When you get into the swing of things here at the Senior Bowl, you become so focused on the prospects that are participating that you sometimes forget that there are a number of other players in the draft that aren’t these senior all-stars.
I always find that quite amusing and it gave me an idea: What if they were the only players in this year’s draft?
So with that theme, I decided to churn out a mock-draft by only using the players that are here in Mobile, Alabama.
Let’s do this.
Round 1 - Andre Dillard, Offensive Tackle, Washington State
Prior to arriving at the Senior Bowl, Dillard was one of the offensive linemen I was unable to scout that much beforehand. But man, am I upset that I haven’t looked at him sooner.
Best players I saw in Tuesday’s South practice at the #SeniorBowl— Rob Rang (@RobRang) January 22, 2019
Mississippi State edge Montez Sweat
Wyoming edge Carl Granderson
Washington State LT Andre Dillard
Houston CB Isaiah Johnson
Oklahoma OG Dru Samia
LSU TE Foster Moreau
Dillard stood out to me before he even hit the field, measured just under 6-foot-5 and tipping the scales at 310 pounds. Most impressively, he was one of the better-looking offensive linemen in terms of how he carried that weight on his frame. Distributed evenly with bad weight hard to come by.
When he finally put the pads on, his talent in pass protection was apparent. He possesses some of the most active feet which help him in terms resetting and keeping his base wide. It’s tough for defenders to catch him off-balance due to this, as well. Hand-placement was consistent, rarely finding a landing spot outside of the defender’s numbers.
In another draft short of elite offensive tackle prospects, Dillard is likely one of the only tackles worthy of a first-round pick.
Round 2 - Te’Von Coney, Inside Linebacker, Notre Dame
Coney paired with Drue Tranquil to to head one of the top defenses in the country this past season. Coney measured in at 6-foot-0 and 7/8 while maintaining a stout 244 pounds. He isn’t the tallest linebacker, but that’s not something Coney will allow to hold him back.
As a junior in 2017, Coney received a starting job after a senior in front of him was lost to injury. He would go on to start only seven games but still amassed 116 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss.
In his senior year, Coney made the transition from outside to inside linebacker where he told me he prefers to play as he gets to command the defense. Pro Football Weekly’s Greg Gabriel said that his athleticism, instincts, and speed will be what eventually seperates Coney from the rest of the linebackers in the class.
This year, he finished his final season in South Bend with 123 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss, four sacks, and an interception.
Round 3 - Khalen Saunders, Defensive Tackle, Western Illinois
Saunders has come out of nowhere to take the Senior Bowl, and the entire scouting community, by storm.
The 6-foot-0, 320-pound nose guard has been an unstoppable force in his first two practices this week, usually going up against the the likes of NCST C Garrett Bradbury and Wisconsin OG Michael Deiter.
On day 2 of practices, Saunders won a rep against Wisco’s RG Beau Benschawel even after it looked like the guard had the upper hand. With his chest almost parallel to the ground following a slight stumble, Saunders shot his arm in the gut of Benzshawel and kept churning his feet, inevitably throwing the linemen into the invisible quarterback five yards back.
In his final season, Saunders racked up 72 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, ans 13 tackles-for-loss.
And, I mean, that back-flip is still pretty cool, right?