That's all she wrote, folks! With the 2019 Senior Bowl practices in the books, you'll see a ton of content pouring out from The Draft Network on final thoughts and analysis from the week. Here's my notes on Thursday's South team practice, which was cut short after about an hour-and-fifteen minutes for reasons only God can explain.
So many receivers have excelled at the Senior Bowl this week, but the top dog coming into the event is the top dog coming out. Deebo Samuel is absurdly explosive AND efficient in his footwork out of the break, showing the ability to burst to life and separate from man coverage with ease.
This was all day long, every rep. Complete domination.
Samuel drew at least three flags, and when he wasn't held, he was open. The rep above is jaw-dropping; Lonnie Johnson was trying to get in his face, attempted to jam him up, and with one swift hand swipe Deebo cleared his press.
— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoNBCS) January 24, 2019
Samuel's separation ability was the most impressive thing about his week along with his releases, but I was thrilled to see him catch the ball outside his frame in tough spots. That was something he didn't show a lot on tape, largely due to Jake Bentley not putting the rock in his area code very often. He made some excellent adjustments for catches this week.
Tyree making his case
In a week where no quarterback really stood out at an elite level, Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson still managed to help his stock a good bit. Everyone knew he had a cannon, but his accuracy also impressed all week long, leading to some impressive placement on throws he didn't consistently make in college.
How Jackson plays in the game will be big, but on Thursday he was easily the most impressive of the South team quarterbacks. Not many quarterbacks are rising coming out of the Senior Bowl, but Jackson could see some bump.
Sleeper TE shining
Nobody is talking about it, but Dax Raymond had a great week at the Senior Bowl. He has the athleticism to beat safeties in coverage and the size to go outside his frame for tough catches. Terrific concentration and finish on this tipped ball in traffic.
I was probably most impressed with Raymond's route-running, as he showed the ability to create separation and consistently detach from safeties in man coverage in the vertical portions of the field. Good hand usage here to clear contact. He's a top 100 player in this class, maybe top 75.
Tale of two cornerbacks
It's been an up-and-down week at best for most of the cornerbacks in Mobile, but Temple's Rock Ya-Sin stole the show in red zone drills during Thursday's practice. After talking trash relentlessly, Ya-Sin backed it up by shutting down Gary Jennings on several reps, including this excellent timing on the fade route to play through the pocket and contest.
Meanwhile, Houston's Isaiah Johnson, who is legitimately massive for a corner, looked extremely tight in the hips against some of the quicker South team wide receivers, as made obvious in the clip of Deebo at the beginning of this piece. Johnson is big and long and has flashed press ability, but he doesn't have the quickness and fluidity to mirror-and-match receivers out of the break.
Will Grier's brutal week
Excluding Trace McSorley, no quarterback had a worse week than Grier. Even throwing on air, the mechanics were poor, accuracy was all over the place and his arm continued to look pedestrian. Grier can throw with some touch on vertical passes, but there are just too many issues in his game to get excited about him before day 3, at the earliest.
-Breakout day for Travis Fulgham, who excelled in the red zone drills. Great separation here on the circus route.
-Still think Hunter Renfrow is good, despite the weigh-in we all should have expected. He's an easy separator who catches everything, even with big hits looming. Clearly limited, but a starting-caliber slot in the NFL.
-Jimmy Moreland keeps showing up! After a strong Shrine week, the diminutive corner has hung tough in Mobile, showing the quickness to mirror more explosive receivers in the slot. He was the only guy I saw that hung with Renfrow in tight spaces this week.
-I'm going to have to re-visit linebacker Bobby Okereke, who was inconsistent on tape, but has the size, athleticism and flashes of high-end play that keep me intrigued. He graded out as a day three player for me, but then was great in the bowl game against Pitt and has played well in Mobile. Gotta take another look after the Combine.
-Gardner Minshew man...something about him. He's not going to be a top 100 player for me and I don't really like his tape, but he bounces back from bad throws to make good ones unlike a lot of the other quarterbacks in Mobile. I just wish he wasn't so physically limited.
-What a week for Oklahoma guard Ben Powers. He's looked better than Dru Samia this week, although I had them flipped on tape. He's been a wall in pass protection, something that is difficult to do in 1v1s.