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5 Players Who Improved Their Draft Stock at the Senior Bowl

5 Players Who Improved Their Draft Stock at the Senior Bowl

5 Players Who Improved Their Draft Stock at the Senior Bowl

This past weekend, the first major tentpole of the NFL draft season took place with the annual Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. What makes this college all-star game different from others is that the players are coached by NFL head coaches. This gives draft hopefuls the opportunity for some hands-on experience from NFL coaching staffs during practice as well as give teams a chance to interact with the players in a unique setting. This year's Senior Bowl was coached by the Oakland Raiders' Jon Gruden (North All-Stars), and the San Francisco 49ers' Kyle Shanahan (South All-Stars).

The North beat the South 34-24 on Saturday as several players what they're capable of with NFL brass in attendance. This is just the beginning of the road that will hopefully eventually lead to them hearing their named called during the draft April 25-27 in Nashville, Tennessee. Here are five players who can feel good about what they showed in Mobile.

Daniel Jones, QB, Duke (North)

The 6-foot-5 signal caller was named the Senior Bowl MVP after completing 8-of-11 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown while averaging 10.5 yards per completion. There was initial concern about Jones for two reasons: he missed some time during the season with a shoulder injury and trying to shed the "system quarterback" label as Duke runs a version of the criticized spread offense. Those concerns have now been relieved. He also showcased his mobility when he scored a rushing touchdown in the third quarter. An agile man of his size with a big arm to go with it is a good find for any NFL team.

Jones has proven himself to be coachable which is always a good sign. And there are a few teams that will be looking for quarterbacks in April.

Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo (South)

A good portion of the country didn’t know who this young man was until the last few weeks of the 2018 season. From a physical standpoint, he’s been compared to Daunte Culpepper because of his size (6-7, 247). And after throwing for 3,131 yards, 28 touchdowns, and leading the Bulls to a 10-4 record and MAC West title, Jackson decided to forgo his senior season to enter the draft. If the Senior Bowl is any indication, he may have made the right decision.

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He led all quarterbacks in completions (13 on 21 attempts), passing yards (165), and touchdown passes (2). How he wasn’t the MVP is a mystery to me other than the North team won the game. Jackson didn't get much of chance to show his athleticism as a runner (one rushing attempt), but he's not a statue in the pocket either. It's the combination of his physical traits and talents as a passer that will attract the attention of NFL teams moving forward.

Andy Isabella, WR, UMass (North)

During Isabella's four years, the Minutemen never won more than four games in a season. But that's not because Isabella didn't do his part, as he racked up 231 catches for 3,526 yards and 40 touchdowns, with most of that coming in three seasons. he showed off this ability to make things happen by leading all receivers in the Senior Bowl with seven receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. Isabella will have to answer some questions when it comes to his size (5-10, 190) and the level of competition he faced, but he also has the potential to be a productive slot receiver in the pass-happy NFL.

Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson (South)

He’s similar to Andy Isabella in size (5-9, 175) but the former walk-on also was a big part of Clemson's impressive success during his time with the Tigers. He helped Clemson win two national championships while making the College Football Playoff four straight seasons and finished his career with 2,133 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. An underdog of sorts since he stepped on campus, Renfrow is used to proving himself and it's a mentality that showed in Mobile. He had five catches in the Senior Bowl, including one that went for 35 yards. Renfrow will have another chance to impress at the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Drew Lock, QB, Missouri and Trace McSorley, QB, Penn State (North)

Quarterbacks are always under the microscope when it comes the draft evaluation process, so we're cheating a little here and grouping these two together. Considered one of the top prospects in this year's class, Lock will have to alleviate concerns about him being a "system quarterback" while McSorley will have to answer questions about his size (6-0, 200) and arm strength. While neither stood out in the game itself they didn't fare poorly either and had strong weeks of practice leading up to Saturday. There's still a long way to go between now and late April, but both quarterbacks can take some comfort in knowing that they each are headed in the right direction.

— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.