The New Orleans Saints are allowed to have 10 staff members at the Senior Bowl and have drafted lots of Mobile All-Stars over the last 15 seasons. As they look down at the field in Hancock Whitney Stadium, the evaluation process is under way. After just on day, it’s hard to get too excited or disappointed by prospects, but there are times that they stand out for better or for worse.
QB Jamie Newman, Wake Forest
The quarterback opted out of the 2020 college football season so we haven’t gotten to see much of him. But he looked like he had the strongest arm out on the field. It looked like it might be a rough day for him to start as he struggled a bit with ball placement when working with receivers as they ran routes without defenders. However, once the defense got involved, his game stepped up considerably. He threw with anticipation, good ball placement, and velocity. Out performing the rest of the American team signal callers even though it was the stronger of the two groups.
WR Austin Watkins Jr., UAB
I came into the week really looking forward to the wide receiver group with names like Florida’s Kadarius Toney, South Carolina’s Shi Smith, and LSU’s Racey McMath in the mix, but I knew there would be someone that would jump out unexpectedly. That receiver was Austin Watkins out of UAB.
The 6’1” and 207 pound wideout ran fluid, clean routes and showed great burst, control, and precision throughout. From release to break to catch, Watkins looked fantastic. Will be excited to keep an eye on him throughout the week.
CB Aaron Robinson, Central Florida
All throughout the day Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney looked absolutely unstoppable. Until he met UCF corner Aaron Robinson. When they locked up for their first one-on-one Robinson stood up to the challenge and got physical right away. Yes, some will argue flags at different areas of this play. But the fact of the matter is that Robinson stood up to a big challenge and didn’t back away. He then went on to make several more plays against other talented receivers as well.
Someone finally got him. UCF DB Aaron Robinson wins this rep against Toney at the line. Physical play, maybe a bit early in the contact at the ball but he’s the only guy to not get beat at the LOS. pic.twitter.com/FUbK3UfI7I— Ross Jackson (@RossJacksonNOLA) January 26, 2021
OL Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
The guard got backed into the backfield nearly a handful of times against interior pressure during drills. Backed up so far that there were at least two, maybe three instances in which the defender could have sacked the quarterback with Banks’ hind-end. Not a great day for the young lineman. He’ll look to step it up next practice.
CB Camryn Bynum, Cal
Unlike Aaron Robinson, Camryn Bynum found himself beat a few times, and not just in one-on-ones. He got lost on a back shoulder throw to Arizona St. wideout Frank Darby and couldn’t keep pace with Oregon St. receiver Tylan Wallace. Both are great talents, but this is an opportunity for Bynum to prove his own by matching up with these guys.
QB Mac Jones, Alabama
This may have more to do with the expectations around him than it does have to do with his lack of performance. The struggle here was that Jones didn’t look great with his usual precise accuracy and ball placement. He looked uncomfortable with his usual comforts. It is important to consider that Jones was a late add, but his football IQ is often touted so picking up his materials in a short amount of time isn’t out of acceptable expectation. We’ll see if he settles in on Wednesday. All eyes on him will continue as we wait to see how he performs without DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle on the perimeter.
Bonus: 3 more who played up to expectation
LT Dillon Radunz, South Dakota State University
WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
DL Osa Odighizuwa, UCLA
How do you feel about these prospects? Let us know in the comments. Make sure you follow Canal Street Chronicles on Twitter at @SaintsCSC, “Like” us on Facebook at Canal Street Chronicles, and make sure you’re subscribed to our new YouTube channel. As always, you can follow me on Twitter @RossJacksonNOLA and subscribe to my daily Saints podcast, Locked On Saints.