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Senior Bowl – Players to Watch

With the senior bowl coming up there are a few guys I think should be watched closely because they could become targets in rookie drafts. I chose a couple guys from each position and gave some insight into why I am interested in them. Let me know what you think and if there are others you are looking to see let me know who they are.

 

Josh Allen QB, Wyoming

A little hypocritical to lead with such a highly touted prospect but Allen has some work to do to really convince dynasty owners and NFL GMs that he’s worth a top pick in your superflex drafts and the NFL draft. Allen has the prototypical size and big arm you want out of your franchise QB. He’s mobile and can make all of the throws, but people still question his accuracy issues. His career 56% completion percentage throughout his college career is concerning for some especially considering he is playing outside of a power 5 conference where the competition is marginal at best. Allen is not afraid to take shots downfield, which may be one of the reasons he didn’t have a high completion percentage. In the senior bowl we will see who the real josh Allen is. I feel it could do a lot for his stock, but more so give confidence in Allen, if he’s able to perform really well. If he really struggles especially if he’s significantly outshined by Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph it may deflate him a little bit pre-combine.

 

Mason Rudolph QB, Oklahoma State

Mason Rudolph intrigues me because I think he has the IQ to transition from a no huddle spread offence to a pro style NFL QB and be a productive player. He executed RPOs by reading the front seven and looked pretty damn good while doing so but still has a ways to go before becoming NFL ready. This to look for with Mason are his footwork, 1 step, 3 step, 5 step drop-backs under center. His movement in the pocket, awareness and while his throwing ability speaks for itself, I would love to see a big play out of him to really make him stand out. With a 65% completion percentage in his senior season, nearly 5000 yards, 37 touchdowns to 9 interceptions, he has shown he’s got the ability to put it where it needs to be in the Big 12. Whether or not he can do it at the next level is yet to be seen but it starts at the Senior bowl. Another target for superflex drafts whos stock will change based on his performance in the senior bowl and combine.

 

Akrum Wadley RB, Iowa

A starter for the previous two years for the Hawkeyes, Wadley had over 1000 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns each year in the pretty tough BIG 10. Wadley won’t blow you away on tape but could be a stable running back that will likely go day 3 and late in your rookie drafts. I don’t know if it’s the fact that he wears black and yellow or I’m just crazy but he reminds me of Le’Veon Bell. He has the ability to make people miss in open field but lacks some power and breakaway speed. It will be interesting to see how he looks in drills and his pro day. With 64 receptions in the last two years in college Wadley has the ability to catch passes out of the backfield and be an all-around contributor if given the opportunity. Listed at 5’11, 190lbs he will likely struggle in pass protection and need to add some size to be successful in the NFL, but he’s talented enough to where you should look for him in your rookie drafts and to see how he looks in the senior bowl.

 

Kalen Ballage RB, Arizona State

A bit of a no brainer here. Ballage has been moving up draft boards as the draft approaches. At 6’2 230lbs, the guy is just a huge specimen but he can fly. A 4 star recruit out of highschool, never really got things going at ASU until his junior year where he had over 1000 all purpose yards and has a limitless bag of tricks to make guys miss. Look for him to make a statement on the 27th and might even turn enough heads to boost his stock. He can run and catch the ball fairly well a cant miss prospect of the senior bowl. He’s definitely not under the radar anymore but you wont want to miss out on seeing what this kid can do.

 

DJ Chark WR, LSU

Chark is a guy I like a lot because of his combination of size and speed. Could be a potential deep threat in the NFL and at 6’4 and nearly 200lbs hes a burner outside. A relative non factor until his senior year but caught 40 passes for 874 yards and 3 touchdowns averaging a whopping 21 yards per reception. He’s got moderately good hands and runs decent route but likely only a deep threat, screen guy that has got some good size to him for the NFL. Look for him to make an impression at the senior bowl because I doubt he will receive a combine invite, so this will be one of his only shots to really impress people while surrounded by a lot of great talent and set himself apart.

 

Allen Lazard WR, Iowa State

The more I watch, the more I become a Lazard fan every day. The guy is massive at 6’5 220lbs and can run all the routes has great hands and I would be looking for him to make some plays and show out both in the drills and the game itself. I’m a little worried about his 40 time but as a potential possession receiver even at his size he could be really successful. At Iowa State, he totalled 250 receptions and 3360 yards and 26 touchdowns.  While that isn’t going to blow anyone away he improved every year and I don’t doubt he will continue to improve once he gets to the pros. He will be likely a day 3 guy and someone you could get in the 2nd/3rd round of rookie drafts unless some how he explodes he should be decent value who may end up being a little TD dependant in the pros but with his size he’s going to get redzone looks and I think he has the hands to be a complementary receiver at worst and if he really improves who knows, he may blossom to be a #1. You just can’t teach his size and he’s got the skill to back it up. Look out for him at the senior bowl and the combine as he confirmed he received an invite to showcase his skill at the NFLs biggest stage.

 

Jordan Akins

A converted wide receiver from UCF who made the switch to TE between his sophomore and junior seasons. He’s not the most talented guy out there but I always like to make note of people like Akins simply because you never know how he may be used at the next level. You may think well he had to convert because he wasn’t good enough as a WR which is likely true but he had 32 receptions for 515 yards and 4 touchdowns. Nothing spectacular but still learning the position and I think he could improve if given some opportunity in the NFL. Could be a late round flyer if he gets drafted to a good situation

 

 

Adam Breneman

Breneman transferred from Penn state because he couldn’t get past another TE in the bowl Mike Gesicki. Now most would agree that he has long shown he is a premier TE in this class with 134 receptions for 1572 yards and 12 touchdowns at UMASS the guy is exactly what you should be looking for on your dynasty rosters. He can run good routes has good hands and should be a great receiving TE at the next level whether he struggles with blocking or not. Nobody is worried about Evan Engram not being able to block now are they. Don’t sleep on this guy he’s got some talent and check him out in the senior bowl and the NFL combine

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