With the 2021 Senior Bowl just one week away, I take a look at the loaded class and build a team of the players I’m most excited to see.
QB – Kyle Trask, Florida
Kyle Trask has the chance to prove he is a first round talent at the Senior Bowl. Something we have seen Baker Mayfield and Justin Herbert do in recent history.
RB – Trey Sermon. Ohio State
A healthy Trey Sermon would be dangerous in Mobile. I’m not sure if he will still participate in the Senior Bowl week after the injury he suffered in the National Championship game, but Sermon has the chance to drastically improve his stock.
RB – Michael Carter, North Carolina
The North Carolina running back duo was the best in the nation in 2021 and now Michael Carter gets the chance to shine on his own. Carter could walk away from the Senior Bowl as a round two running back.
WR – DeVonta Smith, Alabama
He is the Heisman Trophy winner.
WR – Nico Collins, Michigan
Nico Collins opted out of the 2020 season and has a lot to prove in Mobile. Collins had two big seasons at Michigan with Shea Patterson throwing him the football so I am very excited to see what he can do with true quarterback talent.
WR – Kadarius Toney, Florida
No receiver this year improved his stock more than Toney. Coming into 2020 he was thought of as a gadget receiver and special teams player. Now Toney is getting true receiver hype and will see his stock improve even more after a week at the Senior Bowl with his college quarterback.
TE – Hunter Long, Boston College
Hunter Long is an under-the-radar tight end prospect that could surprise people down in Mobile. Long is a traditional in-line tight end with big soft hands and large frame.
OT – Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
The starting left tackle on one of the best teams ever is staying in Alabama for one more game. The big question is what position does he play? Leatherwood has been viewed by some as a guard but will get plenty of chances to prove he can play tackle next week.
OT – Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame
The 5th year senior was key to the running success at Notre Dame. Eichenberg is sitting on the fence of the first and second round and a good week in Mobile could solidify him as a round one talent in a loaded OL class.
OG – Trey Smith, Tennessee
A mauler on the interior, Smith is another prospect that could move himself into the first round after a week in Mobile. The injury history will be the biggest question Smith will have to answer in the draft process but getting in front of all 32 teams and showcasing his ability will help him get past those questions.
OG – Deonte Brown, Alabama
The hype train for Deonte Brown has slowly been gaining momentum. After the Senior Bowl it will be in full force. Watching OL/DL one-on-one’s is one of my favorite things about the Senior Bowl and I’m sure Brown is going to win most of his battles.
C – Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
It feels like Humphrey has been Senior Bowl eligible for four years now and this Longhorns fan is very excited to see him move on. Humphrey is great college football player but has a lot to prove as a draft prospect. Size and strength questions could be answered next week and maybe Humphrey can get back to round one hype.
DE – Quincy Roche, Miami
The Temple transfer was supposed to pair with Gregory Rousseau to make the best bookends in 2020. But instead Rousseau opted out and Roche only recorded 4.5 sacks. While the sack numbers may not have lived up to the hype, Roche has he chance to rebuild his stock in Mobile and get into the same tier as his Miami teammates Rousseau and Jaelan Phillips.
DL – Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest
At 6’5″ 285 lbs, Carlos Basham Jr. is a bit of a tweener prospect. I’m most looking forward to seeing how NFL teams use Basham and what techniques he excels in at the Senior Bowl.
DL – Marvin Wilson, Florida State
Marvin Wilson entered the 2020 season with first round, and DL1, hype. That hype cooled and Wilson eventually opted out. Wilson will have plenty of opportunities to remind scouts of his physical abilities against great interior line talent.
DE – Rashad Weaver, Pittsburgh
Speaking of preseason hype, Weaver barely had any. Most of us were focused on his teammate Jaylen Twyman, but Weaver capitalized when Twyman opted out. Weaver is a candidate for player that could most improve his stock next week. He still hasn’t hit the national stage and Mobile could bring him front and center.
LB – Jabril Cox, LSU
The NDSU transfer proved he could play in the SEC and now he can prove he can play in the NFL. The lengthy linebacker can build on an impressive senior season and showcase his ability to drop and coverage in 7-on-7 drills.
LB – Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State
Hamilcar Rashed Jr had an amazing junior year with 22.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks, but lost some hype in the shortened 2020 season. Rashed could see some reps at both linebacker and pass rusher and could be a great fit for the Dolphins or Panthers.
LB – Tuf Borland, Ohio State
Tuf and a rough game against Alabama but he was also put in some bad positions. I love his ability in the box, endless effort and leadership. I think we will be able to see all of those in Mobile and Borland will remind us of what he can be at the next level.
CB – Ambry Thomas, Michigan
Thomas is another Michigan opt-out player and another opt-out player that lost some steam this season. Thomas is great at the line of scrimmage and should put on a show in WR/DB one-v-one.
S – JaCoby Stevens, LSU
Stevens is such a force at safety, 230 lbs, that he could be viewed as a hybrid linebacker. In fact, I hope we get to see Stevens take some reps at linebacker and show he can play the Jamal Adams role in the NFL.
S – Richard LeCounte, Georgia
LeCounte accepted his Senior Bowl invitation but also suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident late in the season. Hopefully LeCounte will be able to go and showoff his range and balls skills against the top talent in the NFL draft.
CB – Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse
Syracuse was one of the first teams I watched play in 2020 and Melifonwu was the first guy that caught my eye. The big corner has a lot to show in a class that lacks depth at corner. Melifonwu could walk away from Mobile as a top five corner and second round pick.
NB – Elijah Molden, Washington
Guys like Molden used to be viewed in a negative light. That’s not the case anymore and Molden is one of the more intriguing players, at a valuable position, at the Senior Bowl.