As they say, the NFL Draft process begins in Mobile, Alabama. Senior Bowl week is now fully underway with a ton of talent looking to impress scouts and get pro-level coaching. Who are some players who can really take advantage of the week and boost their stock with the countdown to April and the 2020 Draft now underway?
Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
Zack Baun is an interesting prospect. Wisconsin is far from a name-brand, top school in the country, but at the same time, is still far from terrible. Baun was the leader of a 2019 Wisconsin defense that ended the season in the top 10 of scoring, and Baun himself finished with 12.5 sacks in 2019.
Now with his Badgers career over and the draft cycle kicking up, he has gained some steam as a prospect that can go as early as the top of Round 2 or even bottom of Round 1, which would have been unheard in the preseason.
Zack Baun finished the 2018 season just 3.5 sacks while backing up Andrew Van Ginkel on the depth chart, who is now with the Dolphins. Now at Mobile, Alabama, Baun has the opportunity to continue to impress scouts and the media. His film is already impressive and worthy of a top-100 selection, but he can take the 1st steps to lock himself in an as a 2nd round or 1st round prospect.
Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
This one is simple for Gandy-Golden. The Liberty alumni has put up consecutive seasons of 70 catches, 1,000 yards, 10 touchdowns, which is incredible. The problem, from a draft perspective, is he did so at Liberty, and is independent. Liberty has never been known for their football, to say the least.
At the Senior Bowl, Gandy-Golden will have the chance to compete against some of the best in the country. In 2019, Liberty only played three schools in Power 5 conferences, one of which was Rutgers, and had only played one ranked team in all of 2019. In those three games, Gandy-Golden totaled 17 catches for a solid 247 yards.
AGG has managed to stack up gaudy numbers but rarely played against guys who will be playing on Sundays, and now has the chance to do so in Mobile, Alabama, and really boost his stock.
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Justin Herbert has the opportunity of a lifetime at the Senior Bowl. With Joe Burrow not at the Senior Bowl, Herbert is now the top quarterback on the field, and more importantly, he is on the South roster, and will be coached by the Bengals coaching staff.
Herbert will have to have the week of his life to surpass Burrow, but with Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts also in Mobile, he can cement himself as QB3 for 2020. He can begin to take steps to make up for inconsistencies in his tape and show off the special tools he possesses.
It will be impossible for the Oregon native to make up the gap himself between himself and Joe Burrow but who knows maybe he appeals enough to Cincinnati to be traded for three first rounders if Miami is willing to do so. That’s a huge hypothetical, but Burrow might be worth it for Miami.
In any case, as the top signal caller at the Senior Bowl, he will have the chance to show out in front of scouts. Opinions on Herbert vary tremendously and this is his first chance to make an impression in the draft process.