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2021 Senior Bowl roundup: Standout NFL draft prospects

Starring a D3 offensive lineman!

Believe it or not, Buffalo Bills fans, this year’s Senior Bowl is already upon us. Normally we have some time to plan for the event, but the AFC Championship Game took place at the exact same time as players were flying into Mobile, Alabama for the week.

The Senior Bowl game takes place on Saturday, January 30 at 1:30 p.m. EST. With practices wrapped up, here were the most noteworthy performances from the past week:

OC/OG Quinn Meinerz

The biggest surprise of the week was this standout from Division-III Wisconsin-Whitewater. Meinerz is hoping to walk the same trail blazed by D3 standout Ali Marpet in 2015. Don’t let his cropped jersey and his round belly fool you—he’s a vicious animal when the play begins. Meinerz split his reps between guard and center, but it didn’t matter where he played—he was dominating Division I talent. Meinerz broke a bone in his hand during this week, but he continued playing through practice and intends to play in the Senior Bowl game on Saturday too.

S Richie Grant

UCF’s Grant is the standout senior in a safety class with talented juniors, and he made the most of his opportunities in Senior Bowl practices. Grant’s trademark skill is his ability to play the ball like a receiver, and he was in on several interceptions throughout the week. If teams are looking for a playmaking center fielder, Grant’s name just jumped up the list.

WR D’Wayne Eskridge

Standing 5’9” and 188 lbs, Eskridge isn’t going to win any games of basketball. But the former defensive back is the most tenacious, hardest-working receiver in the draft, and he already has plenty of polish. He has great burst and pacing in his routes, and won one-on-one all week long.

OC/OG Creed Humphrey

The 6’4” 312-lb Humphrey was a standout center for the Sooners, most notably in 2018, when they were selected to the College Football Playoff (losing to Alabama in the semifinals) and the offensive line unit won the Joe Moore Award.

At the Senior Bowl practices this week, Humphrey flexed between center and guard without missing a beat. His performance locks him into the second day of the draft, at worst.

CB Ifeatu Melifonwu

The Syracuse cornerback’s week started well when he measured at 6’2” and 212 lbs with 32.1” arms—outstanding size. The brother of Obi Melifonwu, who broke records at the 2017 NFL Combine, Ifeatu’s also a gifted athlete. Melifonwu played outstanding in off coverage this week, showing a great sense for when to “click-and-close” to the receiver in front of him.