The 2021 Senior Bowl, against all odds, was a huge success amidst a worldwide pandemic. The week concluded with the National Team being able to hold on for a 27-24 victory over the American team. This year’s Senior Bowl is perhaps the most pivotal Senior Bowl to date. Since there is no NFL combine this year, this is the only opportunity for these players to compete and meet with teams in person. Here are some of the players that truly stood out and helped their stock the most.
Ian Book, QB, Notre Dame
Ian Book was put onto the Senior Bowl National team as the winningest Quarterback in Notre Dame history at 30-5. Although he had two College Football Playoff appearances and an upset victory over Clemson in his career, there were many questions on how his talents would translate to the pro level. Book took full advantage of this week’s of opportunity and was named the Practice Player-of-the-Week out of all the Quarterbacks on the National Team.
PFF ranked him the 2nd most valuable player by PFF based on a Wins Above Average. Second only to the potential first-round receiver, Kadarius Toney from Florida. He was throwing darts all week, and below is a great example of how cool and confident he looked in the pocket. Book did a great job of helping his stock at the Senior Bowl this year and helped get his name on the map of NFL teams.
— Whole Nine Sports (@WholeNineSports) January 27, 2021
Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina
Running Back Michael Carter from UNC truly made a name for himself this year at the Senior Bowl. His momentum from a great season and a great week of practice carried over into the game. On 8 carries, he rushed for 60 of the National Team’s 95 rushing yards and secured the only rushing touchdown on the day for his team. The rest of the running backs combined for 15 carries for a measly 17 yards.
Although Carter was among the top three in the Nation in yards per carry, he looked excellent as a receiver as well. He consistently won in the 1-on-1’s against linebackers and he is a very viable option in the flat as you can see below. His experience in being successful alongside another great Running Back in Javonte Williams will serve him well transitioning to the next level. He will be a difference-maker wherever he winds up.
North Carolina’s Michael Carter making guys miss in the open field.
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) January 30, 2021
Demetric Felton, WR UCLA
Demetric Felton established that he is the most versatile draft prospect on the National team at this year’s Senior Bowl. After spending his college career at Running Back, this week he was listed as a wide receiver. Felton made that transition look seamless. He was looking dominant in the 1-on-1’s as you can see below. His speed and quickness were an absolute nightmare for defensive backs all week. His ability to be a playmaker on the outside, in the slot, and in the backfield will be an NFL Offensive Coordinator’s dream to whoever picks him up.
UCLA’s Demetric Felton projects well to WR if an NFL team wants to use him there. Explosive out of his breaks, subtle usage of his hands to create separation. Crafty #SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/AiGFQgqFVx
— Brad Kelly (@CoachBKelly) January 27, 2021
Inside hand comes to the shoulder to sell the push off for the deep stop/comeback route. That’s nice. https://t.co/snvfJ8xa9f
— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) January 27, 2021
John Bates, TE, Boise State
The Tight End group came into this week very under-the-radar. The group as a whole did perform well throughout the week. That being said, John Bates made a name for himself at this year’s Senior Bowl. After only playing in three games this season, Bates needed a good week to improve his stock in this year’s draft. He did just that. His hands and deceptive quickness were shown off in 1-on-1’s and in the team drills. His catch radius, size, and route running could make him a valuable day three selection.
Boise State TE John Bates continues to make plays as a pass catching option. Having a good Senior Bowl. pic.twitter.com/ZBpJlFLonh
— Ross Jackson (@RossJacksonNOLA) January 28, 2021
Boise State TE John Bates has been the most consistent player at his position.
— Luke Patterson (@LukePattersonLP) January 28, 2021
Quinn Meinerz, OL, Wisconsin-Whitewater
It’s rare that an offensive lineman steals the show at the Senior Bowl. It’s even rarer that a Division III prospect is able to do so. But in uncommon times, came an uncommon man in Quinn Meinerz. Meinerz was not only stealing the show for his look and marketability, he was flat out looking dominant out there. He was voted as the Practice Player-of-the-Week as the top OL on his squad. His performance on the Senior Bowl National team boosted his draft stock astronomically and will be a gem for whoever selects him. Below is him getting a pancake on a 2nd Team All-American Defensive End:
Top-5 clips from @seniorbowl week🔥
5. DIII Quinn Meinerz vs a power five DL
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 30, 2021
Elerson Smith, DE/OLB, Northern Iowa
Quinn Meinerz was not the only small school prospect that stood out this week at the Senior Bowl. Elerson Smith was looking dominant out there. Standing at 6’7″, his pass rush moves looked very smooth and his long arms were helping him dominate against offensive linemen throughout the week. His quickness off the line looked elite all week and is on display below. Smith is a playmaker and will be a steal for whichever NFL defense he becomes a part of.
— Mike O’Brien (@MOBrienNFL) January 30, 2021
— Vinnie Calderone (@CenzoCal) January 28, 2021
Daelin Hayes, DL, Notre Dame
Daelin Hayes put on a real show this week at the Senior Bowl. He was dominant and versatile throughout the week. His quickness and strength were on full display below in this dominant rep of 1-on-1’s.
Notre Dame's Daelin Hayes is a BULLY💪 pic.twitter.com/REAVb8aR3J
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 27, 2021
Hayes’s dominance in the drills and the 1-on-1’s, transferred over very well to the game itself. He was constantly in the backfield and made a couple of big run stops in the first half. The highlight of his relentless pressure was this strip sack below against the American team. The blend of speed and power in his game makes him a real problem for opposing offenses.
Daelin Hayes continues to impress at the senior bowl.
Here he rips under the shoulder pad and uses his leverage to drive his way to the quarterback.https://t.co/JdO00AE2Oz
— Boom or Bust: The Draft Show (@BoomOrBustDraft) January 27, 2021
To put the cherry on top of his pass-rushing and run-stuffing abilities, he was even covering Tight Ends in the 1-on-1’s and winning those reps as well as you can see below. His versatility and athleticism helped him stand out at this year’s Senior Bowl and he certainly looked like he will a difference-maker at the next level.
Dealin Hayes is 261 and covering tight ends like this? Innnnnnteresting…. pic.twitter.com/lGXXnoK9i1
— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) January 29, 2021
Tre Brown, CB, Oklahoma
Tre Brown was a true stand out amongst this group in the Senior Bowl. Brown competed and made plays for each rep in the 1-on-1’s. His impressive play earned him Practice Player-of-the-Week of the DB group. He was not just getting pass breakups in those 1-on-1 battles, he was snagging interceptions.
— Rivals (@Rivals) January 28, 2021
He was not only impressive in playing in off-man coverage, as shown above. Brown may have been even more impressive in press. When in press on these 1-on-1’s, he was not giving receivers an inch and was playing with great anticipation. His versatility and playmaking ability was on full display and certainly helped his case going into the 2021 NFL Draft.
— 𝕆𝕂𝕃𝔸ℍ𝕆𝕄𝔸-𝕍𝕊-𝕋ℍ𝔼 𝕎𝕆ℝ𝕃𝔻 (@soonergridiron) January 27, 2021