DEEP FRIED DRAFT
For the first time in a long time, there is intrigue in the quarterback position in Mobile. For the second time in three years, there will be eight QB's here. For the North team, Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) is the most efficient passer in the history of college football. He is accurate and athletic with an above-average arm. He is a playmaker above all else. The only questions people seem to have are with his brazenness and his height. Josh Allen (Wyoming) has the size scouts drool over, the arm strength GM's fawn over, and the ability to throw on the move offensive coordinators fall in love with. What he has is accuracy issues and struggled to be below average against every Power 5 opponent he played against. He has a chance to squelch some of the negativity this week. Luke Falk (Washington State) is accurate and gets through his progressions quickly. He shows nice touch. Falk only has average arm strength and turns the ball over too much. Tanner Lee (Nebraska) was a late add to the game. He transferred from Tulane to Nebraska and is an early graduate. Lee has the size and decent arm strength but is careless with the football.
For the South team, the top QB prospect to me is Kurt Benkert (Virginia). He is a transfer from East Carolina. Benkert is a streaky passer, has nice touch, and has above-average arm strength. Some games he looks like a future all-pro and others he looks like a UDFA. Mike White (Western Kentucky) is a South Florida transfer. He has nice size and a howitzer arm. Brandon Silvers (Troy) is a local HS player (Gulf Shores HS) and has looked like a solid player in my limited viewing. Kyle Lauletta (Richmond) is a player I need to see more of.
TOP PLAYER: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION: Brandon Silvers, Troy; Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
NO LONGER PLAYING: Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
It is not a flashy group here but there is talent. For the North team, Akrum Wadley (Iowa) has a nice burst to the outside and excellent balance. Kalen Ballage (Arizona State) shows flashes of all-world talent but got the workload you would think someone like that should have. Jaylen Samuels (NC State) is best described as an offensive weapon. Samuels can play RB, FB, WR, or TE. His versatility will be both his savior and his downfall. It will make him a must-have for a roster but his lack of position definition will push him further down draft boards than his talent should allow.
For the South squad, Rashaad Penny (San Diego State) is strong as a bull and quick as a cat. He has great vision and has been highly productive. Penny is excellent out of the backfield and is a tremendous return man. I want to see how well he can pass block. Ito Smith (Southern Miss) is a home run hitter. He has quick burst through the hole, is an excellent receiver, and is solid in pass pro. Size is the main concern with Smith who played locally at McGill-Toolen HS. Darrel Williams (LSU) was a late add. He has mostly been a backup to Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice. Williams runs with power and has some breakaway ability. He definitely deserves a look in the draft.
The fullbacks for this year are Oklahoma's Dimitri Flowers (NORTH) and San Diego State's Nick Bawden (SOUTH). Flowers has a very similar play style to Jaylen Samuels but with fewer carries. He is a polished route runner who could be an H-Back as well as fullback. Bawden is a former QB. He is an old-school fullback. He will punch you in the mouth and also provide a nice safety net.
TOP PLAYER: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION: None
NO LONGER PLAYING: Royce Freeman, Oregon
For the North team, Troy Fumagalli (Wisconsin) is a move TE that is a hands catcher. He is not much of a blocker. Tyler Conklin (Central Michigan) is a former basketball player and he uses those skills to his advantage. He makes some athletic catches but is not very fast. Mike Gesicki (Penn State) makes some amazing grabs and uses his frame well. He is not a polished route runner and needs to be a better blocker. Durham Smythe (Notre Dame) is a player I am not very high on. I do not think he does one thing above average.
For the South team, Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State) is one of my favorite players in this draft. He has ridiculous production for a TE. He catches everything, he moves well, and he can line up inline or out wide. The most important thing for him this week is the weigh-in. I think he is a potential 1st-round pick. Ian Thomas (Indiana) can stretch the field and has nice hands. Adam Breneman (UMass) has been productive while battling injuries. He is not very fast. He will get to play for Texans HC Bill O'Brien who recruited him to Penn State when he was HC there. Jordan Akins (UCF) was a late add. He is a former baseball player and will be a 26-year old rookie. I need to study him more.
TOP PLAYER: Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION: Jordan Akins, UCF
NO LONGER PLAYING: Chris Herndon, Miami (FL)
For the North team, Braxton Berrios (Miami-FL) is a slot receiver who is a tremendous route runner. He is one of the best returners in the nation. Cedrick Wilson (Boise State) has a great frame, is a deep threat, and is highly productive. Jaleel Scott (New Mexico State) has basketball size. He has a crazy catch radius and creates separation like a receiver much smaller than he is. I expect him to rise after this week. Michael Gallup (Colorado State) is productive, has great hands, and attacks the football. Allen Lazzard (Iowa State) has a tremendous frame and is athletic. He is the biggest punt returner you will ever see. Lazzard would have put up gaudy numbers with decent QB play. Justin Watson (Penn) was a late add. I have never seen him play. He got the call-up after having a good week at Shrine Game practices. DaeSean Hamilton (Penn State) also got a late call up from the Shrine Game.
On the South team, J'Mon Moore (Missouri) was one of the more productive wide receivers in the SEC. He has nice size but is a player I need to study more. D.J. Chark (LSU) has track speed and nice hands. He could have been special with adequate QB play. James Washington (Oklahoma State) plays the WR position like a RB. He is built like one as well. Washington has tremendous hands and amazing run-after-catch ability. He is probably the best WR here. Marcel Ateman (Oklahoma State) has a huge frame. He was the Cowboys main third down target. He did not get much attention because of Washington. Tre'Quan Smith (UCF) and Byron Pringle (Kansas State) are both early graduates that I did not expect to declare. I have some catching up to do with them.
TOP PLAYER: James Washington, Oklahoma State
NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION: Justin Watson, Penn; J'Mon Moore, Missouri; Tre'Quan Smith, UCF; Byron Pringle, Kansas State
NO LONGER PLAYING: Anthony Miller, Memphis; Darren Carrington, Utah; Javon Wims, Georgia
2018 Senior Bowl Offensive Preview 1/20/18 7:15 pm
The 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl is upon us. Beginning on Tuesday, 110 senior football prospects will interview with and practice in front of hundreds of NFL coaches and scouts. Tuesday morning, the players will weigh-in and then both teams will lightly practice in the afternoon. Wednesday and Thursday are the two biggest practice days when both squads practice in full pads. This culminates in the game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday at 1:30 pm. The game can also be seen live on NFL Network.
Deep Fried Draft will have it covered all week. Look for daily write-ups about the practices each day. I will also post “Quick Snack” videos on my Youtube channel and/or podcasts on the Bumpers app reviewing the day’s action.
Below I will review each offensive position group that will be in Mobile this week:
INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINE
For the North team, Mason Cole (Michigan) is converting from tackle to center. Scott Quessenberry (UCLA) is a solid guard prospect who played on a much-maligned offensive line. He will play center this week. Wyatt Teller (Virginia Tech) has the ability to get to the second level quickly and punish defenders. Will Hernandez (UTEP) is the type of player every coach wants. He is physically dominant. Sean Welsh (Iowa) is a player I need to see more of.
For the South team, Colby Gossett (Appalachian State) was a tackle at App State and is athletic enough to pull. Austin Corbett (Nevada) was a tackle for the Wolfpack. He projects inside to guard or center (will play C in the game). Per Rotoworld's Josh Norris, he played in 97% of his team's offensive snaps over the last four years. That is crazy. Bradley Bozeman (Alabama) was a two-year starter for the Tide. He is solid leaning towards underwhelming. Isaiah Wynn (Georgia) was a starter at left tackle this past season but could be a long-term starter at guard. Skyler Phillips (Idaho State) did not impress me in the one game I watched earlier this year. Taylor Hearn (Clemson) was an early graduate who requires more study.
TOP PLAYER: Will Hernandez, UTEP
NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION: Sean Welsh, Iowa; Taylor Hearn, Clemson; Skyler Phillips, Idaho State
NO LONGER PLAYING: Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
The offensive tackle group this year is an athletic group for the most part and a bit on the mysterious side for me. For the North team, Brian O'Neill (Pittsburgh) is an early graduate. He is a tremendous athlete who caught two touchdowns last year. Tyrell Crosby (Oregon) is a physical specimen who has the potential to be a franchise left tackle. Brett Toth (Army) played in the Shrine Game this week. I think it is very smart for him to play in both games because he needs all of the pass blocking reps he can get. Cole Madison (Washington State) is a player I must study more. Jamil Demby (Maine) was added late in the process.
For the South team, I have watched very little if any at all of the four offensive tackles here: Joe Noteboom (TCU), Alex Cappa (Humboldt State), Brandon Parker (North Carolina A&T), and Desmond Harrison (West Georgia). Harrison transferred from Texas after being kicked off the team for some off-field issues.
TOP PLAYER: Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION: Joe Noteboom (TCU), Alex Cappa (Humboldt State), Brandon Parker (North Carolina A&T), Desmond Harrison (West Georgia), Cole Madison (Washington State); Jamil Demby, Maine
NO LONGER PLAYING: Martinas Rankin (Mississippi State); Timon Parris (Stony Brook); Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan