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STEPHEN’S REPORT: Focusing on the Performance of the Players

Blake Sims—Overall [C]

Summary: Saturday’s senior bowl game didn’t help or hurt Blake Sims’s potential NFL Draft stock. He had some good moments, despite limited time on the field. Sims connected with former Auburn receiver, Sammie Coates on a few passes, but Coates couldn’t keep both feet in bounds. Sims displayed mobility, totaling 23 rushing yards on three carries. He completed 4 of 11 passes for 50 yards. His seven incompletions resulted from poor ball placement.

Strengths: Mobility, possesses a tight spiral, leadership intangibles

Weaknesses: Ball placement, accuracy, arm strength, working through progressions

Round Projected: 6th-7th round


Jalston Folwer—Overall [I]

Summary: He had a great week of practice, but Saturday’s senior bowl saw little of Jalston Fowler. He had to compete with LSU’s Connor Neighbors for field time. Fowler didn’t get an opportunity to run the ball, but he display exceptional blocking skills. He guided Team South to 120 rushing yards. Folwer was seen mostly on special teams. He covered a few kicks, but didn’t register a tackle. Fowler entered the contest as a potential third-round pick. This may change after barley seeing him work.

Strengths: Size (5-11/264), power, blocking techniques, solid pass catcher

Weaknesses: injury prone (Alabama), senior bowl performance

Round Projection: 4th-5th round


Arie Kouandjio—Overall [B]

Summary: Arie Kouandjio had a solid week of practice, and it parlayed into a good senior bowl performance. He helped Team South total 368 yards offensively and average 5.75 yards per play. Kouandjio didn’t allow a sack in Saturday’s contest. He was penalized once for a false start.

Strengths: Size (6-5/318), arms (34 ¾”), wingspan (84 ½”), natural run blocker

Weaknesses: Pass protection, alertness (false start); footwork tends to be slow at times

Round Projection: 2nd-3rd round


Austin Shepherd—Overall [C]

Summary: Austin Shepherd did double duty in the senior bowl. He got reps at tackle and guard. Shepherd looked confident at tackle, but struggled at guard. He tends to excel when he’s on an island (tackle), rather than inside (guard). Shepherd helped Team South generate positive yardage, but didn’t look like himself at the guard position. Like Kouandjio, Shepherd was flagged for a false start. He didn’t allow a sack.

Strengths: Size (6-5/320), footwork and pass protection

Weaknesses: Run blocking and alertness (false start)

Round Projection: 3rd-4th round


Final Thoughts

Blake Sims, Jalston Fowler, Arie Kouandjio and Austin Shepherd all know what they need to do to improve their draft stocks. Sims wanted to prove he could be an effective passer. Fowler wanted to show that he could run the ball. Kouandjio wanted to win the senior bowl. Neither of the three achieved their goals, as Team North won 34-13.

Former Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah stole the show. He recorded 113 yards from scrimmage (73 rushing, 40 receiving) and was awarded most valuable player of the senior bowl.

Defensively, South had five players tied for the team lead in tackles (5). Auburn’s Nick Marshall led the group with five solo tackles. Mississippi State’s Preston Smith accounted for the lone sack.

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