Senior Bowl

Presented by

TWENTYMAN: Senior Bowl practice observations

Tight end showcase: This is a terrific class of tight ends in the draft this year, but a lot of the top names are underclassman. There's a few seniors here in Mobile trying to move up boards with a good week. The two tight ends that stood out the most in the North and South practices were LSU's Foster Moreau (South) and Boston College's Tommy Sweeney (North). Both were playmakers in the short, intermediate and even deep portions of the field during 7-on-7 and team drills. The Lions will likely be on the lookout for help at the position this offseason.

Backflipping tackle: Western Illinois defensive tackle Khalen Saunders went viral before the Senior Bowl when a video of him easily doing backflips hit the internet. Saunders is 320 pounds. He was asked about the video during Tuesday's media session.

"Next thing I know I have to mute my notifications within like an hour," Saunders said of the response he got to the video after it was tweeted by his agent and picked up by multiple outlets. "I did not expect that. It's nice though to get that kind of publicity being at a smaller school."

Taking it in: Lions general manager Bob Quinn spent a good amount of the early portion of the South Team practice taking in the defensive line vs. offensive line drills. Montez Sweat (Mississippi State), Jaylon Ferguson (Louisiana Tech) and Oshane Ximines (Old Dominion) are a few of the best pass rushers here in Mobile. They're all on the South team. A few of the top interior offensive linemen here in Mobile (Alabama's Ross Pierschbacher & Oklahoma's Ben Powers) also play on the South Team.

Speaking of rushers: Sweat was pretty impressive during his first practice of the week, not only in the 1-on-1 drills against the offensive linemen, but he also blew up a team rep for a would-be sack. He has a nice blend of size, speed and power. He weighed in at 6-foot-6, 252 pounds Tuesday morning. He had 12 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss in the SEC this past season.

Slot work: South Team slot receiver Deebo Samuel (5-11, 216) of South Carolina made a lot of catches in 1-on-1, 7-on-7 and team drills. He was a go-to guy for all four South Team quarterbacks, and Samuel showed terrific explosiveness both on deep routes, crossers and quick slants with few defenders being able to stay with him. He had 11 touchdowns last season and is also a terrific return man. After trading Golden Tate midseason, the Lions could be on the lookout for some receiving help in the slot this offseason.

O-line struggles: I thought the North o-line group as a whole struggled in pass rush drills vs. the defensive line, especially early on. I'm not sure that's a good sign for Saturday with the South Team as loaded as it is at pass rusher. We'll see if that unit is better Wednesday.

Needing a haircut: I happened to pass by Auburn linebacker Deshaun Davis at media day, and asked him about former teammate and current Lions running back Kerryon Johnson. Davis isn't surprised Johnson had early success as a rookie. So I asked if anything about Johnson surprised him.

"I've never seen someone with millions of dollars and can't go to the barber shop," Davis said with a laugh.

Related Content

Advertising