Senior Bowl grades: QB prospects solid across the board
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Senior Bowl, as the South team took down the North with a score of 27-16.
All four of the North’s quarterbacks had solid performances. Carson Wentz (-0.8) came into the game after a week of hype and, while he didn’t blow anyone away with his performance on Saturday, his lone poor play was displaying some poor ball security which led to a fumble on the sack by defensive end Shawn Oakman. Cody Kessler (+1.4) completed some nice throws for first downs, but didn’t challenge the defense downfield. He completed just one throw of 10 yards or more downfield. Kevin Hogan (+1.4) had just four passes, but completed three of them, while the other was thrown away. Jeff Driskel (+1.6) got the most work as they attempted to mount a comeback, but did his best work on passes between zero and 10 yards downfield, going seven-for-seven on those throws before the last gasp 29 yards hail mary to score as time expired.
The star on the defensive side of the ball for the North team was Notre Dame defensive lineman Sheldon Day (+3.3). He spent most of his time on the edge, though did see eight snaps at defensive tackle, and stood out both as a pass rusher and against the run. Too much for left tackles Le’Raven Clark and Spencer Drango, he was arguably the game’s best player.
Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich (+2.3) impressed us throughout the year, and he stood out against the run in the game. He was exposed in coverage on one occasion, but displayed excellent reactions on running plays, finishing the game with four defensive stops — two more than any other player on the North defense.
DE Sheldon Day +3.3
S Darian Thompson +2.3
LB Tyler Matakevich +2.3
QB Jeff Driskell +1.6
QB Cody Kessler +1.4
QB Kevin Hogan +1.4
He might have been knocked by having small hands, but quarterback Brandon Allen (+1.9) was the best player on the South offense. He completed both passes of 20 yards or further downfield he attempted, and completed four of the five passes he attempted under pressure. For all the negativity surrounding his measurements earlier in the week, Allen was the best quarterback in this game.
For a player who looked so good against the run in 2015, Alabama’s Jarran Reed (+1.6) impressed as a pass rusher in this game. He batted a pass, beat projected first round draft pick Joshua Garnett for a pressure, and showed good speed in chasing down the quarterback for a tackle for short game in pursuit.
Defensive end Shawn Oakman is a polarizing player for many people. Some look at his size and see a player who has the potential to be dominant, but then his play often simply doesn’t live up to that. This game showed a lot of good and bad from him. He registered two sacks and two hurries, including forcing a fumble, but both sacks came when cleaning up pressure originally caused by someone else. He was also pushed around a little too easily by tight ends in the running game.
QB Brandon Allen +1.9
LB Kentrell Brothers +1.6
HB Kenyan Drake +1.5
LB Josh Forrest +1.5
WR Paul McRoberts +1.5