2019 Senior Bowl: Top Players at Each Position Heading into Next Week


Despite having a couple names removed from the roster the weekend before the week begins, the Senior Bowl is still loaded with talent. Headlining the top players at each position, the Senior Bowl boasts a few players worth of first round selections.

The Cover1.net team will be in attendance in Mobile beginning Monday evening when Jim Nagy delivers his first opening press conference as executive director.

QB: Drew Lock, Missouri (6-4, 225)

Lock has a promising QB1 skill set with attractive arm talent showing the ability to spray the ball all over field. The Missouri quarterback plays with appreciated confidence showing the impressive ability to consistently thread the needle. 

He also boasts excellent ball placement and touch. He delivers catchable balls to his receiver in which he has the utmost trust in. Lock has the arm talent and overall strength to drive passes into the desired location but will occasionally fall flat because of poor lower body mechanics. 

Lock has the intrigue of a first round selection highlighting the thrills of having a live arm. His physical frame and ability to make plays outside the pocket with maneuverability also accentuates some dynamic ability overall. Lock comes in as the top quarterback in Mobile, and he will solidify his first round status as the week transpires. 

Next in line: Daniel Jones, Duke (6-5, 220)
Sleeper: Ryan Finley, NC State (6-4, 212)


RB: Dexter Williams, Notre Dame (5-11, 215)

Williams was a late bloomer in South Bend waiting patiently behind CJ Prosise and Josh Adams before his number was called. In that lone season as the starter, Williams carried the ball 158 times for 995 yards (6.3 yards per carry) with 12 touchdowns. The senior running back will have to answer some questions regarding his early season suspension, but on the field, Williams proved his worth. 

Williams showed a complete skill set last season checking multiple boxes including contact balance, power and acceleration. His appreciated vision is also a plus as he shows the consistency and promise as a decision maker at the line. Rarely displaying wasted movements, Williams is a quick decision maker and once he finds a breach in the defense, he plants his foot and shows off impressive acceleration. 

In a running back class with some fluidity, an impressive showing in Mobile should bolster Williams’ stock before the NFL Scouting Combine on Feb. 26. 

Next in line: Karan Higdon, Michigan (5-10, 202)
Sleeper: Bruce Anderson, North Dakota State (5-11, 210)


WR: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina (6-0, 210)

Samuel is going to be constantly pigeoned-holed as a slot receiver and primary return man during the evaluation process. That is fine because that may ultimately be what he is at the next level. But giving him that tag may cover up his complete skill set that yearns for first round attention. Samuel came into the season after recovering from a broken leg in 2017. He lost some of his explosive traits in recovery but still displays enough dynamic ability to make defenders miss in space while continuing to show impressive burst off the snap. 

Not necessarily known as a twitchy athlete, Samuel does display a handful of those traits to potentially carry that billing. He has loose hips and ankles to cut and explode out of breaks creating immediate separation. He isn’t a long distance runner but shows enough initial acceleration out of his breaks and off the line to gain needed separation to take it the distance. 

Samuel fell victim to sporadic quarterback play in his career, especially his senior season having to catch passes from two different passers. With consistent talent across the board in Mobile regarding quarterbacks, Samuel will have numerous opportunities to display his full skill set. 

Next in line: Jakobi Meyers, NC State (6-2, 203)
Sleeper: Andy Isabella, Massachusetts (5-10, 195)


TE: Josh Oliver, San Jose State (6-5, 250)

Not a tremendous group of tight ends in Mobile this year but still some potential promising pieces highlighted by the athleticism of Oliver. Oliver flashes top-notch athleticism skills for a tight end. A smooth customer when it comes to route running, he shows the ability to win with physicality, speed and finesse to gain separation. 

A natural receiver, Oliver boasts all the receiving traits the modern NFL tight end should hold. He habitually plucks the ball out of the air with the concentration skills to bring down tough, contested catches. He displays strong mitts and a large catch radius when doing so virtually having the tag of always being open. 

Oliver isn’t an unknown to the draft world so don’t be surprised if he flourishes in a Senior Bowl environment that should highlight his overall skills.

Next in line: Drew Sample, Washington (6-5, 321)
Sleeper: Donald Parham, Stetson (6-8, 240)


IOL: Dru Samia, Oklahoma (6-5, 303)

Accompanied by dominant Goliaths upfront on the Sooner offensive line, Samia dominated in 2018 sharing the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year award with Yodny Cajuste (West Virginia) and Dalton Risner (Kansas State). Samia goes to work quickly off the snap using his length partnered with an aggressive punch and desired extension. He possesses a pair of strong mitts and uses them with aggression constantly striking his opponent. His hand strength is one of his best tools as he jolts defenders on initial contact.

Though showing occasional moments of raising his pad level, Samia does not lose power due to being high hipped. He has the ability to absorb contact and play with tremendous power and effort. His hand technique is somewhat sporadic but he finds ways to keep the defender in front of him with quick hand movement and a powerful anchor if losing the initial power battle. 

Next in line: Chris Lindstrom, Boston College (6-4, 310)
Sleeper: Javon Patterson, Ole Miss (6-3, 314)


OT: Max Scharping, Northern Illinois (6-6, 320)

A two-time All-MAC performer, Scharping had plenty of opportunities to display his skills coming from a lower-tier conference. Versus Iowa, Utah and Florida State, he showed his top 50 potential dominating in all facets of the game. He gets started at the point of attack showing patience and poise versus power and speed. He has the quickness in his lower body to catch defenders taking an exterior route while also being able to absorb contact with a bullish anchor. 

Despite having some inconsistencies when it comes to hand placement, Scharping shows enough consistency in his kick steps to slide with outside quickness. He keeps his hands in front with a patient and well-timed punch. He will occasionally cross his feet but finds ways to extend the pass rush route of the defender. 

Yodny Cajuste’s (West Virginia) departure from the Senior Bowl roster crowns Scharping as the best tackle in Mobile.

Next in line: Kaleb McGary, Washington (6-7, 324)
Sleeper: Tytus Howard, Alabama State (6-6, 311)


DE: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State (6-6, 245)

Seemingly a finished pass rushing product entering the 2018 season, Sweat added even more polish to his game this past year. The senior finished with 11.5 sacks (second in the SEC) and 14 tackles for loss (seventh) in 2018. Sweat’s game starts and ends with an impeccable motor. He is always finding ways to penetrate the play even if being initially stagnated at the point of attack. His lower body isn’t loaded with power as compared to other’s at the end position in this class, but his overall recognition skills and revved up motor seem to cover up those inefficiencies.  

Sweat checks nearly all the boxes teams covet in a 4-3 defensive end. He has the length and uses it to an advantage with an instant extension at the point of attack. He shows a nice blend of flexibility and lower body fluidity to peel off the edge running circles around tackles. With a string of pass rush moves and enough power, at least in the upper body, Sweat’s dominance in 2018 is no fluke. His complete skillset should wow many spectators in Mobile having the tape and athletic ability to be coveted as a top 15 selection.

Russell Brown breaks down the game of the productive Mississippi State defensive product. 

Next in line: Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech (6-5, 262)
Sleeper: Carl Granderson, Wyoming (6-5, 261)


DT: Gerald Willis III, Miami (6-3, 300)

One of the more storied players participating in the Senior Bowl, Willis shined in his first full season as a starter for the Hurricanes. Willis’ 18.0 tackles for loss was only behind Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell (19.5) for most accounted for in the ACC. His dominant presence in the interior as a run stuffer and pass rusher oozes with next-level intrigue. Willis thrives off the jump with elite initial quickness to nearly instantly win with that alone. He leans forward with a head of steam showcasing violent punches and quick upper body jabs to frustrate his matchup. 

Miami Athletics

Willis has the ability to affect the passing game. He has the interior quickness to overwhelm offensive linemen and the finesse to win as a pass rusher (club over move is his go-to). He consistently shows appropriate pad level and hand placement with enough balance to get throughout heavy traffic and keep his feet squared away to the pocket. 

Willis boasts attractive acceleration and athleticism for his size. He eats up plenty of turf in only seconds and has enough flexibility in his lower half to unlock his hips and explode to the football. I wrote this back in November: Physically, Willis checks plenty of boxes with a strong upper and lower body (powerful leg drive), creativity as an interior disruptor (club over, rip through, swim) and the foot speed to threaten both areas of the game. 

*Report: Willis not participate in Senior Bowl festivities. DeMarcus Christmas (Florida State) looks to take his spot.

Next in line: Renell Wren, Arizona State (6-5, 297)
Sleeper: Dontavius Russell, Auburn (6-3, 320)


LB: Te’Von Coney, Notre Dame (6-1, 240)

Playing with a physical edge, Coney is a dominant player at the point of attack showing top notch block shedding ability. He plays well through contact keeping balance through trash at the line of scrimmage while staying within the path of the play. He shows a consistent positive theme of wrapping up ball carriers with force and bringing them to the turf. 

To that of a safety, Coney displays attractive athleticism with plenty of range and acceleration. His lower body paves way for him to play sideline to sideline and to mirror anything the ball carrier throws at him. Vividly seeing his high football IQ, Coney partners it with his athleticism to enter Mobile as the top linebacker prospect in attendance.

Next in line: Germaine Pratt, NC State (6-3, 240)
Sleeper: Deshaun Davis, Auburn (5-11, 246)


SAF: Nasir Adderley, Delaware (6-0, 200)


The secret is out. Adderley, once known as the FCS secret prospect, is gaining tremendous buzz ranging from a first round to a top 50 pick. With versatility in his resume, Adderley shows plenty of reliability in his skill set. A balanced man and zone defensive back, he shows the ball skills and loose lower body to constantly make plays on the football. His 10 career interceptions doesn’t surprise many as he consistently shows impressive ball skills accompanied by elite awareness and appropriate coverage technique. 

His impeccable speed and movement skills can provide any team with relief that is needing defensive back help of any kind. Adderley’s physicality is shown versus the run not having a glaring weakness on taking on blockers or finishing through the ball carrier. Adderley’s emergence is not surprising, as one has to be nit-picky to find any notable weaknesses that would cost him longevity in the National Football League. 

Next in line: Juan Thornhill, Virginia (6-0, 210)
Sleeper: Darnell Savage, Maryland (5-11, 200)


CB: Amani Oruwariye, Penn State (6-1, 200)

Oruwariye is a smooth customer when changing directions. He trusts his lower body to flip his hips and adjust to the flow of the route. His body control is ideal having the ability to stay on quicker receivers with plus movement skills. The Penn State corner’s best trait is his awareness for the ball. He executes proper technique and trusts it enough to turn his head and make a play on the ball. 

Penn State Athletics

A physical specimen on the outside, Oruwariye has the build and technique to thrive early in his career seemingly making an easier transition. An ideal press corner, he plays with tremendous technique off the snap with near perfect timing and execution to pop receivers off the line. A well balanced athlete with controlled movements with some quickness to his overall game, Oruwariye is one of the top defenders in Mobile. 

Next in line: Kris Boyd, Texas (6-0, 195)
Sleeper: Jordan Brown, South Dakota State (6-1, 195)


Feature Image of Montez Sweat: Mississippi State Athletics 

Christian Page is a scout and writer for Cover1.net. His scouting experience dates back to 2015. Christian has a background of radio along with collegiate athletic department experience and corporate marketing.