Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Draft Prospects to Watch in the 2020 Senior Bowl

Photo: Senior Bowl

Senior Bowl week has arrived, which means draft season is officially here! Daniel House has a list of prospects you should watch closely! 

by: Daniel House (@DanielHouseNFL)

Senior Bowl week has arrived, which means draft season is officially here. Every January, a trip to Mobile allows talent evaluators to watch prospects in drills. During the Senior Bowl, scouts also meet with players to learn about their personalities and backgrounds. The week culminates with a game on Saturday afternoon at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

As the North and South teams square off, I pulled out several prospects I'll be watching closely:

Javon Kinlaw, DT - South Carolina 

Everyone at the Senior Bowl will have their eyes on South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. When firing up his film, it’s easy to notice his explosiveness and power. He often wins with physicality and a simple bull-rush. At 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, Kinlaw is blazing fast off the snap and becomes deadly when he gets his long arms (34 5/8" arms and 84" wingspan) extended. There are so many reps where he backs up an interior offensive lineman at the snap. When he deploys a push-pull, he extends and violently uses his power to shed. Kinlaw’s explosiveness will allow him to play multiple alignments, including three and five-techniques. If he gets into the right system to develop his technique, Kinlaw has the chance to be a really special player. There are a few reps where he gets tall, which causes him to lose all of his power, leverage and explosiveness. He also has room to improve his hand striking and placement in the NFL. I plan to break down every aspect of his game in a future film breakdown.

Kinlaw could develop into a deadly weapon as a three-technique defensive tackle. He didn’t necessarily need to improve his stock at the Senior Bowl, but wanted to compete against top prospects. Due to his playmaking skills and upside, he has the chance to be a top-15 pick in the NFL Draft. It would be a dream come true for Kinlaw, who overcame homelessness to reach this point. 

During his Senior Bowl press conference, Kinlaw talked about growing up homeless and overcoming those challenges.
Kinlaw will be one of the most electrifying players to watch in 1-on-1 drills. He would fit perfectly as a 3-technique in the Vikings' defensive scheme. However, he will likely be selected in the top-15 -- far before Minnesota's first round selection (No. 25).

Reggie Robinson II, CB - Tulsa

While studying college football, it's always fun to find a sleeper prospect. When I watched Tulsa games this year, I was drawn to cornerback Reggie Robinson II. He is a very physical press-style cornerback and jams wide receivers hard at the line of scrimmage. There aren't many reps where he isn't pressing an opposing pass catcher. It's what really drew me to him while watching Tulsa. Robinson is smooth when moving from his backpedal to opening his hips. He stayed very tight to wide receivers and got his hands into passing lanes. Robinson was a standout track athlete in high school and holds the Cleburne High School (TX) record in the 100-meter dash (10.68). He has some explosiveness and moves really well. The biggest things that stand out with Robinson are his physicality and length (6-foot-1 with long arms). In 2019, he posted 13 pass breakups and four interceptions, including one where he dropped into zone and fooled the quarterback (second Tulane INT below).
I want to see how he tests in the 40-yard dash, but I'm projecting it will surprise people. During the Senior Bowl, Robinson's physicality will lead to battles in 1-on-1 drills. If he puts together a strong week in Mobile, he could rise up boards and earn an NFL Scouting Combine invite. With decisions looming in the secondary, Minnesota may be interested in drafting at developmental cornerback. I'm keeping a close eye on Robinson during the draft process.

Jordan Love, QB- Utah State

After this season, I know people are concerned about Jordan Love as a prospect. This year, he passed for 3,402 yards and completed 61.9 percent of his throws. Love tossed 20 touchdowns, but threw a whopping 17 interceptions. Before the 2019 season, he lost four key wide receivers to graduation and the NFL Draft. Also, left tackle Alfred Edwards was his only returning starting offensive lineman. In addition to all of that, Love's offensive coordinator, David Yost, left to take the same position at Texas Tech. New offensive coordinator Mike Sanford Jr. kept the same terminology, but was still getting acclimated with Love. There were a few moments where Love made a poor read and didn't process correctly. He took chances, but also made throws that caused your jaw to drop. I think personnel and a new scheme played a big role in his regression.

In 2018, Love was incredibly efficient and comfortable in the system. He completed 64 percent of his passes for 3,567 yards, 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. While paying close attention to Love and watching several of his games, I noticed his monstrous arm and skills off bootlegs. He also has the athleticism to extend plays and make difficult throws on the run. Love is inconsistent, but his flashes of potential are extremely impressive. There's no doubt he will need a little time to develop in an NFL system. The biggest hurdle will be improving his processing skills to limit throws where he makes poor decisions. I attached one of his best games (Fresno State), along with a shaky performance against LSU.

If the Vikings want to draft a developmental quarterback, I don't think there is a better choice in the 2020 class. Minnesota has difficult decisions to make this offseason, including how to handle the future of Kirk Cousins. They may need to extend Cousins in order to immediately free up cap space. Even if the front office decides to extend Cousins, Minnesota could draft Love and let him develop behind the scenes. At this point, we don't know where Love will be selected, but he could be a first round selection. When considering Minnesota's roster needs, drafting a quarterback early may be complicated.

Other players I'll be keeping a close eye on: 


Notre Dame CB Troy Pride Jr., Iowa CB Michael Ojemudia

Defensive Tackles:

Arkansas DT McTelvin Agim, Oklahoma DT Neville Gallimore


Minnesota LB/EDGE Carter Coughlin, Wisconsin OLB Zack Baun

Wide Receivers:

USC WR Michael Pittman Jr., Ohio State WR KJ Hill, Tennessee WR Jauan Jennings, Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk


 Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts, Oregon QB Justin Herbert

Offensive Line: 

Saint John's OG Ben Bartch, Houston OT Josh Jones

Here's the full Senior Bowl roster: https://www.seniorbowl.com/the-game/rosters/

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