Thursday's practices wrapped up my 11th year at Senior Bowl week in Mobile. Here are the top five things I learned this week, from the practices to the film room.
Deebo Samuel Earned Himself Some Money
The South Carolina wideout had some questions awaiting his arrival for the Senior Bowl. Consider them answered in the affirmative.
Samuel showed speed and acceleration -- related but not intertwined traits -- as well as the ability to change speeds effectively to create separation against every corner on the South. Coming in at 216 pounds ended some worries about his sturdiness after missing more than a dozen games the last couple of seasons.
Garrett Bradbury Should Be The First Interior OL Drafted
This offensive line class lacks greatness at the top but has some depth. If there is one interior lineman who can prove the lacking is incorrect, it sure looks like North Carolina State's Garrett Bradbury.
Primarily playing center, Bradbury consistently dominated in practice sessions. That's not easy to do in drills that are set up to favor the defense. He's one of the most athletic interior guys I've seen in Mobile since Alex Mack ... who turned out pretty darn well.
Senior Corners Are Not Nearly As Good As The Wide Receivers
Look around at the various "winners and losers" columns from those of us in the draft media and you'll see the winners favoring a lot of wideouts, with the CB group heavily represented in the losers.
I share that sentiment. Wideouts like Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin, Tyre Brady, Penny Hart and others showed consistent superiority to the corner group, namely Isaiah Johnson, Corey Ballantine and Mark Fields. Even the top CBs I was excited to see -- Amani Oruwariye and Kris Boyd -- were outclassed far more often than I wanted to see.
Bad Year To Need A QB
I wrote more extensively on this earlier in the week, but the sentiment cannot be overstated: the QBs are B-A-D. Trace McSorley and Will Grier, in particular, lowered my already-bottom feeding opinion of their NFL chances.
The guys who were supposed to really help themselves did not. The more I watched Daniel Jones, the more I saw the Matt Cassel I witnessed struggling in Lions training camp last summer. That's not worth a draft pick, let alone the alleged first-round bounty Raiders coach Jon Gruden (among others) proclaimed. Jarrrett Stidham? Hard pass. Gardner Minshew has a booming voice. Too bad his arm doesn't match.
The Small-Schoolers Are Better Stories Than Football Players
Draftniks love to trumpet the little guys. The small-schoolers are easy to root for, trying to prove they not only belong but can thrive with the jump in competition. Yet most failed in their first attempt to prove it during Senior Bowl week.
There were four FCS players and a D-II guy on the South roster. Even though I still like me some Jimmy Moreland (CB from James Madison who played well in Shrine Game week), none of these guys is ready to play in the NFL in 2019 based on what I've seen.
That doesn't, however, mean they are undraftable or cannot develop into useful players, even good starters. Jacksonville State OG B.J. Autry looks like he could emerge as a Larry Warford-type with more experience and technical savvy. I still think Moreland can become an excellent nickel in time. Just beware overhyping their draft stock or immediate impact.
Perhaps my favorite player to listen to in Mobile was Charleston DE John Cominsky. He showed legit promise, but even the late-blooming big man understands he isn't ready to do much more than player special teams as a rookie.