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Senior Bowl Standouts: National Team Day 2

2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Senior Bowl/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The second day of Senior Bowl practice is in the books. Two teams; American and National, coached by the staffs of the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins respectively. Both teams got their first onfield work in today and both practices had their fair share of standouts to talk about. Let’s take a look at who stood out for the National team on day two of practice.

Ade Ogundell- Defensive Line- Notre Dame

Ade Ogundeji looks like he might have a ten-year NFL career and I can promise you that in that time I’ll never learn to pronounce his name. That said Ogundeji had an outstanding day rushing the passer from everywhere possible on the defensive line.

He won reps on the edge, he won reps rushing from the 3-technique (DT) and he won reps rushing shaded over the center. Last year Javon Kinlaw put on an absolute show in the one healthy Senior Bowl practice he participated in and while no one in Mobile has approached a similar level of dominance this year, Ogundeji is showing off his high-level physical traits and great versatility that NFL defensive coordinators, love.

Ogundeji is a name to watch out for going forward in the draft process, if nothing else you’ll remember him for how absolutely impossible it is to pronounce that grouping of English letters.

Elerson Smith- Defensive Line- Northern Iowa

Elerson Smith is another small school player who is showing up in a big way here in Mobile. Northern Iowa is hardly a pipeline of NFL draft picks but Smith has shown that he absolutely belongs at the next level with what he showed today.

Smith measured in at 6’6” and 262 pounds, combined with his quick first step, he caused a lot of problems for the National Team’s offensive line today. To be completely fair this rep came against the offensive lineman who might be having the worst week in Mobile, but he made the most of his opportunity all the same.

Most of Smith’s success came on the inside using his quickness. At 262 pounds he isn’t big enough to be an every-down interior player but could be used early on, on passing downs if a team doesn’t think he can have consistent success on the outside. Regardless, Smith has shown that he can have a role in the NFL with what he accomplished today.

Quinn Meinerz- Center- Wisconsin-Whitewater

It’s official. I have my first “draft crush” of the 2021 season. The Indianapolis Colts aren’t going to draft Quinn Meinerz and that is upsetting. I don’t see the Colts taking an interior offensive lineman even though Meinerz looks like an absolute stud.

The first thing that stands out about Meinerz is just how stout he looks. He looks like a lineman and appears to play with a crop-top but he’s built like a Sherman tank. Coming from a Division III school Meinerz had a lot to prove and today he not only proved that he belongs in Mobile with the best seniors in the nation, but he also proved that he’s better than most of them too.

Meinerz’s strength and desire to dominate at the point of attack are the first things that jumped out today but upon going back and watching the film, what Meinerz is able to do with his hands is better than anyone else here in Mobile. Meinerz’s hand fighting technique is next level and these pass rushers, for the most part, just haven’t been ready for what Meinerz is doing to them. A lot of guys can rework their hands to an inside position if their initial punch was wide or they just lost inside control of their defender, Meinerz does this too but he was giving pass rushers fake punches to get them to commit to rushing the way he wanted them to go.

I was blown away by how well he was able to manipulate defenders but I quickly figured out where he probably first learned many of the techniques he uses today. It turns out Quinn Meinerz was a pretty good wrestler in Wisconsin, where they take wrestling pretty seriously. Meinerz should be taken on the first two days of the 2021 NFL Draft and he is a huge winner and an easy pick for one of today's standouts.

Keith Taylor Jr.- Cornerback- Washington

It’s really hard for a cornerback to stand out in a good way during one on one drills. It’s almost impossible, there’s a reason only a handful of cornerbacks in NFL history have ever been able to be completely one on one without help against elite receivers for entire games. Today, Keith Taylor Jr. wasn’t perfect during one on one drills, but he was really impressive all the same.

Taylor is a long, chippy corner who made play after play knocking balls away and sticking close to his man. He seems like the kind of corner that Chris Ballard seems to like and Taylor’s name will be one Colts fans will want to monitor for the rest of draft season.

Tomorrow is another day full of practice and another chance for players on both teams to make a positive impression and possibly move up some draft boards, making themselves a lot of money in the process.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about specific players attending this year’s Senior Bowl. I’ll go back over my notes and see if anything stood out about the guy, good or bad!