2018 Reese's Senior Bowl
No hand? No Problem? Shaquem Griffin is one to watch heading into the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl (AP Photo/John Raoux)

I hear this all the time: “Trey, why are you watch the Senior Bowl? The draft is so boring”. Oh really? So you think Carson Wentz, Von Miller, and Aaron Donald are boring?  The 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl is one of the first steps in finding elite young talent via the draft scouting process. The Senior Bowl has given the NFL great talent in the past including multiple first-round picks every year. This gives coaches, scouts, and general managers, an up close and personal chance to meet the top seniors in college football.

Every year we have questions about these prospects whether it be good or bad. The 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl gives us a chance for these players to strap up the pads for three days of practice as well as a collegiate All-Star game to wrap up the showing. Playing against even competition gives the viewer the chance to focus on strengths and weaknesses of each player. Who are the top five players that I will be watching heading into the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl?

5. Marcus Davenport (University of Texas-San Antonio)

Who? Yeah, that’s exactly what I said when I keep saying his name mentioned in first round discussion. Marcus Davenport has been talked about as a potential first-round pick and I have never seen the guy play. If you have, you’re lying, because no on watch UTSA games. From the looks of it, Davenport appears to be a physical freak at 6-foot-7, 255. He was named Conference USA defensive player of the year and for good reason. He set the program record in 2017 with 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks. Now we will find out if he can actually play when a guy from Alabama actually lines up in front of him during the practices.

4. Will Hernandez (University of Texas-El Paso)

Again, if you’re watching UTEP games, you’re lying. Hernandez is another guy who has been raved about in the nerdy scouting community. Trust me, the guys on TV who rave about Hernandez have never actually seen him play, they just got a text from a trusted scout. We’re going to see if the 330-pound road grader can actually play against the division one caliber players. Hernandez allowed just one sack all year, but that was to Oklahoma. For me, picking out offensive lineman is easy. Can he bend his knees or is he another waist bender? If it’s the latter, forget about making it in the NFL.

3. Shaquem Griffin (Central Florida)

If you’re not rooting for Shaquem Griffin, you’re not human. Why? Because he only has one hand! Yes, Shaq Griffin has one hand, but he is a hell of a football player. Griffin is listed at 6-foot-1, 223, who should fit in well at the inside backer spot in a 3-4 or the weakside linebacker in a 4-3. Griffin’s brother has had great success in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks and a player who I raved about because of his footwork at the cornerback spot. Shaquem might be just as good, if not better. It will be interesting to see if teams will treat him differently because he only has one hand. If it does affect him, it hasn’t so far after he was named the MVP of the bowl game against Auburn recording 73 tackles and 7 sacks on the year.

2. Josh Allen (Wyoming)

I’m sure most idiots have already written this guy off but Josh Allen remains a complete wildcard heading into the draft process. Nobody throws a better ball than Allen. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he records an unheard of velocity at the combine. Allen is listed at 6-foot-5 and moves like a gazel. When you watch him play, he even evades defenders like Ben Roethlisberger did in college. There’s just one problem. My golden rule is you have to complete 60 percent of your throws in college. Kyle Boller, Jake Locker, and most recently my lock of the year to bust DeShone Kizer all were below the 60 percent mark in college. Allen came in at 56 percent completion but this isn’t an ordinary experience, he played at Wyoming where his team was trash. I haven’t made up my mind on this one but we will find out how good Allen really is this week.

1. Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)

Case Keenum is really his comp but people will be blowing Mayfield way out of proportion like typical lunatic college fans normally do. In fact, his demeanor probably makes his destined to be the next Johnny Manziel. I’m never high on these Big 12 video game quarterbacks but Mayfield actually gets the chance to showcase his skill set. Can he put the ball on the money in practice? How does his footwork display out on the field? Hell, is he even 6 foot tall? We’re going to find out a lot about the reigning Hesiman trophy winner. My bet is that he stinks but I’m anxious to find out whether the former walk-on has the talent to prove me wrong.