MOBILE, Ala. – The Senior Bowl practices have concluded in Mobile, and the only thing left for the players to do is strap it up on Saturday and play the game.
The key part of the week for NFL talent evaluators were the three days of practices and player interviews.
So, who stood out during practice this week? Here are 10 who caught my eye:
(Note: Practices were closed to observers Wednesday because they were moved inside. A pool report on the two practices was provided. That report was taken into consideration for this article.)
Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State, 6-6, 252
Sweat likely made himself some money here in Mobile this week. He was considered a mid to late first-round pick coming in, but had a terrific week that might just move him up some boards. Physically, he fits the bill. He showed off a terrific blend of power and quickness in both individual pass rush drills and in team periods. He has a wide range of moves that will give him a head start on his rookie campaign.
Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina, 5-11, 216
Samuel was second in the SEC this past season with 11 touchdowns, and it didn't take long here in Mobile to see why. He has a terrific combination of speed, quickness and toughness. He dominated most of the one-on-one drills with the defensive backs and was a go-to receiver in seven-on-seven and team drills for the South Team quarterbacks. Samuel says he patterns his game after Golden Tate, and the two have a lot of similar traits.
Nasir Adderley, DB, Delaware, 5-11, 195
Adderley totaled 226 tackles, 31 passes defended and 10 interceptions in his four years at Delaware. Raiders coaches were outspoken during the week about his ball skills and ability to play multiple positions. Coaches like versatility, and Adderley played safety, outside cornerback and the nickel cornerback spots during practice this week. That says a lot about his ability.
Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech, 6-4, 256
The NCAA's all-time leading sack man broke Terrell Suggs' record this year by recording his 45th career sack in Tech's bowl game. Ferguson is on the South Team, but got a shout out from North Team head coach Jon Gruden on the NFL Network Wednesday after Gruden watched the tape of Ferguson's first practice on Tuesday. His size and quickness could allow him to play in multiple schemes utilizing many techniques, though he does prefer to play with his hand in the dirt.
Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple, 5-11, 189
Ya-Sin didn't start playing football until his junior year in high school, but he has the athletic gifts and natural instincts that make up for any lack of experience. He and Samuel battled each other one-on-one a lot this week, and Ya-Sin won his fair share of those battles. He has a knack for getting his hand on the ball, and should test well at next month's NFL Combine.
Penny Hart, WR, Georgia State, 5-8, 180
There wasn't a receiver I saw more open on a consistent basis than Hart, other than maybe Samuel. He easily creates separation with his quickness and explosives at the top of his route. Whenever defenders tried to get physical at the line with the smaller Hart, he was very good at fending them off and creating separation. The only issue with him is going to be a limited catch radius due to his size.
Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M, 6-1, 327
He earned a trip to Mobile after an impressive week at the East-West Shrine Game and quickly made an impression in one-on-one pass rushing drills on Tuesday. There was one particular rep where he bull rushed Alabama interior lineman Ross Pierschbacher right to his butt. He beat most of the blockers I saw him go against on Tuesday. He has a low center of gravity, and uses that to his advantage with pad level.
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State, 6-1, 204
He has terrific length to go along with above average cover skills. He recorded seven interceptions over his last three seasons at Penn State. He's been good in seven-on-sevens, and made an interception in the drill Wednesday. He was really good in one-on-one drills Thursday. He's been consistent all week.
Andre Dillard, T, Washington State, 6-4, 310
The offensive linemen on the South Team have a tough task this week in practice trying to block a slew of talented rushers. From my observations, Dillard was the most consistent of the bunch of tackles trying to do it. He has terrific feet and was a three-year starter, so he has a ton of experience. It showed in practice this week.
Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State, 6-0, 205
McLaurin was a consistent deep threat throughout the week, which shouldn't surprise anyone after he averaged 20.0 yards per reception as a senior this past year with 11 touchdowns. He tracks the ball well, and was consistently measured as one of the fastest players on the North team during practice. There was a special teams rep where he went untouched as a gunner with two defenders across him.