NFL Draft: 2015 Senior Bowl Preview – Offense

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The final and most prestigious of the college football all-star games, the Reese’s Senior Bowl, is this Saturday (4 PM EST, NFL Network) in Mobile, Alabama. Over 500 current NFL players once played in the Senior Bowl and 21 of the players in the 2013 Pro Bowl were Senior Bowl alumni so it is not just fringe players participating. Current NFL stars like Russell Wilson, Jimmy Graham, Von Miller, Arian Foster, Patrick Willis and Clay Matthews all attended the Senior Bowl before entering the league.

This year’s game is loaded with some of the top prospects in the draft including 10 of NFL Draft Scout’s top 50. The game and week of practice leading up it have as much impact on a player’s draft stock as anything but the combine. Two years ago Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher locked up the #1 overall spot in the draft after a strong performance and every year there are players whose draft grade rises (or falls) a round or two.

Below I broke down players at each offensive position who has helped and hurt their draft stock based on this week’s practices. A strong performance in Saturday’s game can still salvage a bad week of practice and vice versa, but here is a list of players who have stood out so far.


This year’s QB class is considered one of the weakest in recent memory and the QBs at the Senior Bowl didn’t do anything to change that perception. No QB stood out enough to claim the “3rd best QB in the draft” title and all have significant red flags. They will probably all hear their name called at some point of the draft, but most will be on day 3.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

UP – Garrett Grayson, Colorado St (6’2 | 215 | 4.84): Probably had the most positive plays of the QB group, but still struggled with accuracy on throws to all three levels. Grayson had a strong day of practice Thursday with some nice deep passes and fade routes to separate himself a little from the rest of QB pack.

DOWN – Bryce Petty, Baylor (6’3 | 230 | 4.64): Had some good moments, but looked uncomfortable under center and struggled with his drop-backs. Petty played strictly out of a shotgun in Baylor’s spread offense, so his ability to play under center was a big question coming into practices and is now officially a red flag.

Running Back:

Might be the deepest position in the draft and the RB group as a whole had a strong week of practice for the most part.

UP – David Johnson, Northern Iowa (6’1 | 224 | 4.57):  FCS back who was a relative unknown before this week, but will leave Mobile as the highest rated prospect of the Senior Bowl RBs. Johnson is a big back who showed surprising wiggle in the open field, was solid in pass pro, and caught the ball very well out of the backfield.

DOWN – Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn (5’10 | 212 | 4.58): Had a decent week of practice, but had a few fumbles which could create doubts about his ball security for some teams.