After a whole week of practice for the best seniors in the nation to build some pre-draft hype, the 69th edition of the Senior Bowl saw numerous standout performers.
For some like Wyoming’s quarterback Josh Allen, the game went much better than the practices went. Allen was dealing in the second half, throwing with better touch and placement than most of his tape showcased. For perhaps the most polarizing prospect in the entire draft, this was a crucial performance.
For the South, quarterback Kyle Lauletta from Richmond would not be outdone. The fifth-year senior looked like the sharpest of the South quarterbacks in practice and carried his precision into the game. Hitting tight window after tight window for three touchdowns and 198 yards, Lauletta is a target for teams in the market for a high-upside backup, so the Bengals should be a good match with AJ McCarron on the way out.
The first half for both offense’s belonged to the running backs. San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny accounted for the most rushing and receiving yards at the half for the South squad, including a 73 yard receiving touchdown. Penny had some issues catching the ball in practice, but it shouldn’t be an issue going forward. Kalen Ballage from Arizona State ran with a lot of power and lead the South in rushing.
In the trenches, it was learned on Thursday that Georgia tackle-turned-guard Isaiah Wynn would not play due to a torn labrum, which he practiced all week with and looked dominant. Wynn is extremely quick out of his stance and his lightning-fast feet makes him an ideal fit in an offense that deploys a lot of wide zone running, which Frank Pollack asked the most out of his offensive line in Dallas. He made some money in Mobile.
Will Hernandez from UTEP had a great week of practice and flashed on pulls and pass protection against the South. He and Ballage worked well on inside runs. His stock has seen a noticeable rise and could be a target for the Bengals in the second round, if he falls that far.
Humboldt State’s Alex Cappa started the game at guard despite getting reps at left tackle all week. He later moved to left tackle and had issues with speed, specifically against Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and Kemoko Turay from Oklahoma and Rutgers respectively. Cappa doesn’t have ideal length for a tackle with arms just over 33 inches, and teams may ultimately see him inside.
The same sentiment goes with Austin Corbett from Nevada. He was practicing all over the line this week and looked his best inside. He played the first half at right tackle and was beaten several times by Jalyn Holmes from Ohio State. This game was not indicative of his potential, he’s an option at all three interior spots for the Bengals.
On the other side of the ball, UTSA’s Marcus Davenport, as the kids say: “read the tweets” and had himself a productive afternoon. All three practices he was stymied in one on ones. He was causing constant havoc coming off the left edge. He beat Brian O’Neill at right tackle for a sack, who has not looked good all week at right tackle, teams should view him as a project at left tackle.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo from Oklahoma did his best to top Davenport’s day, as he was a force against the South’s left tackles. At 6’1” 240 pounds, Okoronkwo brings ample amounts of speed and quickness to his game, and was extremely productive for the Sooners.
The guy that kept grabbing my attention on the defensive line all week was Virginia defensive tackle Andrew Brown, and he flashed a great get-off at 3-technique against the North’s interior. Brown was a five-star prospect who originally played offensive tackle in high school, and has maybe the most upside out of any defensive tackle in this class.
In the defensive backfield, Jeremy Reaves from South Alabama showed out in his home stadium, coming away with an interception and six solo tackles. If the Bengals are looking for a ball-hawking safety to backup George Iloka, Reaves can be that guy.
Overall, this was a good week for players that could fill big holes on the Bengals roster.