2019 Senior Bowl: Winners & Losers
The Reese’s Senior Bowl is the preeminent All-Star game for the NCAA, and it offers a chance for NFL hopefuls to showcase their skills before the draft. While the game itself is an important barometer, the week of practice leading up to it can be just as valuable a measuring tool. In the 70th installment of the famed Senior Bowl, there were some obvious winners and losers. Here, I’m going to highlight some players who raised their stock and some who hurt their stock following the game.
Daniel Jones (QB – Duke)
This one is pretty obvious, as Jones was named MVP of the Senior Bowl. He totaled 115 yards and a TD on 8-15 passing, adding a rushing score. Jones was already viewed as a top QB prospect in this year’s draft after a successful 2018 season and a six-touchdown masterpiece against Temple in this year’s Independence Bowl. He’s a virtual lock to be selected on Day 2, but his performance in this game will certainly force teams to take a hard look at him as a first-rounder.
Tyree Jackson (QB – Buffalo)
Jackson finished the Senior Bowl with 165 passing yards, the most of any QB in the game. He also contributed two TDs and a pick for the South in a losing effort. He was the biggest signal-caller at the Senior Bowl at 6’7/245, and he’s got a rocket arm. He’s a very interesting NFL prospect, and his stock is on the rise after this game.
Andy Isabella (WR – UMass)
Isabella led all wideouts with seven receptions for 74 yards and a score. He dazzled at practice all week, and his impressive game was the icing on the cake. Isabella led the nation in receiving in 2018 with 1,698 yards to finish off a highly-productive career at Massachusetts. His small frame is certainly a concern, standing at only 5’8, but teams like New England have shown that small slot receivers can make an impact and have success at the next level. Despite his size, his excellent footwork and ridiculous speed could absolutely translate to the NFL.
Charles Omenihu (DL – Texas)
He finished with three tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble in the Senior Bowl, showcasing his all-around skillset. The fourth-year senior was mildly productive in his first three years at Texas, but he came alive in 2018, recording 18.0 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. Omenihu’s performance in this game should lock him into a second or third-round selection on Draft Day.
Garrett Bradbury (OL – NC State)
Bradbury was named the best offensive lineman of the week in practice, and he had a solid Senior Bowl game to cap off the week, making important blocks and shoring up the offensive line. A converted TE, Bradbury has been the Wolfpack’s starting center for the last two seasons, and he amazingly didn’t allow a single sack in game action in that time. He’s got the size of an NFL lineman but has unusually quick feet and agility. He’s excellent in both run and pass-blocking, and his versatility makes him a prospect to keep an eye on during the draft. His standout efforts at the Senior Bowl have boosted his stock.
Will Grier (QB – WVU)
Grier went 4-for-8 for 61 yards without a TD in the Senior Bowl, failing to make any splash plays or stand out in any way. His limited statistical totals in the game were disappointing, and he was, by all accounts, not very impressive at practice leading up to the game. Grier started the season as a Heisman-hopeful and stayed in the race until mid-season, but his stock began to slip after some bad Big 12 losses. He seems to have fallen farthest, as he was viewed as a first or second-round selection just a few months ago. Now, Grier may not hear his name called in the first three rounds. Without a Bowl Game to his name this season, Grier needed a big game at the Senior Bowl and did not deliver.
Gardner Minshew (QB – Washington State)
Minshew may have been the biggest Senior Bowl letdown, going just 1-for-8 for four yards in the game. It wasn’t an encouraging performance, especially for a player who really needed to shine to build his stock. Even after a 4,776-38-9 season for the Huskies, Minshew didn’t project as a high-round draft selection, but a strong Senior Bowl could have changed that trajectory. This wasn’t the performance he needed, and his stock is down.
Darrin Hall (RB – Pittsburgh)
Hall was Pittsburgh’s workhorse back this season, racking up over 1,000 rushing yards and 10 TDs. He totaled -4 yards on four carries in the Senior Bowl and salvaged that disastrous line with three receptions for 25 yards. It wasn’t a great game for Hall, and it hurts his stock moving forward.
Penny Hart (WR – Georgia State)
Hart recorded two 1,000-yard/eight-TD seasons at Georgia State in his first three years, but he took a step back in 2018, totaling only 659 yards and two scores. Still, he’s viewed as an NFL-caliber wideout, but his Senior Bowl performance was terrible. He finished the game with one reception for only seven yards in what can be described as a disappearing act.
Zach Allen (DE – Boston College)
To be honest, I don’t remember hearing Allen’s name called during this game, and that’s because he finished the Senior Bowl with a very quiet performance, failing to get to the QB and create pressure. He totaled 40.5 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks in his last three seasons at Boston College, but he failed to record a single sack in the Senior Bowl.
Kris Boyd (CB – Texas)
Boyd didn’t make any impact plays in the Senior Bowl. In fact, he committed three pretty bad penalties that led to first downs for the opposition — costly mistakes for a player in the secondary. He looked lost and out of position on many plays. Boyd had a great career at Texas, but his stock certainly took a hit after Saturday’s inexplicably bad game.