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January 29th, 2017

2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl: South Team Recap

Trey Daubert @treydaubert

Davis Webb won the MVP for the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

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 South team during the game?

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

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

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

Quarterbacks:

Davis Webb continues to look like the superior quarterback prospect. Not only was he the MVP of the Senior Bowl game but he dominated during each day of the practices. You can read my other notes raving about Davis Webb above. During the game, it was hard not to notice that he was the only quarterback who was willing to take shots down the field. When he did, he converted on a ton of big play opportunities. The most important part of this play is that he doesn’t stare down the deep ball. He eyes Evan Engram in the middle of the field first to hold the safety off as long as he can.

 

Webb showed that he has the best pure arm strength as well. The ball just flies differently out of his hand compared to the rest of the quarterbacks. Check out this strike to Mississippi State wide out Fred Ross.

 

As I mentioned earlier in the practices notes, all you have to look at is Webb’s footwork to know he is going to be a special quarterback. The only downside to Webb is that he probably isn’t as mobile as teams would like and he struggle a bit with getting the play verbiage down. Of course, considering he never took a snap under center in high school or college, I thought Webb couldn’t have looked better. I would absolutely pick this guy in the first round but the intention would be to sit him for a year to learn as he still is a tad raw. Webb went 11-16 for 165 yards and a touchdown.

The other two quarterbacks were a different story. Josh Dobbs had a decent day completing 12-15 for 104 yards and 1 interception. He throws a beautiful ball but he is a really upright thrower and doesn’t drive the ball off his back foot. That’s the reason why he is so inconsistent with his accuracy which led to an interception.

 

Tiffin’s Antonio Pipkin had a very ugly day. As I discussed in my practice notes, I would like to see what would look like as a wide receiver because he is really athletic. Pipkin went 2-4 for 17 yards and two interceptions. The errant throws can be seen below.

 

 

Running Backs:

Matt Dayes was the only back to make an impact during the game Saturday. He ran for 66 yards on 7 attempts and a touchdown but did cough the ball up on a fumble earlier in the game. He did show some nice explosion and probably fits the mold as a nice third down back. I did really like the fullback Freddie Stevenson from Florida State. He reminded me of former Ravens fullback Le’Ron McClain who is talented enough to run between the tackles as well.

 

Wide Receivers:

I thought the South team receivers really struggled to separate from the North team corners. That is something I may have to go back and watch more closely on which corners made life more difficult. The star of the game was Josh Reynolds who caught 6 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown that can be seen above in the Davis Webb portion. Texas A&M wide receivers are loaded and Reynolds is just a recent example of that. He did fumble thought during the game which is concerning considering he dropped the ball on numerous occasion during the practices. Mississippi State’s Fred Ross also had a decent day with 5 catches for 66 yards and was the only other wide out to have more than one catch.

Tight Ends:

O.J. Howard is a stud. Howard only played in the first quarter and caught 4 passes for 39 yards. He also picked up some really nice blocks on outside runs. I am normally a proponent of taking tight ends in round one but Howard is absolutely worthy of a selection that high. From day one O.J. might be a top 5 tight end in football next year.

Offensive Line:

I probably sound like a broken record but this offensive line class stinks. It’s obviously hard to check out all 5 offensive linemen at the same time but some of my initial reactions without going back and watching for a 2nd and third time include the following. Tackles Conor McDermott and Antonio Garcia are undraftable. The same can be said for Kentucky center Jon Toth. It’s honestly hard for me to pick a winner. The South team didn’t have nearly the success running the ball that the North team did. I’m going to have to go back and watch this game again to even find someone I like.

Defensive Line:

Two big winners at defensive end are Jordan Willis of Kansas State and Villanova’s Tanoh Kpassagnon. Both players had a sack and forced a fumble during the game. Willis was a guy who really disappointed me during the drills. For a guy who led the Big 12 in sacks, he didn’t have any get off or twitchiness to him during practice. That quickly changed during the game as he was a nightmare all afternoon. Willis capped the day by winning South team MVP.

 

Kpassagnon has some serious explosion off the edge. He is just incredibly raw. The Villanova product is also one of the most physically imposing players as well. Despite being held on they play, watch him overpower the left tackle and get the sack.

 

Some other defensive linemen that I thought had a great game include Montravius Adams, Eddie Vanderdoes, and Dalvin Tomlinson. Those 3 players created the most interior pressure causing havoc for quarterbacks the entire game.

Linebackers:

It’s pretty hard to pick out a linebacker that you don’t like. Duke Riley, Ben Boulware, and Alex Anzalone all flew around the football making plays. Riley is probably the fastest one sideline to sideline. Boulware is probably the most instinctive. Anzalone somehow falls in the middle of all of it. Just from watching the game you have to believe teams have their eyes on all of them. To add in I thought Tyus Bowser looked really good as a third down pass rusher as well.

Defensive Backs:

Whoever was lined up across from Zay Jones got beat all day. First, it was Marquez White of Florida State and then it was Memphis corner Arthur Maulet. I’m not sure how to grade those guys because Jones was sensational for the North team. Cam Sutton did a really great job tackling and limited Cooper Kupp to a slow stat line. Safety Rayshawn Jenkins missed a bunch of tackles and got into a fight during one of the practices which weren’t a good look for him.

 

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