With no NFL Combine and schools relegated to limited Pro Days this offseason, the 72nd Annual Reese's Senior Bowl seemingly had higher stakes than in years past. Considering the numerous limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact the organizers of this event were able to successfully complete week of practice and produce an exciting Senior Bowl game, was a victory for everyone who participated.
With each passing year, the level of talent in the event continues to grow and evolve. This
year's game was no exception, as several players made a big impression in front of the NFL
scouts in attendance. From what we viewed, there were four players in this game who made the biggest impact.
Quarterback Kellen Mond - American Team
This year's Reese's' Senior Bowl MVP was the most efficient player on the field, and it was
not even close. He displayed tremendous accuracy and velocity on his throws, and the ability to elude defenders from the National Team with his mobility. He led all quarterbacks in completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns. In addition to this, he was 2 for 2 on two-point conversions, one of which he ran himself. We have all seen how a quarterback's draft stock can rise with a strong performance in this game (Kyle Lauletta in 2018 and Justin Herbert in 2020). If Mond was looking for a boost, he certainly received it after what he showcased.
Running Back Michael Carter - National Team
No one's draft stock rose higher this week than North Carolina running back Michael Carter.
He was unquestionably one of the top practice performers, as he was named the top running back on the National team. On the field, his elite-level speed and acceleration was on full display on his first rush attempt. Yet, his signature moment came on his 12-yard touchdown run, when he moved a pile of defenders into the end zone. Regardless of his size, Carter showed that his skillset was well ahead of all the running backs in this game.
Wide Receiver Dez Fitzpatrick - National Team
From their first sequence on offense, Fitzgerald was a reception machine for the National Team. Whether he was lined up in the slot, or on the outside, his ability to consistently make difficult catches, distinguished him from every receiver playing in this game. He finished with a game high 90 yards on six receptions, and was the National Team's most reliable offensive player. In general, Fitzgerald's was not known to many prior to this game. Rest assured, his name should now be in the minds of the NFL scouts who watched his performance.
Defensive Lineman Patrick Jones II - National Team
During the week of practice, Jones failed to make a positive impression. During one-on-one drills against Wisconsin-Whitewater offensive lineman Quinn Meinerz, he was soundly beaten during their reps. In this game, however, Jones was the most impactful defensive player on the field in the first half, as he recorded two sacks and gave the National team more than they can handle. The same pedigree that earned him consensus All-American status this past season, was on full display in this game.