News & Analysis

2020 Senior Bowl Day 2 Practice Notes: KJ Hill, Jonah Jackson and Troy Pride Jr. all shine bright

Day 2 of the Senior Bowl practices are in the books. Let’s roll with the takes.

Money Makers

Notre Dame CB Troy Pride Jr.

I’m not sure anyone has risen their draft stock more with their performance this week than the Notre Dame cornerback. In a fairly weak cornerback group here in Mobile, Pride has been the clear cream of the crop. He’s locked down Michael Pittman Jr., James Proche and Quartney Davis on highly impressive reps through the first couple days. His elite speed and smooth hips have him completely unafraid of getting beaten deep. With question marks about his press technique and ability to play the catch point heading into the week, Pride has been fantastic in both.

Ohio State WR K.J. Hill

Last year Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin was the big winner of the wide receiver group in Mobile. This year, it’s been another Buckeye in Hill. In a loaded wide receiver group, Hill’s route-running has separated from the pack. What’s helped his case the most is the fact that he’s been winning from the outside and against press. Hill played almost exclusively in the slot for Ohio State and rarely faced press man. The way he manipulates leverage and varies the pacing in his routes is at a veteran NFL level already. That’s a nice combination to possess projecting forward.

Standout pass protectors

Houston OT Josh Jones

Jones didn’t quite tick the arm length box on day one with 32 1/8  arms, but it didn’t stop him from playing dominant football at Houston and hasn’t stopped him this week. The Houston tackle has anchored down like an aircraft carrier against bull-rushes all week and in the team drills took Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun for a ride one play down the field today.

 Ohio State OG Jonah Jackson

Jackson might be the only offensive lineman in attendance this week to not have a convincing loss in the one-on-ones. His independent hand usage has been nothing short of elite this week. The ability to latch and not let go is something that you love to see from an interior lineman. His build may not be the most impressive, but the tape is.

The Undersized Edge Defenders

There are a number of college edge defenders who came down to Mobile with concerns about whether they could hold up on the edge at their size. Already, Wisconsin’s Zack Baun has moved to off-ball and has made it clear that’s where he wants to play in the NFL. Miami’s Trevon Hill and Minnesota’s Carter Coughlin both checked in well under 240 and have been getting stonewalled by tackles in the one-on-ones all week. 99% chance those guys move off-ball in the NFL. Michigan’s Josh Uche, however, might be the one who actually sticks as a pass-rusher. He checked in at 241 with 33-inch arms and has been putting on a pass-rushing clinic the past couple days. He’s not only gotten around the edge consistently, but he’s gotten movement on tackles via the bull-rush.

Small Schoolers

Guys from non-power 5 schools are always the ones with the most to gain from a strong week of play in Mobile. There were a handful of guys on Day-2 here who more than proved they belonged. Liberty receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden has shown some legit speed at 6-foot-3, 222 pounds. He was striding away from Utah safety Terrell Burgess in the one-on-ones. Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn has made life difficult for the tight ends down here all week. At 219 pounds, he’s as big as some of the linebackers and could even end up there in the league. The last guy from today worth mentioning is Tulsa edge Trevis Gipson. He’s got some silly Gumby-esque bend for a 6-foot-3, 259-pounder. Playing through contact comes easily for him. In an edge group that has a lot of guys with size concerns, Gipson looks like a prototype.

Darnay Holmes vs. Van Jefferson

The highlight of the day was none other than the repeated matchup between these two. Van Jefferson got the resounding win, but that didn’t stop Darnay Holmes from talking a good deal of trash. What was said my editors won’t let me repeat here on PFF.com. Holmes was at the catch point a couple of times, but Jefferson still finished the plays. The Florida receiver has been one of the biggest risers with his play this week.

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