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Draft Show: This Senior Bowl Has Extra Importance


FRISCO, Texas – With no official NFL Combine, no in-person meetings, and no prospects allowed to visit NFL campuses, the 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl takes center stage as the spring's premiere draft event. Throughout the week, the hosts of The Draft Show have kept a scout's eye on the entire schedule of events and continues to evaluate a talented group of prospects that made the trip to Mobile.

Tuesday's edition of The Draft Show with Bryan Broaddus, Jeff Cavanaugh, and David Helman, which you can find here, previewed the week and provided a road map of what and who to watch for. While Thursday's show with Bucky Brooks, Kevin Turner, and Dane Brugler took an in-depth look at the first two days of practice and anticipated the impacts on multiple draft stocks.

The Senior Bowl has seen the battle of the trenches live up to the billing again as each of the more talented units in the practices, but the deep roster of skill positions has provided a great look at some of the individual prospects on defense. Let's take a look at some of the additional points of interest surrounding a crucial week of Senior Bowl practices.

Cowboys Angle: 'Small school' prospects that could interest Dallas

Under the direction of Will McClay and the current front office, Dallas has been drawn to using premium picks on prospects from blue-chip programs around the nation. However, the Senior Bowl provides the perfect opportunity for teams to see players from the non-traditional conferences and divisions of college football to shine. This year, Central Arkansas cornerback Robert Rochell has turned heads with his athleticism and fluidity in coverage. Kevin Turner believes his testing numbers, paired with his performance in Mobile could be enough to have the Cowboys interested in using a mid-round selection on Rochell. Another player mentioned in that same breath was edge rusher Elerson Smith out of Northern Iowa, who at 6-foot-6 and 262-pounds is one of the more impressive frames in the draft class.

Greatest Debate: Is Alabama QB Mac Jones in the Top 10 conversation?

There has been a rising debate in the draft community surrounding the pro-potential of Alabama quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Mac Jones. Jones jumped at the opportunity to compete in Mobile and attempt to improve his draft stock over other quarterback prospects like Zach Wilson (BYU) and Trey Lance (North Dakota State) who were ineligible to play in the Senior Bowl. Jones wasted no time distancing himself from the rest of the quarterbacks in Mobile, but the Draft Show crew was unanimous in the belief that he has not made his way into the Top-10 conversation. Mostly due to his lack of mobility and the uncertainty around his athleticism, Jones has a long way to go before he is heralded over the likes of Wilson and Lance as Top-10 potential.

Under the Radar Player: UCLA's Demetric Felton shows versatility out of the backfield

For the second year in a row, a tailback from Chip Kelly's UCLA Bruins has stolen the show at the Senior Bowl. Last year it was Joshua Kelley, this year the honor is bestowed upon Demertric Felton who has been really impressive throughout the week of practices. Bucky Brooks even went as far as calling Felton his 'pet cat' as an underrated draft prospect because of the way he can be such a receiving threat out of the backfield. As the NFL continues to evolve in their love for the hybrid player, Felton fits the mold as a player that could line up at either wide receiver or tailback (both of which he's played in Mobile), and not see a significant drop off.

Senior Bowl Biggest Riser: Wisconsin-Whitewater center Quinn Meinerz climbs draft boards

There has been no doubt among draft analysts as to who has elevated up draft boards this week, and that's Wisconsin-Whitewater's Quinn Meinerz. The Division III center took over the hearts of the internet this offseason with his viral video of blocking trees but stole the hearts of scouts by dominating power-five level competition. Dane Brugler mentioned that Meinerz was a last-minute addition to the Senior Bowl roster as a replacement for Alabama's injured Landon Dickerson. Despite the expected gap between a prospect from the National Champion Crimson Tide, and the Division III program of Wisconsin-Whitewater, there has been no drop-off from the amount of dominance that Meinerz has shown throughout the practices and has added to his already impressive level of tape.

Need to see more: Spencer Brown struggles throughout the Senior Bowl practices

Just as easy as it is for a small-school prospect to climb the ranks with a good week in Mobile, they can also see negative marks with a poor week. Offensive Tackle Spencer Brown out of Northern Iowa has struggled to adjust to the game-speed of the talented edge rushers. Both Carlos Basham Jr. (Wake Forest) and Quincy Roche (Miami) had their way on reps through the days of practice. Brown is still an intriguing prospect with an incredible build at 6-foot-8 and 314-pounds, but this week has certainly not raised his draft stock.

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