As the scouting world descends on Mobile, Alabama, draft season is in full swing. For some, scouting is a year long process but for many it is now that their focus turns to the upcoming class. If you are just digging into the tape, here are five prospects that you may want to look at further. These guys all impressed on Day 1 of the Senior Bowl and could see their stock rise as a result.
Penny Hart, WR (Georgia State, 5’8, 180)
Andy Isabella was billed as the undersized receiver likely to impress the most but despite a strong showing, Penny Hart stole his thunder. Hart showed off his long speed and route running on day 1. As the NFL changes Hart’s size will be less of a worry as teams see him as a match-up nightmare. He should possess the skills to be a dynamic deep threat in 1-on-1 situations.
After being named Sun Belt Conference freshman of the year in 2015, Hart was forced to miss most of his second year with a broken foot. Returning in 2017 he again went over 1,000 yards receiving with 8 TDs. 2018 proved to be somewhat of a backward step but his showing at Mobile will surely pique the interest of a few teams.
Montez Sweat, EDGE (Mississippi State, 6’6, 252)
Sweat was one of the better known names coming into the week and he has lived up to the billing. He has the perfect build to be a menace off the edge. Similar to the way Marcus Davenport enhanced his profile this time last year, Sweat showed off his pass rushing ability. Known for speed and bend around the edge it was his power that received audible gasps. In the rep below he seats tackle Tytus Howard firmly on his backside. Sweat could jump from being a late first rounder to top-15 if he continues.
Mississippi State’s defense is a good place to start for defensive prospects. Sweat has been supported by Jeffrey Simmons along the line while safety Jonathan Abram can also be seen this week in the Senior Bowl. Sweat was a Junior College transfer to the Bulldogs and has been super productive over the last two years. He accounted for 30.5 tackles for loss and 23.5 sacks.
Chris Lindstrom, OG (Boston College, 6’4, 305)
Senior Bowl practice often disadvantages one side of the ball. In the line of scrimmage 1-on-1s it is often difficult for the offensive line to make an impression. Lindstrom demonstrated a strong anchor and while several around him struggled, he battled hard.
In a run heavy offense Lindstrom has played both as a tackle and a guard. Lindstrom capped his final year in college by becoming an All-ACC first team selection. NFL teams will likely see him as a guard at the next level and if he can continue to impress in Mobile he could be seen as an early Day 2 pick.
L.J. Collier, DE (TCU, 6’2, 280)
Collier came into this week as the underrated teammate of the more heralded pass rusher Ben Banogu. The TCU defensive lineman recorded slightly disappointing measurables compared to his listed 6’4, which may have teams doubting being able to shift him inside to tackle. His power and speed off the line of scrimmage however made a lasting impact. As shown below he showed great intensity and determination whilst working against the opposition guard.
Collier was a consistent threat and in 2018 he landed 6 sacks (14.5 in total for his time at TCU). Although benefitting from some of the attention being placed on Banogu, Collier did enough to be graded as PFF’s top pass rusher in the Big 12. He has a knack for getting into the backfield but ultimately teams will have to decide if he has the bulk to play defensive tackle at the next level.
Daylon Mack, DT (Texas A&M, 6’1, 320)
A five star recruit coming out high school, Mack initially struggled to live up to expectations at Texas A&M. However, in 2018 he became more of the player the Aggies imagined. Mack accounted for 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks from defensive tackle. Slightly undersized at 6’1, Mack does a good job of holding up the inside of the defensive line but teams will look for more of the dynamism against the pass displayed in his final year.
Mack was initially invited to the Shrine Game but after a dominant performance all week he was called up as a reserve to the Senior Bowl. His first day showed clearly he was not out of place. Early in the day he can be seen driving back Alabama interior lineman Ross Pierschbacher.