The 2020 Senior Bowl has come and gone, with several players making big money during the week-long event. Now, it’s important to remember not to put too much stock into what goes on in Mobile, but at the same time, it’s often a very good indicator of future success. Players like Deebo Samuel, Terry McLaurin, and Dre Greenlaw all showed out in 2019 at the event, and guess what? All are core contributors on NFL teams less than a year later.
Attending live in Alabama, here are some of my quick (Colts-related) thoughts.
Justin Herbert shines
Herbert came into the week as a projected Top 10 pick. He did nothing to change that with his performance in Mobile, looking flawless in nearly all aspects. Yes, a player with Herbert’s gifted arm and great athleticism should excel in shorts, but the Oregon QB also showed growth in several other areas.
Displaying improved processing and a quickened trigger, Herbert’s vision - an issue on tape - was great. The same couldn’t be said about other passers like Jalen Hurts and Steven Montez, who seemed a step slow on nearly everything.
Ultimately, Herbert and Jordan Love were clearly ahead of the rest of the pack this week, which means the Colts will likely need to trade-up on draft day if they want a shot at either (especially Herbert).
The Denzel Mims show
An event catered towards 1 on 1’s, the Senior Bowl is the perfect opportunity for shifty and agile receivers to shine. Mims dominated, but he didn’t fit that usual mould. Instead, he showed off his immense length, physicality, and late hands, all while executing much better COD skills than on film.
Shorter and more explosive prospects like K.J. Hill still excelled, but it was Mims who had the top week of any wideout in attendance. With his lanky frame and this type of performance, the Baylor product might not make it past the 44th pick (Colts) come April. I know if I was in charge, I’d sprint to the podium.
Hopefully, Chris Ballard feels the same way.
Baylor WR Denzel Mims another clear winner of Senior Bowl 1-on-1’s. Works to stack the CB and uses an arm bar to protect the catchpoint. He’s having an impressive week. pic.twitter.com/DUgPWWIDyW— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) January 22, 2020
Anae and Uche dominate
Players can have success in many different ways. Bradlee Anae and Josh Uche proved just that during their dominant Senior Bowl weeks.
Looking lean, explosive, and measuring in longer than expected, Uche - a Michigan edge rusher - was a phenom throughout practices, displaying terrific bend around the corner and excelling in coverage reps. Anae, meanwhile - a Utah edge rusher - also dominated, showing off elite hand usage, a hot motor, and underrated flexibility.
Both came into the week as Day 2 players with question marks. Each exited with those questions solved and potential Day 1 picks on the horizon.
Josh Uche knocks the OL's low-setting hands down & pressures the QB, who ends up throwin an INT on the play— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) January 27, 2020
If you beat the hands, you beat the man!@_Uche35 was the highest-graded player at the #SeniorBowl (@pff_college). One of the best pass rushers available in the #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/xrnNeBC5Hq
Excluding quarterbacks, Kinlaw might be the most talked-about player in contention for Indianapolis’ 13th pick. After his performance in Mobile, he might not even last that long.
Starting the week with a press conference that highlighted his resilient nature and incredible backstory, Kinlaw used that motivation to destroy linemen in practice, looking like the clear top defender in attendance. He dropped out roughly halfway through the week because of a minor injury, but at that point, Kinlaw had already elevated his stock to its maximum point.
Ultimately, he has a chance to be taken as high as 7th overall come draft day.
Javon Kinlaw went from growing up “pretty much homeless” to now being a potential NFL first-rounder.— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 22, 2020
From living in a basement with his mom and two older brothers to starting at a JUCO, Kinlaw defied all odds @brgridiron