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2018 Senior Bowl -- Offensive Skill Position Scouting Previews

Air Date:
January 23, 2018

Taking a look at each Senior Bowl prospect for 5-15 minutes of tape and reviewing their college career performance. Just a quick look/preview for some focus on what we'll be watching for during the practice week. We cannot properly grade/scout these players in our statistical scouting models until the NFL Combine and Pro Day data comes in.

*QB's will be reported on separately.

Running backs-NORTH

**RB Kalen Ballage, Arizona State** (6’2.1”/222, 29.13 arms, 8.75” hands)– Bizarre, intriguing prospect. Kinda looks like David Johnson at times, at a glance…a power runner who played a lot of wildcat QB (just to run) and is an excellent receiver. He is a huge, physical RB. All that…and he had a terrible 2017. He ended 2016 with Heisman hopes…14 rushing TDs, 40 catches—AND rushed for 7 TDs in one game, but was intermittently used in 2017, and I’m not sure why. Looking forward to seeing how the NFL sees him/uses him at the Senior Bowl. Soemthing doesn’t smell right with this prospect.

FB Dimitri Flowers, Oklahoma (6’1.6”/253, 9.25” hand) – Worked as an FB, and was a weapon as a receiver…26 catches, 464 yards, and 5 TDs – and many of those catches were downfield. He’s a multi-faceted talent. 40-time is going to mean a lot for his NFL prospectus.

**FB/RB/TE Jaylen Samuels, N.C. State** (5’11.4”/223, 8.8” hand) – One of the most unique prospects of 2018, or any year for that matter. Played like an H-back/RB weapon type position. Great hands and moves after the catch (75 rec., 593 yards, 4 TDs in 2017), BUT also ran the ball like a power RB (407 rushing yards, 5.2 ypc, 12 TDs). He combined for 1,000 yards and 16 TDs…and also returned kicks. I think he moves like a legit NFL RB…with the bonus of terrific receiving skills.

RB Akrum Wadley, Iowa (5’9.7”/188, 8.13” hand) – Neat little RB at 190+ pounds. Has a little burst/pop and is a nice receiver out of the backfield. He’ll play a role in the NFL. No signs of a star, just ‘useful’. His overall size may torpedo any real chance at NFL work.

Running backs-SOUTH

FB Nick Bawden, San Diego State (6’1.7”/222, 8.75” hands)– Former QB as a freshman, converted to FB…most used as a blocker and occasional receiver. More of a traditional FB.

**RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego State** (5’11.0”/224, 9.13” hand) – 2,248 rushing yards and 25 total TDs for Penny in 2017. A massive season, but that follows Donnel Pumphrey being all-world for San Diego State…so there is a grain of salt to be taken with the output. However, unlike Pumphrey…Penny has legit NFL size. He looks legit on tape…maybe a 4.55 runner and has capable hands.

RB Ito Smith, Southern Mississippi (5’9”/201, 9.37” hands) – Great career at USM…three 1,000+ yard rushing seasons with 13+ total TDs each season AND 40+ catches in each of the last three years. He’s a good player BUT very small, with thin/scrawny-looking legs. Looks more like a #4 WR or punt returner than a legit NFL weapon. Has good speed (probably around 4.45-4.55) and instincts. Size may hold him back to alate day-three pick.

RB Darrel Williams, LSU (5’11”/229, 9.13” hand) – Another big-body RB for the South squad. Looks like a solid NFL RB between the tackles, but a little sketchy if forced to move east-west. He is a ‘plus’ receiver. He has skills but he has some limitations of the ‘big man’. In the right situations, he’d be a starter in an RBBC for an NFL team. I suspect he’s more a 4.60+ runner and 7.3+ three-cone.

 

Wide receivers-NORTH

WR Braxton Berrios, Miami (5’8.5”/177, 9.5” hand) – Looks like a poor man’s Trent Taylor…small, quick, routes, tough, punt returner. I didn’t think Berrios was close to Taylor’s skillset scouting them both pre-their Senior Bowl attendance. However, Miami’s passing game wasn’t great so Berrios might be a bit better. He looked possible for the NFL but nothing jumped out on quick tape study.

WR Michael Gallup, Colorado State (6’0.7”/198, 9.13” hand) – He strikes me as a good college WR in a mid-major program, but he’d be ‘OK’ in a major conference and is a so-so NFL prospect. Solid but I didn’t see anything overly special/exciting.

WR Allen Lazard, Iowa State (6’4.2”/227, 9.7” hand) – Nice size, good hands, so-so speed-agility. He looks like a 4.6+ runner but with size. Useful for the NFL. I didn’t see star potential, but I think he’s not bad for the NFL. A big bodied #2 WR for the NFL someday, maybe.

**WR Jaleel Scott, New Mexico State** (6’4.7”/216, 9.75” hand) – Good size. Uses his body well to shield from defenders. Has a nice little burst and leaping ability. A little raw. Could get more excited if he comes in as a 4.50 runner with a 38.0+” vertical.

**WR Justin Watson, Pennsylvania** (6.2’5”/213/9.75” hands) – A legit NFL WR prospect but will likely be undrafted. He’s a Chris Hogan/Cooper Kupp type of WR who will likely get overlooked. Great hands, gets open, solid body/frame. Played well enough at the East-West Shrine to get an invite here. Stock rising.

WR Cedrick Wilson, Boise State (6’1.7”/194, 9.75” hands) – Looks like NFL speed, burst, hands, routes/cutting but is rail thin. If he adds proper bulk/muscle…he could be one of the better WR talents in the draft.

Wide receivers-SOUTH

WR Marcell Ateman, Oklahoma State (6’4.2”/216, 9.0” hand) – Nice height, big reach (33.6” arms). Has decent hands. Speed looks like in the 4.6 range. Solid prospect. Mason Rudolph helped push his output.

WR DJ Chark, LSU (6’2.5”/196, 9.25” hand) – Very quick WR. Two punt return TDs in 2017. Has the speed-agility, but looks below-average as a WR with hands and routes. A developmental WR for sure. There is upside here, potentially.

**WR J'Mon Moore, Missouri** (6’2.5”/209, 9.25” hand) – Great feet. Fast off the snap. Great pop after the catch. Reminds me of Taywan Taylor’s quick feet, but Moore is a much bigger (physically) WR. The quick eyetest says potential star here…a guy I want to see study ASAP. Back-to-back 1,000+ yard seasons for Mizzu 2016-2017.

WR Byron Pringle, Kansas State (6’1”/201, 9.13” hand) – Faster than most college DBs, so he hit on some deep ball plays but not as much as you’d like to see. Had moments but no real consistency. Wasn’t impressed with the tape or data.

WR Tre'Quan Smith, UCF (6’1.5”/202, 9.0” hand) – Had moments where he looks like an NFL starter talent then other moments he looks like every generic ‘good’ college WR. I wasn't blown away but he might be a capable NFL WR. There was no ‘wow’ factor for me here.

WR James Washington, Oklahoma State (5’10.7”/210, 9.63” hand) – I saw his career output first…three 1,000+ yard seasons with 10+ TDs each of those seasons, and I thought this was going to be a potential star to watch on tape. I saw nothing of the sort at a glance. The tape and output don’t make any sense. Maybe I watched his worst game(s) but I didn’t see much here – another case of Mason Rudolph pushing numbers.

WR Javon Wims, Georgia (n/a) – Looks like college ‘good/decent’ but not a serious prospect for the NFL…first glance. Just don’t see it.

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Tight ends-SOUTH

TE Jordan Akins, UCF (6’3.2”/246, 33.5 arms, 9.25” hand) – More of a pass game weapon than most of the TE prospects here. Moves well for a TE. Gets open and shows nice, soft hands receiving the ball. He looks a bit like a ‘big WR’ but really played TE and was used a lot for blocking.

TE Adam Breneman, UMass (6’4”/241, 32.1” arms, 9.4” hand) – Very slow, lumbering TE. Has solid hands but does not look like an impact TE in my quick viewing.

**TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State** (6’4.4”/260, 33.8” arm, 10.1” hand)– Fantastic hands, I mean…really gifted. His highlight reel has catches that at first you think are just lucky and then you see 3-4-5-6-7 catches even more impressive. Has work to do on his body but he’s going to attract a lot of attention because of his highlight reel catch ability.

TE Ian Thomas, Indiana (6’3.3”/256, 33.1” arm, 9.6” hand) – A smaller Antonio Gates-ish, big horse of a TE prospect. Thomas just looks like a tight end. Has nice hands, so-so speed…but ‘power’ is his game. He is thick all over, like a power RB but plays tight end. Was a JUCO then didn’t see the ball much as a junior transfer to IU, but then broke out some in 2017. There is an upside here NFL teams are going to take seriously.

Tight ends-NORTH

TE Tyler Conklin, Central Michigan (6’2.7”/252, 9.75” hand) – Good hands. Quality kid. Has the size. Looks like an average athlete for a TE, not a new age ‘freak’ athlete TE. Just a solid, capable TE.

TE Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin (6’4.7”/247, 9.62” hand) – Decent hands. Unimpressed with his upper body…doesn’t have a real TE look for the NFL. Solid enough player. Maybe bulks up into a fringe NFL’er or starter down the line. Doesn’t look like an impact guy right away.

TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State (6’5.3”/242, 10.13” hand) – Nice size, reach. Looks a little stiff, slower. Has a Jesse James or Jack Doyle look…there if you want to use him but can disappear from the offense too. Not a feature weapon, just a guy part of an offense. Has NFL-starter potential but not a high-impact or ‘wow’ guy.

TE Durham Smythe, Notre Dame (6’5.2”/253, 9.38” hand) – Solid TE prospect. Mostly a blocker for Notre Dame. Has NFL size and movement. Doesn’t show any signs of being a pass game weapon, but looks like a useful hand as a #2 NFL TE, possible low-end starter someday.

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics. 

Learn more about RC and the College Football Metrics system >>