The Reese's Senior Bowl has been an opportunity for coaches to get hands on prospective NFL Draft prospects and stack them up against comparable competition. The 2021 edition of the Reese's Senior Bowl looks a little different but the purpose remains the same. Some prospects have already carved out a spot for themselves in the first round but others are hoping to accomplish a similar projection throughout the week.
Here are the best players that each team has to offer this weekend:
EDGE Patrick Jones II, Pittsburgh
Jones is an active player that does a good job getting off blocks. He does not possess high-end athleticism but his motor never runs dry. The Virginia native is quick around the edge and shows a good understanding of how to use his hands and when to use a counter move.
Jones is destined to be taken somewhere on Day 2.
RB Najee Harris, Alabama
Harris will practice this week to the chagrin of his agents but it is unknown whether he intends to play in the game. The California native is a bigger back in the mold of Derrick Henry but catching passes comes so naturally to him. He broke record after record in Tuscaloosa and hopes to carry over his stellar career as a professional. Harris possesses first-round ability but where he is selected depends on how teams view the position. The top running back in 2020, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, was not taken until No. 32 overall by the Chiefs.
Harris' Alabama teammate, wide receiver Devonta Smith, will take part in interviews throughout the week but does not intend to practice or play in the game, which is why he does not appear on this list more prominently. Smith has little to prove after a historic college football season catching the football.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Oklahoma
Stevenson has been rated highly on my personal board dating back to the summer despite sharing carries in a crowded backfield last season. His size is noteworthy but it does not reflect his running style. He is patient with a good burst and speed. The junior college product does a good job of picking up blitzes, catching passes out of the backfield and is capable of taking it to the house every time he takes the handoff. What more could a team want in a running back? His change of direction can be a bit clunky but Stevenson does not go down on initial contact.
He is one of the top options at running back. With that being said, similar to last year, it would not be a surprise if he were taken in the second round or was still sitting there in the early stages of Day 3. Teams will have to dive into his past following a suspension that cost him some time early in the 2021 season.
WR D'Wayne Eskridge, Western Michigan
Eskridge is a player that the average fan is probably not familiar with at this stage of the process. He has never racked up 70+ receptions in a single season but it is not uncommon for him to average 20+ yards per catch. The Indiana native is explosive. Eskridge loves to catch a crossing pattern where he can see upfield and make defenders miss but he has also made some nice catches high pointing the football. He is quick out of his breaks, extremely fast and reflects natural body movement. Teams will be able to deploy him as a kick returner if they so choose.
NFL teams looking for quickness will have no shortage of options in 2021: Ole Miss' Elijah Moore, Purdue's Rondale Moore, Florida's Kadarius Toney and Eskridge are just a few of several possibilities.
WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
Wallace has been a draft crush of mine for a while to the point that he has been included in the first round of at least one mock draft. He has produced at a high level for three years despite suffering a torn ACL in October of 2019. The Cowboy has made difficult catches look routine throughout his career. He is physical through contact and turns 50-50 situations into 80-20. The senior has proven to be a competent blocker and shows great body control down the field.
CB Aaron Robinson, UCF
Robinson has shot up my personal rankings recently. He played more in the field in 2019 as opposed to the boundary but that has changed in 2020. From a skills perspective, he possesses all that NFL teams are looking for in a cornerback: quickness, speed, high energy and physicality. The Florida native is handsy into routes but seems to have a good understanding of when it is no longer appropriate. NFL coaching will serve him well but all of the traits necessary for success are packed into his frame.
There are 32 players taken in the first round but it is common for roughly 20 players to carry first-round grades. The number may actually be smaller this year. While Robinson does not carry a first round grade, it would not be shocking if he were taken on Day 1.
DT Marlon Tuipulotu, USC
If talent evaluators had been alerted that one of the top draft-eligible defensive tackles would be coming from USC, the guess would have been Jay Tufele before the season. Tufele opted out but Tuipulotu picked up the slack. He is quick off the ball and displays violent, active hands. The Oregon native continues to push the pocket and never gives up on the play.
Alabama's Christian Barmore is still likely to be the first defensive tackle taken because of his upside. However, the Trojan has forced his name into the next conversation. Washington's Levi Onwuzurike and Tufele might have something to say about it considering teams have not seen them live since last season. Onwuzurike is also at the Reese's Senior Bowl.
EDGE Jordan Smith, UAB
Smith is a long, lean edge rusher that primarily plays standing up but does not look overly comfortable in coverage. His natural bend around the edge is among the best in the class. He explodes off the line of scrimmage and has shown the capability of turning speed to power. The Georgia native likely needs to add weight to reach his full potential and could use some coaching on getting those long arms on the blocker early to dictate movement. The UAB product is more of what some wanted Western Kentucky's DeAngelo Malone to be early in the year.
It would not be a surprise if a team took a chance on him in the first round but the second round is more likely.
The offensive line
The American Team offensive line is stacked with road graders. An interior offensive line comprised of Alabama offensive guard Deonte Brown, Kentucky center Drake Jackson and Tennessee offensive guard Trey Smith with Alabama's Alex Leatherwood on the edge is absurd. If Stevenson and Harris were on this team, they might never have to pass the ball.
Brown, Leatherwood and Smith all have a chance to be taken in the first round but it is more likely that Day 2 provides a soft landing spot for at least two of the three.
WR Kadarius Toney, Florida
When reviewing scouting reports, the breakdown does not always match the grade. In the case of Toney, the grade may not be high enough. He is fast, agile and elusive. NFL teams can use him on jet sweeps, wide receiver screens and in a variety of other ways, similar to Tyreek Hill in Kansas City. The Mobile native has an athletic build that enables him to fight through contact. His quickness in and out of breaks is an example of how far his route-running came this year. The most important trait when evaluating players to me is natural movement skills. Some players are simply more comfortable in their own skin and it is evident when every part of their body moves in unison. Toney checks the box.
It is becoming increasingly likely that the Gator is taken in the first round.
The 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl is scheduled to be played Saturday, January 30 at 2:30 p.m. ET from Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The game will be televised on NFL Network. CBS Sports' full 2021 NFL Draft prospect rankings can be found HERE.