Senior Bowl day two is in the books here in Mobile. The practice started out a bit disappointing with the practices being moved to nearby Georgia State college due to expected thunderstorms. Media was not permitted to watch the practice live but luckily we were able to get the exclusive tape afterwards that was able to rewind and highlight certain players.
Today I decided to focus on the defensive and offensive lineman as I spent most of the first day watching receivers and defensive backs. The Colts are pretty set at offensive line outside of developmental tackle so I mainly focused on tackles. On the defensive side, the Colts are in need of both edge rushers and interior guys so looking at any of the defensive lineman was important.
It was overall a good day on both sides of the ball as the guys battled hard in the trenches. Here are my five winners and losers though of the day from the OL and DL.
Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State
Wren has been a one man wrecking ball this week in Mobile. He has been almost impossible to handle in the one on ones and his power and strength are evident on almost every rep. He has driven back centers Garrett Bradbury and Erik McCoy week and the two have had little to no answer. In the run game drills, Wren has been disruptive on a ton of pull plays and guard Nate Davis was even knocked backwards because Wren flew through the line and broke up the pull. With his athleticism and strength, Wren could be very very good in the NFL.
ASU DT Renell Wren vs. NCST OC Garrett Bradbury— Gavino Borquez (@GavinoBorquez) January 23, 2019
Wren’s sheer force from his bull rush is too much for Bradbury to get inside hand placement. pic.twitter.com/ZRrkWcN9vx
Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State
A bit of a small school name coming into the week, Howard has made a name for himself in the Senior Bowl practices. His size and strength are apparent from the word go. The best aspect of his, to me, is how excellent his kick step is. For a player who is 6’6” 322 pounds, the ability to drive back in his kick step with such ease is simply incredible. His hand placement and usage are a bit raw but a player with his size and footwork should be easier to develop. I’d love to see him as a mid-round pick to backup Anthony Castonzo.
Tytus Howard/Alabama State looks terrific at #SeniorBowl. Lining up at RT. Just stomped Montez Sweat in 1 on 1— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) January 22, 2019
Khalen Saunders, DL, Western Illinois
The defensive lineman famous for his backflips, Saunders is also a force on the field. He is super explosive off the line of scrimmage and is insanely strong at the point of attack. He is tenacious when engaged and continually drives his legs through blockers. In one on ones, he is really tough to block. Potential first round guards such as Chris Lindstrom and Michael Deiter were struggling to contain him all day. In the run drills, he was popping left and right with his motor and strength. I’m becoming a big fan of Saunders every day and he is proving that he belongs here.
Khalen Saunders is a pretty impressive 300 pounder. pic.twitter.com/mz8P6gZSp5— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 22, 2019
Dennis Daley, OT, South Carolina
A player flying a bit under the radar so far is South Carolina tackle Dennis Daley. Is he great? No. He is, however, very lengthy and moves extremely well for a guy who is 6’6” 324 pounds. He sets with a solid base on every rep and is good in his kick step. His technique is sound and he has a good punch at the point of attack against edge rushers. His length is very tough for pass rushers to work around. He has struggled a bit with his hand placement and opening up his chest too much this week but I’m certainly intrigued in Daley being a solid mid-round option.
Dennis Daley needs a big week! He’s better than some more heralded OTs on tape pic.twitter.com/EN5a7nEF99— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 22, 2019
Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M
After dominating the Shrine Game practices all week, Mack is continuing his dominance at the Senior Bowl. His explosion off the ball, great leverage, and leg drive are so tough for lineman to handle in one on ones. He combines those natural gifts to form a go-to bull rush that has been a near guarantee win all week. I’d like to see him develop a bit of a counter or a next move to go along with his bull rush but overall he has wowed me all week. Really intriguing player for the Colts too as he has said that he wants to play in a gap shooting scheme in the NFL.
Daylon Mack was a wall in run fits, and was able to create momentum in pass rushing 1 on 1s. Impressive day. pic.twitter.com/3GLwcBZvzs— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) January 23, 2019
Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State
Let me preface this by saying that Sweat is a very good player and will likely be a good NFL player. The reason why he is a loser, to me, is because he hasn’t really shown anything more or anything truly impressive this week. Yes, he bull rushed Tytus Howard on day one but outside of that it has been fairly quiet for Sweat. He is a long player and very strong but for a guy looking to be a first rounder, his attacks need to be more planned and he needs to show more bend around the corner. So far, he just hasn’t done that for me.
There just isn’t really any bend with Montez Sweat. Super stiff at top of the arc. Dennis Daley running him up the arc in today’s practice tape— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 24, 2019
Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois
Not all of the small school guys are having good weeks down here. Scharping has looked very slow in his pass blocking reps. His angles in pass pro and depth on his drops have just been bad and he is leaning way too far back on his heels when kick stepping. As a result, he has been put on his back quite a few times by some guys. For a big “mauler” type guy, that is less than ideal. Scharping needs a really strong practice on Thursday to salvage the week and raise his stock.
Dru Samia, OG, Oklahoma
It has been a rough week for Oklahoma guard Dru Samia. Given, he has had the unlucky draw of having to go against guys like Isaiah Buggs and Daylon Mack all week but it has been rough regardless. His anchor has been really poor and he is struggling to get his hands inside on these bigger defensive lineman. His feet have seemed like they are in quick sand and he has been driven back into the pocket way too frequently. There is still Thursday practice to turn his week around but I have not been impressed so far.
Daylon Mack vs Dru Samia pic.twitter.com/6RbDjp29AS— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 22, 2019
Jaylon Ferguson, Edge, Louisiana Tech
Things have not gone great for the former college sack artist. He is big and long but outside of that I really haven’t seen anything truly impressive from Ferguson. He rushes with little to no plan of attack when approaching his tackle. He isn’t overly bendy and tackles are much bigger than him and able to move him quite easily. I just simply don’t know where he wins or what he is good at that translates to the next level. He has just not won many reps down here this week.
Early in the OL-DL pass rush drills Jaylon Ferguson, La Tech, got stood up by Andre Dillard, Wash St. Dillard with good feet to mirror Ferguson who tries to slap and club free. pic.twitter.com/BNjfg0WuuN— Matt Lane (@ChiefinCarolina) January 24, 2019
Other Lineman Notes
- Centers Elgton Jenkins and Garrett Bradbury have both been incredible this week. Jenkins is a mauler with top level strength. Bradbury is an elite athlete with picture perfect technique. Although both have their flaws, expect these guys to be hot names come April.
- Defensive tackle Greg Gaines is an absolute load out on the field. He is so fast off of the line and his strength is so obvious in every rep. He is giving lineman so much trouble on the field. Impressed by his play this week so far.
- Guards Michael Dieter and Chris Lindstrom have been a bit up and down this week but looked much better on Wednesday. Both are potential first round guys who haven’t really hurt or helped their stock this week. Guard Nate Davis out of Charlotte has been a welcomed surprise.
- Tackles Kaleb McGary and Oli Udoh have been solid at times. Both are big players who are a bit slow but they have driven some guys to the ground in reps. Both may be better fits as guards in the NFL.
- A few other defensive line standouts are: Keke Kingsley (Texas A&M), Demarcus Christmas (Florida State), LJ Collier (TCU), and Jalen Jelks (Oregon).
- USC tackle Chuma Edoga has been pretty good this week. He is long and athletic which teams will fall in love with. He is so tiny though and needs to add to his frame. Good week so far.