Insider notes on Ladd McConkey’s rising draft stock, Oregon DBs impressing scouts

The final day of padded practice took place at the Senior Bowl, and all that’s left is to play the game. The last day of scrimmages and one-on-ones saw the continuance of offensive linemen impressing as well as a few skill players making their mark felt. And several defensive backs also made scouts take notice.

Final report from the 2024 Senior Bowl practice

Ladd McConkey: Kentucky v Georgia
Ladd McConkey: Kentucky v Georgia

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1. Ladd McConkey/WR/Georgia:

Ladd McConkey made his presence felt through all three days of Senior Bowl practice and looked like the most polished receiver in Mobile. He’s a terrific route runner who knows how to come free and make himself an available target.

McConkey runs great routes and is fundamentally sound-catching the ball. Like many of the other receivers mentioned the past three days as well as during Shrine Bowl practices, McConkey is not big or super-fast, rather he’s fluid, smooth, and incredibly natural catching the ball. He’s a legitimate Day 2 prospect.

2. Christian Jones/T/Texas:

After a very tough game against Washington in the College Football Playoff, Jones rebounded well in Mobile and exceeded expectations. He’s a tall (6-foot-5) offensive tackle with long (34-7/8 inches) arms. Jones used those long arms in pass protection to ride speedy edge rushers from the action and displayed a lot of strength run blocking.

He’s a natural right tackle who also did a solid job on the left side when he was pushed over. Jones was also a solid interview, as he’s an intelligent and articulate prospect who understands the offensive line. Over the past three days, he did an excellent job reviving his draft stock.

3. Javon Foster/T/Missouri:

Javon Foster was solid all three days of Senior Bowl practice and seemed to get better as the week progressed. He’s another with terrific size (6-foot-5.5 inches) and long arms (35 inches). Foster showed the ability to handle athletic pass rushers as well as powerful bull-rushing defenders. He moves incredibly well for such a large lineman, and scouts believe he comes with a huge upside.

3. Jackson Sirmon/LB/California:

Montana v Washington
Montana v Washington

Jackson Sirmon was on top of his game all week, but he really stood out Thursday. He’s a smart, instinctive linebacker who did a great job anticipating the action and making plays. Sirmon had a beautiful pass breakup in drills then came away with an even prettier interception during full scrimmage.

All week long he did a great job quarterbacking the defense and making the calls for the unit. If he runs well during predraft testing, Sirmon will end up as a Day 3 selection.

4. Dylan Laube/RB/New Hampshire:

One of the few small-school players who stood out during Senior Bowl practice, Dylan Laube put his versatility on display Thursday. He showed a lot of ability carrying the ball on the inside, weaving through the traffic, and creating yardage.

He also displayed the agility and quickness necessary to turn the corner. And Laube caught the ball well. All that’s left is for Laube to turn in a big play on special teams during the game, and he was a dynamite return specialist at New Hampshire.

5. Evan Williams/S/Oregon:

The safety play has left a lot to be desired this week, but Evan Williams was consistent all week and really stood out on Thursday. He’s an underrated athlete with outstanding instincts and solid ball skills. Williams made several nice plays during red-zone drills, breaking up throws that would’ve ended up as touchdowns.

6. Khyree Jackson/CB/Oregon:

Khyree Jackson: Oregon v Texas Tech
Khyree Jackson: Oregon v Texas Tech

Khyree Jackson was another UO defensive back who stood out on Thursday and enforced his will against opponents. He’s a king-sized corner who measures 6-foot-3.5-inches and 203 pounds with an arm length of 32 inches, at the top end for cornerbacks.

He used his large frame to out-muscle receivers to defend passes, yet at the same time, he displayed polished ball skills. Jackson did a terrific job making plays with his back to the pass and getting his head back around to track the ball and then break up the throw. Considering his size and play at the Senior Bowl, good testing results at the Combine could vault Jackson into the draft’s top-125 selections.

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