hall of Famers available and other intriguing quarterbacks who could upgrade team's talent at the most important position on the field. One of those free agents who could enjoy a competitive market is Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Sources from multiple teams with unsettled quarterback situations have interest in Bridgewater. He could have a very competitive market in free agency with a number of teams hoping to land him as starting competition.
For a lot of the leadup to the 2020 NFL Draft, LSU's Grant Delpit has been the consensus top safety prospect, but in speaking with some team sources, they don't have Delpit as high as Alabama's Xavier McKinney. Multiple teams have told me they graded McKinney higher because they believe that he can do a lot more in coverage than Delpit can, and McKinney is a tougher run defender with significantly fewer missed tackles from 2019. Of course, opinions will vary from team to team, but don't be surprised if McKinney is a riser in the months to come and don't be shocked if Delpit slides lower than initially thought.
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