The Senior Bowl game took place on Saturday and, although the quarterbacks weren’t as exciting or as impressive as last year’s, the players in the trenches made the game worth watching. The South got on the board first, but the North came roaring back when former Duke quarterback Daniel Jones entered the game. The South got back on the board thanks to UB’s Tyree Jackson, but it came too late. The five players listed below not only contributed to their team’s performance, but by doing so aided their own draft stock significantly.
WR Andy Isabella (University of Massachusetts)
The former UMass Minuteman proved that he’s more than just your stereotypical small and shifty slot receiver. Jon Gruden and the Raiders offensive coaching staff schemed him open on quick-outs and screens, and Isabella’s speed and quickness in the open field rewarded them with seven catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was particularly notable as, despite being only 5’8,” Isabella ran through tackles and managed to stay on his feet. This performance could ensure that Isabella gets selected on the second day of the draft.
DT Khalen Saunders (Western Illinois)
Saunders made waves early in the week by showing an ability to back-flip at 315 pounds. While that was certainly impressive, it was his work during the game that will lead to a rise in his draft stock. Saunders’s hand fighting ability and quickness off the snap earned him a sack and a pressure on the same drive. A Brandon Mebane comparison immediately came to mind, and a pick in the second round wouldn’t be out of the question for him.
OT Chuma Edoga (USC)
Edoga spent his USC career at right tackle, but possesses the athleticism and agility to play left tackle—doing just that at the Senior Bowl. He acquitted himself well, showing some uncanny athleticism for a big man. He completely shut out Montez Sweat, who came into the Senior Bowl with first-round hype. Unfortunately, rumor has it that Edoga is difficult to work with, which may keep his draft stock unnaturally down.
S Nasir Adderley (Delaware)
It’s essential for small-school players to standout at events like the Senior Bowl and Adderley did just that during live action. Playing a free-safety role, he came down and brought some nice pop, coming downhill and making wide receivers pay. Then in the fourth quarter, he was in perfect position to intercept an attempted pass from Tyree Jackson on a scramble. It’s possible that Adderley makes his way into the first round after this type of dominant performance.
OG Chris Lindstrom (Boston College)
It was worth questioning how Lindstrom would adapt to playing outside of BC’s run-heavy scheme, but after this week, there should be no more questions. Lindstrom easily held his own against any defensive tackles that came at him in pass protection, and in the run game he looked very impressive moving forward and erasing linebackers. Lindstrom looks like an immediate starter for the team that drafts him.