This past weekend saw the conclusion of the miraculous 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl. Somehow, one of the most important pre-NFL Draft events went off without a hitch, as the National team beat the American team 27-24. Featuring a plethora of potential NFL stars, a handful of players stood out more than just during the game, rather the entire week of practice. That being said, let’s take a look at the biggest winners from the Senior Bowl…
UCLA RB Demetric Felton
In the modern NFL, nothing is more valuable than a swiss-army-knife type player who can do damage from anywhere on the field. It was seen with Washington Football Team rookie Antonio Gibson, and it will be seen by whoever takes Demetric Felton this April.
He is not the biggest player, being 5-10 and 200lbs. However, he is a natural playmaker with ridiculous versatility. In 18 games over the past two seasons, Felton has totaled 999 yards rushing and 753 yards receiving in 18 games. Felton has good body control and hands, and while he is still raw as a receiver, he has flashed the talent to be productive thanks to his elusiveness.
Wisconsin-Whitewater OL Quinn Meinerz
One of the bigger surprises from Senior Bowl week was the dominance of Wisconsin-Whitewater center Quinn Meinerz. The school canceled their season, leaving Meinerz among prospects who had not played in a game in months. Nonetheless, Meinerz came in with no rust once so ever.
The 6-3 and 320lbs offensive lineman was immovable during the week, seeing his stock soar through the roof. Even his passion for the game was on full display when he demanded to play in Saturday’s game following a broken hand suffered in Thursday’s practice. Naturally, he was overruled. However, he will get the chance to perform in front of scouts again at his Pro Day. Should he build off of his Senior Bowl performance, he is going to be an early day three pick.
Western Michigan WR D’Wayne Eskridge
Like the 2020 NFL Draft’s wide receivers, the 2021 class is absolutely loaded. There is a ridiculous amount of talent at the top, and depth in later rounds, making it very hard to stand out. That is unless your name is D’Wayne Eskridge.
Coming into Senior Bowl week, there was some chatter that Eskridge could be due for a big performance. A 5-9, 190lbs shifty slot receiver from Western Michigan, Eskridge put up 768 yards, eight touchdowns, and a 23.3 average yards per reception in his fifth season. Eskridge has always been a big-time playmaker, and it showed this past week.
His experience shows with the maturity of his route tree, as Eskridge constantly won his matchups. He also put his strong hands on display, and that is in addition to his skills as a return man. Do not be shocked if Eskridge has already worked his way into being a day two selection.
UCF FS Richie Grant
The offense got all the attention this past week, though various defenders did make a statement. Perhaps nobody separated themselves from the pack more than UCF safety Richie Grant.
In an already deep safety class, Richie Grant entered amongst the many who could reach day two status. Grant owns 10 interceptions and 16 pass deflections since 2018, on top of five forced fumbles and 290 total tackles. At 6-0 and 194lbs, Grant has prototypical size and the elite range to be that lone deep safety. He showed off his ball skills, and ultimately now may be a lock as a day two pick.
Michigan FB Ben Mason
A fullback? Absolutely! A fullback is among the biggest winners from the 2021 Senior Bowl.
Michigan’s Ben Mason proved he can do it all. He will wipe anyone out in front of him when blocking and even had strong hands when utilized in the passing game. And while he never has run the football much, he has 37 carries, nine of them as touchdowns. Mason is a fantastic short-yardage rushing threat, thanks to his 6-3 and 254lbs build. Without a doubt, Ben Mason will be the fullback any team wants.
Top Quarterbacks in the Draft Class
Out of the top four quarterbacks, being Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, none of them appeared in Mobile, Alabama. Florida’s Kyle Trask also did not participate after suffering an ankle injury. Of the top quarterbacks, only Mac Jones was there, and he did not play in Saturday’s game due to his own ankle injury. During the week, Jones showed scouts that he was not a product of a loaded Alabama offense and that his ball placement was legit.
The reason why the top six quarterbacks came away as such big winners was not for anything they did, rather for what the other quarterback prospects did not do. Nobody truly separated themselves from the pack, and none are going to approach the status of the big six. Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond had the best week, finished as the game’s MVP. Then again, he did not have a perfect week. That notion applies to the rest of the pack too. Feleipe Franks had a slow start to the game before finishing strong. Jamie Newman had a solid game, though uneven week. At the same time, Ian Book had a decent week, but like Sam Ehlinger, did not play much in the game. Ultimtaely, it is the performance of the other quarterbacks in the class that make the top quarterbacks big winners because t