In the last few years, the Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama has served as a launching pad for players looking to make their mark in the NFL.
For instance, in last year's game, we saw two players whose respective NFL Draft stock rose as a result of their performances during practice week and in the game; Washington Redskins receiver Terry McLaurin and Houston Texans defensive end Charles Omenihu.
This year's game was as competitive as any Senior Bowl game in recent memory. Though Team North came away with a 34-17 victory over Team South, players from both squads proved to be worthy of playing in the NFL someday. Yet every year, there are certain players who stand out among the rest. For these players, their chances of playing at the next level grew exponentially as a result of their performance in this game.
QB Justin Herbert (Team South)
This year's Senior Bowl MVP, came into this week's practice with questions regarding the validity of his first-round status. In just one quarter, Herbert not only showed he was the best quarterback, rather the best overall player in this game. At one point, he had seven straight completions, and was as efficient with his legs as he was with his arm. He finished the first quarter 9 for 12, 89 passing yards and a touchdown. After such a performance, he had nothing left to prove as he didn't play another snap in the game.
DL Bradlee Anae And LB Josh Uche (Team North)
The dynamic defensive duo of Anae and Uche created havoc in the Team South backfield consistently and in a variety of different ways. Anae was incredible, accounting for 2.5 sacks, several quarterback pressures and quarterback hits. At one point, it seemed as if Team South were incapable of stopping him. In the case of Uche, he was not as productive in the sack department, but his explosiveness off the edge was in full display, as he consistently created disturbances in the backfield. Troy Pride Jr.'s interception was a result of Uche's pressure. In all, both Anae and Uche made a tremendous impressions on NFL scouts in attendance.
RB Joshua Kelley (Team North)
Kelley showed three attributes NFL teams are looking for in a running back; speed, vision and patience. What was noticeable in this game, was his ability to change gears once he gained the edge. Though he was not overly physical, his approach was smooth and did a good job making South defenders miss. He led all running backs with 105 rushing yards on 15 carries, with an average of 7 yards per carry.
QB Anthony Gordon (Team North)
Gordon came in late in the first half and immediately made an impressive. Though he did not impress with his arm strength, he accuracy was on full display. What defined him in this game was his ball placement. On his touchdown pass to second touchdown pass, he executed a perfect sidearm throw to Antonio Gandy-Golden, while being chased by a Team South defender. He finished with 69 passing yards, yet his numbers do not tell the whole tale of how productive he was in this game.
RB Antonio Gibson ( Team South )
Gibson's style of running in this game, was the very antithesis of Kelley; gritty and rugged yet productive. One thing we learned about Gibson is that he thrives on contact; at the same time, he has breakaway speed and can flat out run. Each of the 68 yards he gained in this game, were well-earned. In general, he was one of the few bright spots on a Team South squad that underwhelmed offensively.
QB Shea Patterson (Team North)
WR Darius Anderson (Team North)
RB Lamical Perine (Team South)
QB Jalen Hurts (Team North)
S Kyle Dugger (Team South)
OL Josh Jones (Team North)
EDGE Kenny Willekes (Team North)
CB Kindle Vildor (Team South)
Jauan Jennings (Team North)