SENIOR BOWL WEEK Part 1

By | January 23, 2019

Tuesday now starts the week here in Mobile, and it begins bright and early with the player weigh-in process. You’ve been provided with all the numbers, via link to our friend Scott Wright’s website and weigh-in chart. Here are some numbers that caught my attention.

There are still plenty of guys who tip the scales at 300 lbs+, but most are in the low 300’s. I find that phenomenon to be an indicator that the NFL’s efforts to control/eliminate steroid and growth hormones through random testing is working overall. 26 players weighed over 300 lbs. with the heavyweight champ being B.J. AUTRY/Jacksonville State at 351. The small-school giant is clearly a load, but now the question for the rest of his week is what about the feet? Can he show enough mobility to handle NFL level DL.

QB hand size is always a closely watched item of interest when the Draft prospect evaluation gets into high gear. Size does matter. Some years ago GM JOHN SCHNEIDER freely admitted that the overRiding factor in drafting RUSSELL WILSON despite his sub-6′ height was his 10″+ hand size. So, in order, here are QB hand sizes down here:
GARDNER MINSHEW 10 1/4″
TYREE JACKSON 10″
DANIEL JONES 9 3/4″
WILL GRIER 9 1/2″
JARRETT STIDHAM 9 3/8″
RYAN FINLEY 9 3/8″
TRACE McSORLEY 9 1/8″
DREW LOCK 9″
For those you fans who pooh-pooh hand size importance please remember that the NFL Football, also know as The Duke, is slightly larger than a college football. And if you can’t get a tight grip on that ball, throwing becomes a bit problematic. This can be especially true in cold and/or wet weather.

One of the smallest guys this week, who is going to get a lot of attention is UMASS WR ANDY ISABELLA. He’s a Wes Welker sized guy with great quickness and seemingly the straight line speed to go with it. ISABELLA stood 5’087″ and weighed 186. He had 8 1/2″ hands and 29 3/4″ long arms. The anticipation is that we will see Andy lined up in the slot a lot this week. Call him a sleeper if you will, but do NOT sleep on him as a receiving prospect.

Pass rushers are of course in very high demand for today’s pro game with heavy primary emphasis on the passing game. The Senior Bowl features some premier pass-rushers. One of the key assets for most edge-rushers is their length, which primarily relates to their arm length, and height. The following guys will primarily be drafted to rush the passer, whether it be at DE or OLB.
CHARLES OMENIHU 6’055/36 1/2″vines
MONTEZ SWEAT 6’060″/35 5/8″ARMS
L.J. COLLIER 6’022/34 3/4″ARMS
ANTHONY NELSON 6’067/34 3/4″ARMS
CARL GRANDERSON 6’046″/34 1/2″ARMS
ZACH ALLEN 6’043/34 1/2″ARMS
JAYLON FERGUSON 6’043″/34 1/8″ARMS
OSHNAE XIMINES 6’034/33 3/8″ARMS
SUTTON SMITH 6’003/30 3/8″
Smith would be considered the outlier of this group but the edge-rush specialist has double digit sack numbers for NIU the past two years, and gets his job done based on quickness, anticipation and high energy. He’s pretty much a 1-trick pony but his trick is highly coveted.

Wingspan is a number of growing interest to NFL scouts. Though often viewed an extension of arm length, it goes a step further in measuring overall length. The guys with the longest arms aren’t always leading the way in wingspan. Here are the top guys, as measured Tuesday, who all exceeded 83″ wingspan.
OLI UDOH OL 85″
CHARLES OMENIHU 84 3/4″
MONTEZ SWEAT ER 84 1/2″
DONALD PARHAM TE 84″
B.J. AUTRY OL 83 1’2″
ANTHONY NELSON DE 83 1/4″

Hand Size is an often mentioned measurement of considerable potential significance. For me, bigger may not always be better, but tiny hand size is seldom a plus mark on a player’s report card. There were a whopping 25 players with hand size of 10″ or greater. That is 25 out of 117 players at the weigh-in. But only 1 player had hands in excess of 11″, and that champion was MICHAEL DIETER of Wisconsin at 11 1/8″. Not a record folks but the leader of the pack here this year.

Probably the smallest overall player, when rolling in all of their measurements, was HUNTER RENFROW of Clemson. The mighty might walk-on, who became a fan favorite for his determination and clutch catches is considered a legit, late round prospect, but his build is astoundingly slight.
RENFROW is 5’103″, 175#, 7 3/4″ hands, 29″ arms, 70″ wingspan. But if he doesn’t get broken by defenders he’ll contribute to an NFL team starting later this year.

Be sure to check out all the numbers for yourself. Happily for us in the media, and you diehard fans, the weigh-in information has been made readily available from the Senior Bowl, compared to covert procedures at the SHRINE and NFLPA venues. Thanks guys!

Later today I will put together thoughts from my notebook regarding Tuesday practices.

Cheers

Pigskin