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Senior Bowl Diary: Wednesday

NFL scouts and coaches are masked and ready to see the talent

2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Senior Bowl/Collegiate Images/Getty Images
NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice
Baron Browning of Ohio State (55) during National team practice during the 2021 Senior Bowl week
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

With linebacker at the top of the wish list for the Browns, Ohio State has a pair of backers here in Mobile, Alabama – Tuf Borland and Baron Browning. Borland (6’1”, 229 pounds) will need to be more consistent and can get sealed off in the run game. His pass coverage is a roller coaster as well. Remember the DeVonta Smith TD in the National Championship Game? Browning has shown some skills and is a big kid weighing 241 and stands 6’3”. Not known for his pass rush, he had the equivalent of two sacks; however, defenders are not allowed to tackle QB’s in practices. Browning also lined up inside. He should go deep into the third-round, of which Cleveland owns two picks. William Bradley-King of Baylor is very athletic and is quite adept to run defense. This week will only help his status. Purdue’s Derrick Barnes has had some gap recognition issues, but will make contact. Hamilcar Rashed, Jr. of Oregon State is a bigger LB at 254 pounds, but has no first step quickness.

2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice
Sam Ehlinger of the Texas Longhorns practices with the National Team ahead of the 2021 Reeses Senior Bowl
Photo by Senior Bowl/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Georgia safety Mark Webb used to play receiver, so that knowledge comes into his play. Not that big at 195 pounds, but will get his body into a tackle. Another safety, Shawn Davis of Florida had a pick of Wake Forest QB Jamie Newman, who is not having a good week. Newman is easily the weakest prospect at quarterback. Several passes just take off and sail above the intended target. The QB who is heads above the others is Alabama’s Mac Jones. He could very easily be awarded the Heisman Trophy and showed up to show the scouts why. One word: extremely accurate. Okay, that’s two words but Jones has great touch and is dead-on. Before this week Jones was slotted mid second-round, but with his skill set could become a late first rounder. Indianapolis picks at Number 21 or Jacksonville could wait until their 25th pick. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger will make a fine backup right away and may one day start.

Wide receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick of Louisville gave full extension on several plays on bad balls. He doesn’t look like the fastest guy coming off the line, but his catch radius is pretty wide. Another receiver that has impressed is UAB’s Austin Watkins, Jr. for his second day in a row. Watkins will fight through contact on most plays and at least finish a route instead of jogging down. Has shown good footwork in the 1-on1 drills against the DB’s. Florida’s Kadarius Toney is just an exciting player. Will be very hard for the Browns to move past him if he is sitting there at the Number 26 slot in the first-round. Seriously. South Carolina’s Sid Smith is quietly having an awesome week. Sage Surratt of Wake Forest is not having a great week and seems confused at times. I get it: you are catching throws from three guys you have never met until this week with varied velocities, but this is an All-Star game....

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice
American tight end Noah Gray of Duke (86) and American defensive back Hamsah Nasirildeen of Florida State (25)
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

DE Daelin Hayes of Notre Dame does not fit the EDGE profile being only 261 pounds, but he is quick off the snap and knows how to use his hands. Lots of energy from Tulane’s Cameron Sample but little else. Chauncey Golston of Iowa is known for being a sack master in college, but rarely beats these All-Star caliber blockers coming off the edge. He has great mobility. DT Marlon Tuipulotu of USC is getting noticed. Good body control and has shown the same in agility. Haven’t seen his motor slow down yet. A powerful man who can really use the bull-rush. Would make a great snare in the third-round. Another DT, Washington’s Levi Onwuzurike is an explosive dude. Has a very long reach and will penetrate the interior even when he is chipped by a second offensive lineman. Payton Turner of Houston appears he can play inside or on the edge and has full attention of scouts. Coastal Carolina’s Tarron Jackson has a great motor, but his thin frame (260 pounds) has allowed him to get pushed aside quite a bit. Has the techniques needed, just needs more weight to allow his power to accelerate more.

RELATED: ROSTERS FOR THE 2021 REESE’S SENIOR BOWL

Have enjoyed the play of cornerback Ambry Thomas of Michigan especially in coverage drills. He has zero issues with attacking a receiver from the snap and is pretty aggressive. Can be fooled and lose a player occasionally, but with his quick recovery he is able to jump back into the play. Was very dominant in the one-on-one drills especially against Oklahoma receiver Rhamondre Stevenson. Central Florida’s Aaron Robinson is struggling with the pace. It is extremely difficult to fool D.J. Daniel of Georgia with any type of head or shoulder bob. He just won’t bite.

2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice
Robert Rochell of the Central Arkansas Bears practices for the American Team ahead of the 2021 Reeses Senior Bowl
Photo by Senior Bowl/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

A tad light (183 pounds) but has impressed in the 1-on1 drills and is seen glued to his man. Central Arkansas’ Robert Rochell is getting beat with the deep ball, but covers the short game well. One of the best in the defensive backfield has been S Richie Grant of UCF. On one Mac Jones pass he was down a step but recovered nicely and almost intercepted the ball. Can see him as a box safety or free safety. Very athletic. San Diego State CB Darren Hall is having a very good week.

Miami kicker Joes Borregales is making just about everything. The Lou Groza Award winner would stabilize any kicking issues. He made several kicks from 50-yards that went into the stands with plenty of leg.