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Day One: Receivers / Defensive Backs

Day Two: Receivers / Defensive Backs

Day three of the American Team Senior Bowl practice went similarly to the first two due to the intensity that Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has injected into the program. It has showed up in the performances on the field, as he has placed a heavy emphasis on situational football. It was a day of risers, sliders and surprises, here are some of the highlights from the day.

  • Austin Watkins Jr. | UAB | WR | 6014 | 207 | 7600 | 3100 | 948

It has been an impressive week for Watkins Jr., specifically with his ability to gain separation late in routes. He showed a fluidity in his route running that made him a hard player to stay attached to. In red zone drills he was able to get some space quickly and late in the route. He could end up surprising some people with his production in the league.

  • Tre McKitty | Georgia | TE | 6041 | 247 | 8100 | 3228 | 1100

One of the biggest risers this week is McKitty, who has been impressive in every category across the board. McKitty demonstrated great hand strength and route running on Thursday. Both of which put him in the conversation as a top five tight end in this draft class. After being under-used at Georgia, McKitty could carve himself out a nice niche at the next level.

  • Quintin Morris | Bowling Green | TE | 6022 | n/a | 8068 | 3248 | 1048

It was a streaky week for Morris, who flashed some traits that were really likeable but also demonstrated that he was missing some other key characteristics. First, he showed bendiness in his route-running and was able to get in and out of breaks. The problems that he possessed this week were speed and strength. He didn’t have separation speed from either linebackers or defensive backs and he couldn’t overpower rushers when asked to block. He needs to put on weight to be successful at the next level but it has to be good weight.

  • Richie Grant | UCF | DB | 5115 | 200 | 7758 | 3148 | 928

The UCF safety made a big splash down in Mobile this week, impressing with his abilities in coverage and in team drills. He seems to have made himself money thanks largely in part due to his range and ball skills. His skill-set translates well to the next level, so don’t be surprised to see him selected a bit higher than some are expecting.

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  • Ifeatu Melifonwu | Syracuse | CB | 6025 | 212 | 8018 | 3218 | 900

It was an incredible day for Melifonwu who showed superb physicality and length to win in tight spaces. He also dominated against tight ends in one-on-ones with aggressiveness and speed. He can match up against anyone and he showed it this week. Melifonwu will be an excellent pro and should be off the board sooner than later in the NFL Draft.

  • Kylen Granson | SMU | TE | 6021 | 242 | 7948 | 3200 | 938

It wasn’t the greatest week for Granson who won in college with speed and mismatch ability from the tight end position. Granson was not able to gain separation in the situations he should have abd also didn’t impress with hand strength or route creativity. If he can test well, teams will take a shot on him but his stock is trending down after the week.

  • Noah Gray | Duke | TE | 6035 | 240 | 7818 | 3148 | 938

Similar to McKitty, he has made quite a bit of money. Gray has put himself in day two conversion with his receiving ability. Specifically, route running and hand consistency have been tremendous for him. Gray will be a hot topic come draft time.

  • Joshua Bledsoe | S | Missouri | 5113 | 201 | 7568 | 3048 | 968

It was a quiet but solid week for Bledsoe who displayed a lot of translatable traits to the next level. He especially showed well in the team drills. In addition, he had great patience in the run game, with burst to get to the hole in time. He also flashed excellent range, which could allow him to play alone in the back end at the next level. Bledsoe is a name to watch as we approach April. Not as highly touted as teammate Tyree Gillespie but still a solid player.

*Be sure to check back throughout the week for our exclusive coverage of the Reese’s 2021 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. For more in-depth scouting reports, be sure to reserve your copy of the 2021 NFL Draft Bible Publication!