Updated Jan. 25, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
With all the general managers, coaches and scouts in attendance for the Senior Bowl, there is a lot of chatter going around. Here are some of the highlights from around the league from the fifth day of the 2019 Senior Bowl week.
I surveyed a number of team sources about which players really helped themselves this week. Here is the list from their responses.
Mississippi State edge defender Montez Sweat - multiple sources
Louisiana Tech edge defender Jaylon Ferguson
Wyoming edge defender Carl Granderson
Maryland defensive end Byron Cowart
Delaware safety Nasir Adderley
Temple cornerback Rock Ya-Sin
Miami cornerback Sheldrick Redwine
Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson
Duke quarterback Daniel Jones
Missouri quarterback Drew Lock
Slippery Rock running back Wes Hills
West Virginia wide receiver Gary Jennings
Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin
South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel
Northern Colorado wide receiver Alex Wesley
The quarterbacks of the Senior Bowl are fortunate to have landed with two head coaches, Kyle Shanahan and Jon Gruden, who are great with quarterbacks. Both of coaches are going to give the signal-callers a good preview for what is in store for them come training camp and their rookie seasons. The Oakland staff landed two top-of-the-first-round candidates in Missouri's Drew Lock and Duke's Daniel Jones.
In speaking to Raiders coaches around halfway through the Senior Bowl week, they liked Lock the most. They said that Lock was picking things up faster than Jones, and they were a little surprised that Jones was not picking things up as fast as Lock was. They like Lock's skill set and on-field confidence, along with how he was picking up the playbook and concepts. While it is still a small sample size, and some prospects fade while others close out the week strong, Lock was the most impressive quarterback to the Raiders staff.
This week, WalterFootball.com has heard about a number of high-profile early-round prospects who have character concerns, including Jerry Tillery, Jachai Polite, Greedy Williams and Noah Fant. At Senior Bowl, there have been two other prospects who have come up as having significant off the field concerns. Those players are Utah safety Marquise Blair and Texas cornerback Kris Boyd. Some team sources really liked how Blair played at Utah, showing physicality and playing like his hair was on fire. Boyd, meanwhile, has a decent skill set, but a lot of technical issues in coverage that hold him back. Off the field, teams are concerned about some of the habits that these two prospects have. They are worried that both of them could have issues that would lead to suspensions. Thus, Boyd and Blair have the potential to slide in the draft lower than where their respective talent levels indicate they should each go.
There have been some media comparisons between New Mexico State linebacker Terrill Hanks and Indianapolis Colts star rookie linebacker Darius Leonard, and there are some similarities. Both of them are good athletes with speed and come from small schools. However, team sources were much higher on Leonard this time a year ago than they are on Hanks. Leonard was consistently being graded in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, while Hanks has received grades a round or two lower for the 2019 NFL Draft by many area scouts. Those scouts say they like Hanks, but Leonard really showed well in pass coverage during his college career and at the Senior Bowl. Conversely, Hanks has had issues in pass coverage. Part of that is from New Mexico State hurting him by the assignments he was given, like having him play nickel corner. That spot was unfair to Hanks because it didn't put him in a position for success or give him snaps in typical linebacker coverage assignments. Even with that consideration, evaluators feel that Hanks definitely needs to improve his pass coverage to become a three-down starter.
Another concerns that teams have is Hanks' ability to pick up their schemes. During interviews here at Senior Bowl, sources have said that Hanks did not illustrate that he has a high football I.Q., so they think he may need time, patience, and a lot of work to learn his scheme to become assignment sound.