We are less than two days away from Senior Bowl weigh-ins in Mobile, Alabama. It’s draft season folks, and there isn’t a better way to kick it off than the best showcase game in all the land.
I’ll be in Mobile to cover all the happenings and there are a handful of names that I’m overeager to analyze. This list is comprised of names I’ve done at least three games of film study on, so excuse any omissions. There will be plenty of time to gush about those left out names as the week goes on. Regardless, here are the prospects that I’m pegging as names of interest for the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Nasir Adderley, Safety – Delaware
Nobody that has seen Adderley’s tape is sleeping on him. He makes big plays every game and demonstrates a clearly excellent athletic profile. His impeccable ball skills have led to 8 interceptions in the last two years and he has a highlight reel of circus catches to his name.
Reminder that Delaware safety Nasir Adderley is a round 1 talent - pic.twitter.com/JmVPStULlZ— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) January 20, 2019
My first exposure to Adderley was against North Dakota State in a blowout. From the first drive, if you didn’t know who he was, you’d want to remedy that quickly. He was all over the field and the effort never dipped a blowout. He showed range, fluidity, instincts and physicality. Basically, he checked every box. If he continues to check boxes in Mobile he’s going to make a lot of money come April.
Andy Isabella, WR – UMass
You’re going to see Isabella and immediately think he’s the next uber-productive New England Patriots’ slot receiver. Let me assure you, the kid has serious burners. He’s not sneaky fast, he’s fast fast. So fast he beat Cleveland Browns’ cornerback Denzel Ward in the 100m and 200m. Ward, by the way, blazed a 4.32 at the NFL Combine.
“Sneaky fast” stuff aside, Isabella has been extremely productive for the Minutemen. As a senior, he posted a 102-1,698-13 stat line. Of course you want to see smaller school prospects dominate not only their level of competition, but produce against tougher opponents. Isabella showed he was more than capable of shining on bigger stages with a dynamic performance against Georgia.
UMass WR Andy Isabella is going to get the "shifty slot guy" label but he's got track juice & I'd put money on him being sub-4.5.— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) January 13, 2019
15-219-2 vs Georgia - pic.twitter.com/4aV58yh0Gt
Bruce Anderson, RB – North Dakota State
The Bison have a talented backfield but I’m most interested by Anderson. Listed at 5’11”, 210 pounds, he has the size and leg churn to be a reliable early down back. He’s a patient runner with above average contact balance that should be able to carve out a role for himself as part of a committee, perhaps as a “1a” of sorts.
It’s hard to evaluate running back play during Senior Bowl practices because there isn’t much contact, but there’s a very clear area where Anderson can boost his stock.
NDSU RB #8 Bruce Anderson (#SeniorBowl)-— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) January 18, 2019
I was 3 games in & really liking him but I was thinking "I wish they'd use him in the passing game, it looks like he'd have some juice there." Boom. pic.twitter.com/teemk3hm2j
If he shows well in the receiving drills, and I project that he will, he will erase any doubts about his three down ability. I could see Anderson sneaking his way into late Day 2 with a solid showing in Mobile.
Oh, and there’s the matter of him being a key part of the Bison’s successful 2015 FCS Championship run with Carson Wentz.
Was just asked if NDSU RB Bruce Anderson played w/Wentz.. yeah, in fact it was freshman Anderson's 97-yard return TD that gave them a lead they wouldn't relinquish in the 2015 FCS quarterfinals - pic.twitter.com/To1WoyDs5A— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) January 18, 2019
Amani Oruwariye, CB – Penn State
He can play both off zone and press and possesses a desirable mix of size and athleticism. Put that in a blender with some plus ball skills (7 interceptions in the last two years), and you officially have my attention. Oruwariye is a heady player that could benefit from translating his physicality as a cover man to his run support. A good week in Mobile could solidify him firmly in the top 50.
Daylon Mack, IDL – Texas A&M
The Eagles’ love the defensive linemen in this draft. Howie Roseman went as far as to call it “historic”. With all that talent, don’t lose track of Mack. The Eagles met with him during the Shrine Game practices and his dominance there earned him a call-up to the Senior Bowl.
The 320-pounder racked up 5.5 sacks in 2018, but still has plenty of room to refine his pass rushing. Early in his career Mack will have to earn his keep as a run stuffer, where his low center of gravity will allow him to control the point of attack against double teams.
Eyeing Key Positions...
One position that took a major hit was offensive tackle. Yodny Cajuste from West Virginia dropped out, severely weakening the top end talent. Cajuste is in play in the first round, but I was hoping to see some technical issues with his punch cleaned up in Mobile. If you want to learn more about Cajuste, I wrote him up recently.
WVU LT Yodny Cajuste, 6'5" 321 w/pipeline arms & meaty mitts to keep rushers at a distance - pic.twitter.com/0sWt1tWmjF— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) December 28, 2018
Outside of Dalton Risner from Kansas State, who may ultimately kick inside, there’s a lot to prove for the rest of the group. One player I’ll have my eye on is Tytus Howard from Alabama State. He flashed the ability to handle better competition when he held his own against Auburn.
The other position to get weakened by a drop out was the edge group. Kentucky’s Josh Allen has top-10 selection written all over him and took his name out of the hat. Alabama’s Christian Miller is explosive and a somehow slept on prospect coming out of Alabama, but he dropped out due to a hamstring injury.
Kyler Murray steps into a Anfernee Jennings sack, followed by Christian Miller blowing right by Bobby Evans. Advantage: Bama DL - pic.twitter.com/C5404XAiAr— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) December 30, 2018
Texas’ Charles Omenihu is an intriguing prospect but creates a Michael Bennett-type dilemma in that nobody is sure if he’s an inside or outside player in the NFL. Bennett has proven those concerns don’t apply to him and Omenihu will look to prove the same.