The 2018 NFL Draft season is progressing along quickly; it is already Senior Bowl week. In Mobile, Alabama, a good chunk of the nation’s best seniors have gathered to showcase their skills for NFL scouts. Here at Nachmany Football, we are following the Senior Bowl closely. As for the players we are watching in particular, we have an eye on the following six NFL hopefuls, all of whom are in prime position to capitalize on the opportunity they have to make a splash this week.
North QB Luke Falk (#3), Washington State (#46 on Big Board, 2nd Round grade)
Hand size: 9 3/8”
Arm length: 32 1/8”
Wingspan: 77 3/4”
The top of the quarterback class is anything but settled; there is such a wide range of opinions on the signal callers projected to go in the first round. As this goes on, Luke Falk is flying under the radar. With Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen on the same field, Falk has the opportunity to establish himself as a first round talent in Mobile. Additionally, a notable story is Falk’s wearing No. 3 to honor fallen Washington State teammate Tyler Hilinski, who committed suicide in the recent weeks.
North H-Back Jaylen Samuels (#21), N.C. State (#106 on Big Board, 4th Round grade)
Hand size: 8 7/8”
Arm length: 31 3/7”
Wingspan: 76 1/2”
— Matt Caraccio (@Matty_S2S) January 24, 2018
One of the most intriguing players in this year’s class is Jaylen Samuels. He is not quite a tight end, nor a running back, nor a fullback; Samuels reminds many evaluators of the old “H-back” style player that was once a centerpiece of pro offenses. We are looking forward to seeing how the NFL coaches at the Senior Bowl utilize him this week.
South OT Alex Cappa (#71), Humboldt State (#431 on Big Board, Undrafted grade)
Measurements Height: 6055 Weight: 299 Hand size: 9 1/8” Arm length: 33 1/8” Wingspan: 77 3/4” Admittedly, we have slept on Alex Cappa, a lower-level star whose play at Humboldt State has been spectacular. Cappa is turning heads at the Senior Bowl with his thick build and a level of athleticism surprising for a player from Humboldt State. Cappa has a captive audience of NFL scouts watching him now – it is his time to shine (and get into our “draftable” rankings).
South EDGE Marcus Davenport (#93), UTSA (#35 on Big Board, 2nd Round grade)
Measurements Height: 6057 Weight: 259 Hand size: 9” Arm length: 34” Wingspan: 81 1/4” The hype train for Marcus Davenport left the station months ago. Thus far, the main criticism of him has been his lack of film against top-flight offensive tackles. This week, he can neutralize that argument with a strong showing against the NFL-bound offensive linemen he is set to face. Davenport has already measured in exactly where he needs to be as a 4-3 defensive end; now it is time to see him put it together on the field.
South EDGE Shaquem Griffin (#18), Central Florida (#247 on Big Board, 7th Round grade)
Measurements Height: 6002 Weight: 222 Hand size: 9” Arm length: 31 5/8” Wingspan: 66”
— 2017 National Champions (@UCF_Football) January 24, 2018
Perhaps the most talked-about player at the Senior Bowl is also its most inspiring: Shaquem Griffin. Fresh off a National Championship with Central Florida (#UCFNationalChampions), Griffin enters the draft process as one of the most athletic EDGE players available. The UCF star lost his left hand at the age of four, however, and many scouts have written him off as a result. This week, Griffin will have a chance to prove himself, once again, on the field with a great deal of players who will be drafted in a few months, as he guns for an invite to the Scouting Combine (where we believe he would crush the agility drills).
North CB Duke Dawson (#24), Florida (#127 on Big Board, 4th Round grade)
Hand size: 8 1/2”
Arm length: 30 7/8”
Wingspan: 74 5/8”
In recent years, Florida has produced some solid cornerbacks, from Joe Haden to Vernon Hargreaves III and Teez Tabor. Duke Dawson checks all the boxes at cornerback – he has quick hips, light feet, and a nose for the football. During Senior Bowl week, he has the opportunity to showcase his multi-faceted skill set and move from being a nickel corner (in the eyes of scouts) to a guy who can play on the outside.