The Senior Bowl is a showcase event for players to prove to NFL teams that they are worth their selections, and on game day, a player’s performance matters to a certain extent, and can help them be “risers” and “fallers”.
However, context is important to remember, as the entirety of the week is much more important than anything that happened in the game — and the Senior Bowl itself is just a small piece of a very large puzzle that is the NFL Draft.
Senior Bowl Risers: Game Day
Michael Wilson, WR, Stanford
Michael Wilson was phenomenal throughout the week. The Senior Bowl game was no different. Wilson is 6015 and 216lbs. He displayed a terrific ability to adjust to the ball in the air, including a remarkable (and significantly underthrown) touchdown grab.
Lonnie Phelps Jr., Edge, Kansas
Lonnie Phelps Jr. had a fantastic Senior Bowl. Phelps is 6021, 251lbs with 32 and 1/8″ arms. He showed off impressive power throughout the game, as well as tremendous hand usage. He also added a strip of Chris Rodriguez to his stat line.
Payne Durham, TE, Purdue
Payne Durham really popped as a pass catcher on Thursday. He then built on that success with a good game performance. Durham is 6050, 258lbs with a 80 6/8″ wingspan. He had two catches on two targets for 24 yards, including a back shoulder throw from Malik Cunningham. He was able to showcase his versatility by doing a bit of everything, including lining up at fullback and carrying the ball, gaining two yards on the play.
Evan Hull, RB, Northwestern
Evan Hull was the most productive running back on the day. After having a very good first practice, he tailed off the rest of the week as others began to stand out. However, when it mattered most he flashed his potential, carrying the ball 10 times for 74 yards and adding two catches for 11 yards. Hull displayed solid burst and contact balance.
Karl Brooks, iDL, Bowling Green
Karl Brooks has had a great week at the Senior Bowl. He followed it up with a good game as well. Brooks is 6033, 303lbs with 32 2/8″ arms. Brooks had a (coverage) sack, as well as showed off his excellent hand usage, and a good swim move.
Ivan Pace, LB, Cincinnati
Ivan Pace had a terrific Senior Bowl game. Pace is a bit of an undersized linebacker at just 5102, but 231lbs at that height. He is well built and hits like a ton of bricks. He led the entire game in tackles with 1o, including nine solo, which does not include his phenomenal play where he leveled O’Cyrus Torrence straight into the running back.
Senior Bowl Fallers: Game Day
Max Duggan, QB, TCU
Max Duggan was not good in the game. Duggan went just 4-9 for 26 yards. He was late getting to his reads and had to hold onto the ball. However, Duggan was named the American team’s top QB from the practices by the defensive players, and the practices are much more important than the game.
Jack Podlesny and Adam Korsak
Did Bryce Baringer or Chad Ryland do anything special for the National team? No. But they just weren’t as bad as the American team was. Baringer had one pretty solid punt that went for 47 yards with decent hang time that was fair caught. Ryland went 4/5, missing from 52 yards. It would’ve been beneficial to show more, but they didn’t fail miserably.
Now, the American team… they just so happened to. It started off well for them. Adam Korsak had a 45 yard punt downed at the 1, and Jack Podlesny made his first field goal from 35 yards out. After that, with Korsak’s next two punts, his average dropped to 35.7, totaling just 107 yards between the three. Podlesny would go on to miss a 30 yard field goal, as well.
Blake Freeland, OT, BYU
Blake Freeland had an up-and-down week. His Senior Bowl game performance was not good. He got beat with both speed and power by a couple different defenders, and did not make an impact on the game. On a positive note, he did show versatility by playing on both sides of the line.
Camerun Peoples, RB, Appalachian St
Camerun Peoples struggled a bit yesterday. Peoples is 6015 and 215lbs. On his lone carry, he gained 15 yards. However, in the passing game, he had two costly drops in a two minute drive. His two receptions went for a combined -3 yards.
Malik Cunningham, QB, Louisville
Malik Cunningham did not have a great week of practice. He missed Tuesday’s practice, and struggled to get into rhythm. He had issues throughout the game as well, including a bad turnover. However, he was able to provide ample value as a runner, adding five rushes for 22 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Bowl Week Recap
There were a lot of players who stepped up and had great weeks, far too many to name in a single article. The quarterbacks as a whole struggled, and I would venture to say not a single one stood out, despite some getting awards (their quarterbacks, they always will).
The running back group was extremely deep and talented, and would have been even more so had Roschon Johnson been able to stay healthy. Some receivers and tight ends were able to step up and produce.
A few defensive linemen showed their strength and technical ability, and some defensive backs showed out this week as well. Overall it was a solid, but not exceptional, group.