Senior Bowl Review: Defense

Senior Bowl Review: Defense
Josh Norris reviews the defensive standouts of the 2015 Senior Bowl, including rankings by position and overall top-25.
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Rutgers reinstated sophomore WR Ruhann Peele.

Peele was suspended in early November for the remainder of the campaign due to an assault charge from late August. He was arrested after it was alleged that he pulled the hair of a female and scratched her face. Peele finished fifth on the team with 28 catches for 478 yards in 2013.
Jan 31 - 8:25 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper grades Georgia Tech senior OG Shaquille Mason as the No. 6 OG.

"Mason is another riser and, like any player coming out of Georgia Tech, will just need to continue to show he can be an effective pass-blocker," Kiper wrote. Many believe that Mason is going to be shifted to center in the NFL due to his boxy frame. A USA Today First-Team All-American in 2014, the 6-foot-1, 310-pounder was a dominant run blocker in the nation's No. 1 most efficient offense. Mason struggled in pass protection early in the week at the Senior Bowl, but showed improvement rapidly.
Jan 31 - 8:11 PM

Mississippi State junior CB Will Redmond "was certainly among the top five corners in this draft going into the draft process," wrote ESPN's Mel Kiper.

Redmond, of course, elected to return to school for his last season of eligibility. Had he entered, Redmond probably would have been no worse than a second-rounder, and may have snuck into latter stages of Round 1 in a weak CB class. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported last month that Redmond could have been the second CB drafted if he had declared early. "I'd say late first or second round," an NFL scout said in the article. "He will be more of an off corner. I think he will run in the 4.3s."
Jan 31 - 7:57 PM

Miami senior WR Phillip Dorsett catapulted to No. 4 on Mel Kiper's receiver rankings.

"The big mover here is Dorsett, who was arguably the best player at the Senior Bowl," Kiper wrote. "His explosiveness turned heads." The 5-foot-9 5/8, 183-pound Dorsett expects to run a 4.3 40-yard dash at the combine in February, though he told ESPN recently that his best forty time in training was 4.21, a time that would break Chris Johnson’s record of 4.24 seconds. The burner said he molds his game after Steelers WR Antonio Brown and Ravens WR Steve Smith. NFL Media analysts also mention John Brown and T.Y. Hilton as comparisons. Dorsett ranks No. 32 on Todd McShay's Big Board.
Jan 31 - 7:42 PM

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah ranks Boise State redshirt junior RB Jay Ajayi as the No. 35 overall prospect.

"Ajayi is a very tough, physical runner with excellent production," Jeremiah wrote. "He is at his best on inside runs where his combination of vision, power and short area quickness is effective. On outside runs, he lacks elite speed to the perimeter, but he has the elusiveness to make defenders miss when he squares up to the line of scrimmage. He has soft hands out of the backfield but he needs to be more consistent in pass protection. Overall, I love this player's physical playing style and believe he could be a dependable starter at the next level." Ajayi ran for more than 1,800 yards this past season. The 6-foot, 216-pound Ajayi combines power with open field athleticism. This allows him to break contact or destroy tacklers' angles.
Jan 31 - 7:28 PM

Yale RB Tyler Varga jumped to No. 2 in Mel Kiper's FB rankings.

"Varga had a nice Senior Bowl week and lands here as he can handle several roles for an NFL team," Kiper wrote. "He can block, but the quickness is there to handle carries." The 5-foot-11, 220-pounder, the reigning Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, will likely have to make the NFL initially as a special teams demon. He will need to bulk up to function as a full-time fullback in the NFL, though he's a willing and skilled blocker already.
Jan 31 - 7:13 PM

NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah ranks Virginia DE/OLB Eli Harold as the No. 24 overall prospect in the 2015 class.

"Harold lined up in both a two- and three-point stance on the edge for the Cavaliers," Jeremiah wrote. "He is a very active player who grows on you the more you study him. As a pass rusher, he is at his best when he has a runway to generate power versus offensive tackles. He has some snap in both his hips and hands to torque and unsettle blockers. As a run defender, he can lock out and set the edge as well as use his quick hands/feet to work an edge and disrupt. His overall effort is excellent. He is an ideal fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker." Harold is an athletic freak who is going to test like gangbusters at the Combine. We expect his stock to rise at that time. Harold "could be a major riser in the draft process," ESPN's Mel Kiper wrote last month.
Jan 31 - 6:55 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks UCF junior WR Breshad Perriman as the No. 5 receiver.

Kiper is higher on Perriman than anyone, now ranking the Golden Knight over more lauded prospects like Dorial Green-Beckham (Oklahoma), Jaelen Strong (Arizona St.), Sammie Coates (Auburn), Devin Smith (Ohio St.) and Jamison Crowder (Duke). TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reported last month that Perriman did not receive a Day 1 or 2 draft grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board, which means the group suggested he stay in school. Perriman drops balls he shouldn't, and his technique doesn't inspire, but he's a legit deep threat who forces safeties back, and he excels in contested situations, which the NFL will love. The 6-foot-2, 209-pounder finished the season with 50 catches for 1,044 yards (20.9 YPR average) and nine touchdowns.
Jan 31 - 6:40 PM
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