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2018 Reese's Senior Bowl

(Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl: Day Three – North Team Notes

2018 Reese's Senior Bowl
Kalen Ballage looks like a star in the making at the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl (Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports)

Three days of practices are in the books at the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Overall both coaching staffs represented by the Broncos and Texans did an excellent job getting the practices moving and putting on a show for the gm’s, coaches, and scouts in attendance. The players that can improve from the first day to the third day shows a player can pick up the verbiage of the practices and have the ability to be quick learners.

The game takes place Saturday which will prove what did or did not stick during the practices. We all know when the games get going things are different. Who stood out on the final day of practices for the North team?


I want to know how good of an athlete Baker Mayfield is? When I watched him on the move today, I’m not convinced he is going to run anywhere close to a 4.6 – 40-yard time. The perception of him being the next Russell Wilson from an athletic standpoint needs to stop because it’s not accurate. He has a bit of a herky-jerky motion with his hands in the pocket before he releases the ball which is a concern. I noticed that he is hesitant at times to let it rip and looks to run more often than he should. He does have some nice accuracy on him along with an average to above average arm. Is he a first round pick? No, but he has looked better than I anticipated he would.

Josh Allen really improved in my eyes on the final day of practice. He still missed on a few attempts but he was much less wild today. They worked on a lot of red zone stuff today in practice and he really fit the ball into narrow windows. The fact that he was really accurate in the red zone shows me he won’t make those type of silly mistakes in the green area when it counts. The traffic in the red zone did not bother Allen and let’s face it, the dude can rip it. What I want to see in the game is whether he can carry the momentum over into the game. I’m still not sure he has the pure touch to be great but his ceiling is unfair.

Luke Falk had a nice day with accuracy but still has no juice on his ball. Tanner Lee continues to stink and throws interceptions on a regular basis.

Running Backs:

Kalen Ballage looks like a freak on the field in a good way. I’ve been asking myself what this guy can’t do. He’s a real third-down back and is completely killing it. What I liked today is he showed he has really easy hands. He didn’t drop anything thrown his way and even won his reps in pass protection. The 6-foot-2, 222 pound back is extremely quick and has separated himself as the best back at the Senior Bowl. I wouldn’t be surprised if he runs a 4.4.

The other back I like is Jaylen Samuels of NC State. He showed up well today in pass protection as well. The versatility with Samuels is just something every team needs.

Akrum Wadley can’t pass protect and didn’t win fairly enough in the one on one drills catching the football. No, thanks.

Wide Receivers:

Cedrick Wilson had a nice day reeling in a catch in the red zone. He has been a little lost in the shuffle in my mind who also played in the East-West game.

Another guy we haven’t talked about much is Braxton Berrios. The only problem is He is just 170 pounds and those guys just never seem to pan out. Allen Lazard was better today but he still drops too many balls and he can’t separate. He’s already been deleted on the draft board.

DaeSean Hamilton is the star of the show. You could make the argument that he has helped himself more than anyone. He’s the best pure route running down in Mobile.

Tight Ends:

I think I may have just found a tight end that I like in the 2018 Draft class. Mike Gesicki of Penn State really flashed today. The 6-foot-5, 245, Nittany Lion moves really well and made Armani Watts look like a little girl in coverage. Essentially anyone covering him today had no chance. You can see him in the back half of both of the Kalen Ballage clips. I’ll save the best one for here. Just look at Kyzir White of West Virginia. You might be able to convince me White had a few beers because that man was leaning. This guy just won all day with his route running creating space constantly.

The other tight ends are becoming interesting but I can’t seem to buy them yet. Conklin moved pretty well but dropped a wide open ball in the red area. Fumagalli couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. Dude can’t catch. Durham Smythe might be the best of this trio who has a ton experience as an in-line blocker but showed he has a great set of hands on him. Smythe is not the best route runner but he gets the job done.

Offensive Line:

We didn’t see a ton out of the offensive line with the footage today but not much is different. Everything in the first two days remains the same. Tyrell Crosby and Will Hernandez are studs. I’m also a fan of Jamil Demby of Maine as a later round prospect. Brian O’Neill stinks to high heaven. I’m not sure the extent of his tape but I have no idea how this guy can be good on a football field.

Defensive Line:

There’s not much to add here either with the footage shifting away from line play except for brief team segments. Bilal Nichols was a late add today who killed it in the East-West Game. We will see if he can generate some pop on Saturday. The NC State guys still rock the pocket inside. The guy from Stanford, Harrison Phillips is also growing on me. He has a good motor on him.


Nick DeLuca of North Dakota State really showed some toughness today. He isn’t going to run fast but maybe that is okay. I loved the fact that he would not let the guys he was covering catch the ball. If they got close, he made sure to mug them. Good for him, loved the effort. What I know he can do is be a downhill thumper and lay the wood on guys in traffic.

Mike McCray showed some coverage ability as a 240-pound linebacker. He was nothing but solid. Garret Dooley redeemed himself in coverage. He got his tail whipped trying to rush the passer but covered exceptionally well. The Purdue linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley might have been the slowest human being ever. He got burned by a fullback, Dimitri Flowers, on more than one occasion.

Defensive Backs:

Let’s talk about a few safeties. Armani Watts couldn’t have been more disappointing. I really liked watching him in college at Texas A&M but he got bullied. It was really important for him to show he can cover one on one too because he is undersized and has a bit of a tackling issue. I mean this guy just got smothered in the red zone. For a 190 pound safety that can’t cover, I’m sorry but that’s not acceptable. Kyzir White was just as bad but I had higher expectations for Watts.

Penn State’s Marcus Allen was a bit grabby but that was to be expected. He is an in the box safety. Allen is better when he gets the hands on someone and can wrap up well.

The Hawaii Warrior Trayvon Henderson came away with an interception. You will never guess who threw it….. You guessed it, Tanner Lee! Just an ugly ball.

The Corner who I love the most is Isaac Yiadom of Boston College. The dude just has incredible feet and recovery speed.


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