Senior Bowl: Offensive prospects who'll have great value later in 2018 NFL Draft
Two super-sized runners and a pair of tall wideouts have the skills to shine during a week in Mobile
A handful of 2018 Senior Bowl participants will ultimately be grabbed in the first round, and you know about those prospects.
There's also a fun collection of undervalued offensive players who'll have a chance to showcase their skills in front of GMs, head coaches, scouts, and media members during a competitive week of practice before the game on Saturday.
I expect these prospects to have performances in Mobile, Alabama next week and eventually be picked at excellent value later in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Ballage is a freaky specimen at around 6-foot-2 and upwards of 225 pounds with blistering speed and dynamic cutting ability. The Arizona State alum is primed to be a player who's ultimately a better pro than he was in college. In 2016, we saw Ballage's rare multi-dimensional ability, as he had 536 yards rushing and 469 receiving yards on just 170 touches (5.9 yards per touch). This past season, he was part of a strict running back committee and was rarely used in the pass game. Freed from Arizona State's system in Mobile, Ballage has a fantastic opportunity to show off his electric athletic ability. Due to his lackluster film, which, in large part, was hampered by poor blocking, Ballage can be a new-age featured back in the NFL who doesn't need to be picked in one of the first few rounds.
The sleekness of Wilson is apparent every time you flip on the film. He glides down the field with ease and that smooth running style doesn't disappear after the catch. He's not a receiver who'll juke his way to the end zone, but he might outrun everybody to hit the home run. In 2016, he averaged 20.2 yards per grab, and Wilson averaged a whopping 18.2 yards per catch this past season. Capable of subtle lateral agility to create separation that doesn't come from his blazing speed, Wilson has a lot of Jeremy Maclin to his game. A few deep connections in Mobile could go a long way in cementing his status as one of the underrated long-ball wideouts in this class.
Taylor Hearn, OG, Clemson
Hearn will have his issues with the smaller, quicker defensive tackles at the next level, because he's not a superb athlete with light feet. However, straight up, in man-on-man situations, Hearn dominates. For a team looking to incorporate a more physical nature in a power-run scheme, the Clemson blocker will be an ideal mid-round prospect. He locks out as well as any interior offensive lineman in the 2018 rookie class. One-on-one drills will be huge for him in Mobile.
Darrel Williams, FB, LSU
Listed as a fullback, Williams has plenty of traditional running back ability. With Derrius Guice hobbled for portions of 2017, the large ball-carrier pieced together an impressive campaign in Baton Rouge. In his first three seasons at LSU, he totaled 831 yards on the ground. In 2017, he toted the rock 145 times for 820 yards (5.65 yards per carry). Would-be tacklers seemingly bounce off him when he's at top gear. Another plus, he caught 23 passes for 331 yards. Williams is likely to be a late-round pick who can fill an important complementary role as a versatile power back at the next level.
Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU
You won't hear Noteboom's name among the top offensive tackle prospects in this class, yet the pass-blocking proficiency he showcased at a long tenure at TCU bodes well for his future in the pass-happy NFL. Per Pro Football Focus, Noteboom surrendered nine quarterback pressures (two sacks, one hit, six hurries) on 820 snaps at left tackle this past season. His pass-blocking grade was the 16th-best out of 232 tackles who played at least 50 percent of their respective team's snaps. All the way back in 2015, his PFF pass-block grade -- while playing right tackle -- was the fifth-best among 237 qualifiers. He has NFL size and outstanding athletic talents to deal with every type of pass-rusher.
, so I'll keep this short. He's a super-shifty, highlight-reel runner who's comfortable catching passes out of the backfield.
, who already received a full breakdown. At his size with his deceptive speed and circus-catch capabilities, Scott isn't likely to be picked in Round 1 but has a unique skill set to be a consistent producer in the NFL.
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