Al Dupuy’s Senior Bowl practices notebook
Wide receiver DeVonta Smith came to Mobile but refused to be weighed or measured. The Alabama Heisman winner also did not hit the field.
His college teammate, running back Najee Harris, also was in attendance at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl week but did not take place in any contract drills.
The top quarterback prospect is Alabama’s Mac Jones, the first player on the field for practice. He is a proven reliable game manager who is very football savvy and has a passion for the game. There is no doubt he’ll put in the work necessary to succeed but perhaps more importantly, Jones has made all the throws in Mobile needed to play at the next level even though he has average arm strength. He showed accuracy both from the pocket and on the run.
Quarterback Jamie Newman from Wake Forest can really spin it but is still raw . His talent and arm strength are evident but he needs to become a more accurate passer. We’ve seen too may throws off the mark. He probably should have gone through with his plan to play at Georgia this past season as a transfer.
Sam Ehlinger from Texas was said by some scouts to be a running type quarterback like Saints Taysom Hill but he does not have the speed Hill has. He does have some passing skills that give him a chance to develop futher.
Ian Book, quarterback from Notre Dame, lacks ideal size at only 6-feet tall, and he needs to trust his receivers more. He has held the ball too long at times when it seemed like he didn’t ever want to let it go.
Feleipe Franks, the former Arkansas and Florida starter, has great size but was very inconsistent as a passer.
Kellen Mond out of Texas A&M is a work in progress.
Kyle Trask, quarterback from Florida, is not able to participate this week due to an ankle injury. He really needed this game after an up-and-down season.
The wide receiver talent level at this year’s Senior Bowl is also good. Kadarius Toney of Florida looked like the best receiver. He tracked the deep ball well and showed he could catch in traffic but did have a drop. His talent after the catch is intriguing.
Another receiver who has helped himself this week was Nico Collins, the Michigan standout who opted-out of the 2020 season. He is having a solid week in Mobile, consistently getting open and showing good hands.
Demetric Felton from UCLA gets off the line quickly and has moves to get open. He also showed consistent hands.
D’Wayne Eskridge out of Western Michigan showed good speed and ability to separate going deep.
The catch Wednesday was made by Sage Surrate. The Wake Forest product leaned back and made a tough catch between two defenders.
A sleeper at receiver may be Shi Smith from South Carolina. He played well and is underrated.
LSU receiver Racey McMath had a notable touchdown catch from Mac Jones.
Running back Elijah Mitchell, the Louisiana-Lafayette workhorse, is having a good week in all area. His running receiving and blocking show he’s a complete back.
Rhamondre Stevenson from Oklahoma is a big back who showed he could catch coming out of the backfield to answer some scouts who had a question about him in that area. He also picked up the blitz well as a blocker.
Michael Carter of North Carolina and Demetric Felton out of UCLA are two other backs having a good week.
The best looking tight end was Hunter Long from Boston College. He appears to be a complete tight end who can catch and block at 6-5, 255-pounds with 34-inch arms.
I like to watch the one-on-one drills between offensive and defensive lineman perhaps more than any part of all-star practices.
The top offensive lineman on hand, Alex Leatherwood from Alabama, won most of his one on one matchups. The same can be said for Quincy Roche from Miami. Robert Jones out of Middle Tennessee, who looked good in the one on one drills as a tackle, may project to offensive guard in the pro game.
On the defensive side, Daelin Hayes from Notre Dame showed very good pass rush ability. The best inside defensive tackle, Levi Onwuzurike from Washington, has had a good week of practice.
Tulane’s Cameron Sample has held his own, helping himself just being in Mobile this week. He has clear NFL ability at defensive end.
Former LSU and North Dakota State linebacker Jabril Cox lined up at inside linebacker and really looked the part. Jacoby Stevens, the LSU hybrid linebacker/safety lined up at the linebacker position; since he may lack the speed to play safety at the next level, Stevens needs to show versatility to fit different packages if he cannot handle every-down linebacker duties.
Paddy Fisher, linebacker from Northwestern, has been very impressive.
Aaron Robinson out of UCF showed good pass coverage skills at cornerback in the team drills. Robert Rochell, a defensive back from Central Michigan, seems to be helping himself as well. He looks like a physical player.
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Dupuy is the owner of Draft Day Report, The Pro Prospects Draft Scrapbook, a must for any draftnik following the NFL. Al was born in Plaquemine, La., and moved to New Orleans when he was 6 years old. He grew up on Tulane Ave. two blocks from Pelican Stadium and became interested in sports at an early age. He went…