Updated Jan. 22, 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 more of the highlights from around the league during the second day of the 2019 Senior Bowl week.
Notre Dame defensive tackle Jerry Tillery could be at the Senior Bowl, but it is not public yet if he turned down an invitation, has an injury, or was not invited. It probably was not the last of those three possibilities because Tillery has an early-round skill set. While Tillery is not in Mobile, it is a major lost opportunity for him because teams have red flagged his draft report with serious character concerns.
Every source that has been through Notre Dame heard about character issues with Tillery. It is so well known that, even during TV broadcasts, there were mentions of Tillery being a bad teammate and he was trying to change that. Team sources say not only are they concerned about Tillery in the locker room, but they also are worried about him failing tests and getting suspensions in the NFL. Tillery is a known partier, so it hurts him to miss out on the Senior Bowl interviews to address those concerns and work on convincing teams that he has grown out of those past behaviors.
For the most part, evaluators like Tillery's on-the-field potential. Some were not fans of him, while others were high on his pro potential with a skill set that combines size, athleticism and quickness. However even the sources that like Tillery on the field are not sure he will remain on their draft boards because of the off-the-field concerns. Tillery is going to be in store for some tough conversations at the combine and his pro day, plus at pre-draft visits.
Another high-profile prospect with makeup concerns is LSU cornerback Greedy Williams. Evaluators have some concerns about how Williams is going to respond to getting a multi-million dollar contract. They also are worried about family pressure and those around him being a distraction. Some sources feel that Williams is one of the most overrated players in the 2019 NFL Draft. They say LSU's 2018 games against Georgia and Alabama illustrate that. They felt that he took his foot off the pedal in his late season tapes and was protecting himself. A few sources said they graded Williams a late first-rounder, while another AFC scout said they graded Williams in Round 2. On top of the makeup, Williams' thin frame is providing some on-the-field concerns about how he will translate to the NFL. Williams will be in store for some interesting interviews at the combine, and it would help him if he could add weight to his frame.
One player who could rise in the leadup to the 2019 NFL Draft is LSU linebacker Devin White. As we reported earlier in the Senior Bowl rumor mill, the defensive line class did not materialize into the legendary status that everybody thought it would. With the 2019 NFL Draft not having as much high first-round talent as anticipated, some prospects will rise to take their place, and White is viewed as having that kind of potential. The reason for that is he is a pure football player. One AFC general manager said they thought White would climb because of his talent on the field and his makeup of being a team leader. It can be difficult for non-pass-rushing linebackers to get drafted early, but White could be similar to Roquan Smith and make it two years in a row.
Tillery and Williams aren't the only early-rounders with some character concerns, another player that has some questions about his makeup is Florida's Jachai Polite. Sources with the Gators said that Polite was a good teammate and liked in the locker room, but some NFL evaluators have concerns about Polite having issues with maturity and accountability. One team source said Polite's talent level is worthy of late top-10 to early teens, and if he slides into the mid to late teens it will be because of the make up concerns.
One final note from East-West Shrine, Georgia wide receiver Terry Godwin was one of the stars of the Shrine with a strong week of practice to improve his standing for NFL scouts. In speaking to team sources, they say that Godwin's impressive week carried over to the interview room. Teams were really impressed with how Godwin conducted himself and answered their questions. Godwin should not go lower than the early rounds of day three of the draft and it's possible that he sneaks into day two.