Senior Bowl 2021: Kellen Mond earns MVP honors, Michael Carter dazzles, more key takeaways

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The 2021 Reese's Senior Bowl is here which ultimately signifies the start of draft season. Talent evaluators from all 32 NFL franchises are on hand for the Senior Bowl and they've been in Mobile, Alabama for the entire week of practices leading up to this game. For most personnel executives, it's all about the practice week, meeting with the players, and watching how they interact with the rest of their team. However, standing out as a performer in the actual game can carry a lot of weight, too. Below, we'll dive into the MVP, other standout players, and key takeaways.

MVP

Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M

Mond completed 13-of-25 passes for 173 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. The San Antonio native offers a blend of arm strength and mobility. He was one of five quarterbacks to take a snap in the game as Alabama's Mac Jones sat out after suffering an ankle injury during practice this week. Mond has been inconsistent throughout his career but NFL coaches are the eternal optimists; one team will fall in love with his skill set and convince themselves of being able to fix his flaws. 

Gameday Standouts 

Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina

Carter might have been overshadowed by his teammate, running back Javonte Williams, but he is no less of a talent. Carter has shown his ability to break off big runs and run through tackles. He finished the outing with 60 yards on eight carries. On the surface, that is impressive alone. However, every other player combined for 26 yards on 45 carries, which equates to .577 yards per carry. 

Demetric Felton, RB/WR, UCLA

Felton played running back for the Bruins this season but he spent the week in Mobile training at wide receiver. The California native carried a strong week of practice into the live game setting. He caught two passes for 28 yards and one touchdown. Felton caught a pass from Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger in the flat and faked to the outside before blistering the defender with an inside move. His versatility will suit him well during a time in the NFL where playcallers are finding creative ways to get the ball into the hands of their most dynamic talents.  

Patrick Jones II and Rashad Weaver, EDGE, Pittsburgh

Jones was one of CBS Sports' most highly rated players at the Reese's Senior Bowl but he was rather pedestrian throughout the week. Jones crashed the party Saturday on a sack play where he started on the edge, showed a swim move inside to beat the left tackle, and slung Jamie Newman to the ground. Weaver did a great job resetting the line of scrimmage and creating opportunities for his teammates. 

Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson

There is a lot of talent on Clemson's roster and that can make it easy for an individual to be overlooked. Rodgers has been Mr. Consistent for that team over the past two years and his skills have been underappreciated. His stock has been leveling out as the process comes full circle and his performance today, throughout the week has aided that argument. He finished with four receptions for 23 yards and one touchdown. 

Keith Taylor, CB, Washington

Taylor did a great job staying in phase most of the day. He did give up a touchdown on an inside breaking route but also created an interception along the boundary. The former Huskie got his head back around to break up a pass that landed in the hands of Pittsburgh's Damar Hamlin. 

Additional practice standouts

UCF safety Richie Grant made several plays throughout the week showing the versatility to play in the slot or deep. West Virginia linebacker Tony Fields II was active in practice. Undersized by traditional standards, Fields showed that he has an understanding of his role and often found himself in a prime position to make the play. 

Wisconsin-Whitewater offensive guard Quinn Meinerz won over everyone in attendance by having the confidence to wear a belly shirt at practice. His play matched his aesthetic as he became one of the most heavily discussed players throughout the week. Alabama quarterback Mac Jones was accurate in a day of practice before succumbing to an ankle injury. The Crimson Tide quarterback was determined to show that he could succeed without a stable of high-end receivers around him. North Dakota State offensive tackle Dillon Radunz played one game this season before shutting down the season. His play matched the Top 50 projections that he has received for most of the process. 

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I think replay would have overturned that touchdown reception by Kenny Yeboah, but it was a spectacular catch nonetheless. He went up to high point the football and sold out to make the catch.

January 30, 2021, 10:11 PM
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Headed to the final quarter and it is a one score game. The American team will begin the fourth quarter with the ball trailing by 4.

January 30, 2021, 10:02 PM
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Amari Rodgers is not going to test off the charts but the guy makes plays and has made plays throughout his career at Clemson.

January 30, 2021, 9:36 PM
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What a catch by Amari Rodgers! Takes the hit and holds on to the ball. He's going to be a Day 2 steal in this loaded WR class.

January 30, 2021, 9:23 PM
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Good effort from Tulane DL Cameron Sample. I thought he had a good week of practice.

January 30, 2021, 9:15 PM
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After struggling a bit during the practice week, it's great to see Pitt EDGE Patrick Jones get a sack! He beat the left tackle clean on an excellent inside move.

January 30, 2021, 8:51 PM
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Ohio State has three linebackers in this game: Justin Hilliard, Baron Browning and Tuf Borland. A fourth, Pete Werner, is in the draft pool but not participating in the Reese's Senior Bowl. Lots of turnover at that level for the Buckeyes.

January 30, 2021, 8:34 PM
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Jamie Newman seeing his first in-game action since Dec. 27, 2019 against Michigan State. Newman opted out of the season.

January 30, 2021, 8:32 PM
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January 30, 2021, 8:31 PM
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January 30, 2021, 8:31 PM
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Feleipe Franks now in at quarterback for the National team.

January 30, 2021, 8:25 PM
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A rule exclusive to the Reese's Senior Bowl: there is a two-minute warning at the end of each period and then the ball turns over to start the following quarter. It is a way for teams to test situational awareness.

January 30, 2021, 8:13 PM
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I wish I could Quote Dan's comment because I love Michael Carter and have for awhile. His teammate, Javonte Williams, is going to be one of the first running backs off the board in April but Carter deserves some love too. He is currently No. 64 overall on my personal board and I have not made any adjustments stemming from Senior Bowl week yet.

January 30, 2021, 8:06 PM
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Michael Carter wasting no time picking up where he left off in practice this week. The rising UNC RB could ultimately work his way into being an early Day 2 pick. Explosive, elusive -- all the traits that translate to the next level at the RB position.

January 30, 2021, 8:04 PM
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Some of the small school talents at this week's Reese's Senior Bowl:

North Carolina Central CB Bryan Mills, Grambling State OG David Moore, Central Arkansas CB Robert Rochell, Northern Iowa EDGE Elerson Smith, Northern Iowa OT Spencer Brown, Wisconsin-Whitewater OG Quinn Meinerz, South Dakota State WR Cade Johnson

January 30, 2021, 8:03 PM
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Notre Dame and Georgia are tied (6) for the most players in today's game. The representing Irish: EDGE Adetokunbo Ogundeji, EDGE Daelin Hayes, OL Robert Hainsey, OG Aaron Banks, QB Ian Book and WR Ben Skowronek. The representing Bulldogs: TE Tre McKitty, LB Monty Rice, CB D.J. Daniel, CB Mark Webb, EDGE Malik Herring and OG Ben Cleveland. QB Jamie Newman transferred to Georgia from Wake Forest during the offseason but never played a down for the team.

January 30, 2021, 7:50 PM
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Sam Ehlinger gets the start at quarterback for the National team. Notre Dame's Ian Book and Arkansas' Feleipe Franks will also see snaps today.

January 30, 2021, 7:45 PM
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We have kicked off from Mobile, Alabama. Thank you all for joining us today! Texas A&M's Kellen Mond will take the field at quarterback first for the American team. Wake Forest/Georgia QB Jamie Newman is the No. 2 quarterback. Alabama's Mac Jones is not expected to play much, if at all after sustaining an ankle injury in practice earlier this week.

January 30, 2021, 7:37 PM
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