Below are five players who saw their value rise due to their performance during the week of Senior Bowl practices.
OT Kaleb McGary, Washington – Standing in at 6-7, McGary is an imposing presence who used his brute strength to overpower opponents during one-on-one trench warfare battles. He has some work to do in terms of hand placement but his strong week featured several pancake blocks and he showed the necessary athleticism to be a starting right tackle candidate at the next level. McGary suffers from AFIB (irregular heartbeat), so that is one situation worth monitoring at the combine.
RB Dexter Williams, Notre Dame – The “Juice Man” brought the energy all week long, highlighted by his burst and quickness. A hard-nosed runner who explodes through the hole, Williams possesses excellent cutback ability. While he struggled with a few drops, he rebounded nicely with a collection of nice grabs out of the backfield, solidifying himself as one of the upper-echelon backs in this year’s draft class.
DE Isaiah Buggs, Alabama – The start of the week had Buggs measuring in at a shade under 6-3, which was much shorter than his listed height (6-5) at Alabama. However, his consistent play more than made up for his size, as he showcased his strength during one-on-one drills. The former JUCO transfer is a high motor player who’s relentless in pursuit and constantly shows up around the football. At 295 pounds, he most likely projects as an interior lineman but his versatility is a plus and Buggs is expected to hear his name called on Day 2.
QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn – One of the more pleasant surprises in Mobile, Stidham flashed the potential that had him pegged as a possible first round candidate to begin the season. His footwork and comfort level under center, along with his ability to make all the throws were all boxes in which Stidham checked off favorably. A strong combine performance combined with his tools and upside, could push him into the top 100.
DT Greg Gaines, Washington – We begin and end the list with Husky players and deservedly so. Gaines was a problem for opposing offensive lineman, often winning the leverage battle and knocking opponents off-balance with his strength. Tough and physical, he is also able to shed blocks well. This is much of what scouts saw from the four-year starter on film, a big reason why he has entrenched himself as a solid mid-round draft selection.
Coming Soon: The NFL Draft Scout All-Senior Bowl Team and Top Ten Draft Prospects!