Chargers Draft Stock Watch: Senior Bowl edition
By Steven Haglund
The Los Angeles Chargers had the opportunity to scout some of the best prospects for the upcoming draft this week at the Senior Bowl. Keep reading to see who rose to the occasion, and who didn’t.
The Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama is one of the best opportunities for teams to evaluate talent for this upcoming draft. The Shrine Bowl is another great opportunity but generally speaking there is a better collection of talent in Mobile.
The Chargers were obviously watching the quarterback prospects: Justin Herbert, Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts closely but the team also has a lot of other needs on this roster.
The team pretty glaringly missed the vertical speed that Tyrell Williams brought to the team in 2018. While Mike Davis and Brandon Facyson performed admirably, the cornerback position needs an upgrade in talent. The same goes for the offensive tackle position. We also know that general manager Tom Telesco likes to add at least one pass rusher on the defensive front in every draft. So let’s talk about which players did the most, or least for their stock this week in Mobile.
Stock Up: Denzel Mims
No one did more for their stock this week than Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims. In three years as a starter for the Bears he amassed over 2,900 yards and 28 touchdowns.
The talent and production have been there but with the overall depth of talent of the receiver position in this upcoming class he was viewed more as mid to late-round sleeper. That all changed this week when he went down to the Senior Bowl and dominated.
There was a lot of talk that he was the best overall player in Mobile. He continually beat guys in one on one drills and constantly made plays all week. He’s long, coming in at 6-foot-3, and presents great downfield speed as evidenced by his nearly 16 yards per reception while at Baylor.
There wasn’t really any wideout that really excelled in the game but it does seem that Mims had the best week of practice there. He is not getting as much attention as guys like Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb, but he proved this week that he deserves to be mentioned with the cream of the crop.
Look for Mims to be a sure-fire day two prospect come April.
Baylor WR Denzel Mims another clear winner of Senior Bowl 1-on-1’s. Works to stack the CB and uses an arm bar to protect the catchpoint. He’s having an impressive week. pic.twitter.com/DUgPWWIDyW
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) January 22, 2020
Stock Down: Nick Harris
At the opposite end of the spectrum from Mims, comes in Washington center Nick Harris.
Interior offensive line is no longer a very deep group since there were quite a few players who opted to return for their respective senior seasons in this position group, so this might not matter a whole lot, but unfortunately Harris did not have a great week.
A lot of that could be chalked up to nerves or anxiety of playing in an environment of the Senior Bowl. Harris reportedly really struggled with being overly aggressive, which led to a lot of individual losses in one on one battles.
One thing scouts look at this week is the ability to improve throughout the week and Harris didn’t really do that. The pattern of trying to do too much continued every day in practice. The knock on him heading into the draft process is a lack of natural athleticism and a tendency to struggle against quick interior rushers. The sloppy technique he displayed this week could hurt him in the long run.
Stock Up: Joshua Uche
Michigan defensive end Joshua Uche was viewed as a bit of tweener after this season. Similar to how Uchenna Nwosu was viewed coming out of USC.
He’s definitely undersized to be a full time edge rusher in the NFL, but he was productive as a pass rusher this past year at Michigan, where he totaled 15 sacks over the last two years in Ann Arbor.
So his mission in Mobile was to prove if he could play as a hybrid at the next level. Not only did he show sufficient speed and mobility to be able to cover and tackle in space he quite excelled in the role. Watch the clip below and see the kind of versatility he could provide to a team.
He displays very good instincts for someone who spent most of his time playing as an edge rusher at Michigan. As for the game itself, he simply got after the quarterback. As a speed edge rusher he is excellent. He made life very difficult for the opposing team’s offensive line and quarterback.
Consider all the doubts about where he belongs in the NFL answered: he’s a pass rusher.
Uche standing up Hennessy and making the stop. pic.twitter.com/8opHled4f2
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 25, 2020