2021 NFL Draft: 5 Senior Bowl Players To Get Excited About

  • 2021 NFL Draft
  • 2021 Senior Bowl
  • Amari Rodgers
  • Clemson Tigers
  • Florida Gators
  • Florida State Seminoles
  • Hamsah Nasirildeen
  • Jamie Newman
  • Kyle Trask
  • Michael Carter
  • NFL
  • North Carolina Tar Heels
  • Wake Forest Demon Deacons
By Bill Riccette December 15, 2020 0 Comment
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One of the most significant events in the run-up to the NFL Draft every year is the Reese’s Senior Bowl. It is a showcase of the top seniors across the country, giving coaches, scouts, and fans a chance to see the future of the NFL. The 2021 version will obviously be quite different. Players and media will be separated for the most part due to COVID-19. But the important part is that the players will get a chance to work out in front of NFL teams and live their dreams. Here are five players that could help make the 2021 Senior Bowl very intriguing.

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Kyle Trask, QB, Florida

Kyle Trask may end up being the star attraction in Mobile, Alabama. The Heisman Trophy candidate is currently one of five quarterbacks to accept their invitation to the Senior Bowl. This invitation presents Trask with a great opportunity, as he is in the middle of a terrific season for the Florida Gators. Trask has quickly risen up draft boards across the media landscape but is still one of the more polarizing prospects. Some mock drafts have him as high as the top ten, while some have him outside the first round. A great week in Mobile could solidify Trask as a first-round lock or even a top 10 pick.

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Jamie Newman, QB, Wake Forest

While Trask is the current main attraction in Mobile, the week in Mobile may be even more important to Jamie Newman. Newman transferred from Wake Forest to Georgia as a graduate student for the 2020 season. But in a surprising turn of events, he opted out of the 2020 college season before it began. Speculation abounds as to why Newman opted out. Obviously, the pandemic is one, but some believe the competition with fellow transfer J.T. Daniels also played a part. Whatever the case may be, Newman accepting his invite to the Senior Bowl was the absolute right move for him. He needs to show what he can do in front of NFL teams and, at the very least, get some semblance of action on film for this season. How teams will view players that did not play in 2020 will be very interesting, and Newman is at the top of that list.

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Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina

As always, the Senior Bowl tends to find really fascinating running backs to play in their game. They did it again with UNC’s Michael Carter. Carter and fellow UNC running back Javonte Williams tag-teamed to shred Miami this past weekend to the tune of 544 yards rushing, a new NCAA rushing record for a pair of running backs in a single game. Carter ran for 308 yards and two touchdowns, while Williams had 236 yards and three touchdowns. The Tar Heel has now set a career-high with 1,245 rushing yards and nine touchdowns this season. Carter is going to be one of the better dual-threat backs in this class, as he also has 82 career catches to his credit. Whichever coaching staff in Mobile gets Carter is going to have a fun time with him.

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Amari Rodgers, WR, Clemson

Clemson always has a knack for producing excellent wide receivers, just like Alabama. 2020 is no different as their leading receiver, Amari Rodgers (61 catches, 845 yards, six touchdowns) is off the Mobile. Rodgers can provide value as both a slot receiver and in the return game. Rodgers has five games with at least 90 yards this season, really shining for the Tigers after finally getting the chance to take the spotlight in the Clemson passing game. In Mobile, he will have an opportunity to show NFL teams that he is fully recovered from his 2019 ACL tear.

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Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State

One of the top safeties in the draft class coming into the 2021 draft cycle has not disappointed, at least in the games he was able to play in. Nasirildeen missed seven games this season as he recovered from an ACL tear suffered at the end of the last season. But in limited playing time in 2020, Nasirildeen already made an impact, with 13 tackles and an interception in just two games. That includes nine tackles against Duke and Nasirildeen was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week. He brings plenty of versatility to the defensive backfield. Scouts and fans should keep an eye on Nasirildeen during practice to see where the coaches line him up. Finishing the season strong in his last two games could be a huge boost to the Florida State defensive back.

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Billy covers the Carolina Panthers for SI Panthers and also hosts the Locked On Panthers podcast for the Locked On Podcast Network. He is also a contributor to 4For4 Fantasy Football. His work has previously been featured on Bleacher Report, Pro Football Network and Downtown Rams.

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