By John Camera
It’s one of the most exciting weeks of the year for NFL Draft enthusiasts, as the entirety of the football universe descends upon Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl. This year’s roster is chock full of talent and although it doesn’t have the QB star power of last year with Carson Wentz or Dak Prescott (not quite an MVP candidate at that time) there are a lot of draftable players at every other position. Here are just some of the guys you’ll want to keep your eyes on.
Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington – This small school, FCS WR is not someone to be overlooked. It’s actually kind of hard to do so, considering he stands at 6’2”, 198. But beyond great size, Kupp has consistently shown on tape to be an all-around receiver. His speed, route-running, and hands are all good enough to get Day 1 consideration especially if he has a strong Senior Bowl week and rolls through the Combine.
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama – The true Senior didn’t have to travel too far from campus to get here but it seems like returning for 2016 really paid off for him. Although the Crimson Tide didn’t utilize him very often in 2016, it wasn’t for lack of talent as a pass catcher. Howard fits the new TE mold that guys like Vernon Davis, Jordan Reed, and Jimmy Graham have sparked. He’s got great speed, good hands, and shows good effort as a blocker. He might be the most talented pass catcher at Mobile this week.
Montravius Adams, DL, Auburn – Adams may not get as much pub as his teammate Carl Lawson but the hulking defensive lineman should move up draft boards after this week. Adams is a high-effort, thickly-built Nose Tackle with quickness to wreck plays in the backfield or chase RBs down the line of scrimmage. He could move into first round consideration with a strong performance against an offensive line group that is lacking for the most part.
Conner Harris, LB, Lindenwood – Another small school player but different from Kupp, Harris is trying to prove he’s draftable. He is extremely small at 5’11” and despite some good speed, instincts, and tackling fundamentals, the Linebacker out of Lindenwood just may not have enough size to start in the NFL. However, he will try to change that perception against higher level of competition in Mobile. He could potentially latch on as a special teams ace considering his high effort and do-anything attitude.
Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU – White was another player who chose to stay for his Senior year and his patience has paid off. The LSU Corner is rangy and fast, a bigger CB in the mold of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. He’s got good ball skills that will occasionally get him in trouble; he’s a bit of a gambler. Teams will want to see if his footwork, which can be out of control, has improved since the end of the season.