2019 Senior Bowl Recap: Defense

Clayton Smarslok with his Senior Bowl recap for defensive players…

Senior Bowl week is officially done with. The game was played Saturday afternoon in what capped off a fantastic week in all. The first part of the recap on the offensive side of the ball, came out on Friday, before the game was played. But with the game now in the past, here are some thoughts on what went down with the defensive side during and after my trip in Mobile.

Interior Defensive Line

  • Quinnen Williams is very much in play at the third pick. Things could definitely change if they keep Leonard Williams around and sign a Grady Jarrett, but for the time being, Quinnen Williams should be seen as one of the favorites.
  • A former five star recruit, Daylon Mack put on a show the throughout the three days practice. In what is already called one of the best defensive line classes in a long time, Mack is a name that should rise after his last two weeks. He’s big at 327 pounds, but he looked capable of playing in an even or odd front as a nose tackle or a defensive tackle.
  • Auburn’s Dantavious Russell looked completely out of his element if you ask me. He was struggling to get any push throughout practice in drills that were made for the defensive players to shine.

Edge Rusher

  • Montez Sweat proved he was the best one out here after Josh Allen backed out and Clelin Ferrell declined. Both his weigh in and play on the field was a success, but noise came out that he wasn’t interviewing all that great. He backed out to speak at the podium at media day and wasn’t a joy to talk to in general. Will be spoken about more if he slides on draft night.
  • Charles Omenihu has been talked about throughout draft circles as an intriguing prospect, but if there was any edge rusher that helped himself more it was him. The former Longhorn won the weigh ins having 37 inch arms and then putting them to good use getting a strip sack in the game.

Linebacker

  • From my days in Mobile, Auburn’s Deshaun Davis was being talked about quite a bit but more for how well he presented himself to the media more than his play on the field. He didn’t stand out in the practices but was constantly around the ball during Saturday’s game.
  • Terrill Hanks was one of those linebackers that got fooled by Bruce Anderson that I mentioned the other day. But outside of that one play, he was among the best during the week. Granted it wasn’t the most amazing group, but he showed NFL level athleticism and physicality that showed up in the practices and game.

Cornerback

  • Going into the week, Amani Oruwariye was my top rated cornerback here and good performances here would only confirm his first round status. That did not happen looking stiff, not being able to mirror receivers and lacked recovery speed. One of the biggest losers in Mobile.
  • One of the best parts of practice is watching wide receivers and cornerbacks do their one on ones. Rock Ya-Sin lined up against Deebo Samuel and traded shots with him throughout the week. Ya-Sin will be a hot name (no pun intended) at the Combine.
  • There a lot of large corners this week, Kentucky’s Lonnie Johnson and Houston’s Isaiah Johnson. The former looked really smooth in his breaks and fluid hips for a guy his size and can also pack a punch behind his hits. The latter on the other hand struggled to mirror guys while looking very grabby in the process. The week went differently for the two Johnson’s to say the least.