Outside of the NFL Combine, there’s no more important element of the pre-draft process than the Senior Bowl.

It’s become a must-monitor event for anyone reporting on the players eligible for the NFL draft, one that’s always well-organized and saturated with media coverage.

As such, the week in Mobile, Ala., is a good opportunity to learn at least a little about the shifting tectonic plates behind the scenes otherwise known as players’ draft stock.

Nothing can replace the performances these players put together on the field for four years at their respective institutions. For the most part, there’s not a ton of drastic up-and-down movement after the end of the season. But we were able to glean some understanding by sifting through dozens of opinions from media members and draft analysts.

Here’s a look at the SEC players who probably helped or hurt their draft potential a little last week:


  • LB Deion Jones, LSU. He may have been the consensus most impressive defensive player at the Senior Bowl relative to the perception of each player entering the week. He opened eyes with his ability to run sideline-to-sideline with as much speed as any safety. He’s extremely lean (219 pounds) for a pro linebacker, but his potential coverage skills and ability to cover so much ground are considered assets in today’s NFL.
  • TE Jerell Adams, South Carolina. The ultra-athletic tight end has been pegged as a player sure to impress during pre-draft process for quite some time. His raw ability as a pass-catcher seems even more apparent in person and outside the confines of a bad Gamecocks offense. But some observers also noted that his blocking ability was better than most suspected.

  • CB Jonathan Jones, Auburn. The weigh-in did Jones no favors, as he registered at 5-foot-8 5/8 and 178 pounds. But we’re not talking about a first-round prospect here. Several analysts noted his speed, quickness and ball skills as he was one of the best cover corners during 1-on-1 drills at the Senior Bowl, perhaps solidifying himself as a draft pick in today’s defensive back-hungry NFL.
  • LB Jordan Jenkins, Georgia. Fellow linebacker Jake Ganus got the mainstream headlines by wearing a UAB helmet to practice (Ganus transferred to UGA after the Blazers shuttered the football program). But Jenkins ticked all the boxes. At the weigh-in, his hands and arms measured 11 and 82 inches, respectively. At a chiseled 257 pounds, he won more than his share of 1-on-1 pass rush drills. And though he doesn’t have much experience in coverage, he at least showed an aptitude there.

Others: LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama; RB Jonathan Williams, Arkansas; LB Kentrell Brothers, Missouri; G Sebastian Tretola, Arkansas; OT Vadal Alexander, LSU; DB Jalen Mills, LSU


  • SEC quarterbacks. Dak Prescott, Brandon Allen and Jake Coker didn’t hurt themselves in the same way that former Alabama QB Blake Sims did at last year’s Senior Bowl. All three had some good moments in practice. Prescott and Allen looked sharp in the game. But Carson Wentz of North Dakota State clearly separated himself. All three SEC quarterbacks were inconsistent at times. Prescott probably had the best week of the three, but several analysts and scouts mentioned the perception of him as a developmental prospect. That may mean he’s a third-day pick.
  • RB Kenyan Drake, Alabama. He entered the week with some buzz as a utility player on special teams and in the passing game. But Drake showed a lapse of concentration in practice, dropping at least three passes in a single day. He did score a touchdown in the game on a misdirection sweep. But during a week in which he had a chance to do more, Drake got a few negative marks.
  • OT John Theus, Georgia. A four-year SEC starter who also is 6-foot-7 and 317 pounds, Theus’ resume certainly looks the part. But he struggled at times against good prospects. His performance in the Senior Bowl practices probably solidified his role as an NFL right tackle in the minds of many personnel folks. There’s nothing wrong with that, but he probably doesn’t have the quickness, fluidity and low pad level needed to press for a top 40 draft pick.
  • Mizzou OL. Connor McGovern got removed from on-field activities during the first day of practice due to a hamstring injury. He played all season at left tackle — not his strong suit. So the Senior Bowl was a missed opportunity for him to remind scouts of his ability as a run-blocking guard. He improved late in the week, but after falling beneath (very lofty) expectations during the 2015 season, C Evan Boehm struggled against powerful interior defensive linemen in drills.