This year’s NFL Draft process will be significantly different than previous years as the league decided to cancel the usual Draft Combine in Indianapolis as a COVID-19 precaution. Thus, there will be no in-person workouts, opting instead for pro days on campuses, and only virtual interviews/limited in-person medical exams.
In turn, there will be fewer opportunities for NFL draft prospects to showcase their talents. One of the events where prospects can shine is the invite-only Reese’s Senior Bowl, which takes place this week in Mobile, Alabama. This will feature two ProCane hopefuls, DE Quincy Roche and K Jose Borregales. In past years, the college all-star contests have been considered secondary events for draft grading purposes, while the Combine was considered the main event. But now, the Senior Bowl will be a focal point in anticipation of this April’s draft, especially because other college all-star games have been cancelled outright.
While the event is capped off by the Senior Bowl game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network, there are a few events that span during the week that began yesterday. For the 120-plus NFL prospects, including Roche and Borregales, the magnitude of seeking to impress coaches, scouts, and executives has only been heightened due to the Combine cancellation.
Yesterday, prospects checked in for weigh-ins/measurements and also held their first team practices. Today and tomorrow, starting at 12:30p.m. ET, practice coverage will be available on ESPNU/ESPN App. Besides this week, mark your calendars for March 29, where a Pro Day has already been set up in Miami.
For the weigh-ins, Roche’s measurements were considered on the lower side as he checked in at 6-2, 243-lbs with a 80.38-inch wingspan, and 32-inch arms. Despite a relatively smaller frame compared to other EDGE defenders, Roche impressed in the first day of practice when lined up against highly touted Alabama tackle, Alex Leatherwood, as you can see he effectively utilized his quick hands and first step/swim move in the videos embedded below.
Despite underwhelming production this year after a breakout year at Temple, the Miami transfer has a huge opportunity this week to earn back a first-round grade (currently ranging from 2nd to 3rd round) amongst what appears to be a talented EDGE class including his teammates Jaelan Phillips, Gregory Rousseau, as well as ACC players Carlos Basham (Wake Forest), Chris Rumph (Duke), and Victor Dimukeje (Duke). Roche may also thrive as a LB, especially based on his weigh-in.
Miami’s Quincy Roche had some good reps in 1v1s. This is a nice inside counter to get the win. pic.twitter.com/WzyeABwuii— Dante Collinelli (@DanteCollinelli) January 27, 2021
Quincy Roche might have the quickest first step at the Senior Bowl IMO. One of my favorite guys in Mobile. That speed rush is serious, as we saw him blow by Alex Leatherwood. #SeniorBowl— #BounceBeatBaby (@NFLMaliik) January 26, 2021
For Borregales, the likely highest-ranked kicker for the 2021 NFL Draft checked in at 5-9, 207-lbs. Jose can cement a late round selection or make his way onto a roster similar to the way rookies Tyler Bass and Rodrigo Blankenship did this past year, who ended up starting for Buffalo and Indianapolis, respectively.
While there will likely be less exposure and scrutiny of players this week relative to the Combine, Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network, Jordan Reid, elaborated on areas where players can separate themselves:
“What you can learn from Senior Bowl practices: Body types, Adjustments to foreign surroundings, Specific movements/athleticism, Special teams value, Leaders/Reserved/Competitive players, If certain traits match the tape, Football I.Q.”
What you can learn from Senior Bowl practices:— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) January 26, 2021
• Body types
• Adjustments to foreign surroundings
• Specific movements/athleticism
• Special teams value
• Leaders/Reserved/Competitive players
• If certain traits match the tape
• Football I.Q.
The best way to follow Roche, Borregales, and others along, will likely be by way of draft analysts’ twitter accounts, as well as the ESPN broadcast today and tomorrow (12:30p.m. ET) and on Saturday for the game on NFL Network (2:30p.m. ET).
Recap of Miami Hurricanes’ 2021 NFL Draft Eligible Decisions
In November 2020, I wrote an article and poll indicating which Miami Hurricanes’ 2021 NFL Draft Prospects should Declare or Return to the U this Offseason. Let’s see how those ended up playing out in retrospect:
It will be interesting to monitor how Rousseau, Jordan, and Phillips navigate the NFL Draft process in lieu of the Senior Bowl. Most likely, they will arrange pro day workouts but Phillips and Rousseau are realistically shooting for first round grades and Jordan will want to solidify his top three TE grade.
UPDATE: There will be no NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis in 2021. Instead, pro days on campus will be the main combine style showcase.— Robby Espin (@CanesAccess) January 18, 2021
UM players who’ve declared for the NFL Draft are DEs Gregory Rousseau, Jaelan Phillips, Quincy Roche, and TE Brevin Jordan. pic.twitter.com/BKbHlIvoPE
Key Draft Eligible Returnees:
Mike Harley Jr.