After looking at the players who saw their stock fall a bit during Senior Bowl, it’s time to take a look at the players that helped themselves the most. Here is the official Senior Bowl box score for you to browse, though it is important to note that the practices are infinitely more important than the game and most scouts don’t even stay for the Senior Bowl game.
Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn
To say that Dee Ford is quick off the snap would be an understatement.
He was onsides on that play. Ford was the Senior Bowl MVP with two sacks and a pass breakup and was in the face of quarterbacks all week. He showed great quickness and bend that allowed him to get low and around the offensive tackles. Ford is only 6’2″ 240 lbs and could use some work at stopping the run, but as a pass rusher, he is phenomenal. He will be able to fit in both the 4-3 and 3-4, but is better suited to stand up as a rush backer in the 3-4.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Garoppolo was a last-second substitute for the Senior Bowl and earned an invite following an impressive week at the East-West Shrine Game. Garoppolo finished the game 6 of 11 for 37 yards, which wasn’t ground-breaking. He doesn’t have top-tier velocity on his throws and probably won’t be a franchise quarterback, but he showed very good accuracy and has a very quick release.
Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
He’s only 6′ 288 lbs but Donald packs a punch. He’s very strong at the point of attack, explosive and is quick with his hands. He had Cyril Richardson on skates the whole week and showed off the dominance that led him to win the Bednarik, Outland, Nagurski and Lombardi trophies this year. He will be a great 3-tech in a 4-3 defense in the NFL and should be a first round pick.
Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton
One of 13 non-FBS players that was invited to the Senior Bowl and quite frankly, I had never heard of him prior to the week. During the game was when he caught my eye after he had two sacks, and I had to figure who the guy in the Princeton winged helmet was. Reid was very effective rushing the passer and showed good burst off the snap. He won’t be a world-beater, but he’s worth keeping an eye on in the middle of the draft.
Obviously it was very difficult to find highlights for Reid, so his Junior season will have to suffice.
Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Carr didn’t do anything he hadn’t done all year, and I personally don’t see him as a stud quarterback, but he definitely turned some heads. He went 7 of 11 during the game for 45 yards and a touchdown and showcased a strong arm. He was very clearly the best quarterback at the Senior Bowl and showed off good accuracy and made good decisions with the football. He’ll find his way into the first round, though I wouldn’t take him before the second.
James White, RB, Wisconsin
Easily the best running back at the Senior Bowl. White has good vision and is a strong runner who isn’t afraid of contact. He finished the game with 11 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown and added 5 receptions for 15 yards. White shared the backfield in college quite often with Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon, but showed that he has developed quite well as a running back. This year’s draft is going to be very deep at running back and even though White won’t be targeted until later, he will be a good pick.
Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Hageman weighed in at 6’6″ 318 lbs and is a very athletic defensive tackle (he used to be a tight end). He’s very strong and quick off the ball, and dominated most of the offensive lineman in practice at the Senior Bowl, save for Notre Dame OT Zack Martin who pancaked him a few times. He’s big and athletic and if he becomes more consistent, he can become a very disruptive force.
Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
My personal favorite receiver at the Senior Bowl, though Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews gave him a run for his money. Huff didn’t record a catch during the game, but when you consider his quarterbacks for the game were Tajh Boyd, Logan Thomas and Stephen Morris, it’s understandable. He doesn’t have elite separation in press coverage but he looked smooth running his routes, is agile and had a good eye for the football. Apparently he also dropped down and did pushups when he dropped the ball without being told to, which certainly caught some scouts eyes.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU