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Ranking all 145 players at the 2021 Senior Bowl

The Bears drafted two players who played at the Senior Bowl last year, so could they do it again this year? We rank every single player traveling down to Mobile this year.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Ohio State vs Alabama Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl is just around the corner with practices taking place this week and the game kicking off on Saturday, January 30 at 1:30 p.m. Central.

In a draft season full of uncertainty, it’s nice to have a reliable constant in the form of the premier collegiate all-star game. And, for the second-straight year, Windy City Gridiron will have live coverage from Mobile, Alabama.

I’m excited to head down to the Senior Bowl for the week, as not only will achieve a personal goal of mine, but it will also help aid my draft coverage in a year that has plenty of uncertainty surrounding it.

The Bears took advantage of last year’s game to find late-round prospects, as fifth-round rookies Trevis Gipson and Kindle Vildor both took part in the Senior Bowl festivities in 2020. With the talent in the 2021 class, they would be wise to target a few participants from this year’s game, too.

To prepare for this week’s action, I went through and watched all 145 prospects who have accepted invitations to the Senior Bowl and ranked them accordingly. Here is my Senior Bowl big board for the 2021 class.

2021 Senior Bowl Big Board

Rank Player Position School
Rank Player Position School
1 DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
2 Najee Harris RB Alabama
3 Creed Humphrey OC Oklahoma
4 Alex Leatherwood OT Alabama
5 Kadarius Toney WR Florida
6 Liam Eichenberg OT Notre Dame
7 Mac Jones QB Alabama
8 Dillon Radunz OT North Dakota State
9 Quincy Roche EDGE Miami (FL)
10 Trey Smith OG Tennessee
11 Carlos Basham Jr. EDGE Wake Forest
12 Marvin Wilson DL Florida State
13 Patrick Jones II EDGE Pittsburgh
14 Elijah Molden CB Washington
15 Jabril Cox LB LSU
16 Chazz Surratt LB North Carolina
17 Sage Surratt WR Wake Forest
18 Tylan Wallace WR Oklahoma State
19 Hamilcar Rashed Jr. EDGE Oregon State
20 Kyle Trask QB Florida
21 Rodarius Williams CB Oklahoma State
22 Baron Browning LB Ohio State
23 Hamsah Nasirlideen S Florida State
24 Tyree Gillespie S Missouri
25 Richard LeCounte III S Georgia
26 Hunter Long TE Boston College
27 Michael Carter RB North Carolina
28 Landon Dickerson C Alabama
29 Deonte Brown OG Alabama
30 Osa Odighizuwa DL UCLA
31 Kylin Hill RB Mississippi State
32 Shaka Toney EDGE Penn State
33 Kenny Yeboah TE Ole Miss
34 Adetokunbo Ogundeji EDGE Notre Dame
35 D'Wayne Eskridge WR Western Michigan
36 Monty Rice LB Georgia
37 Ifeatu Melifonwu CB Syracuse
38 Kylen Granson TE SMU
39 Garret Wallow LB TCU
40 Ben Skowronek WR Notre Dame
41 Charles Snowden LB Virginia
42 Drake Jackson C Kentucky
43 Joshuah Bledsoe S Missouri
44 Austin Watkins WR UAB
45 Marquez Stevenson WR Houston
46 Amari Rodgers WR Clemson
47 Robert Rochell CB Central Arkansas
48 Divine Deablo S Virginia Tech
49 Dan Moore Jr. OT Texas A&M
50 Robert Jones OG Middle Tennessee State
51 Tre Norwood CB Oklahoma
52 Wyatt Hubert EDGE Kansas State
53 Aaron Banks OG Notre Dame
54 Janarius Robinson EDGE Florida State
55 Paddy Fisher LB Northwestern
56 Levi Onwuzurike DL Washington
57 Dayo Odeyingbo EDGE Vanderbilt
58 Khalil Herbert RB Virginia Tech
59 Trey Sermon RB Ohio State
60 Quinn Meinerz OG Wisconsin-Whitewater
61 Spencer Brown OT Northern Iowa
62 Marlon Tuipulotu DL USC
63 Richie Grant S UCF
64 Jamie Newman QB Georgia
65 Jordan Smith EDGE UAB
66 Payton Turner DL Houston
67 James Wiggins S Cincinnati
68 Ben Cleveland OG Georgia
69 Justin Hilliard LB Ohio State
70 Carson Green OT Texas A&M
71 Quintin Morris TE Bowling Green
72 Chauncey Golston EDGE Iowa
73 D.J. Daniel CB Georgia
74 Christian Uphoff S Illinois State
75 Rhamondre Stevenson RB Oklahoma
76 Tre' McKitty TE Georgia
77 Bryan Mills CB North Carolina Central
78 Benjamin St-Juste CB Minnesota
79 Keith Taylor CB Washington
80 James Hudson III OT Cincinnati
81 Rashad Weaver EDGE Pittsburgh
82 Riley Cole LB South Alabama
83 Chris Evans RB Michigan
84 Kellen Mond QB Texas A&M
85 David Moore OG Grambling State
86 Elijah Mitchell RB Louisiana-Lafayette
87 Sam Ehlinger QB Texas
88 Damar Hamlin S Pittsburgh
89 Malcolm Koonce EDGE Buffalo
90 Nico Collins WR Michigan
91 Racey McMath WR LSU
92 Daelin Hayes EDGE Notre Dame
93 Shi Smith WR South Carolina
94 Malik Herring DL Georgia
95 Tarron Jackson EDGE Coastal Carolina
96 Cornell Powell WR Clemson
97 Brenden Jaimes OT Nebraska
98 Larry Rountree III RB Missouri
99 Ambry Thomas CB Michigan
100 Demetric Felton RB UCLA
101 Cade Johnson WR South Dakota State
102 Tony Fields II LB West Virginia
103 Darren Hall CB San Diego State
104 Cameron Sample EDGE Tulane
105 Thomas Graham Jr. CB Oregon
106 Royce Newman OG Ole Miss
107 Camryn Bynum CB California
108 Ta'Quan Graham DL Texas
109 Jonathon Cooper EDGE Ohio State
110 Tuf Borland LB Ohio State
111 Jaylon Moore OT Western Michigan
112 Mark Webb S Georgia
113 Frank Darby WR Arizona State
114 Robert Hainsey OG Notre Dame
115 Shawn Davis S Florida
116 Noah Gray TE Duke
117 Derrick Barnes LB Purdue
118 JaCoby Stevens S LSU
119 Alaric Jackson OT Iowa
120 Jack Anderson OG Texas Tech
121 John Bates TE Boise State
122 Grant Stuard LB Houston
123 Tony Poljan TE Virginia
124 William Bradley-King EDGE Baylor
125 Aaron Robinson CB UCF
126 Jake Curhan OG California
127 Tre Brown CB Oklahoma
128 Ian Book QB Notre Dame
129 Elerson Smith EDGE Northern Iowa
130 D'Ante Smith OT East Carolina
131 Max Duffy P Kentucky
132 Josh Palmer WR Tennessee
133 Michal Menet C Penn State
134 Feleipe Franks QB Arkansas
135 Jose Borregales K Miami (FL)
136 Trevon Grimes WR Florida
137 Dez Fitzpatrick WR Louisville
138 K.J. Britt LB Auburn
139 Thomas Fletcher LS Alabama
140 Adrian Ealy OT Oklahoma
141 Ben Mason FB Michigan
142 Riley Patterson K Memphis
143 James Smith P Cincinnati
144 Camaron Cheeseman LS Michigan
145 Ryan Langan LS Georgia Southern
Jacob Infante

Offensive linemen galore

The Bears enter the 2021 offseason with their offensive line being one of their biggest needs. Luckily for them, they should have plenty of talented linemen to watch at this year’s Senior Bowl.

Five of my top 10 players participating in this year’s Senior Bowl are offensive linemen. More specifically, three of my top eight players are offensive tackles, which projects as a bigger need for the Bears than their interior offensive line.

The top interior blocker is Creed Humphrey, a three-year starter at center for one of the best offensive programs in college football. Though he’s a left-handed center, his technique, intelligence and power at the point of attack project him as a Day 1 starter along just about any NFL offensive line. Another three-year starter at a blue-blood program is Alex Leatherwood, who brings great length, agility, versatility and intelligence to the table. Both linemen stand a chance of going in the first round.

Liam Eichenberg is another blocker who stands a strong chance of going in the first round. His combination of length, power, hand usage and football IQ projects him as a future starter at either left or right tackle. Dillon Radunz may not have the experience against NFL-caliber talent that Eichenberg has, but he is more athletic and has the flexibility, raw power and length needed to develop into a high-quality starting option at tackle. With just one 2020 game on his resume, this week will be crucial for the North Dakota State star. Trey Smith could be even higher on this board if not for a blood clot suffered in 2018, but his raw power and nasty edge at the point of attack give him upside as a mauler at guard.

There are a handful of talented prospects outside of my top 10, as well. Landon Dickerson won’t be able to participate in game action due to a torn ACL, but pre-injury he looked the part of an early Day 2 talent. Deonte Brown is another Alabama blocker with starter upside, packing a nasty punch in his 350-pound frame. Ben Cleveland lacks top-notch quickness, but he has a great frame with raw power allocated throughout his frame that could see him drafted early than where I have him on my board.

As for small-school offensive linemen, remember Northern Iowa’s Spencer Brown, Middle Tennessee State’s Robert Jones, Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Quinn Meinerz, and Grambling State’s David Moore. Any one of them could propel their draft status with a great week of practice at the Senior Bowl.

A cutting EDGE class

It’s unlikely the Bears will draft an edge rusher early, given their offensive needs and their inability to get out of Robert Quinn’s contract. The Senior Bowl has its fair share of intriguing pass-rushers, though, and the Bears may want to consider adding some young, defensive depth to their roster.

In an edge rusher class without significant high-end depth at the moment, there are several prospects who could jump into that territory with a strong Senior Bowl week. Quincy Roche is an athletic and flexible edge prospect with great production at the collegiate level, notching 54 tackles for a loss and 30.5 sacks in four seasons. Carlos Basham Jr. is a tweener prospect who, despite being 275 pounds, brings impressive first-step burst and finesse in his hands.

The Day 2 edge rusher depth continues a little further down the board, too. Patrick Jones II had 17.5 sacks and 24 tackles for a loss over the past two seasons and plays with great quickness and a high motor on a down-by-down basis. Though he lacks an ideal frame at 6-foot-4 and just 236 pounds, Hamilcar Rashed Jr. is an explosive, flexible and flat-out fast pass-rusher. Another pass-rusher who fits that athletic, yet undersized mold is Shaka Toney, whose first step is one of the quickest in the 2021 class.

Two prospects with great physical tools and a high physical ceiling are Vanderbilt’s Dayo Odeyingbo and Notre Dame’s Adetokunbo Ogundeji. The former is a 6-foot-6, 276-pound freak of nature with violent hands, while the latter specializes in his polished use of hands and quickness off the snap.

Several breakout wide receiver candidates

The Bears could very well be in the market for a wide receiver early in this year’s draft. If they choose to look into a receiver on Days 2 or 3, then they would be smart to look in the direction of any of this year’s Senior Bowl wide outs.

DeVonta Smith is the star of the group, coming off of a phenomenal Heisman-winning season for Alabama. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to participate in workouts due to his thumb injury. Outside of Smith, Kadarius Toney stands out as the biggest name of the bunch. The dynamic playmaker broke out for Florida in 2020 by showcasing his elite athleticism, vision and contact balance after the catch. He currently projects as a Day 2 pick, but he could sneak into Round 1 with a strong Senior Bowl outing.

Tylan Wallace is another Day 2 prospect worth noting as a well-rounded, athletic route runner who finishes his collegiate career with 205 catches, 3,429 yards and 26 touchdowns in four seasons. Sage Surratt was a late addition to the Senior Bowl roster but may be one of the most intriguing: he opted out of the 2020 season, but he is a big-bodied and physical target who had 66 catches, 1,001 yards and 11 touchdowns in just nine games in 2019. He projects well as a late Day 2 pick who could rise up with a strong week.

Though Toney, Wallace and Surratt stand out as the most highly-touted receivers in Mobile this week, it’s the sleepers lower down the board who stand out. Austin Watkins had a down year statistically in 2020, but the UAB ‘X’ receiver has great length, route-running intelligence and strong hands in contested-catch situations. Ben Skowronek is fairly unproven from a production standpoint, but he is a big receiver at 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds who has sticky hands and great ball skills in the red zone. He filled in very well for Notre Dame in the same role Chase Claypool filled in 2019.

Both Amari Rodgers and Cornell Powell are athletic and agile playmakers who excelled in Clemson’s offense this year, and both managed to break out after taking a back seat in their previous three seasons. Keep an eye on both D’Wayne Eskridge and Marquez Stevenson, as both are explosive and agile Day 3 prospects with value as kick returners.