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Five Players To Watch At The 2018 Senior Bowl


AP Images/Johnny Vy

We're just about 24 hours away from kickoff at the Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., which will feature some of the top prospects in all of college football.

The NFL Scouting Combine won't take place for another month, and many of the players on the Senior Bowl roster will participate in the Combine, but for those not participating, this is their final opportunity to showcase their skillset on the football field.

Let's take a look at five players you should keep an eye on come Saturday:

**Quarterback Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma):


Whether you know him for his antics on and off the field, or due to the fact he won the Heisman Trophy this season, Mayfield is undoubtedly the most-well known player at the Senior Bowl. The Austin, Texas-native helped the Oklahoma Sooners reach the Rose Bowl this year, but was unable to pull off a thrilling win against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Mayfield started his college career at Texas Tech, but eventually transferred to Oklahoma. Over the course of his four years at the college level, he totaled 14,607 passing yards, 131 touchdowns, 30 interceptions, and a completion percentage of 68.5.

Say what you will about the man, but he's entertaining, and I'll definitely be watching his performance this weekend.

Quarterback Josh Allen (Wyoming):

Similar to Mayfield, Allen is another highly-touted prospect in this draft. Allen has proven that he can air it out and sling it, which has caught the attention of both NFL analysts, and scouts. In three years as a Cowboy, Allen notched 5,066 passing yards, with 44 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions.

At 6'5", 233 pounds, he boasts the prototypical physique an NFL team would want, given his length, and impressive arm. Questions surrounding Allen are whether his accuracy will be an issue, and his inability to fit the ball into tight windows.

We'll just have to see if Allen can prove the doubters wrong Saturday.

Linebacker Shaquem Griffin (Central Florida):

Shaquem Griffin's journey is unique, but he's made it this far, and he's been an impact player for his team. Griffin was born with an underdeveloped left hand that needed to be amputated when he was four years old, but that hasn't stopped him in the slightest. Throughout high school, he played baseball, football, and ran track, but ultimately stuck with football.

Griffin attended the University of Central Florida for five years, but didn't get heavy reps until his third season. The linebacker tallied 195 tackles, 33.5 for loss, three interceptions, 16 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and one touchdown during his tenure with the team. He added to his résumé by earning American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors, and was named the Peach Bowl MVP this season in UCF's win over Auburn, which clinched a perfect 12-0 season for the Knights.

Don't watch Griffin because he has an interesting story, watch him because he's a gifted football player.

Running Back Rashaad Penny (San Diego State):

Last year, the Aztecs produced Donnel Pumphrey, who holds the FBS record for all-time rushing yards with 6,405. Pumphrey was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, and will be playing for a Super Bowl next week when his team faces Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Minneapolis, Minn., but this weekend belongs to his former teammate Rashaad Penny.

Penny had a monster year in 2017, accounting for 2,248 rushing yards, 23 rushing touchdowns, 135 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns, and one special teams touchdown. At 5'11 and 220 pounds, Penny isn't afraid to deliver a punishing hit against a defender, but he's also capable of busting off big plays, leaving his defenders in the dust.

I believe Penny can unleash some of those big plays Saturday.

Wide Receiver Darren Carrington (Utah):

I've personally been watching Carrington for a few years now, due to the fact I attended the University of Oregon, and have spent many Saturdays watching the Ducks take the field.

Carrington's freshman year was the season Heisman Trophy-winner Marcus Mariota and Co., led the Ducks to the National Championship, only to fall to the Ohio State Buckeyes; however, Carrington was an important piece of that offense, eclipsing 700 receiving yards that season. After 1,919 yards, and 15 touchdowns at U of O, Carrington opted to transfer to the University of Utah for his senior season, where he had the best season of his college career. He was just 20 yards shy of reaching 1,000 yards, but found paydirt six times.

Carrington's athleticism and size make him a weapon, and I don't think he should fly under the radar.

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