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2021 Senior Bowl Winners and Losers

by Mike Maher | @mikeMaher | Featured Writer
Jan 31, 2021

The 2021 Senior Bowl is in the books, and we have already published our complete Senior Bowl Game Recap and our Practice Notes from throughout the week. Now, it’s time to take a look at the winners and losers from Senior Bowl week and see who may be moving up and down in the upcoming NFL Draft.

The National team beat the American squad 27-24 on Saturday, but the result and the final score of the game don’t really matter. What matters is who stood out during both the game and the practices throughout the week. With no NFL Combine, no East-West Shrine Bowl, no in-person meetings at NFL facilities, and a limited 2020 college football schedule, the Senior Bowl is more important than ever in 2021. There were even a few players who played in the Senior Bowl after opting out of the season, so this week is the only time all year that scouts will get to see them.

Let’s get into the winners and losers from the 2021 Senior Bowl.

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Winners

Mac Jones (QB – Alabama)

Mac Jones didn’t play in the game on Saturday because of a minor ankle injury he picked up during the week, but he was all anyone could talk about in Mobile. After winning the National Championship and finishing the year as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, the biggest question mark about Jones was whether or not he was just the product of a stacked Alabama roster. He answered that question with pinpoint accuracy all week in practice to go with excellent processing and overall command. It appears that Jones is now a lock to be picked in the first round of the NFL Draft in April, and he could even leapfrog the likes of Justin Fields, Trey Lance, and Zach Wilson if the right team likes what they saw.

Amari Rodgers (WR – Clemson)

Amari Rodgers measured just 5’9″ in Mobile, but he came up big everywhere else. I wrote four different articles about the Senior Bowl this week, and I wrote at least a paragraph about Rodgers in every single one of them. He was open all week in practice and continued that into Saturday, catching four passes for 23 yards, a very impressive touchdown reception, and a two-point conversion reception. This pass and catch below from Kellen Mond to Rodgers in the third quarter on Saturday was a thing of beauty. Rodgers entered the week as a Day 3 pick but could very well be leaving as a Day 2 prospect.

Demetric Felton (WR/RB – UCLA)

Demetric Felton began his college career as a wide receiver who could run the ball and finished his career as a running back who could catch the ball. In Mobile, he was moved back to wide receiver, which is where he likely projects at the next level. While many of the drills in practice favor players with Felton’s speed and quickness, he impressed throughout the week with his route-running.

On Saturday, he caught a short pass while lined up on the outside and ran it in for a 12-yard touchdown. His versatility is going to appeal to a lot of teams, especially if he can continue to develop his route tree and line up both in the slot and on the outside from time to time.

Michael Carter (RB – North Carolina)

Like Felton, Michael Carter is someone who generated some buzz and improved his stock throughout the week in Mobile. He also transitioned an excellent week of practice into a solid performance in the actual game on Saturday. He woke some people up in the first quarter with this impressive run that went for 25 yards after contact:

Later in the game, he rushed for a 12-yard touchdown on a play where it looked like he was stopped five yards short of the goal line. This had as much to do with offensive linemen pushing the pile as it did anything else, but it was still an impressive display of strength and toughness from the 5’7″, 202 pound Carter.

Dez Fitzpatrick (WR – Louisville)

Dez Fitzpatrick caught six passes for 90 yards and could have gone for even more if not for a couple of drops, which will not go unnoticed. He was open all afternoon on Saturday and ended up earning Offensive Player of the Game honors. Fitzpatrick is definitely someone who improved his draft stock in Mobile. He entered the week projected to be a sixth-round pick by Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, but he could easily jump into the fifth or even fourth round after this week.

Honorable Mentions: QB Kellen Mond, TE John Bates, WR D’Wayne Eskridge, TE Kenny Yeboah, WR Shi Smith.

Losers

Jamie Newman (QB – Wake Forest)

Jamie Newman had an up-and-down week of practice, and that carried into the game. He did flash at times and completed 10 of his 14 passes for 118 yards, one touchdown, and one interception on Saturday, but he was inconsistent. The caveat here is that Newman opted out of the 2020 season, so it would be understandable if he was rusty. He did display excellent arm strength and accuracy at times in practice, so it’s possible that NFL teams are willing to chalk up much of his performance to rust while banking on their ability to develop his obvious traits.

Sage Surratt (WR – Wake Forest)

In keeping with the Wake Forest theme, wide receiver Sage Surratt is another player who started out strong in the first day of practice but quickly faded. He has great size and can be physical, but he was inconsistent and struggled with separation throughout the week. He also dealt with a lower-body injury during the week. Surratt is another player who opted out of the 2020 season and had the chance in Mobile to re-establish himself as a potential first-round pick, but he did little to stand out throughout the week. And to top things off, he was unable to play in Saturday’s game.

Ben Skowronek (WR – Notre Dame)

Ben Skowronek was already facing an uphill battle to get drafted coming into Senior Bowl week, and he ended up suffering a significant foot injury and missed the end of the week and the game itself. He is now likely to go undrafted in the NFL Draft and will likely have to compete for a roster spot somewhere as an undrafted free agent.

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Mike Maher is an editor and featured writer at FantasyPros and BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive, follow him on Twitter @MikeMaherand visit his Philadelphia Eagles blog, The Birds Blitz.

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