Previewing The Senior Bowl
The Senior Bowl is probably one of my favorite football events of the entire year. I absolutely love the NFL Draft process, and it all starts with the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl attracts some of the best talent in the draft, and this year is no different. I’ll be keeping my eye on several players the Bills could target on both teams.
The South Team is littered with talent across the board. The South’s Wide Receivers group is the most talented position group in the game. Deebo Samuel of South Carolina, stole the show all week during practice with his speed and play making ability. Buffalo’s Anthony Johnson, and West Virginia’s David Sills also showed their play making ability with their larger frames. It wouldn’t shock me if one of these receivers found their way onto the Bills’ roster in 2019. The South also is led by a strong offensive line. Elgton Jenkins of Mississippi State is this year’s best center and would be a huge upgrade for the Bills, if they are not able to fill that void during free agency. The Offensive Line also features Ross Pierschbacher of Alabama and Andre Dillard of Washington State, who has been the most consistent Tackle all week.
Defensively, Montez Sweat has been absolutely dominant all week and has probably propelled himself into the top 10 for the NFL Draft. This year’s Senior Bowl showcases several dominant defenders, and Sweat is in a class by himself. If the Bills feel Sweat is the best player on the board when they draft 9th overall, don't be shocked if the Bills pick up Sweat. I’d prefer them to trade back at that point, but that’s another conversation. The NCAA all time sack leader, Jaylon Ferguson could also provide a spark for the Bills and will mostly likely be available in the 2nd and maybe even the 3rd round. Moving to the secondary, Jimmy Moreland of James Madison has attracted plenty of attention this week as well.
The North Team is very talented, but at least for me, there’s not too many names that jump off the page that clearly fill a need for the Bills in the early rounds. Jaylen Smith of Louisville and Terry McLaurin of Ohio State do provide intrigue from the Wide Receiver position, but most likely as a mid-to-late round draft selection. Defensively, Zach Allen of Boston College, Cameron Smith of USC, and Sutton Smith of Northen Illinois could all be options for the Bills’ front seven. For Sutton Smith, will his size limit his ability to rush the passer and stop the run? From the Bills’ perspective, maybe they will be able to see past that given the success Matt Milano has had during the early part of his career.
This Senior Bowl showcases a talented group of players. Although the 2019 NFL will be dominated by defense, this game in particular is driven by the quarterbacks. Drew Lock, Daniel Jones, Ryan Finley, Will Grier, Jarret Stidham, and Tyree Jackson are all among the top quarterback options this year, with the exception of Dwayne Haskins who isn’t a senior. Thankfully, the Bills won't need to address this position given they are heavily invested in Josh Allen, and the early returns on that investment look pretty promising.