I got a late start to NFL Draft prospects this year, mostly thanks to the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff run. Thus, I entered this Senior Bowl having never seen a good deal of the roster. It was an interesting way to process the practice week. I still aim to do my due diligence on most of these players, but some got pushed up the priority list by way of their performance.
Here’s a handful of prospects that popped and demanded a film session sooner than later.
Garrett Bradbury - OC, NC State
One of the best lineman prospects in Mobile, Bradbury didn’t have a stellar week. So why is he on this list?
Individual drills in the trenches are slanted to favor defensive linemen. They have a two-way go and the benefit of knowing the snap cadence. It would only stand to reason that Bradbury, who has elite movement skills but functional strength concerns wouldn’t have the best week. That’s not to say he was bad, not by a long shot.
The 11-on-11 drills are where his movement skills got to shine, but those run reps aren’t as flashy and don’t get a lot of attention on television. What you saw in those drills was a dude that could boogie and was built tailor-made for a zone running scheme.
One morning I was watching offensive lineman in the XOS Film Room, sitting with a friend and a long-time NFC West scout. When Bradbury came up the scout said he should be more of a technician in pass protection considering his size. He followed up by saying an offensive line coach will see the potential there and fall in love. He liked Bradbury, he just wished he was slightly stronger and showed better technique against bull rushes.
ASU DT Renell Wren vs. NCST OC Garrett Bradbury— Gavino Borquez (@GavinoBorquez) January 23, 2019
Wren’s sheer force from his bull rush is too much for Bradbury to get inside hand placement. pic.twitter.com/ZRrkWcN9vx
If you haven’t put it together yet, it sounds almost exactly like Jason Kelce. To this day Kelce can struggle to anchor against bigger foes but the rest is so good he’s able to thrive. That’s not to call Bradbury on the same level as Kelce, but Kelce was also a 6th round selection and not a slam dunk prospect. If Bradbury can take similar strides early in his career, he’s going to be a devil of a pro.
With the opinions on Bradbury so all over the map as we try to project him to the NFL, he’s one worthy of an extended viewing.
Penny Hart - WR, Georgia State
Hart was a late add after some injuries weakened the wide receiver group, but boy, did he practice like he belonged from jump. Hart had defenders biting and lunging at phantom fakes at the break point and was getting open at will for three days straight.
There’s more to Penny Hart than quick-twitch:— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) January 25, 2019
•Cut off and contacted, Hart disengages by pressing the DB’s shoulder
•Jab steps with a head fake to open the DB’s hips
•Threatens space that requires the DB to overextend his his flip and shift his weight opposite of Hart’s break pic.twitter.com/N52v5EVDIy
Benjamin Solak saw the same dominance and dedicated an article to Hart that glowed about his performance.
“Red zone reps, 7-on-7s, 11-on-11s, it didn’t matter — if the North team was out on the field, Penny Hart was embarrassing all the corners whose names we knew weeks ago; outshining the receivers who got the invite before him... An absolute problem — a nightmare and a half — for teams without a strong nickel corner... Penny Hart is the biggest riser of the week.” - Benjamin Solak
Terrill Hanks - LB, New Mexico State
If the Eagles are looking for another safety convert to turn into a coverage linebacker, Hanks fits the bill. He’s shrink wrapped muscle and hands down won the weigh-in with his chiseled physique. He matches the looks with a nasty disposition. He can be reckless at times, but coaches will buy the aggression and try to enhance the technique.
On the field, his ability to stick with tight ends and running backs shone through. Things became trickier when he had to process route combinations or play-action, but if the mental side is allowed to come along slowly the rest of the package is worth the wait.
Chuma Edoga - OT, USC
There was zero buzz for Edoga entering the week. There is now a lot of buzz for Edoga as we approach game time. He showed excellent athleticism and defenders trying to speed rush him found themselves being pushed beyond the peak repeatedly.
One concern I heard talked about in hushed tones were some non-legal off-field concerns, which would possibly explain the initial lack of excitement for Edoga. Or maybe his tape isn’t that good and this was an unsustainable flash? Either way, Edoga is worthy of a deep dive based on the flash and could see his draft stock rise if he can prove he’s not a risk otherwise.
Deebo Samuel - WR, South Carolina
I’ve seen flashes of Samuel throughout the years from live viewings but this was my first time really keying in on his technique. It was in the third practice that Samuel took over Mobile. Nobody could cover him and the only way to stop him was to grab a piece of jersey and hope to not get caught.
Samuel showed the ability to consistently win at the line with his releases, at the break-point with nuance and explosion, and in the air on contested catches. I’m not longer sleeping on Deebo.