Rise & Shine – Six Players Who Raised Their Draft Stock At The Senior Bowl

Travis Anselmo highlights six prospects who raised their stock at the 2021 Senior Bowl.

The Reese’s Senior Bowl has always been viewed as the beginning of the NFL Draft season. With no real NFL Combine this year, the event now holds more value than ever before. With an enormous opportunity to impress scouts around the league, a few players stepped up and stole the show. Let’s take a look at some of the prospects that helped raise their draft stock throughout the week down in Mobile, Alabama.

Carlos Basham Jr. – EDGE, Wake Forest

Basham was arguably the most dominant edge defender in Mobile this weekend. Listed at 6’3, 281 pounds, he wowed with his quickness off the ball, pairing it with tremendous power and technique in the one-on-one portions of practice. While he was always considered a day 2 pick, this solidified his place as one of the best 4-3 defensive lineman in the draft.

Dez Fitzpatrick – WR, Louisville

Coming off a career-high 833-yard season, Fitzpatrick carried his 2020 momentum into 2021. He was the Senior Bowl’s leading receiver with six catches for 90 yards. Coming into this process he was widely viewed as a late day 3 pick. He arguably walks away from Mobile as the wide receiver who increased his stock the most. With reports of him leaving a lasting impression on scouts already swirling, the 6’2 WR has potentially played his way into day 2/early day 3 range.

Ifeatu Melifonwu – DB, Syracuse

Melifonwu is an athletic freak! At 6’2, 212 pounds, he displays tremendous speed, length, physicality and versatility. He held his own in WR/DB one-on-one drills, but he’s better suited primarily as an outside corner in a zone defense. There is intrigue with him in regards to a move to safety in the NFL due to his presence as a run defender. Formerly viewed as a day 3 pick, Melifonwu has earned himself the right to be a day 2 lock after one of the more impressive weeks for a defensive back.

Dillon Radunz – OL, North Dakota State

This week was arguably the most important of Radunz’s career. With only one game in 2020 under his belt, Radunz showed up to the Senior Bowl and owned it. Lining up at Tackle and Guard, he dominated in the OL/DL drills. To spend almost an entire year away from in-game activity and show the quick feet, power, balance and versatility he did, Radunz cemented his presence as a top OL prospect in Mobile and a guaranteed day 2 selection. He was also named the “Overall Practice Player-Of-The-Week” at the Senior Bowl. 

Michael Carter – RB, North Carolina

No surprise here as Michael Carter was the best RB prospect to participate in the Senior Bowl. Carter is twitchy, elusive, fast and decisive with the football in his hands. Michael Carter is a seamless fit in an outside-zone run scheme and established himself as a top-4 running back in this class that is littered with intrigue at the position. 

Cameron Sample – DL, Tulane

Checking in at 6’2, 274 pounds, Sample separated himself from the rest of the defensive line unit. As voted on by the offensive line of the American team at the Senior Bowl, the Tulane standout was named the Top Defensive Lineman and a Practice Player of the Week. As disruptive as he was on the interior, Sample’s unique quickness and versatility allows him to line up on the edge, which is a huge bonus. Somewhat overlooked heading into the week, he leaves Alabama as a player who undoubtedly raised his value throughout this process. 

Honorable Mentions: 

  • RB/WR Demetric Felton, UCLA
  • WR Shi Smith, South Carolina
  • OT D’Ante Smith, East Carolina
  • C/G Quinn Meinerz, Wisconsin-Whitewater