For the 100-plus prospects down in Mobile this week for the Senior Bowl, the only thing left to do was make one last impression on NFL talent evaluators in Saturday's All-Star game.
The North Team beat the South Team, 34-24, breaking the South's streak of three straight victories over the North.
Here are a few of my observations from the game:
Flag fest – A total of 20 flags were thrown in the game, a lot of them on defensive backs for holding or pass interference. It's always a tough transition for defensive backs entering the NFL, as the rules are stricter for contact with receivers. In college, defenders can contact receivers until the ball is in air. In the NFL, no contact is allowed after five yards. Texas cornerback Kris Boyd was flagged for two pass interference penalties and a hold in the first quarter alone.
Top QBs – It wasn't a particularly impressive week of practice for the eight quarterbacks in Mobile, but there were a couple nice performances in Saturday's game.
North Team: Duke's Daniel Jones was impressive. He completed 8-of-11 passes for 115 yards with a passing touchdown and rushing score. He was poised and accurate in leading two scoring drives for the North. He was named the game's MVP. He put himself in the first-round conversation.
South Team: Buffalo's Tyree Jackson was a late addition to South roster, but he was pretty good Saturday. The 6-foot-7, 249 pounder completed a 54-yard pass on his first attempt of the game. He threw two touchdowns total, and also made some plays with his legs. He finished 13-of-21 passing for 165 yards. He also threw an interception.
Raiders stickers – Jon Gruden and the Oakland staff coaching the North team brought Raiders decals with them to stick on the helmets of players who made big plays in the game. It was well received by the players, who were showing them off to the NFL Network cameras when they received one.
Not just a pass rusher – Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat had a really good week of practice and was consistently the best pass rusher all week. Sweat (6-6, 252) showed Saturday there's more to his game than just rushing the passer. He made a number of plays against the run, including stuffing Michigan running back Karan Higdon at the goal line.
Standing out – A few players that stood out to me in the game were: Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, USC left tackle Chuma Edoga, Texas defensive end Charles Omenihu (sack, forced fumble), UMass receiver Andy Isabella (7 catches, 74 yards, TD), Western Illinois defensive tackle Khalen Saunders (sack), UC Davis receiver Keelan Doss (4 catches, 55 yards) and Delaware defensive back Nasir Adderley (interception).