With a week in Mobile having flown by and the game now officially in the books, there was a lot of shakeup of draft stock at the Senior Bowl this year. All teams, including our beloved Steelers, were paying close attention to see what players stuck out and could be potential targets on draft day for them.
Some guys took the opportunity and ran with it all the way home. Others fell flat upon their face as they plummeted their draft stock more than even most draft pundits could have predicted.
It is that discrepancy that makes this week so unpredictable and yet, so intriguing to anyone who is interested in these prospects.
Thus, here are five winners and five losers in Mobile this week.
South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel
Samuel was the best player in Mobile and it was not particularly close. No CB could ever cover him in coverage in any drill during practices and then during the game, he was wide open more often than not, he simply just did not have many on-target passes that he could actually catch.
Samuel put his route running and quickness on full display, and that is without even showing his YAC ability on top of it all. If AB has to be replaced, Samuel is one of the strongest options out there to do it with.
Kansas State OT Dalton Risner
Versatility is the name of the game for Risner. He can play all five positions along the offensive line and showed his ability to be a rock solid offensive tackle this week. His strength and hand usage and placement were on full display this week in Mobile. Risner was a star among a strong OL group.
His ferocious mentality was fantastic too. He was always fiery and had something to prove each and every play. He is one of the smartest guys there too, so that could prove that he could become a starting C someday.
Temple CB Rock Ya-Sin
He is not 6’2” like he was listed at Temple, but it is more than okay because of what he truly showed at the Senior Bowl. Ya-Sin had some great ball skills, fluidity, and processing skills in this draft. He is progressing along mentally well and could be a slight project, but I believe he is more refined than most people think about him currently.
Deebo Samuel re-sets line of scrimmage against Rock Ya-Sin with outside double stutter release.— Matty F. Brown (@mattyfbrown) January 27, 2019
Ya-Sin therefore gets no jam on Samuel from the press alignment.
Ya-Sin shows his ++ traits, flashing a speed turn to recover and a fast break. Great path to knock ball incomplete. pic.twitter.com/U6qVWZ88de
Ya-Sin’s ferocious mentally and lengthy arms are ideal for press. and his fluidity and recovery speed are ideal for zone. This is a very scheme diverse player that can compress roles. He is awesome folks.
New Mexico State ILB Terrill Hanks
This guy plays with a chip on his shoulder and lets everyone hear it. Hanks is one of those Darius Leonard-type of leaders who are just infectious to the defense. He is a leader of men and an incredible alpha male who was the leader of that Aggies defense, and at the Senior Bowl, he showed off.
This dude can straight up run! Downhill, sideline-to-sideline type of player that just stood out. He is a converted safety, so he is a fantastic coverage LB too who can process well. He needs to work on his tackling and angles, but man, he is the type of guy you just want. This year’s Fred Warner.
Georgia State WR Penny Hart
He is only 5’8”, but he is a stick of dynamite out of the slot that teams will just love because he is a fantastic special teamer on top of being a productive slot guy. The dude is just blazing fast and is so quick he literally works through press based off of it alone.
There’s more to Penny Hart than quick-twitch:— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) January 25, 2019
•Cut off and contacted, Hart disengages by pressing the DB’s shoulder
•Jab steps with a head fake to open the DB’s hips
•Threatens space that requires the DB to overextend his his flip and shift his weight opposite of Hart’s break pic.twitter.com/N52v5EVDIy
I love his twitchiness and attention to detail in his routes. He is a great route runner and has a diverse route tree too. This is the type of slot WR every team looks for, so look out on Day 3.
West Virginia QB Will Grier
Grier did not have himself a good week at all. He looked out of his element and his footwork was everywhere this week. He missed guys, processed things wrong, and tried to play far too much hero ball. From all accounts, Grier was the worst QB there besides Trace McSorely this. Even in the game, he made a crazy throw that Hunter Renfrow bailed him out on.
You just do not make that throw. That throw was a duck 50/50 ball that he was incredibly lucky was not intercepted. Great play by Renfrow, but a hazardous and honestly maddening play from Grier. He is not worth a day 1 or day 2 pick, the earliest I would touch him is Day 3.
Louisville WR Jaylen Smith
Smith has a ton of tools. He is a big receiver with speed and big play ability down the field. That should translate to separation and big plays, but he has not been anything other than mediocre this week. He had drops, could not gain separation, and when he did, he never fully saw the ball into his mitts.
He showed very little semblance of solid route running and his releases left a lot to be desired, to say the least. Smith is a Justin Hunter-type of WR that should be strayed away from.
Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye
Oruwariye not only sustained a knee injury (that was minor), but he just did not have a consistent week. He had those great plays where you see his IQ on display and he makes a beautiful play, but at other times, he looked lost and preemptive on some of the plays. He bit on some double moves and that is no bueno.
Awesome job for Amani Oruwariye at first, but needs to play the ball pic.twitter.com/bmModk6vcm— Matt Minich (@CoachMinich) January 23, 2019
It is not that he had a bad week, it is that he just did not show that round 1 pedigree that you were hoping to see. He firmly is now below DeAndre Baker on the CB totem pole. Baker has proven to be better and this only re-affirmed such thoughts.
Northern Illinois EDGE Sutton Smith
Remember Risner smashing that one guy into the ground? That was Northern Illinois EDGE Sutton Smith who should never play EDGE ever. He is a gifted pass rusher with insane bend, but he is so undersized that he gets manhandled.
Never ever think Sutton Smith is an EDGE. Can he play off-ball? Sure. I like Smith there, but his size is a detriment to him having any EDGE aspirations. pic.twitter.com/KBVA01YyVG— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 27, 2019
Smith should move to off-ball, where he can move and process more than well enough to thrive. Joe Schobert 2.0 is not out of the realm of possibility, but he did have limited reps there, so overall, all he did was end any aspirations of playing off the edge.
Virginia S Juan Thornhill
Thornhill just looked outmatched in man coverage and honestly slow. The processing and ball skills were there, but he didn’t have the strength to fight off TEs nor the quickness to beat the shifty slot guys. Thornhill might be a strict deep guy at this point, thus deterring from his once thought of versatility.
Another rough throw by Duke QB Daniel Jones as Virginia DB Juan Thornhill drops an easy INT... pic.twitter.com/NhaSFpPLZ8— Mark (@MHeaneyJr) January 26, 2019
The dropped INT in Saturday’s game was a cherry on top. Thornhill is still a very good prospect, but Darnell Savage simply might be better.