2017 Senior Bowl Stock Watch
The 2017 Senior Bowl ended with a lot of uncertainty. Virtually the only number that stood out was the amount of turnovers, the South team alone coughed up 4 turnovers as a unit. It’s hard to optimize the games true stats and performances without instant replay and limiting rules. However some plays made a big name for themselves as well took a step back in the upcoming NFL draft talks. Here’s my stock up – stock down addition.
Zay Jones, WR, Eastern Carolina
Jones started his week of impressive play by “breaking the ankles” of Iowa’s Desmond King on a slant and go route in practice. King bit so hard on the slant that when Jones hit his second move King could only sit back and watch the rest of the route from 20 yards behind. Instant replay cost Jones quite a bit when it came to his finger tip catch in the back of the endzone that was initially ruled out of bounds. On a close look of instant replay it seemed as if Jones had a beautiful toe tap on his second foot as he fell out of bounds on what seemed to be a spectacular touchdown catch. Regardless his crisp route running and display of hands boosted his stock.
Davis Webb, QB, Cal
Being a 1 year starter due to sitting behind Jared Goff didnt allow Webb much room to impress. However when he took the call to compete at the Senior Bowl, he showed up. On paper, its probably obvious he performed well after receiving the MVP award but he was mechanically on fire. Displaying a quick, accurate release. Webb was able to prove he is capable of making a lot of NFL throws. On back to back plays, he hit Texas A&M’s Josh Reynolds for an undefendable, 39 yard TD pass followed by a fade to the back corner to Reynolds again for the 2 pt conversion.
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Howard starting making a name for himself the second he showed up for Senior Bowl practice. Despite the fact that Howard wasn’t targeted as an elite tight end in the 2016 season, he’s proved real quick that he will be a force to recon with on Sunday’s. Standing 6′ 4″ 265 lbs. many view Howard as a receiving TE but he put some great run and pass blocking technique on display all week. As expected he caught every ball thrown his way as well as flashed some speedy route running. OJ Howard should have cemented his top 15 caliber in Mobile.
Desmond King, CB, Iowa
As mentioned before, King got absolutely torched in practice by Zay Jones. Despite being a ball hawk at Iowa and hauling in double digit career interceptions, King showed he may be better in the back 1/3 of the defense to allow him more room to make plays. He has good size, tackling ability, and ball skills to make for a good free safety in the NFL which led me to believe he may just be playing out of position. The Big 10 doesn’t offer many elite receivers to cover and King often times seems lost in coverage and relies on his catch up speed to finish plays.
Nate Peterman, QB, Pitt
Peterman wasnt expected to put up gaudy numbers and flash like an elite prospect but he finished the game with 16 completions on 23 attempts, 1 TD, and an intercepted 2 pt conversion. All that aside Peterman just didnt look like a great quarterback to put on your watch list.
Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
Engram started his senior year on the preseason All-American list and lived up to the hype at the college level. He is the all time leader in receptions and receiving yard by a tight end in Ole Miss history. However we got a glimpse of how he may struggle at the next level. Weighing only 235 lbs, he seemed to play a little bit lighter than that. Engram may not of harmed his stock much but he sure boost it either. After a great career at Ole Miss, he looked like 4-5 round tight end who needs to focus on being a big bodied receiver or focus on adding some weight to his slender frame.