The 2019 Senior Bowl wrapped its final practice on Thursday, with the North and South squads finishing work ahead of Saturday’s annual all-star game. As always, the stadium was filled with NFL personnel and media members hoping to see the next great professional football players. This year’s standouts included players on both sides of the trenches, as well as a few wide receivers.
Montez Sweat, ER, Mississippi State
In the absence of Josh Allen, Sweat made his case as the crème de la crème from the Senior Bowl group, and locked himself into the first round in the process. His week started with a 6’6” 252-pound weigh-in that highlighted his nearly 36-inch arms, then continued with Sweat dominating practices with his speed and power. By the final day of practice. coaches were easing up on his reps; they’d seen what they wanted to see.
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
The 5’11” 216-pound Samuel was billed as the best wideout in attendance at the Senior Bowl, and he played at a higher level than every other member of the impressive group in Mobile all week long. He dominated 1-on-1 drills, with fantastic footwork and hand-fighting techniques that even earned him separation against press coverage or in the red zone. Many outlets pigeonholed Samuel as a slot receiver, but this week he made his case to be a more complete wide receiver.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State
While Samuel was the best receiver at the event, McLaurin was easily the breakout star. The 6’0” 205-pounder showed impressive speed, agility and route running. He also set the bar on special teams, with some excellent punt gunner reps. Despite only 35 catches in his senior season, McLaurin’s Senior Bowl week will have scouts returning to the tape for more research.
Elgton Jenkins, OC, Mississippi State
At 6’4” and 314 pounds, Jenkins was the most effective pivot across both rosters. He had no issues dropping anchor and holding interior rushers at bay, and consistently won his 1-on-1 battles with great hand-fighting technique. His success may end up positioning him to be the first center drafted in 2019.
Daylon Mack, NT, Texas A&M
Continuing his excellent work that started last week at the East-West Shrine Game, Mack was an unblockable force once again for several practices. At 6’1” and 327 pounds, Mack will work best as a zero technique or a shaded nose tackle, but he still pushed the pocket during practice. His power was tough to handle.
Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State
While Mack won with power, the most productive pass-rushing interior lineman on the week was the 6’4” 315-pound Wren. His swim move and agility were on display with several 1-on-1 wins each day. Wren’s career was not very productive, with 13.5 TFLs and three sacks over his entire career, but the raw talent may finally be progressing.
Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
The 6’7” 321-pound McGary was overlooked a little on a roster with Dalton Risner and the Wisconsin offensive linemen, but he arguably had the best week of any offensive tackle on the roster. His anchor was rock-solid, his grip was iron, and he cornered edge rushers behind the pocket. In college, McGary’s technical flaws had some outlets projecting him inside, but if he carries over his practice performance to the Senior Bowl, he might have turned a corner.
Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
Risner’s week had a dip here or there, but he finished very strong. He began with an encouraging weigh in, measuring 6’4 5/8” and 308 pounds, with an 81-inch wingspan. Those numbers defeated the narrative that Risner didn’t have the length to play on the outside. During practice, Risner had occasional defeats around the edge, but started putting his paw-power to work more and more each subsequent day. He finished the final practice with a 1-on-1 victory over Rennell Wren amidst a circle of teammates and coaches, firing up Jon Gruden at the end of the day.