2019 Senior Bowl: What coaches, scouts are saying about NFL draft prospects


MOBILE, Ala. – The Senior Bowl provides the first opportunity to scout a large number of prospects under NFL guidance.

The Raiders and 49ers have access to a lot more information than the other 30 teams throughout the week as the coaching staffs of the North and South teams.

San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan said there have certainly been a number of players who have impressed him.

“Yeah, lots of guys,” he said. “But I can’t tell you (who). Then people would know we like them.”

[RELATED: 2019 Senior Bowl: Behind the scenes in 49ers' QB meeting room]

But many other NFL coaches and scouts did share their thoughts with NBC Sports Bay Area during the week of practices:

--Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat improved his draft stock, according to one scout, from mid-first round to, potentially, a top-10 selection.

--Pass-rushers Sweat, Jaylon Ferguson (Louisiana Tech) and Oshane Ximines (Old Dominion) are on everyone’s radar as first-round selections, one scout said.

--“The two best defensive linemen are on the South,” said an NFC scout. “I really like Sweat and Ximines. I’m not big on Ferguson. He’s not in their class.”

--One scout thought Wyoming defensive end Carl Granderson performed well enough to move up draft boards. “He’s a long, tall guy that can run and can get to the quarterback.”

--Texas edge rusher Charles Omenihu has all the physical tools to be a productive pro, an AFC scout said, but needs some refinement and development work to get there.

--“The small-school guys helped themselves a lot and showed they can play with the big boys. This was a big week for them,” said one scout, in reference to Western Illinois defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, Georgia State wide receiver Penny Hart and Delaware safety Nasir Adderley.

--Adderley came into the Senior Bowl week with a lot of buzz, and an AFC scout said he lived up to the hype. Adderley looked good from both safety spots and slot cornerback during the week. The scout believes he could be an early Day 2 pick.

--One AFC offensive coordinator liked the athleticism he saw from West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, while casting doubts on Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson. “Grier can make plays on the move,” he said. “I like that. The big guy (Jackson) does not fit what we do. He’s a statue in the pocket.”

--None of the quarterbacks worked under center during the college season. Aubrn quarterback Jarrett Stidham appeared to be the most natural at taking snaps, observed one NFC coordinator.

--South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel “had a great week of practice and is one of the top skill guys of the week,” one scout said.

--According to one AFC scout, there was some surprise that Massachusetts wide receiver Andy Isabella measured shorter than 5-foot-9 during the Senior Bowl weigh in. He was listed at 5-10. But the productive college player proved to be a precise route runner. He flashed solid speed and separation all week while working often from the slot.

--An AFC scout believes Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin was the best receiver on North team. He consistently created separation and made tough catches. He was good on the outside, but the scout believes he should be a solid slot receiver in the pros.

--Another scout labeled McLaurin as the best receiver on either team due to his ability to get open against man and zone coverage.

---The offensive line on the North has the kind of guys I want on my team, said one AFC coordinator. “The big guy from Washington is my kind of guy,” he said in reference to Washington’s Kaleb McGary.

--Maryland safety Darnell Savage had a solid showing during the Senior Bowl practice week, and two AFC coaches came away impressed with his versatility playing deep safety and closer to the line of scrimmage.

--New Mexico State linebacker Terrill Hanks was spotted alone in the South meeting room long after a meeting had concluded studying and watching film.

--Temple running back Ryquell Armstead did not show much confidence in his pass-catching skills. “He better learn to catch,” said one coordinator.

--Notre Dame running back Dexter Williams flashed in Senior Bowl practices with solid burst and decision making, but an AFC coach said he’ll need to back that up with production in the game itself.

--The Senior Bowl, after consulting a select group of scouts and personnel men, selected the following players on Friday morning as the Practice Players of the Week:

Top overall: OT Chuma Edoga, USC
Quarterback: Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
Running back: Dexter Williams, Notre Dame
Wide receiver: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
Tight end: Foster Moreau, LSU
Offensive line: Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State
Defensive line: Isaiah Buggs, Alabama
Linebacker: Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame
Defensive back: Darnell Savage, Maryland
Special teams: Austin Seibert, Oklahoma

Jennifer Lee Chan contributed to this report.

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