The Reese’s Senior Bowl features plenty of NFL Draft prospects participating in practices that accumulate with Saturday’s game.
These prospects from across the country are split into two rosters for a game in Mobile, Alabama. The outcome between the North and South rosters does not matter as much as the talents and skills that players bring to the Senior Bowl.
This annual draft showcase attracts scouts, media, and coaches looking to evaluate college football’s top prospects. NFL rookies like quarterbacks Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott improved their draft stock at this event last year.
Who stood out from this week’s practice? What players should you keep an eye on during Saturday’s broadcast? Check out some names below.
Defensive end Tarell Basham, Ohio
At 6-foot-4, Tarell Basham has the size to be a top-100 draft pick. However, he used the Senior Bowl week to increase his draft stock.
According to CBS Sports’ Dane Brugler, the Ohio product was dominant in one-one drills. He used a combination of burst and power to penetrate the pocket. The same article said that Basham might belong in the top-50 draft prospects.
Basham concluded his collegiate career by leading the MAC in sacks with nine. He also had 14.4 tackles for a loss in 2016.
Tight end O.J. Howard, Alabama
Brugler writes that O.J. Howard entered the week as the top prospect in Mobile. Howard leaves with the same designation. The Alabama tight end created separation and made some great catches, per CBS Sports.
With a week of practice already under his belt, Howard could continue ascending up draft boards with a big game on Saturday.
Howard finished his Alabama career with 114 receptions, 1,726 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns over four seasons. He also won a National Championship with the Crimson Tide in 2015.
Linebacker Haason Reddick, Temple
Mayock wrote that Reddick had a great attitude towards changing his position from defensive end to linebacker for the week. Mayock said that the Temple defender got better every day of the Senior Bowl practices.
At 6-foot-1 and 237 pounds, Mayock wrote that Reddick showed the versatility to play inside linebacker in a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.
Reddick registered 65 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, and one interception in his senior season at Temple.
Quarterback Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh
Mayock named Nate Peterman as the Senior Bowl quarterback who will make the fastest transition to the NFL.
According to Mayock, this is not a deep draft class for quarterbacks. However, Peterman is one who can step in as a backup. Peterman picks things up quickly, per Mayock.
The Pitt quarterback completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,855 yards, 27 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in his senior season.
Receiver Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
Cooper Kupp is another name to know for Saturday’s Senior Bowl, according to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller.
Miller wrote that Kupp did not disappoint with his separation skills and hands. The Eastern Washington player was the best receiver for either team during this week’s practice. Kupp could end up as the No. 3 receiver in the draft class, per Miller.
In 2016, Kupp registered 117 receptions, 1,700 yards, and 17 receiving touchdowns. Kupp also completed some passes, returned some kicks, and got some rushes over his career with Eastern Washington.
Safety Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
Obi Melifonwu also gained some attention during the week of Senior Bowl practices, according to Miller.
Miller wrote that there are not many safeties with the size and fluid hips of Melifonwu. Miller cites that teams believe the safety can erase tight ends with his length, range, and physicality.
Melifonwu finished his 2016 season with 118 tackles and four interceptions. Over his career, Melifonwu registered 349 total tackles, eight interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and two forced fumbles.
Keep an eye out for these NFL Draft prospects and more during Saturday’s Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl starts at 1:30 p.m. CT from Mobile, Alabama.
[Featured Image by Brynn Anderson/AP Images]