NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
Last year’s Senior Bowl feature five Quarterbacks who went on to start games in the NFL this past season, including rookie sensation Russell Wilson. Last year’s game also included a little known back from Florida Atlantic who went on to rush for 1600 yards this season.
The next generation of stars are always there to be found and this year will be no different. There is a very solid group of skill position players and a group of Quarterbacks who will be fighting for position on NFL teams draft boards.
You can find the Senior Bowl defensive prospect preview here.
Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia (6’6/310) – Aboushi is a true Left Tackle prospect who is battle tested vs. some of the top pass rushers in the ACC. Aboushi is light on his feet and moves well for his frame. He uses his long arms well to get extension and keep rushers from getting into him. He slides his feet well and does a good job of mirroring the rush. Aboushi isn’t overly powerful and can get beat with power at times. Team captain this past year. It will be fun to watch how Aboushi holds up in one on one pass rush drills this week. Right now he is in that early day two category for offensive tackles, with room to move up.
Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon (5’11/192) – Barner has explosive straight line speed and can get up to top speed quickly. However, it’s tough imagining him as an every down RB in the NFL if he doesn’t add more weight to his frame. Barner has the speed to get to the corner and turn it up quickly, dangerous off read-option, sweeps and draws. Not a natural between the tackles runner, but shows patience to let blocks develop. He has a tough time breaking tackles and goes down on first contact much too much. He has shown good hands out of the backfield and that same explosive ability. Barner will be a good change of pace or complimentary back in the NFL.
Tommy Bohanon, FB, Wake Forest (6’2/245) – I have to admit I haven’t spent much time watching fullbacks. Bohanon has played in 49 games at fullback over the last four years. He saw a dramatic drop in carries this year, but increase his catches to 23. He has the natural size and build of an NFL fullback. In a league where the position is dying you have to be a special player for a team to use a roster spot at the position. We will see if Bohanon stands out this week.
Braxston Cave, OC, Notre Dame (6’3/304) – Experience center prospect, Cave has started the last three seasons for the Fighting Irish. Cave is a smart and technically sound lineman. He does a good job of recognizing blitzes and calling out protections. Cave works well in tight spaces and has no problems getting movement off the snap. Not a great athlete, uses toughness and smarts to win his battles. He’s a good combo blocker, showing good double-teaming fundamentals. Plays with a mean streak and battles on each play. Before he became a started Cave worked as a long snapper, which is an experience that NFL teams will take note of.
Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall (6’3/200) – Dobson is one of the taller receivers that will be in Mobile. While he isn’t the fastest receiver he is able to create separation with his long and powerful strides. Very good when the ball is in the air, gets good position and will fight off defender for the ball. Dobson is still a bit raw in his route running and overall awareness as a route runner. However, Dobson is a productive outside WR who has been able to consistently produce while dealing with double and triple teams. Dobson can stretch the field vertically and made a ton of big plays for the Thundering Herd, anxious to see how he fares against the top Senior CB in the country.
Zac Dysert, QB, Miami(OH) (6’3/228) – Probably the best Quarterback in the country that not everyone has seen play. A four year starter who has shown very good development as both a passer and game manager each season. Dysert has scouts enamored with his ability to run an offense, make quick decisions and throw the ball with NFL strength. Dysert isn’t afraid to make the tough throw and moves well for a QB, with the ability to step up in the pocket and role out. He’s another spread offense QB, so he’s used to getting rid of the ball quickly, but his ability to “make things happen” is what is impressive. Dysert currently turns the ball over too much and a lot of that is because he tries to make something happen. With his size, athletic ability and arm talent he’s got the look of a day two draft pick.
Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson (5’9/195) – Ellington is an explosive straight line running. He has break away speed and can get through the line of scrimmage with great acceleration. Off-tackle and in space Ellington is a superb running, with the patience to let his blocks develop and the vision/agility to elude defenders. However, between the tackles he isn’t very comfortable. He will try to force the hole and often run into his lineman or find himself in a pile. Does a good job of maintain his balance and keeping his center of gravity. Ellington doesn’t break many tackles and like Barner goes down on arm tackles too often. For a player that is going to have to be a 3rd down or change-up back Ellington doesn’t catch enough balls. I will be focusing in on how his hands look this week in Mobile.
Reid Fragel, OT, Ohio State (6’8/310) – Fragel began his career at Ohio State as a tight end and moved to OT this past season. As you would expect he has some weaknesses in his current technique and ability, but possesses the athleticism and length that NFL teams will love. His balance isn’t great right now as he reaches for the pass rusher and is left off balance and vulnerable. As a run blocker, he struggles at times to get leverage and won’t stay engaged long enough. With all that said, Fragel has the feet and agility to be a very good NFL OT project with the proper coaching.
Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA (5’10/198) – Franklin is coming off an huge senior season in which he seems to have put all the pieces together. Franklin rushed for 1700 yards and caught 33 balls, showing scouts that he was an all-purpose running back. He made a number of huge runs and was able to maintain the production consistently throughout the season. He showed tremendous escapability and lateral mobility. His balance was also, much improved throughout the season. Was able to bounce runs outside and turn them up for big gains. Looks to be right around 200 pounds now and has the makings of an NFL feature back in my opinion. My opinion on Franklin has completely changed since last season.