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Senior Bowl Week comes to a close

The 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl breakdown

2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Senior Bowl/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl is going to be one of the most important since it’s inception in 1950. The 2021 NFL Combine has a lot of question marks and it is unknown how much we will get to see out of it, which makes this year’s Senior Bowl that much more important for NFL scouts. The Senior Bowl roster is full of NFL level talent that is primed to go to the next level. Stars are made at the Senior Bowl, with past players including the likes of Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts, Jeremy Chinn, Dak Prescott, and many more.

Some of the top players in the nation came to Mobile, Alabama to compete this week. They had three practices this week, culminating with the game on Saturday. When the final whistle blew, the National team, lead by quarterback Kellen Mond, defeated quaterback Sam Ehlinger and the American team 27-24.

It was a rough start for both offenses as the wind was flying and the defenses were flying faster. At halftime, the score was 13-0 Nationals as the defense for both teams lead the way. In the 2nd half, as the winds slowed and the teams became more comfortable, the offenses started to explode. Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond was the Senior Bowl offensive MVP, throwing 173 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Mond had big-time connections with Amari Rodgers and Josh Palmer.

During the week, some players made a big name for themselves, and during the game those players cemented their names onto scouts’ draft boards. Here are a few of the weeks best performers.

Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Louisville

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Fitzpatrick was an under-the-radar guy coming into the Senior Bowl, as he had “only” 43 receptions for 833 yards and 3 scores. But Fitzpatrick could be a guy that has a better pro career than college. Throughout the week, he showed flashes of elite play-making ability. He has an elite level twitch to him.

NFL [layer comparison would be Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, because he moves with and without the ball just like Jefferson. Route running is clearly an art to Fitzpatrick.

Mac Jones, QB, Alabama

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Jones, a Heisman finalist, came into the week as one of the top players in the Bowl, but scouts wanted to see a little bit more from him. With a loaded arsenal at the University of Alabama, scouts wanted to see if he could show the same dominance with a different offense. Jones could not play in the game due to multiple injuries, but he just finished up his football season two weeks ago when most finished months ago. Jones flashed in practices for his leadership and his composure running a new offense. After this week, he moved his name off the bubble to become a sure-fire first round pick. Of note, Jones also added he met with the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots during Senior Bowl week.

Richie Grant, DB, UCF

NCAA Football: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Richie Grant was a ball-hawk all week long. He came into the week as one of the more versatile defensive backs, able to play both safety and corner. He came down with at least four interceptions during the week of practice, if not more. Grant definitely made himself some money in Mobile.

Quinn Meinerz, interior O-lineman, Wisconsin-Whitewater

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Quinn Meinerz was one of the most talked-about guys all week. His name first started generating buzz when his workout video leaked, which was him in the forest lifting tree stumps and giant rocks. His power then showed on the field as he dominated every 1-on-1 he had. He was handing out pancakes all week, and we will likely do the same on NFL Sundays.

Frank Darby, WR, Arizona State

NCAA Football: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Darby is one of my personal favorites and was arguably the biggest riser of the week. The energy and love he has for the game is evident, and you can see it through both his dance moves and the way he plays. Darby showed his explosiveness and big-play ability on every route. He had one of the best weeks out of all the seniors on the field. He didn't have a great game day, but he will certainly hear his name on draft day, and whichever team making the call will be happy with his high ceiling.

Thomas Graham Jr, CB, Oregon

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Graham was one of the nation’s top defensive backs before he opted out of the season. Graham had 32 pass break ups in his time with Oregon, and he made plays all week.

He did a great job in coverage against any WR he went up against, and after talking with Graham, he mentioned that he believes he can guard anyone and wanted to show scouts that he can do it all. Graham could hear his name as early as day 1, but day 2 will be a great spot to take an up-and-coming lock down corner.

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