2019 Senior Bowl: Who to watch for

UB products Tyree Jackson and Anthony Johnson are among those to keep an eye on in Mobile, Alabama

Derek Kramer
January 15, 2019 - 6:56 pm

Photo: Paul Hokanson - UBBulls.com

The Senior Bowl is generally seen as one of the major dates in the National Football League offseason and the official mark of draft season being in full swing. Every year, players take part in the Senior Bowl in order to boost their draft stock. From players who want to further solidify their draft stock in the first round like Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen, to players who can jump entire rounds from their original projections such as Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson. 

Under head coach Sean McDermott, the Bills have taken a lot of stock into the Senior Bowl. 10 current Bills, and one former Bill, were in the Senior Bowl over the past two seasons. In 2018, Josh Allen, Harrison Phillips, Wyatt Teller, Taron Johnson, Siran Neal, and Levi Wallace took place in the Senior Bowl. The Bills also have 2017 Senior Bowl alums Tre'Davious White, Zay Jones, Dion Dawkins and Conor McDermott. Nathan Peterman played in the 2017 Senior Bowl and was drafted by Buffalo before being released this past season. 

With the 2019 Senior Bowl set for January 26 and practices beginning on January 22, here are some players that Bills fans should keep an eye on:

 

  • WR Anthony Johnson, Buffalo: 

Here's a two-for-one special. The Bills need to upheave the wide receiver position and Johnson is a local product of the UB Bulls. Johnson had a lot of accolades heading into 2018, including being the betting odds-favorite to win the Biletnikoff Award for best receiver in college football. However, injuries slowed down Johnson in 2018, where he finished the season with 57 catches for 1,011 yards and 11 touchdowns. 

Johnson is seen by many draft pundits as a third round prospect, so with a good Senior Bowl, Johnson could solidify his status and possibly be a target on the second day of the draft for the Bills as well.

 

  • RB Myles Gaskin, Washington: 

A shorter back (5' 9"), Gaskin has been a productive player who is known for explosive movement. He possesses a "slashing" running style and a decent amount of power for a smaller back. Gaskin is also a capable receiver out of the backfield and a solid pass blocker, which could give the Bills a solid chance at a player who will be a Day 2 (rounds 2-3) prospect. Gaskin often became the key to Washington's offensive success after the extreme drop off in play of Washington quarterback Jake Browning. 

Gaskin should be a solid two-down back at minimum and with a good Senior Bowl, and can become as high as a second round grade.

 

  • WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina: 

Samuel is seen as a talented player in a solid, but not spectacular wide receiver class. Samuel is not a burner, but is seen as a great route runner who separates with technique more than pure foot speed, though Samuel can burn corners over the top every now and then. Samuel would be a pleasant addition to a Bills team that could use some separation skills from their wideouts. Samuel is also very good accelerator with good return skills, as well. 

Samuel is seen as a potential first rounder, which means the Bills could be looking at Samuel as a target if the team trades down and adds picks.

 

  • G Michael Deiter, Wisconsin: 

Buffalo needs help on the interior of the line, and Deiter can provide help in both pass protection and run blocking to Buffalo's worst position group on the team last season. Deiter played all three positions of the line in his career at Wisconsin, versatility is always a bonus for McDermott. If the Bills can get Deiter and solidify the interior line, it may be a great step for the team to fix their offensive line woes and help protect Josh Allen and create holes for LeSean McCoy. 

Deiter is seen as a potential Day 2 pick, whose mobility and versatility might be coveted by the Bills. 

 

Bonus - QB Tyree Jackson, Buffalo: 

Having eyes on Jackson is less about the Bills and more about a big name at UB. As a Buffalo sports fan, it would be nice to see what happens in the progression of Jackson as a pro prospect. Jackson is a project, who would be seen as a developmental piece in a quarterback room, which is not in the Bills' plans. However, it would be nice to see what happens with Jackson as a pro, as Jackson has plenty of the tools to make a lot of NFL throws, has prototypical size and his biggest weakness tends to be technique and decision making. 

Jackson is seen as a Day 3 (rounds 4-7) prospect and was a late addition as the ninth quarterback on the Senior Bowl roster. If Jackson can flash those raw tools, he could easily be in consideration for the fourth round in a weaker quarterback class. 

Comments ()