Before we pack up the car and hit a waffle house, I figure I should give you some expectations for the final practice of the Senior Bowl. First and foremost, why do pickles come with the breakfast sandwich I get at the Waffle House? It happened to me yesterday and I’m sure it’ll happen today. Pickles at 9:00am just doesn’t sound right, but maybe I’m missing out. Moving on from the pickles, can we talk about how cold it is in Mobile? Shorts on the second day of the Senior Bowl were certainly a bad choice. Today will most definitely be layers.
All custom red blazers aside, let’s get to some football. I’m sorry, I had to get those some personal experiences off my chest. Hopefully, that was a good icebreaker and I hope you enjoyed some of my first experiences down in Mobile, Alabama. The list is much longer than this, but football is far more important. Lets dive into some expectations for day three of the Senior Bowl, shall we?
Players who can go home:
Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with a perfect throw over coverage to Penn State TE Mike Gesicki pic.twitter.com/aZOFamkvnF
— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) January 24, 2018
Baker Mayfield – QB from Oklahoma
I don’t want to see the “fire visor” go home, but he’s solidified himself. He’s better than Josh Allen and it’s not even that close. Baker has been firing in passes left and right. Despite some struggles against a pass rush on day two, he’s playing at a high level. He’s connected with Michael Gallup a handful of times and it looks like big league stuff. At times, Mayfield will key in on one receiver, but overall he does a good job scanning the field. Pocket mobility isn’t an issue for Mayfield and his progression in the pocket is good. One key area he’ll need to work on is getting rid of the football, though. Too many times he was trying to run and make something happen. Throw it away and live for another day. Overall, though, Mayfield can hit any and every throw on the field. He’s the best quarterback here and, realistically, he can just go home now.
Andrew Brown – DT from Virginia
Even though he’s listed as a defensive end, let’s not be silly. Andrew Brown is the perfect fit for a 3-technique (outside shoulder of the guard). His burst off the line-of-scrimmage is the real deal and he’s been showcasing it on every snap. There are times he’s on his point-of-attack but his hands are quick, and there’s some power behind him and his 294 pound frame. Even though he’s on a South roster that is loaded with talent like Marcus Davenport, Poona Ford, and Da’Shawn Hand, Andrew Brown has done enough to solidify himself as the most consistent defensive lineman out of the group. He had a great first day and followed it up with another great day on Wednesday. He’ll practice on day three of the Senior Bowl and I’m holding him to high expectations, but realistically, he can just go home now.
Players who need to step it up
Another Josh Allen overthrown pass pic.twitter.com/thusfiZt5Z
— Kyle Kelly (@ByKyleKelly) January 24, 2018
Josh Allen – QB from Wyoming
I promise you this isn’t some Josh Allen hate piece. This is just from what I’ve seen and I can’t help but write these scouting notes down. He just still looks like the same prospect as his numbers show. Granted, he hasn’t gone through the full workload of what an NFL quarterback does. Maybe once he’s drafted to an NFL team and starts working with those coaches and players, maybe it’ll all change. As of right now though, he needs to start improving. His footwork is a mess and I wouldn’t be surprised if his completion percentage over two days is 56.2 percent. That’s not the real number, but honestly, his throws have been all over the place. To sum it up for you, Josh Allen as a prospect is like a sandwich.
You get good Josh Allen: he found Michael Gallup on a deep pass in the end zone yesterday. That pass was beautiful. That’s the bread, man. You see it from the afar and you’re like “Wow, that’s a good sandwich.” However, everything in the middle of the sandwich is the most important part. Speaking of the middle, his throws across the middle were atrocious. He was missing them left and right. Too far out in front of a receiver, too far behind them, or just straight up sailing them over a receiver’s head. That’s like the bologna. You’re expecting some oven roasted turkey breast (thin-cut, of course), some Swiss cheese, and your choice of honey mustard or mayonnaise. However, you get bologna and ketchup.
Just unappealing, man. All together, Josh Allen is that bologna and ketchup sandwich on white bread. Today is very important for Josh Allen. It’s the final look before the actual Senior Bowl game, and we don’t even know how much he will really play. He needs to stop trying to throw the ball so hard and just focus on the basics. You don’t need to light up the radar gun; you’re not closing out the 9th inning of the World Series. You’re applying for the biggest job of your life, so it’s time for you to step it up.
Ian Thomas – TE from Indiana
Before I headed to Mobile, I put together my first big board of the 2018 NFL Draft. I had high expectations for Thomas and, in fact, he is my top tight end and is 37th overall on my big board. From a physical and size perspective, Thomas really stands out. He’s got the build of a player who can succeed as an in-line blocker. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with what I’ve seen from his blocking technique during the practices. Below pad level, hands inside, and moves his feet as he drives forward with his key in front of him. In fact, I’ve been impressed with his route running, as well. He’s looked crisp coming out of his breaks and is finding his to the soft spots in the coverage. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. He’s been thrown to a dozen times by now, and he’s dropped at least five or six passes. It’s day three of the Senior Bowl and I’m fully expecting him to step it up and prove to why he’s so high on my big board.
- Tanner Lee, QB from Nebraska – He looks about as undraftable as you can look. He under-throws a lot of his passes and his progressions look rushed. This isn’t him shaking off the rust, this is just bad quarterback play. My expectations aren’t high, but I’m hoping he can turn it around.
- Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE from Oklahoma – For only being 6’1 and 243 pounds, he’s chiseled. He’s got a great burst off the line-of-scrimmage and his hand usage is great. I haven’t gone into too much detail about him but he deserves plenty of credit. I expect day three to be just as a solid as the last two days.
- Greg Gilmore, DT from LSU – One of the more powerful defensive tackles here. He doesn’t have a plethora of pass moves and his hand usage is average. However, the power behind Gilmore is fantastic. He’s going to plug the gap and I wish any running back the best of luck trying to run through him. Day three should be a great way for him to solidify himself.
- Tyrell Crosby, OT from Oregon – This dude has the length and quickness to play left tackle. He’s gifted with lateral quickness, wide base and consistent hand placement. He’s a day two prospect at the draft and I expect another strong performance from him on day three of the Senior Bowl.
- Jalyn Holmes, DE from Ohio State – When the defensive linemen were going through a “get-off” competition, I noticed Holmes right away. He was competitive and vocal. As the day progressed, he stood out. Does a good job creating separation and certainly loves using the spin move. He’s still raw from his hand usage to his counter moves, but his upside is high. Day three of the Senior Bowl is crucial for him.
- Jordan Akins, TE from UCF – I tuned into some of things that Akins was doing during the South team practice and I didn’t come away completely disappointed. I thought Akins did a good job attacking the ball at the catch point. Looks like a fluid athlete, but he still needs to sharpen his routes. He needs to improve as an in-line blocker, especially with his hand placement. They’re too far outside and he’s gotta start moving his feet once locking onto his key. Overall, he’s just a guy that is here. Day three would be a nice place to start turning some heads.
- Kemoko Turay, EDGE from Rutgers – One of the more raw edge rushers here, but you can see the potential with every single rep. Turay has the length to thrive off the edge and he’ll make you pay once he dips and rips off a block. Day two was a good day from him, but I came away wanting more. I think I’ll get that on day three of the Senior Bowl.
- Justin Jones, DT from North Carolina State – Stout defensive tackle with a good blend of power and athleticism. Jones fires out below pad level and has a nice spin-move for a guy his size. I look forward to watching more of his reps on day three of the Senior Bowl to get a feel for what he brings to the table.