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Senior Bowl Wrap Up: Stock up/stock down for the guys in the trenches

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Oklahoma vs Louisiana State Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 Senior Bowl practices are in the rearview mirror but the past three days taught us quite a bit about who these prospects are when faced with true NFL talent. Several players helped to improve their stock in the April’s draft while a few others may have come to Mobile only to show that they may not be ready for competition at the NFL level. At least not right away. In the final trench report of the 2020 Senior Bowl we’ll take a look at who helped their stock and who may see their names falling a little farther than we expected.

Stock Up

Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

Kinlaw was the big winner this week despite the fact that he only looked healthy for one practice. With that said, it was one heck of a great practice. Kinlaw was simply unblockable, demonstrating explosion off the line that you would expect from an edge rusher, coupled with the strength you would expect from an elite 315-pound defensive tackle. Calling Kinlaw a “freak” seems completely reasonable. From the time he weighed in to being on the practice field and laying waste to anyone unfortunate enough to be called on to line up across from him, he didn’t look normal. This probably says more about me than anything else but watching John Simpson lose rep after rep (in spectacular fashion) I started to wonder what I would do if I were in his shoes and I decided my only hope to salvage my week at the Senior Bowl would have been to fake an injury. For that one practice, that’s how dominate Kinlaw was. No one was going to stop him.

Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma

Had Javon Kinlaw not stolen the show we all would have been talking about Gallimore. Gallimore showed great burst off the line much like the aforementioned defender but when comparing the two Gallimore doesn’t play with the same strength that Kinlaw possesses. With that said Gallimore did a great job holding up at the point of attack on run plays and fought hard to maintain his gap responsibilities. Gallimore’s best position will be at 3-Tech in the NFL (if you need to brush up on exactly what that means you can click this link) as he struggled to use his quickness when lined up inside as a 1-Tech. I had a chance to talk with Gallimore after the second day of practice and he seemed like he was genuinely kind, he liked to laugh and he took some very odd questions in stride. As of today it’s hard to project where he may be selected but it wouldn’t be shocking to see this overly athletic behemoth wind up being selected on day one.

Josh Jones, T, Houston

At times Jones showed you everything you could want from a tackle prospect. He is a natural mover with good bend who can get after it in the run game. He is a very good athlete for the position and his size, 6’7” 310-pounds. I did note some inconsistency with his hand placement and he did lose some reps during the week. That said, everyone lost some reps during the week, but with Jones’ physical gifts on display against top level talent the young man from the Lonestar state made himself some money with his performance in Mobile.

Keith Ismael, C, San Diego State

Ismael was impressive all week in that he didn’t lose many reps or make many mistakes. Even the reps he lost didn’t look completely terrible. Ismael looks like he can be a solid starter for a long time. He doesn’t have the physical tools that project him to be a perennial all-pro but if you draft Ismael, if this week wasn’t a fluke, he looks like a prospect that will keep you from worrying about the center position for a very long time (in NFL years).

Jason Strowbridge, DL, North Carolina

Initially Strowbridge’s size makes him an interesting prospect. At 6’5” 285-pounds it’s possible different teams will believe he can line up anywhere but nose tackle across the defensive line. With the Colts he would most likely be drafted as a 3-Tech defensive tackle as he excels with his first step quickness and penchant for impacting plays. Strowbridge batted down two passes in a row at the line on Wednesday and made an impact in one on one drills as a pass rusher. The arrow is pointing up for Strowbridge after this week and I expect you’ll start to see him climb up some media draft boards.

Ben Bartch, OL, Saint John’s

As far as winners go, it’s tough to beat Ben Bartch’s during the week. Division three players almost never find themselves playing NFL football, though I suspect you already knew that. Bringing in someone like Bartch, someone who has never lined up across anyone who will ever play football at the games highest level, creates several questions the biggest of which; does this guy even belong here? Bartch answered that question with a resounding “yes” on day one of practice where he not only looked like he belonged but he had a lot of very good one on one reps. Bartch answered every question about his physical ability to hold up to high level opponents and while teams will have many more questions about the big man, this week took Ben Bartch from being someone teams may not have ever even heard about to a sure fire draftable player.

Other players who helped themselves this week:

Laurrell Murchison, DL, N.C. State, Terence Steele, OL, Texas Tech, Darrion Daniels, DT, Nebraska, Trevon Hill, Miami, EDGE, Benito Jones, DT, Ole Miss, Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan, Lloyd Cushenberry III, OL, LSU

Stock Down

Charlie Heck, T, North Carolina

Heck was consistently beaten in both one on one’s and in team work. He looked as though he lacked quickness and his strength was questionable. Like anyone who appears on the “stock down” list his performance this week should be taken with a grain of salt. His rough week may not mean much but it should send scouts back to what he put on tape this year to see if the problems we saw in Mobile are an anomaly or if they are deeply entrenched aspects of who he is as a player.

Nick Harris, C, Washington

Harris, like Heck, had a bad week of practice losing far more reps than he won, particularly struggling against speed. A lot of people were very high on Harris coming into the week. You’ll notice a trend in the stock down section and that trend is telling of the fact that playing offensive line at an all-star game with guys you’ve never lined up next to is hard. Again, scouts are going to have their work cut out for them to see how this week lines up next to what Harris has put on film all year long, my guess is, once the dust settles this will be little more than a bump in the road.

Tyre Phillips, OL, Mississippi State

A lot of people might be surprised to see Phillips’ name on this list. He received heaps of praise after his day two performance in one on one drills against Javon Kinlaw. With that said, we now know that Kinlaw was trying to fight through a knee injury and wasn’t anywhere near full strength. Outside of those few good reps Phillips didn’t appear to have the core or upper body strength you would expect from someone of his size. He often let defenders into his frame and lost reps in a variety of ways.

Other players who hurt themselves this week:

John Simpson, G, Clemson, Zach Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin