Senior Bowl Snapshot - OLB - Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height: 6'0"

Weight: 240

Age: 22

With the 2018 Senior Bowl approaching and accepted invites rolling in by the day I'll be profiling these players and highlighting a facet of their game that makes them one of the best at their position in their Senior class.

Today we have the University of Oklahoma Outside Linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (prounounced o-BO-ny-uh o-kor-RON-kwo.  The past two years Okoronkwo has been one of the most disruptive defenders in the Big 12, earning 2nd team All-Big 12 in 2016, 1st team All-Big 12 in 2017 and Co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2017.

At 240 pounds, Okoronkwo has the size of your typical 4-3 OLB. He's shown the ability to hang in coverage but spent the majority of his time around the line of scrimmage at OU. Okoronkwo, holds his own when taking on blockers and does a really nice job as a backside run defender, staying home or cautiously flowing towards the play to prevent the ability of the running back to cut back across the field. Okoronkwo knows his assignment on these plays and executes at a high level.

As a pass rusher, Okoronkwo's game is built off speed and spin. He's got a wicked Dwight Freeney-esque spin move that he breaks out often on unsuspecting offensive lineman. An impressive aspect of his spin move is that he doesn't lose much speed while doing it due to his impressive footwork and balance. Okoronkwo also has the ability to seamlessly transition into it as he strings together moves to get past the blocker to the Quarterback. Okoronkwo can win with just speed and burst off the line. He's got great bend and balance when turning the corners toward the Quarterback. If Okoronkwo isn't taking down the Quarterback, he's moving him out of the pocket or drawing flags on the offensive line.

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Senior Bowl Snapshot - RB - Ito Smith

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Name: Ito Smith

Class: Senior

Height: 5'8"

Weight: 195

Age: 22

With the 2018 Senior Bowl approaching and accepted invites rolling in by the day I'll be profiling these players and highlighting a facet of their game that makes them one of the best at their position in their Senior class.

Today we have the University of Southern Mississippi Running Back Ito Smith. The Mobile, AL native has earned the right to perform in front of his hometown. Smith is one of 10 players in FBS history to top 4,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. He also has a good shot to finish inside the top 15 all-time in yards from scrimmage.

Small in stature, Smith's game is built off exceptional balance and burst. He's a similar back to Green Bay Packers rookie Aaron Jones, who like Smith, handled tremendous workloads over his collegiate career but fell to Day 3 of the draft because NFL teams likely didn't view him as a lead back. Jones, however, shined when given the opportunity this year and already has a few 125+ yards rushing games to his name. Ito Smith has the talent but it will likely take an injury or two before he is ever given that opportunity. Where Smith can contribute right away is as a change of pace back and I think he could really shine in a hurry-up offense where he can slice and dice through soft fronts and be a weapon out of the backfield. Smith has caught 136 passes over his 4 years in an Eagles uniform and they were not of the garden variety screen pass dump off. Smith has shown the ability to catch passes down the field, adjust to inaccurate passes in the flat and cook opposing linebackers on texas routes over the middle. The first play below is a perfect example of that.

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Senior Bowl Snapshot - WR - James Washington

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Name: James Washington

Class: Senior

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 205

Age: 21

With the 2018 Senior Bowl approaching and accepted invites rolling in by the day I'll be profiling these players and highlighting a facet of their game that makes them one of the best at their position in their Senior class.

Today we have Oklahoma State Wide Receiver James Washington. If you were to show a picture of Washington to a casual football fan they may mistake him for a running back due to his jersey number, broad shoulders and long legs but Washington has been one of the more prolific wide receivers in college football the past few years. In 2017 he was the winner of the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nations best wide receiver, and will be showcasing his skills at the Senior Bowl alongside his fellow teammates QB Mason Rudolph and WR Marcell Ateman.

Washington has torn up Big 12 defenses the past 4 years to the tune of 19.7 yards per catch, which is an insane number when you consider the volume (221 career receptions). Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmon, who were both 1st round selections out of Oklahoma State in recent years, averaged 14.1 and 16.1 YPC respectively. At times, the BIG 12 looks like a 7 on 7 passing league but Washington has still shown the athleticism and skill to be a deep threat at the next level.

Take the first play below for instance. It might not look like much but Washington starts with a hard jab, a chop of the defender's arm, then accelerates past the DB and stacks him while he peaks over his shoulder to locate the football and make the leaping grab. NFL DB's will surely play this better but it gives you an idea of what Washington has in his bag of tricks and his stats aren't just built off of blown BIG 12 coverages.

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Senior Bowl Snapshot - DT - Maurice Hurst

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Name: Maurice Hurst

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 280

Age: 22

With the 2018 Senior Bowl approaching and accepted invites rolling in by the day I'll be profiling these players and highlighting a facet of their game that makes them one of the best at their position in their Senior class.

Today we have Michigan Defensive Tackle, Maurice Hurst. The past two years Hurst has been one of the most productive and disruptive defensive linemen in the nation. His game is built off of speed and leverage. There isn't a quicker more explosive player off the snap of football in the entire country and Hurt's energetic play style, initial quickness, and natural leverage and pad level from only being 6'2" allows him to shoot gaps and slip past offensive lineman.

Hurst will surely be knocked for his size by some teams but that'll prove to be shortsighted. Some of the best defensive linemen in today's game like Aaron Donald, Mike Daniels, Grady Jarrett, Javon Hargrave etc are cut from the same cloth as Hurst. Hurst's best fit is likely as a 3-technique DT in a four-man front where he can continue to shoot gaps and cause all kinds of disruption in the backfield.

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Senior Bowl Snapshot - RB - Akrum Wadley

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Name: Akrum Wadley

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height: 5'10"

Weight: 191

Age: 22

With the 2018 Senior Bowl approaching and accepted invites rolling in by the day I will be profiling players attending and highlighting a facet of their game that makes them one of the best players in the nation at their respective position.

Today we have Iowa RB Akrum Wadley. Wadley has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard season for the Hawkeyes and will leave the school ranking in the Top 5 all-time for rushing yards and yards from scrimmage.

Due to his number (#25), size, frame, and game people will often throw Jamaal Charles or Lesean McCoy names around when they're looking for an NFL comparison. With Wadley, being one of the most elusive backs in the country I certainly understand the Shady comparison but I had another Pittsburgh back in mind. That being Dion Lewis. I think Wadley is a nice blend of Dion Lewis and Alvin Kamara. They all have this casual pace to their game, never in a hurry, always under control, displaying a special burst through the hole and the ability to layer moves together to evade defenders. One thing I've noticed with Kamara this year, and I see a little of this with Wadley, is his ability to never really take a direct hit from a defender as he's always contorting his upper half. Like Lewis and Kamara, Wadley is also a playmaking receiver out of the backfield.

Since elusiveness is Wadley's bread and butter let's take a peak at what he has to offer. Wadley has the most effortless spin move I think I've ever seen.

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Senior Bowl Snapshot - TE - Dallas Goedert

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Name: Dallas Goedert

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height: 6'3"

Weight: 255

Age: 23

With the 2018 Senior Bowl approaching and accepted invites rolling in by the day I will be profiling players attending and highlighting a facet of their game that makes them one of the best players in the nation at their respective position.

Today we have South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert. If you're unfamiliar with his name or game, you won't be in a few months. Goedert is one of, if not the top TE prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft which is hard to believe considering he walked on at South Dakota State.

At 6'5" and 255+ pounds, Goedert has the size and frame of your traditional tight end but he's also been blessed with special athletic ability. According to Goedert, he'll run his 40-yard dash in the 4.65 range and has a 36" vertical. South Dakota State has certainly used Goedert's gift to their advantage as he is their key cog in the passing game. Goedert has shown the ability to play in-line, from the slot and split out wide where they'll take advantage of his size vs a smaller defensive back.

What makes Dallas Goedert such an intriguing tight end prospect is his catch radius. Sure, he can win the jump balls but his overall catch radius is that of the size of a garage door. Goedert routinely hauls in one-handed passes with his 10 1/8" paws and has shown the ability to adjust to passes thrown low or behind him.

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Goedert is an accuracy eraser the way he can adjust and contort his body when the ball is in flight. If Goedert's game hasn't proven it already the Senior Bowl will be a great opportunity for him to compete with and against the "higher level" competition.

2018 Senior Bowl Invite Tracker

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DATE: Saturday, January 27, 2018
TIME: 1:30pm CT
WHERE: Mobile, Alabama

Accepted Invites

(Last Updated 1/13/2018)

QB

Baker Mayfield - Oklahoma

Josh Allen - Wyoming

Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma State

Kurt Benkert - Virginia

Luke Falk - Washington State

Kyle Lauletta - Richmond

Mike White - Western Kentucky

Brandon Silvers - Troy

FB

Dimitri Flowers - Oklahoma

Jaylen Samuels - NC State

Nick Bawden - San Diego State

RB

Royce Freeman - Oregon

Akrum Wadley - Iowa

Kalen Ballage - Arizona State

Rashaad Penny - San Diego State

Ito Smith - Southern Miss

WR

Marcell Ateman - Oklahoma State

Michael Gallup - Colorado State

Allen Lazard - Iowa State

Anthony Miller - Memphis

J'Mon Moore - Missouri

Jaleel Scott - New Mexico State

James Washington - Oklahoma State

Braxton Berrios - Miami (FL)

DJ Chark - LSU

Cedrick Wilson - Boise State

Javon Wims - Georgia

Tre'Quan Smith - UCF

TE

Adam Breneman - Massachusetts

Tyler Conklin - Central Michigan

Dallas Goedert - South Dakota State

Chris Herndon IV - Miami (FL)

Ian Thomas - Indiana

Durham Smythe - Notre Dame

Troy Fumagalli - Wisconsin

Mike Gesicki - Penn State

OT

Alex Cappa - Humboldt State (D II)

Tyrell Crosby - Oregon

Desmond Harrison - West Georgia (D II)

Cole Madison - Washington State

Brandon Parker - North Carolina A&T

Timon Parris - Stony Brook

Martinas Rankin - Mississippi State

Chukwuma Okorafor - Western Michigan

Brett Toth - Army

Brian O'Neill - Pittsburgh

Joseph Noteboom - TCU

OG

Skyler Phillips - Idaho State

Wyatt Teller - Virginia Tech

Sean Welsh - Iowa

Isaiah Wynn - Georgia

Will Hernandez - UTEP

Taylor Hearn - Clemson

Colby Gossett - Appalachian State

C

Austin Corbett - Nevada

Frank Ragnow - Arkansas

Mason Cole - Michigan

Scott Quessenberry - UCLA

Bradley Bozeman - Alabama

DE

Andrew Brown - Virginia

Marcus Davenport - University of Texas-San Antonio

Duke Ejiofor - Wake Forest

Kylie Fitts - Utah

Kemoko Turay - Rutgers

Jalyn Holmes - Ohio State

Tyquan Lewis - Ohio State

DT

B.J. Hill - NC State

Maurice Hurst - Michigan

Justin Jones - NC State

Derrick Nnadi - Florida State

Da'Shawn Hand - Alabama

Nathan Shepherd - Fort Hays State (DIII)

Harrison Phillips - Stanford

ILB

Nick DeLuca - North Dakota State

Micah Kiser - Virginia

Darius Leonard - South Carolina State

Mike McCray - Michigan

Rashaan Evans - Alabama

Shaun Dion Hamilton - Alabama

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo - Oklahoma

Myles Pierce - The Citadel

Dorian O’Daniel - Clemson

OLB

Garret Dooley - Wisconsin

Harold Landry - Boston College

Uchenna Nwosu - USC

Fred Warner - BYU

Skai Moore - South Carolina

Davin Bellamy - Georgia

Marquis Haynes - Ole Miss

Shaquem Griffin - UCF

CB

Duke Dawson - Florida

Danny Johnson - Southern

Taron Johnson - Weber State

Michael Joseph - Dubuque (D III)

Siran Neal - Jacksonville State

Darius Phillips - Western Michigan

M.J. Stewart - North Carolina

Chandon Sullivan - Georgia State

D'Montre Wade - Murray State

Kamrin Moore - Boston College

Christian Campbell - Penn State

Isaac Yiadom - Boston College

Anthony Averett - Alabama

Levi Wallace - Alabama

Jamarcus King - South Carolina

S

Trayvon Henderson - Hawaii

Armani Watts - Texas A&M

Tray Matthews - Auburn

Quin Blanding - Virginia

Jeremy Reaves - South Alabama

Kameron Kelly - San Diego State

Marcus Allen - Penn State

Kyzir White - West Virginia

K

Daniel Carlson - Auburn

Michael Badgley - Miami (FL)

P

Johnny Townsend - Florida

JK Scott - Alabama

LS

Ike Powell - Auburn

Senior Bowl Snapshot - WR - Anthony Miller

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Name: Anthony Miller 

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 190

Age: 23

With the 2018 Senior Bowl approaching and accepted invites rolling in by the day I will be profiling players attending and highlighting a facet of their game that makes them one of the best players in the nation at their respective position.

Today we have Memphis WR Anthony Miller. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Miller rewrote his hometowns record books. Miller, who was a walk-on at Memphis, now holds the Tigers school records for receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, 100-yard receiving games, and is 2nd in yards from scrimmage, behind DeAngelo Williams.

Miller is the focal point of an extremely wide receiver friendly passing game - racking up yards via bubble screens but as you'll see below there is more to his game. Miller can get on top of defenses and has some of the best hands in the nation. From one-handed grabs, 50-50 jump balls with a defender raking down on his arms and diving over the shoulder catches, Miller does it all and makes it look easy. Always catching the ball with his hands away from his body, Miller is the antithesis of Cowboys WR Terrance Williams. His play the past two years has truly been exceptional.

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Miller's usage in the short passing game is reminiscent of how the Dolphins have utilized Jarvis Landry. Miller will likely roam the slot in the NFL but in a position agnostic offense like the Patriots, I can see him being used all over a formation from the outside to out of the backfield to create mismatches down the field or to get him in space.

Georgia - RB- Nick Chubb - Football's Rorschach Test

Photo Credit: Ben Walton

Photo Credit: Ben Walton

The Rorschach Test, also known as the Inkblot Test, was created nearly a century ago as a method to examine someone’s psychological state and personality. The test consists of asking a person to describe what he or she sees in a series of inkblot pictures. The person’s interpretations of these ambiguous designs allows the Psychologist to examine that person’s personality, emotional state and detect any underlying theme to their thoughts.

Simply, you get what you look for. That idea perfectly parallels to prospect evaluation. Often times we already have a preexisting narrative about a prospect before we even break down their game so we see what we want to see. This causes us to view a player through a lens that might not be fair

Georgia running back Nick Chubb is a perfect example of this. Two years ago Chubb tore his PCL, LCL, MCL and damaged cartilage in his left knee. The play he was injured on was so gruesome that it should have had an NSFW (Not Safe For Work) disclaimer on it before viewing. Miraculously, Chubb was ready to go opening night of the 2016 season - a little over 10 months after surgery. In his first game back, Chubb showed little rust and totted the rock 32 times for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. However, that would be the highlight of the season for both Chubb and the Bulldogs. Chubb battled through ankle issues for much of the 2016 season and to many analysts and fans, he didn't look fully recovered from his knee injury. Naturally, this brought doubt into everyone's mind on if we would ever see the version of Nick Chubb that memorized Sanford Stadium in 2014 & 2015. You know, for every Willis McGahee there is, unfortunately, a Marcus Lattimore and Robert Edwards.

In 2017, now two years removed from his injury, Nick Chubb has looked like the back of old and to prove this I attempted to create a hybrid Rorschach Test. So, below I found 10 similar plays of Nick Chubb pre-injury and post-injury. Where the Rorschach Test part of this exercise comes into play is that I want you to ask yourself on each play is do you see pre-injury Nick Chubb or post-injury Nick Chubb?

CAN YOU TELL WHICH PLAY IS PRE AND POST INJURY?

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Play 1:

Play 2:

Play 3:

Play 4:

Play 5:

Play 6: 

Play 7:

Play 8:

Play 9:

Play 10:

Now, I totally understand that each play isn't exactly the same, there are so many variables (different offensive lineman, defenders positioning, opposition talent level, score etc) and I selected 20 plays out of a few hundred carries but the moral of the story is that any questions about if Nick Chubb has recovered from his knee injury should be erased. For every great play pre-injury there is one post-injury complimenting it.

If the eye test wasn't doing it for you we can use counting stats as well.

Guess what player is Nick Chubb?

Player A: 183 Rushes, 1,057 Yards, 5.8 YPC, 14 TD

Player B: 166 Rushes, 1,045 Yards, 6.3 YPC, 12 TD

Player C: 188 Rushes, 1,026 Yards, 5.5 YPC, 10 TD

(Stats as of 11/24/2017)

If you guessed Player B, you're right. Player A is Penn State’s Saquon Barkley and Player B is LSU’s, Derrius Guice, both of whom are considered 1st round locks and two of the best players in the entire 2018 draft class.

Chubb's build, mature running style, pad level, jackhammer leg-drive combined with slalom skiing-like agility to cut is why he reminds me of a Marshawn Lynch and Jonathan Stewart hybrid. Both of those aforementioned players were first round picks in their own right and as a talent, Chubb is in that tier. Draft day will likely tell a different story due to medicals but don't get it confused.


Rorschach Results

Play 1:  Post-injury & Pre-injury

Play 2: Post-Injury & Pre-injury

Play 3: Post-Injury & Pre-injury

Play 4: Pre-injury & Post-Injury

Play 5: Pre-injury & Post-Injury

Play 6: Pre-injury & Post-Injury

Play 7: Post-Injury & Pre-injury

Play 8: Post-Injury & Pre-injury

Play 9: Pre-injury & Post-Injury

Play 10: Pre-injury & Post-Injury

2017 Senior Bowl Notebook

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Now that I'm finally settled back in Milwaukee after a week in Mobile and two weekends in New Orleans I've found some time to finally do a brain dump of all of my thoughts from Senior Bowl week. Below I’ll run through each of the position groups and share some observations from this week. I apologize that I won't cover every player but feel free to ask me on twitter if you have a question on any specific one.

This shouldn't be viewed as a comprehensive evaluation of a player since we're just starting the 3-month pre-draft cycle, where I hope to watch each player more with a critical eye. With that being said, let’s have some fun with this.

Offense

Quarterbacks

Coming into Senior Bowl week everyone knew the crop of QB’s was going to be an underwhelming bunch and it honestly was. Pittsburgh’s Nathan Peterman was the most consistent but I wouldn’t say he really stood out. I feel like I’m handing him a participation trophy just because he didn’t suck.

To be fair, this isn't the best environment to actually evaluate a QB. You are able to get a gauge of their accuracy, arm strength, footwork and throwing mechanics but it's important to acknowledge that these QB's are throwing to unfamiliar receivers and there aren’t any instances where you get to see how they will thrive in the eye of the storm. Do they have functional mobility in a collapsing pocket to evade pressure while keeping their eyes down the field? How do they handle pressure (they don’t get hit in practice)? Can they read a field and work through progressions? What creativity and playmaking ability do they have, if any, in their game?

Also both the offense and defense during the week are stripped-down to the basics, so it's not like either unit is implementing a game plan to expose each other's flaws.

Anyways, back to the signal-callers in Mobile. Nathan Peterman was the most consistent of the bunch displaying accuracy to all levels of the field and he earned enough praise from a scout to receive a Kirk Cousins comparison.

Tennessee's Josh Dobbs flashed as a dual threat in 11-on-11's but his accuracy, field vision and decision-making waned at times during the week.

California's Davis Webb was named the Senior Bowl MVP for orchestrating three scoring drives during the game but I was expecting him to actually stand out this week.

Iowa's C.J. Beathard, Colorado's Sefo Liufau and Tiffin's Antonio Pipkin  all looked in over their heads and it would surprise me if any of them are on an active roster come Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season.

As far as draft projections, I'm of the belief that we'll see Peterman, Dobbs and Webb all be drafted. Peterman could sneak into Day 2 but all are likely Day 3 selections. Dobbs is the 'project' of the group with Webb and Peterman being the more "NFL ready" talents with the ability to flourish sooner if they're inserted into West Coast offenses. We know the NFL loves tall white QB's so expect either Peterman or Webb to be propped up as a future starter at some point in the coming months.

Running Backs

BYU's Jamaal Williams (6', 211) looks like an every-down back at the next level. A few times this week he showed off his burst to get around the corner in 11-on-11 drills. Williams is a Day 2 talent who could fall a bit due to this incredible RB class but it wouldn't shock me in a year or two from now if he's that late round guy who's putting up top tier numbers like Jay Ajayi and Jordan Howard have. He's impressive.

Wisconsin's Corey Clement (5'10", 221) had a nice week. His game didn't pop out in any one aspect but he proved that he was a complete back. Clement wasn't always able to show his ability as a receiver out of the backfield at Wisconsin because Dare Ogunbowale typically was the go-to receiving back but Clement was a reliable receiver out of the backfield on many occasions this week and did well in pass blocking drills from what I saw. I'll be interested to see how he tests at the Combine because I'm still not sure he's got quite the giddy-up or agility to hold down a starting job at the NFL level. I think he's a Day 3 pick and has a shot to be a back-up in the same vein that like Damien Williams is in Miami.

San Diego State's Donnel Pumphrey (5'8", 169) stock probably took the biggest hit out of any RB at the Senior Bowl and it wasn't due to his play. Pumphrey checked in at 169 lbs. There isn't a running back close to that weight in the NFL. Before you bring up Darren Sproles I'll mention that he has 21 lbs on Pumphrey and is two inches shorter. Pumphrey has the skill to earn a role as a committee back but I wonder if he'll even get the opportunity.

If you thought Toledo's Kareem Hunt (5'10", 208) was the best RB in Mobile heading into the week you likely left with the same point of view. Looking back the one play of Hunt's that stood out to me was him breaking Michigan DB Jourdan Lewis' ankles in the open field during 11-on-11 drill. Hunt is likely a Day 2 RB.

The RB that I might be higher on than most is NC State's Matt Dayes (5'8", 207). Dayes roasted LB's in receiving drills and was stout in pass protection. As a runner Dayes has an explosive downhill style with a great low pad level that allows him to break tackles or get more yards after contact than other backs his size. Dayes is likely a Day 3 back but I'm a big fan.

Wide Receivers

The best wide receiver this week was East Carolina's Zay Jones (6'1", 202). Jones had a record setting Senior season and that play carried over into Senior Bowl week where he stood out in practice and followed that up with an impressive performance in the game. Jones won at all levels of the field and is a smooth technician as a route runner. I didn't really find a weakness in Jones' game this week and look forward to watching more of him in the coming months. I think he is a lock as a Day 2 pick right now.

Grambling's Chad Williams (6', 204) was the receiver who caught me by surprise the most. I knew nothing about him coming into the week but coming from a smaller school he definitely proved he belonged. Williams had one of the best weeks among all the wideouts and consistently won down the field on vertical routes as he showed the ability to hit that extra gear to pull away from defenders.

Another small school receiver whose play garnered lots of buzz was Eastern Washington's Cooper Kupp (6'1", 198). Kupp looked like one of, if not the most polished WR in Mobile winning vs press and off coverage with ease. Kupp had some impressive catches in jump ball situations and fooled DB's on double moves. Kupp had a dominant practice on Wednesday. Kupp is another guy where I'm curious to see how he tests at the combine in Indy.

Texas A&M's Josh Reynolds (6'2", 197) looks the part but he needs to add strength if he's going to win off the line of scrimmage in the NFL. There were a few occasions where Reynolds struggled to gain separation against more physical DBs in press coverage but to his credit he never slowed down or stopped his intended route on these reps. Reynolds made a handful of highlight reel catches this week and showed off the most versatile catch radius of all the wide receivers in Mobile. Reynolds size, speed and catch radius combo is enough for teams to fall in love with him. If I had to pick what WR gets drafted 1st from Mobile it would be Reynolds on Day 2. If he tests as well as I think he might at the combine he could become a fringe Top 50 pick.

UNC's Ryan Switzer (5'8", 179) and Louisiana Tech's Trent Taylor (5'7", 177) looked the part of usable slot WR's. As you would expect both are super quick in and out of their breaks and did their best work out of the slot this week. Neither totally impressed with their ability to haul passes away from their small frames. I was hoping I wouldn't be able to pigeonhole them as just a slot WR's but that unfortunately is what they'll end up being.

LSU's Travin Dural (6'1', 206) and Michigan's Amara Darboh (6'1", 215) both stood out in drills at times but for some reason this whole week I thought there was something missing in their game. I think it's that they don't have the ability to stretch the field.

There might not be a better person at the Senior Bowl than Air Force's Jalen Robinette (6'2", 215) but I wasn't impressed with his or Lousiville's Jamari Staples (6'3", 190) game. Both players missed one day of practice during the week. Robinette had an obligation back at school and Staples suffered a concussion.

Tight Ends

Alabama's O.J. Howard (6'5", 249) wasted no time impressing on Tuesday, snagging a couple of one-handed catches in stride on crossing routes during 11-on-11 drills at the beginning of practice. Howard was the best NFL prospect in Mobile and will likely be a 1st Round selection but I was hoping for more from him. On Wednesday and Thursday his play seemed more lackadaisical as he dropped multiple passes.

The tight end that had the best week was Ole Miss' Evan Engram (6'3", 236). Engram was uncoverable in practice, gaining separation with ease against linebackers in the short and intermediate passing game as well as making a few plays vertically down the seam. At the moment, Engram is your "Move-TE", in the mold of Jordan Reed but he should be able to add 10-15 lbs pretty easily. From what I saw during the week Engram held his own in blocking drills. Effort certainly isn't his problem. He should impress during interviews and will be in the Round 2 discussion when it's all said and done.

South Alabama's Gerald Everett (6'2", 227) was receiving all sorts of praise coming into the week but that hype train should have slow down a bit, I hope. Everett was easily the smallest TE in Mobile and his hands measured the same size as Donnel Pumphrey's. As a receiver, Everett displayed the skill-set to be a mismatch in the passing game out of the slot but I didn't see much of him as a blocker. Everett missed Thursday's practice due to injury so scouts in Mobile only had two days to soak up his game.

Offensive Line

Out of all the positions groups this is the one I focused on the least. Really the only time they were the center of my attention was during 1-on-1 drills vs the defensive lineman and occasionally during 11-on-11's.

Coming into this week there was some Round 1 talk for Troy's Tony Garcia (6'6", 293). He had a rough start to the week on Tuesday but played pretty well in the grand scheme of things. I'd still be surprised if he went Round 1 but I don't think he really hurt his stock at all this week.

Western Kentucky's OT Forrest Lamp (6'3", 305) injured his ankle on the 1st day of practice and had to sit out the rest of the week. Although he played LT at WKU, and was a damn good one, it's likely he'll be moved inside in the NFL. Lamp's situation is similar to former Kansas St OT Cody Whitehair, who was drafted by the Bears last year and moved inside to Center as a rookie. Lamp should be able to hold his own at OG or C and I wouldn't be shocked if the Packers grabbed Lamp in the 2nd round in hopes of him becoming TJ Lang's replacement.

Western Michigan OT Taylor Moton (6'5", 330) looked the part of a future starting right tackle.

USC's Zach Banner (6'8", 361) wasn't very good but is sure to be overdrafted. He can stand to lose 30-40 pounds.

Defense

Defensive Line

Michigan's Chris Wormley (6'5", 297) was the best defensive lineman in Mobile this week. Wormley moves well for a guy his size and has the ability to be a versatile chess piece and play all over the defensive line. I think Wormley solidified himself as a Top 50 pick.

If you were to ask me what defensive player came out of nowhere and surprised me the most this week it would be Tulane's Tanzel Smart (6', 296). Offensive lineman could not hang with Smart in 1-on-1 drills, as his agility and overall athletic ability allowed him to live in the backfield. Smart is undersized and can get moved in the run game but as pass rusher his quickness stood out among the pack of defensive tackles. If his ability as an interior pass rusher on tape is anywhere near to how he performed at the Senior Bowl I don't see how he makes it out of Day 2.

Alabama DT Dalvin Tomlinson (6'3", 312) is pretty much cut from the same cloth as his former teammates, Jarran Reed and A'Shawn Robinson, who were both second round picks in a loaded DT class last year. Tomlinson did pretty well as a pass rusher in 1-on-1 drills but his real impact is as a run defender. He doesn't have the same name recognition as Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams and others from the vaunted Bama defense but he could very well be a Day 2 pick come April.

A few weeks ago I watched a handful of Iowa games with a focus on Jaleel Johnson (6'2", 309) and came away impressed. Johnson showed the ability to rush the passer and hold his ground in the run game so I was hoping to see him put on a show this past week. Johnson didn't really do that. He wasn't bad by any means but I thought I would see more from him especially in 1-on-1 drills.

Auburn's Montravius Adams (6'3", 308) and Villanova's Tanoh Kpassagnon (6'7", 280) received plenty of hype from the media this week but I thought they were inconsistent. With Kpassagnon, I think we're going down the track of wanting him to be better than he is because he is built like a Greek God, like Shawn Oakman, and has the measurable that can't be taught. Don't get me wrong, Kpassagnon made some plays this week and thus made a name for himself but I think we're on the verge of getting a little carried away. Adams has 1st Round ability but his motor comes and goes and even when he's shooting a gap and creating penetration he doesn't really know what's going on around him.

Texas A&M's Daeshon Hall (6'5", 265) and UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes (6'3", 320) both had flashes of brilliance this week. Hall was a monster on the first day of practice and Vanderdoes made plays here and there throughout the week. Both guys have the tools to become valuable pass rushers at their respective positions but there is still plenty of room for polish to their game. Both players should be off the board around Round 3 if they continue to impress in the pre-draft process.

Linebackers

Illinois Dawuane Smoot (6'2", 255) was rated by many as the top edge pass rusher at the Senior Bowl and I barely noticed he was there. His teammate Carroll Phillips (6'3", 237) stood out more in practice than him.

Alabama's Ryan Anderson (6'2", 258), who was a star in the National Championship game, looked like a Day 3 player in Mobile. Anderson injured his thumb and sat out the final day of practice but when he did participate he was roasted in coverage drills and was stonewalled in pass rushing drills. Not a good week for him.

Temple's Haason Reddick (6'1", 237) was the standout of the linebacking corps this week, which is impressive because he's never played inside linebacker in his life. Reddick's story is unlike any I've ever heard. He went from a walk-on cornerback to all-conference defensive lineman and now moving to middle linebacker. I see Reddick as more of a do-it-all OLB. He received a positive coverage grade from PFF during the week and has the ability to bend the edge as a pass rusher, highlighted by his 22.5 TFL this past season. I don't see how Reddick gets outside of Round 2.

Defensive Backs

San Diego State's Damontae Kazee (5'10", 183) plays with a moxie and physicality that was refreshing to see out of a DB in this type of event. Yes, Kazee was a bit too handsy at times and I'm interested to see how he tests but he was a fun watch every day at practice.

Iowa's Desmond King (5'10", 206) and Miami's Corn Elder (5'10", 179) both had rough weeks in coverage. There was plenty of talk of King moving to safety at the next level but if he can't hang with DB's does he have the range to cover a deep half? King is a guy who I'll need some more time to figure out because he had a heck of a college career but didn't fair well this week. If nothing else he might be able to find a home at corner in a zone heavy defense.

Tennessee's Cameron Sutton (5'11", 182) spent time between safety and cornerback this week and did an overall good job at both. A play that stood out was Sutton hanging with OJ Howard in coverage and breaking up the intended pass. Sutton could stand to add a bit of strength but it was good to see him show off his versatility in the secondary after missing most of the season with an ankle injury.

UCONN's Obi Melifonwu (6'4, 219) was probably the biggest "riser" among defensive backs at the Senior Bowl. Much like Sutton, Obi spent time at both safety and cornerback. Melifonwu's athletic ability stood out as he held his own in 1-on-1 drills. Melifonwu is such a smooth mover and his loose hips allow him to change direction with ease. I have not watched any of Melifonwu before this week but I wouldn't be surprised if he sneaks into Round 1 by April, much like Byron Jones did in 2015 after he blew up the combine, which Obi will surely do.

Rumors & Ramblings:

The biggest news I heard down in Mobile pertains to the Green Bay Packers front office. Although I don't want to go into too much detail, I'll just say that I wouldn't be surprised if Ted Thompson handed over the reigns after this draft much like Ron Wolf did in 2001. If you're wondering who will replace Ted Thompson, the obvious candidate is Ron Wolf's son, Eliot, who is currently the Packers Director of Football Operations and who has already interviewed for the 49ers and Colts GM openings this offseason. Wolf doesn't turn 35 until March but he's been a hot name around the league the past few off-seasons.

It's early in the draft process but I heard the Steelers have their eyes set on Virginia Tech WR Isaiah Ford as early as the second round. It took Ford just three seasons to re-write the record books at Virginia Tech. He leaves as the schools all-time leader in receptions (210), receiving yards (2,967) and TD’s (24). With Antonio Brown’s antics reportedly “wearing thin”, Martavis Bryant’s suspension history, Markus Wheaton hitting the free agent market and Sammie Coates and Darius Heyward-Bey being as enigmatic as they are this doesn’t seem outlandish. Ford is a playmaker worthy of a Day 2 selection and seeing as the Steelers hold the #62 pick in the second round that seems right in line with a realistic landing spot for Ford.

Last month the video of Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon assaulting a fellow female student back in July 2014 was released. Backlashed ensued towards Mixon and the University and many wondered if now the NFL might finally handle something appropriately in regards to domestic violence and Mixon would go undrafted. That doesn’t appear to be the case. I spoke to a few people in Mobile who said they were expecting Mixon to be a second round pick. This goes right in line with where we’ve seen other players with off field concerns in past years such as Dorial Green-Beckham (40th Overall, 2015) and Jeremy Hill (55th, 2014) drafted.

Last week NFL Network’s Mike Mayock mentioned on air that scouts told him that UNC QB Mitch Trubisky would measure in at a little over 6’1” at the combine. This caused a stir in the media because Trubisky is listed at 6’3”, and most people have ridiculous imaginary thresholds that QB’s need to meet in order to succeed in the NFL. Over the last 15 years, Rex Grossman and Johnny Manziel are the only two QB’s to be drafted in the first round that measured in at 6’1” or shorter. As for the QB height talk, if a QB fails in the NFL it’s probably due to everything but his height. He was probably below average at the more important aspects of the QB position such as: accuracy, pocket presence, arm strength, decision-making etc. Whether Trubisky is 6’1” or 6’3” will not change anything in my evaluation of him.

2017 Senior Bowl Snapshots - Quarterbacks

C.J. Beathard – Iowa

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 215

Age: 23

  • 21-7 record as Iowa’s starting QB
  • 2nd team All-Big Ten as a Junior
  • Ranks 6th in school history in touchdown passes (40) and total offense (5,992), seventh in completions (454) and attempts (782) and eight in passing yards (5,562)
  • Recreation and Sports Business major
  • Grandson of former NFL executive Bobby Beathard who’s teams competed in 7 Super Bowls, winning 4.

Josh Dobbs – Tennessee

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 210

Age: 22

  • Set UT records for rushing yards by a QB (2,160), career rushing TDs by a QB (32), single-season rushing yards by a QB (831) and single-season rushing TD by a QB (12).
  • 7,138 passing yards rank 5th in Tennessee history and his 9,360 yards of total offense rank third in program history
  • One of 4 QB’s in SEC history to have 50 career passing touchdowns and 25 rushing touchdowns joining Tim Tebow, Johnny Manziel and Dak Prescot

Sefo Liufau - Colorado

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 240

Age: 22

  • Named Honorable Mention All-Pac 12 as a Senior and Sophomore
  • Set school records for attempts (498), completions (325), passing yards (3,200), TD (28) in 2014
  • Set six single game school records in a 2OT loss vs California where he completed 46 of 67 passes for 455 yards, 7 TD and 10 rushes for 72 yards
  • Rated as the No. 19 QB in the nation coming out of high school

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Nate Peterman – Pittsburgh

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 225

Age: 22

  • Led the highest scoring offense in Pittsburgh history (40.92 PPG, 532 total points)
  • As a Senior he led the ACC in passing efficiency (163.4),  yards per completion (15.43), yards per attempt (9.33)
  • 27 passing TD’s in 2016 were good for 4th most in a single season in Pitt history
  • Played at Tennessee from 2012-2014
  • Earned his bachelors degree in communications while at Tennessee

Antonio Pipkin – Tiffin (Division II)

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 225

Age: 21

  • Tiffin career leader in 300-yard passing games, attempts, completions, passing yards, total offense and touchdown
  • Named GLIAC Player of the Year in 2016
  • Was named 1st team All-GLIAC in 2016, 2nd team in 2015 and Honorable Mention in 2014 and 2013

Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press

Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press

Davis Webb – California

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 230

Age: 22

  • Named honorable mention All-Pac 12 in 2016
  • Set Cal single-season records for passing attempts, completions, and total plays while also matching Jared Goff’s record for touchdowns in a single season with 43
  • Punted seven times for 275 yards and a 39.3 average with a long of 52
  • Graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science in May of 2016 before transferring to Cali. He is going for his masters in public health

* Baylor QB Seth Russell and Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly will also be attending the Senior Bowl but will only participate in interviews due to injuries

2017 Senior Bowl Snapshots - Wide Receivers

Amara Darboh – Michigan

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 215

Age: 22

  • Named All-Big Ten second team in 2016
  • Named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten as a Junior
  • Four-star recruit coming out of high school
  • Majoring in sociology

Travin Dural – LSU

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 207

Age: 23

  • Didn’t drop a pass his Senior season at LSU
  • Holds LSU record for longest reception with a 94-yard TD in 2014
  • Led LSU in receptions (37), receiving yards (758) and receiving touchdowns (7) as a Sophomore
  • Four-star recruit coming out of high school
  • Majoring in interdisciplinary studies

Amba Etta-Tawo - Syracuse

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 202

Age: 23

  • All-ACC First Team in 2016
  • Set Syracuse single-season records for receptions (94), receiving yards (1,482) and receiving yards per game (123.5)
  • His 94 receptions rank 6th in ACC history for a single-season, while his receiving yards (1,482) and yards per game (123.5) rank 2nd in ACC history behind Torry Holt
  • Attended Maryland from 2013-2015
  • Earned his undergraduate degree in geographical sciences from Maryland and is pursuing a master’s degree in instructional design, development and evaluation

Zay Jones – East Carolina

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 197

Age: 21

  • Led the NCAA in receptions (158), receptions per game (13.2), receiving yards (1,746), and receiving yards per game (145.5) as a senior
  • Set ECU and AAC single-season records for receptions and receiving yards
  • Earned first-team All-AAC as a Senior and second-team as a Junior
  • Three-star recruit coming out of high school
  • Majoring in communications
  • Uncle is former NFL QB, Jeff Blake
Cooper Kupp.jpeg

Cooper Kupp – Eastern Washington

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 215

Age: 23

  • First player in FCS history to be named a four-time AFCA All-American
  • Holds 15 FCS, 11 Big Sky and 25 EWU records
  • 2015 FCS Walter Payton Award Winner
  • 2013 FCS Jerry Rice Award Winner
  • As a Redshirt Freshman, he broke the FCS records for receptions, receiving yards and TD's by a freshman (TD record was previously held by Randy Moss)

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Josh Reynolds – Texas A&M

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 190

Age: 21

  • 2nd in Texas A&M history with 30 receiving touchdowns, 3rd in receiving yards (2,788) and 4th in receptions (164)
  • Set the school record for receiving touchdowns in 2014
  • Attending Tyler Junior College out of high school

Fred Ross.jpg

Fred Ross – Mississippi State

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 205

Age: 21

  • 1st MSU WR to earn back-to-back seasons of 1st team All-SEC
  • MSU record holder for consecutive games with a reception (35), receptions (199), 100-yard receiving games (10) and receiving yards (2,528)
  • 2nd in school history with 22 receiving touchdowns
  • Led the SEC in TD receptions (12) and was second in catches (72) as a Senior
  • 4-star recruit coming out of high school
  • Human sciences major

Artavis Scott.jpg

Artavis Scott –Clemson

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 190

Age: 22

  • Clemson career leader in receptions (245), 7th in receiving yards (2,480) and 5th in touchdown receptions (19)
  • Was an All-ACC WR his three years at Clemson (1st Team as a Sophomore, 2nd team as a Freshman and Junior)
  • First-team Freshman All-American by USA Today
  • Rated at the number 68 recruit in the nation by Rivals.com coming out of high school
  • Majoring in communication studies

Jamari Staples – Louisville

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 195

Age: 22

  • Led Lousiville is receiving yards as a Junior
  • Transferred from UAB to Louisville after UAB shut down it’s football program in 2014
  • Communications major

Ryan Switzer – North Carolina

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 185

Age: 22

  • Two-time All-American as a return specialist
  • Tied the NCAA record with 5 punt returns for TD’s in 2013
  • UNC record holder for career receptions (243), receiving yards (2,903), punt return yards (1,082), punt return TD's (7) and receptions in a single season (96)
  • Two-time West Virginia State Player of the Year in high school
  • Favorite show is The Office

Trent Taylor – Louisiana Tech

Height: 5’8”

Weight: 178

Age: 22

  • Named first-team All-C-USA as a Senior and 2nd team as a Junior
  • Taylor’s 327 career receptions rank 1st in Louisiana Tech history. He is second all-time in receiving yards (4,179) and TD's (32) behind Troy Edwards
  • The Taylor and Carlos Henderson tag-team in 2016 set the single-season FBS record for combined receiving yards by teammates with 3,338

Taywan Taylor – Western Kentucky

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 195

Age: 21

  • Set WKU school records in receptions (253), receiving yards (4,234) and touchdowns (41)
  • In 2016, his 1,730 receiving yards were good for 3rd in the nation and his 17 TD’s were 2nd
  • Two-star recruit coming out of high school

Jalen Robinette – Air Force

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 215

Age: 22

  • After an impressive week at the East-West Shrine game he was called up to participate in the 2017 Senior Bowl
  • Second-team All MWC as a Senior, Honorable Mention All-MWC as a Junior and Sophomore
  • Led the nation in yards per reception (27.4) in 2016
  • His 959 receiving yards as a Senior is good for 2nd in Air Force history for a single season
  • Majoring in managemen

2017 Senior Bowl Snapshots - Running Backs

Corey Clement – Wisconsin

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 227

Age: 22

  • 4-star recruit coming out of high school
  • The Clement and Melvin Gordon tag-team in 2014 set the single-season FBS record for rushing yards by teammates with 3,536 (breaking the record of 3,053 set by Gordon and James White in 2013)
  • 4-star recruit coming out of high school
  • Life sciences communication major
  • Interned at Merrill Lynch in summer 2016

Matt Dayes – NC State

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 203

Age: 22

  • 2nd team All-ACC in 2016
  • Ranks 4th in NC State history with 2,856 yards, 5th in all-purpose yards (4,289), 3rd in rushing TD’s (34) and total TD’s (40)
  • Rated as the No. 27 RB in the nation by Rivals.com coming out of high school
  • Sociology major

Kareem Hunt – Toledo

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 225

Age: 21

  • All-time leader in career rushing yards at Toledo and third in MAC history
  • Only fumbled once in his collegiate career. Has gone 742 straight touches without putting the ball on the ground
  • Rushed for 271 yards and 5 TD’s in Toledo’s bowl game in 2014
  • Named 1st team All-MAC in 2016 and 2014. Earned 2nd team honors in 2015
  • 3-star recruit coming out of high school

Donnel Pumphrey – San Diego State

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 180

Age: 22

  • Finished 10th in Heisman voting this year
  • Named 2nd team AP All-American
  • Named first-team All-Mountain West in 2014, 2015 and 2016
  • MWC Player of the Year in 2015 an 2016
  • FBS record holder for rushing yards
  • The most prolific career in MWC history. Hold conference records in rushing attempts (1,059), yards (6,405), TDs (62), Yards From Scrimmage (7,444)

Jamaal Williams – BYU

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 220

Age: 21

  • BYU’s all-time leading rusher
  • Set BYU single game rushing record with a 286 yard and 5 TD performance vs Toledo in 2016
  • 4th BYU RB to have multiple 1,000 yard rushing seasons
  • Named to SI’s Midseason All-American 2nd team

De’Veon Smith – Michigan

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 228

Age: 22

  • Led Michigan in carries, rushing yards and rushing TD’s as a Senior
  • Named honorable mention All-Big10 in 2015 and 2016 by the coaches
  • Was a late add to the Senior Bowl roster after having an impressive showing last week at the East-West Shrine gam

2017 Senior Bowl Snapshots - Tight Ends

Evan Engram – Ole Miss

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 227

Age: 22

  • All-time Ole Miss leader in receptions (162) and receiving yards (2,320) by a tight end
  • Became the 1st Ole Miss player to be a four time All-SEC selection. Earned 1st team honors in 2016 and 2014.
  • 3-star recruit coming out of high school
  • Majoring in integrated marking communications

Gerald Everett – South Alabama

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 240

Age: 22

  • Attended Hutchinson Community College in 2012-13 after signing with Bethune-Cookman. Attended UAB in 2014 before transferred to South Alabama for his final two years.
  • Caught a touchdown in 7 straight games as a Junior, the second longest streak in school history.
  • Was named 1st-team All Sun-Belt Conference in 2016.
  • Favorite Athlete: Eric Ebron
  • Favorite Musician: Gucci Mane

O.J. Howard - Alabama

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 251

Age: 22

  • Named second-team All-SEC in 2016
  • 2016 John Mackey Award Finalist, which is given annual to the nation’s best tight end
  • Named 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship Game MVP thanks to his 5 receptions for 208 yards and 2 touchdowns. His 208 receiving yards are the most by any player in a National Championship game.
  • Was a 5-star prospect and No. 7 overall in his class coming out of high school.
Mike Roberts.jpeg

Mike Roberts – Toledo

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 270

Age: 22

  • Named 1st-team All-MAC in 2016
  • His 16 TD receptions in 2016 led all tight ends and was good for sixth most in the nation
  • Majored in criminal justice

Jonnu Smith – Florida International

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 232

Age: 21

  • Named 2nd-team All-C-USA in 2016. Earned 1st team All-C-USA as a sophomore
  • As a sophomore led all tight ends national in touchdowns, receiving yards and receptions
  • 3-star recruit coming out of high school
  • Liberal arts major

Jeremy Sprinkle – Arkansas

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 256

Age: 22

  • Arkansas’ all-time leader for receiving touchdowns by a tight end
  • As a Junior he led all SEC tight ends with six receiving touchdowns
  • Has a degree in recreation and sports management