Montez Sweat
Montez Sweat had huge first day at the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Who else stood out for the South team at the #seniorbowl (John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports)

The 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl is finally here. 3 days of practice along with the best collegiate All-Star game can dramatically increase or decrease a players draft stock based on players performance during the week. Von Miller, Aaron Donald, Carson Wentz, and Russell Wilson are just some of the dynamic players that have participated in this game in recent years. Don’t be fooled, there will be some first-round picks on the field to watch.

The first day of practices is in the books. The South team will be coached by Kyle Shanahan and the rest of the San Francisco 49ers staff. In this post, I’m going to give you a breakdown of the South practices. Who stood out for better or worse on day 1 of the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl practices?

Quarterbacks:

Tyree Jackson of Buffalo blew me away. His stock has to be going through the roof. 6-foot-7, extremely athletic, and throws a serious heater. I’ve seen bits and pieces of Jackson at Buffalo. Some of the highlights you will watch will blow you away but he misses way too many easy throws. It’s why he completed under 60 percent at Buffalo in 2018. Jackson was by far the best quarterback on the North in day one. Zebra technology tracked that he threw the best spiral of the group too. Serious potential here and a project that’s worth taking a flier on.

Will Grier and Jarrett Stidham were awful. Grier’s feet were a mess all day. Slinging it all over the field and missing constantly. There were several play action plays in the team portion and Grier missed virtually all of them. I saw Stidham miss a wide-open Anthony Johnson too. Stidham is just terrible. Not on the radar. Grier has some arm talent but is just a mess.

I thought Gardner Minshew had a decent day too. He’s a backup at best but he just appears to be a serious grinder that can stick in the league.

Running Backs:

Ryquell Armstead had a nice day from Temple. Armstead is a tough bruiser who can really make a defender miss. Check out this shifty run in the team drill. In a running back class that is weaker than normal, Armstead is making a case for himself.

I didn’t love what I saw from Wes Hills of Slippery Rock. Just 2-yard run after 2-yard run. Nothing to write home about.

Wide Receivers:

Deebo Samuel is an assassin. All he did was kill people. This is the best route runner in the entire draft. Samuel will be a steal on draft day. I clipped highlights of the best plays I saw on the day. Samuel had three of them by himself. Samuel is the king of separation. The South Carolina receiver broke ankles all day and caught everything thrown his way. Absolute stud.

The North team really has some good wide outs. Gary Jennings out of West Virginia is a burner. He won a bunch of go routes with ease. Also recorded the fastest time of any player on the North. Jennings has good size at 6-foot-2 and really impressed me. He’s more of a receiver than I thought.

Hunter Renfrow actually held his own. Don’t doubt him. Renfrow can really run routes. Anthony Johnson is really physical. Wins contested catches, has powerful hands, and even showed some blocking to go with it all.

Tight Ends:

Check back in with me tomorrow on this on. Didn’t see much didn’t the broadcast. I have a feeling I’m going to like Dax Raymond.

Offensive Lineman:

Oklahoma had the best offensive line in the country in 2018 so it’s no surprise that Dru Samia and Ben Powers had great days. Both guards have power and held their own. No pressures coming from either of them. Add in Oli Udoh who was a holdover from the East-West game. Udoh is a house. Literal house at 356. Hard to get around him and really played well.

Andre Dillard was by far the best tackle of the day. Dillard was fantastic at Washington State. During team drills, Dillard won all the pass blocking plays. Being 6-foot-5 and having huge arms helps. I was impressed.

Not so impressed with Ross Pierschbacher. The Alabama guard was overwhelmed. It threw me off guard. I’m looking for an improvement from him because I know he can play. Also, keep B.J. Autry on the list. He’s another house that had some moments.

Defensive Lineman:

Two defensive tackles won the day. Remember the other Auburn defensive tackle that never gets enough praise? Dontavius Russell was great again. Russell isn’t the quick twitch guy but he has great power and pushes the pocket. He put Autry who is 340 on his ass in a hurry. Loved what I saw.

Daylon Mack of Texas A&M is maybe even more impressive. Mack killed everyone. Won virtually every snap. No one could handle his power. Mack was so dominant at the East-West game that he earned his way to the team. You love to see that. Anytime you bury someone from Alabama, you have my attention. He looks a hell of a lot like D.J. Reader who commands a double team on every play in the 3-4 at the nose.

The two edge guys also had good days. Montez Sweat was dominant. 6-foot-6, super long arms, and big production in the SEC works for me. Sweat bends around the end so well. His hands are powerful and really packs a punch. He sent Tytus Howard stumbling on the one on one. The thing I love about Sweat is that he has more than one pitch. He throws a variety of different pass rushing moves and won all day.

I want to see more from Jaylon Ferguson. He has good length but took a bad nose dive on one of the reps. Too soon to tell but you can see the talent is there. Carl Granderson of Wyoming was really relentless. Non stop motor and had his fair share of wins.

Linebackers:

Not enough information to share just yet. Needed to see more.

Cornerbacks:

Lonnie Johnson of Kentucky had a decent showing. Johnson is super long at 6-foot-3. I’m sure scouts love that. The issue is he has no ball production in college which is usually a bad sign. He may have the best traits but I’m not sure how good he is.

I really like Mark Fields of Clemson. Here’s another case where a guy plays for a team that’s so good he gets lost in the shuffle. Fields played his ass off. Fields has great speed and is a legit cover guy that can match up with anyone. Fields is a bit undersized but he broke up a good number of balls he had no business breaking up.

Rock Ya-Sin of Temple may have had the biggest highs and lows of the day. Ya-Sin is tough and battled. He broke up a number of passes. Really the only down moments he had were getting beat by Deebo and that happened to everyone.

Safeties:

This one is more of an update on health. Jonathan Abram will sit out because of an injury. That’s such a shame because he is highly thought of. I didn’t see much of Mississippi State either this year.