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The practice portion of the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl has come and gone. The only thing left to do now is play the game. In what might be considered a surprising twist, the game doesn’t carry as much weight as the practices do, but it will be fun nonetheless.
Below are 10 players who are down in Mobile trying to improve their draft stock. Most of the players listed already had great weeks of practice. In fact, all but one of them could fall under the “players who impressed the most” or “players to keep an eye on” categories.
Players who impressed the most
Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The big knock on Jones has been something out of his control. People believe he’s the product of Alabama’s system. The Heisman finalist had the best receiver, best running back, best offensive line and best play-caller in the country at his disposal, after all.
With that said, he put his critics to bed this week after consistently performing at a high level. He can make the throws, he’s accurate and he’s got a great command of the offense. He solidified a first-round grade, in my opinion.
Quinn Meinerz, IOL, Wisconsin-Whitewater
Alright, where did this guy come from? Meinerz was arguably the most impressive player at the Senior Bowl this week. Despite playing against Division III competition throughout his college career, the 6-foot-3, 320-pounder had no issues translating his impressive play against tougher competition.
Could this be the next Ali Marpet, a small-school interior offensive lineman who ends up being drafted on Day 2? It might not be in the second round, but the third is becoming a real possibility.
Richie Grant, S, UCF
There’s only one thing you need to know about Grant: the man knows how to locate the football. Whether it’s intercepting passes, breaking up passes or just finding the guy holding the football, Grant brings that Danny “get me the ball” mentality from The Replacements.
He’s easily one of the funnest players to watch on tape. Grant might be the top safety in this class not named Trevon Moehrig — if he’s not, he’s close.
D’Wayne Eskridge, WR, Western Michigan
Eskridge stood out on Day 1, and continued to throughout the week. He runs solid routes and possesses impressive speed and top-notch foot quickness. This is a player who can push defenses vertically while also producing quality yards after the catch. He couldn’t be covered this week.
Will Eskridge be another Western Michigan receiver (Corey Davis) to work his way into the first round? I’m not there yet (a few questionable drops), but he’s almost a lock to go early on Day 2.
Demetric Felton, WR/RB, UCLA
Felton started off as a wide receiver at UCLA, but moved to running back this past season (668 yards rushing, 159 yards receiving, eight total touchdowns). With that said, he saw plenty of work at his old position this week. I’ve seen the Nyheim Hines comparisons, and they absolutely play.
The more I watch Felton, the more I come away impressed. He can be a fun chess piece for any offensive coordinator.
Players to watch
Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
At 5-foot-7, 202 pounds, Carter isn’t going to stand out physically. So instead, he let his performance do the talking. He flashed his ability as a receiver out of the backfield all week, and now it’s just a matter of translating that into the game on Saturday.
Carter is playing himself into a potential Day 2 selection.
Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF
I’m not quite ready to put this guy in the first round, but I loved what I saw from him this week down in Mobile. Extremely physical corner for his size (5-11 1/2, 190) who played a variety of roles for the Knights, including on the boundary, in the slot and at safety.
You better go ahead and get used to hearing his name.
William Bradley-King, EDGE, Baylor
Despite an underwhelming season at Baylor (5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks) following the transfer from Arkansas State, I came away impressed with Bradley-King this week. There were a few occasions where I saw him getting the best of Alabama left tackle Alex Leatherwood.
Bradley-King has got the toolsy skill set for the next level, and it would be fun to see him make some sort of splash play on Saturday.
Jabril Cox, LB, LSU
In today’s NFL, there are two things that makes a linebacker stand out above the rest: being effective in coverage and having the ability to get after the quarterback. Cox was fantastic as a coverage linebacker at LSU this past season, but he excelled getting after the quarterback this week.
His run defense could still use some work, but he’s going higher than some people think.
Jamie Newman, QB, Wake Forest
Newman had a decent start to his Senior Bowl outing, but things trailed off quickly. This looks like a guy who needed be on the field this season, but instead, he elected to opt out at Georgia after transferring from Wake Forest.
Nice arm talent, but the decision-making and processing need serious work. There are traits that will get him drafted, but mid- to late-Day 3 looks like the correct range.
Other names to monitor: OT Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State; WR Cade Johnson, South Dakota State; DL Levin Onwuzurike, Washington; WR Austin Watkins, UAB; DE Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest; EDGE Quincy Roche, Miami; WR Kadarius Toney, Florida; OT D’Ante Smith, East Carolina; EDGE Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.