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Winners and Losers from the second day of Senior Bowl practices

Andre Simone Avatar
January 23, 2020

MOBILE, Ala. — On day two of Senior Bowl practices, things started to heat up, as everyone settled into their roles and began to really compete.

While on Tuesday, we kept a close eye on the battles between receivers and defensive backs, Wednesday, we zeroed in on the trenches, with the offensive lines on both teams picking things up despite some outstanding defensive performances from the top front-seven talents in attendance.

Here’s who stood out, good and bad.

Winners

Jason Strowbridge, DL, North Carolina

You’d be hard-pressed to find another prospect in attendance who has raised their stock more than the consistently relentless Tarheel. Strowbridge was outstanding at everything he did, swatting passes at the line, dominating one-on-one drills when rushing from the interior and even impacting the game when coming screaming off the edge.

His heavy hands, length and burst all stood out, promoting a discussion as to where the dynamic defensive lineman would fit best at the next level.

“My thing is showing teams I’m flexible and can play wherever is needed,” explained the 6-foot-4 267-pound defender. “Definitely want to get more comfortable outside as an edge rusher…I think inside is more of a mismatch, there’s not much space but at the same time, I can get pretty skinny in situations and take advantage of my speed. On the outside there’s more space, a little more room for them to recover, I think with that I just need to stay active with my hands, take better angles.”

At his size, Strowbridge seemed to think his fit was as an outside rusher when projected to the NFL, but given his experience in college and dominance at the Senior Bowl rushing inside, his appeal as an interior rusher is growing by the minute. It helps that No. 55 handled double teams nicely and showed some power defending the run as well.

He’s an interesting case given his a-typical fit and underwhelming college production but what he’s shown thus far in Mobile should have any creative defensive coordinator salivating at the idea of adding this dynamic chess piece to their arsenal.

Lloyd Cushenberry III, OC, LSU

Cushenberry was the only one who held his own against the athletic freak that is Javon Kinlaw on day one, but on day two he actually outplayed him, not giving an inch to the former Gamecock and showing the type of balance and strong anchor that you dream of in an athletic center.

Cushenberry’s teammate and former LSU guard Damien Lewis played very well also, doing a nice job of run blocking and showing smooth movement in pass protection.

Bradlee Anae, DE, Utah

Anae’s burst, bend, active hands and constant motor were on full display, as the Utes all-time sack leader put on a clinic. The Hawaiian is a true marvel and answered a lot of questions regarding his ability to rush the passer outside at the next level, as he was one of the few to beat Josh Jones on the day.

His power, closing burst and tenacity were always there but Anae’s dominance could vault him very high in the draft and is a bit reminiscent of Cleilin Ferrell’s profile a year ago.

Terrell Lewis, OLB, Alabama

Lewis is still scratching the surface but with Nick Saban in attendance, the long athletic freak started to get rolling and was virtually unblockable by the end of the day. At 6-foot-5 and 257 pounds, Lewis is bigger than some of the down linemen who’ll have to split time inside and outside at the next level but somehow more athletic than 90-percent of the linebackers in attendance.

His talent is worthy of a top-15 selection at face value and he started to show it on the day. Another couple of performances like this and Lewis will quickly be one of the biggest risers of the week.

Michigan State’s Kenny Willekes stood out as well with a strong tackle for a loss in 11-on-11 drills and some fine reps in one-on-ones. His talent isn’t as rare as Lewis’ but he’s an expert at getting in the backfield and wreaking havoc.

Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Jones did some of his best work at right tackle, which is notable considering he played on the left side in college and has the profile of a prototypical pass-protecting left tackle.

He wasn’t always perfect on the day but showed good hands and active feet, with some surprising grit as a run blocker in 11-on-11 drills to boot.

Trevon Hill did get under his pads coming off the edge but Jones still made life hard on him and didn’t give him a direct angle to the quarterback. While his arms did measure on the short side coming in just under 34 inches—his arm length is actually identical to Jonah Williams, the top tackle pick in 2019, —he’s shown the compete level and athleticism to make up for it.

Hakeem Adeniji, OL, Kansas

The former Jayhawk left tackle had a great day, showing supreme balance and fluid lower-body movement in pass protection while playing guard in Mobile. The way he handled bull-rushing interior penetrators like Neville Gallimore and was able to anchor against power was really impressive, while he moved like a tackle in pass protection. 

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

We’ve seen quite a few inconsistent, toolsy quarterbacks come through Mobile through the years and Herbert has looked as polished and poised as any of them. While the uber-flashes haven’t been there, he’s just been steady and accurate, showing a poise that was lacking with the Ducks.

Furthermore, Herbert was messing with opposing defenders and forced quite a few encroachment flags with his cadence at the line. The level of refinement in his game has been impressive, as Herbert’s shown more than enough for a team to gamble on him in the top-10 picks.

Play of the day

Denzel Mims skies to get contested grab over Iowa DB

Mims’ career is littered with highlight catches that would make an acrobat at the circus blush. He had a couple of beauties on the day with this one against Iowa defensive back Michael Ojemudia generating the loudest reaction from the crowd.

As if that wasn’t enough, he also beat Troy Pride Jr.—another big winner this week—with this splendid deep route.

Losers

Jabari Zuniga, DE, Florida

Zuniga was a great interview and has already met with the Broncos. After a senior season in which he dealt with injuries, this seemed like a big opportunity to show off his rushing arsenal and versatility to attack both inside and outside. So far, that just hasn’t been there, prompting some to wonder if he’s really healthy at this point. Regardless, he’s lost ground to many of his counterparts in a disappointing couple days.

Auburn’s Marlon Davidson is another rusher who could be moved around and attack the line both inside or outside, however, he wasn’t on the field Wednesday as he was sidelined with an injury.

Both were expected to perform like Strowbridge has but for differing reasons weren’t able to show off their talents on Wednesday.

Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma

Gallimore was one of the highest-ranked players coming into the week with lots of first-round buzz after a splendid season for the Sooners. Unfortunately, he struggled with his bull rush in one-on-one drills and didn’t show the plan of attack or counter moves to adjust. Performances like this limit his value significantly, as Gallimore can create push and stuff gaps but looked more like a two-down nose tackle rather than a dynamic interior force.

Big-school IOL disappoint

With all the talent on the line in Mobile, someone was bound to loose ground in the head-to-head matchups we saw across the board on the day and three big-school prospects all underwhelmed on the interior offensive line.

The most dissapointing was Nick Harris, the Washington center who flashed an enticing combination of mobility and power on film but was disastrous on the day, struggling to anchor and looking pretty sloppy with his lower-body mobility.

Clemson guard John Simpson hasn’t looked like he belongs so far while Ohio State’s Jonah Jackson also struggled on the day.

The further we progress through the week the more separation has been created and these three interior linemen have, unfortunately, looked out of place thus far.

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