Zay Jones may have risen his draft stock more than anyone at the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl (Credit: Getty Images / Jonathan Bachman)

The 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl is college football’s most decorated All-Star game. The South defeated the North 16-15 in an exciting affair. The Senior Bowl represents one of the biggest talent evaluating opportunities for a lot of teams to see these guys for the first time in live action. Of course, with any All-Star game, some of the timing and rhythm may not be perfect, but you want to see how these guys look at the other top Seniors in college football. After 3 days of practice, who stood out for the North team during the game?

For a recap on the first day of North team practices click here!

For a recap on the second day of North team practices click here!

For a recap on the third day of North team practices click here!

Quarterbacks:

The North team quarterbacks are nothing short of disastrous. Sefo Liufau literally didn’t throw a pass and just handed the ball off during his one possession as the quarterback. Iowa’s C.J. Beathard went 1-2 for 4 yards. That pretty much sums up how the undraftable guys were. Pittsburgh’s Nate Peterman was the quarterback that came in with all the buzz but failed to live up to it just I predicted. Davis Webb is a million times better than him, jump ship before it’s too late. Peterman was very inaccurate, read through his progressions late, and turned the ball over a bunch. Peterman gave the ball up on a sack and threw a pick on a 2 point conversation attempt. Coming into today I put Peterman as a solid 6th round prospect. After today he is probably a 7th round pick or undraftable all together. Below I will show you one of many examples of why Peterman isn’t worth the hype.

 

I’m sorry but NFL quarterbacks make that play 10-10 times. Any Draft expert that tells you they would take Peterman with a 3rd round pick or higher deserves the mute button. The Pittsburgh signal-caller finished the day 16-23 for 153 yards.

Running Backs:

Outside of De’Veon Smith from Michigan who probably is an undraftable prospect, I really liked the other 2 North team tailbacks. Corey Clement only had 3 carries after being taken out early for injury precaution but averaged 8.7 yards per carry in those attempts. He probably is the quickest back of anyone at the Senior Bowl. The real story was Toledo’s Kareem Hunt who flat out stole the show. Hunt carried the ball 15 times for 118 yards. The Toledo tailback is by far the most complete tailback who can run inside and outside of the tackles. I saw a lot of Tevin Coleman while watching him today. Check out this big run by Hunt who shows how shifty he can be for such a bruising power runner. Hunt won the MVP of the North team.

Wide Receivers:

Let’s start with Zay Jones who was nothing short of sensational. He is just such a polished route runner and has a special knack for getting open. Jones finished the day with 6 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown but let’s start with the ones that should have counted.

I have 4 Zay Jones highlights for you. The first one Pittsburgh’s Nate Peterman misses him for a wide open touchdown. The second Jones catches a deep ball for a touchdown via C.J. Beathard but is called back for holding. The 3rd one Peterman misses Jones again for a wide open touchdown that can be seen above and finally Jones’ touchdown catch. He had a terrific day and probably helped himself more than anyone during the game portion of the week.

 

 

 

Cooper Kupp had a decent day only catching 2 passes but was plagued by horrible quarterback play. He did, however, reel in a one-handed catch off of a tipped pass. Kupp looked so good during the practices during the week that I don’t care about his production during the game. This guy is the real deal. Every other receiver only caught 1 pass but again the quarterback play was far less than ideal.

Tight Ends:

Again the quarterback play was bad so it’s tough to grade these guys. I though Michael Roberts and Jeremy Sprinkle were neck and neck heading into the game and caught 1 pass each.

Offensive Line:

I said previously that I believe that Zach Banner was the best lineman in the Senior Bowl but he didn’t play very well. That was a common theme for all of the tackles to be realistic. Banner is still the only linemen I would take in the first 3 rounds out of the Senior Bowl players. I may sound like a broken record but this offensive line class is that bad. The only two linemen to be encouraged about during the game was West Virginia center Tyler Orlosky and Kutztown guard Jordan Morgan. Orlosky didn’t seem to allow even a pressure all game and Morgan drastically improved from the first day of practices where he was bullied early on. We also found out that the guard from Indiana that everyone brags up Dan Feeney isn’t very good and often times looks very weak vs. big interior defensive lineman. It’s also time to jump off the Bucknell ship. Julien Davenport might have been the worst left tackle I’ve ever seen at the Senior Bowl.

Defensive Line:

Derrick Rivers from Youngstown State was able to record a sack in the game. I didn’t talk about Rivers in my practice notes but this guy harassed quarterbacks all afternoon. Watch Rivers at the bottom of the screen get that sack. Again this goes back to my point though. How good are these defensive linemen when we see such horrific play from the left tackles?

 

I thought Tarrell Basham was really great again and was able to pressure the quarterback on more than one occasion. Notre Dame’s Isaac Rochell was probably the most impressive defensive lineman I saw. When you watch closely the thing that separates him are his violent hand fighting.  I think the combine will answer a lot of questions that we have because it’s tough to differentiate what we saw with the poor quality of offensive linemen.

Linebackers:

I can’t give enough credit to Haason Reddick. Every time the play was over you saw the maroon Temple helmet around the football. Did I mention this was his first game as a linebacker having played defensive end at Temple! By the way, he was awesome when they lined him up at defensive end today too. I don’t want to forget how impressive Carroll Phillips was either. I think he is proving himself to be the more valuable Illinois defender over Duwaune Smoot. Phillips is another one of those tweeners who is learning to play linebacker after having his hand in the dirt in college. Phillips also had a sack during the game and is such a natural pass rusher coming from Lovie Smith’s collegiate defense.

Defensive Backs:

There’s something to be said for guys who create turnovers. That’s exactly what Lorenzo Jerome did from tiny St. Francis in Pennsylvania. I didn’t pay much attention to Jerome because he wasn’t even invited to play in the East-West game after playing in the NFL PA game but boy did he put on a show. Jerome forced a fumble and came away with two interceptions. Check out his highlights below.

 

 

 

The other guy I want to mention is Brandon Langley. He repeatedly got toasted by Josh Reynolds but did come away with a turnover. Langley is a developmental corner who is a natural guy who for whatever reasons looks afraid to get his hands dirty. Although he played at Lamar, Langley started his college career at Georgia so you know he has the talent.

The other three I want to mention quickly are Rasul Douglas, John Johnson, and Obi Melifonwu. Douglas did an excellent job covering Cooper Kupp and fits that Brandon Browner excessively long corner. Often times he looks really stiff but at best this guy could be special. John Johnson is the Boston College safety but when I watch him I think he could transition to corner. He has the smoothest hip transition of any defensive back I’ve seen thus far. Finally, Melifonwu is something to marvel at. He completely stuffed the run as an in the box safety as the South team couldn’t run the ball at all. He also took out the undersized tight ends Evan Engram and Gerald Everett essentially out of the game. I had no idea who this guy was coming into the Senior Bowl but I have been blown away watching him. I think he is going got put on a show at the combine and could be the next Byron Jones who also came from Uconn and carved out a really nice career down in Dallas.

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