- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The Senior Bowl for the 2021 season has come and gone, and despite many hurdles, it proved to be a productive week. The process concluded Saturday (with a 27-24 win for the National team) after the actual all-star game was played, but the biggest evaluations come from the practices throughout the week.
The Jags have been known to select several stars from the Senior Bowl like Brandon Linder, D.J. Chark, Ben Bartch, and Gardner Minshew II. While there are new faces in the front office, fans shouldn’t expect that to change too much.
Now, with the process behind us, let’s look at some standouts who the Jags could have interest in as they have a wide range of needs to address this offseason:
S Hamsah Nasirildeen - Florida State
Florida State Seminoles defensive back Hamsah Nasirildeen (23) runs the ball to the end zone. The Florida State Seminoles beat the Alabama State Hornets 49-12 on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.
Fsu V Alabama St1663
For those who watched the Jags in 2020, it's no secret that they need a safety. They particularly struggled to find a good partner for Jarrod Wilson, as Josh Jones struggled mightily in coverage. Andrew Wingard wasn't all that great either on defense aside from Week 1 and seems more suited to be a special teams player more than anything. Thankfully, the upcoming free agency class has the potential to be good at safety, but if the Jags strike out there, they must turn to the draft. Even if they get a safety in free agency, they could afford to double-dip if they chose to, and getting a safety in the draft should still be on the table. That said, Florida State's Hamsah Nasirildeen seems like he could help them in a big way after flashing in Mobile. Many who attended the Senior Bowl came away impressed and surprised with his ability in 1-on-1s -- and a big reason he shined was his closing/ recovery speed. https://twitter.com/realcorykinnan/status/1354956670309437447?s=21 At 6-foot-3, 213 pounds, Nasirildeen has the size to hold up against the run, too, and brought a physical presence to Mobile with him (see below). He could be intriguing to new defensive coordinator Joe Cullen, who is coming from a Baltimore Ravens team that had a physical safety in DeShon Elliot. https://twitter.com/chasegoodbread/status/1354531822835806211?s=21
CB Ifeatu Melifonwu - Syracuse
Nov 30, 2019; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu (23) intercepts a pass in the end zone in front of Wake Forest Demon Deacons wide receiver Waydale Jones (80) during the second quarter at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Continuing on the idea of bringing in players similar to what Cullen had in Baltimore, Ifeatu Melifonwu is similar to cornerback Jimmy Smith in size. He measured in at 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, during weigh-ins, and he used his size quite well in Mobile. He also flashed during the game accumulating three tackles and two pass breakups where he showcased his length. https://twitter.com/ncaafnation247/status/1355604060842434562?s=21 Melifonwu was a player who flourished in off coverage at Syracuse and the same was displayed in Mobile. That said, if the Jags are going to be a zone heavy team that is going to rely on pressure from the front four, they could view him as a fit. https://twitter.com/boomorbustdraft/status/1354537977142239239?s=21 Some feel Melifonwu could end up being a late first-rounder or early second-rounder. That's a sweet spot for the Jags if they are intrigued by him with picks No. 25 and No. 33 in their possession.
WR Kadarius Toney - Florida
Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Florida Gators wide receiver Kadarius Toney (1) makes a catch against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Malachi Moore (13) in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
As expected, Kadarius Toney had a week full of highlight moments. Of course, his vertical speed was on display, but he also showcased his movement skills and body control, which may be second to none in the class. https://twitter.com/pff_college/status/1354850593207160835?s=21 https://twitter.com/receiverschool/status/1354498288423231489?s=21 https://twitter.com/receiverschool/status/1354498288423231489?s=21 Toney had a few drops throughout the week, which may boil down to a concentration issue. He also had his week cut short after sustaining a calf injury. Despite those issues, though, he still found a way to elevate his stock and should be a player to watch for the Jags as they have ties to Florida through Urban Meyer, who was once the team's head coach about a decade ago. Now, his longtime assistant, Dan Mullen, runs the program and can offer any insight needed on the young receiver.
WR Marquez Stevenson - Houston
Oct 24, 2020; Annapolis, Maryland, USA; Houston Cougars wide receiver Marquez Stevenson (5) runs for a touchdown past Navy Midshipmen defensive back Mitchell West (6) during the second half at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Marquez Stevenson is another speed threat who could entice Meyer. He's been on record for saying he runs a 40-yard dash time in the 4.38 range, and it shows on tape. Early in the week in Mobile, Stevenson also got to show his vertical ability and quickness, which made defensive backs look silly. https://twitter.com/bradkelly17/status/1354295092647964672?s=21 https://twitter.com/marcus_mosher/status/1354817204672335872?s=21 Stevenson is a player who is more than just a threat downfield. He offers YAC ability and has proven to adjust well to balls when thrown his way. Stevenson can also offer the Jags help on special teams as a returner with three career touchdowns and 889 yards as a kick returner. https://twitter.com/sportsgrind_don/status/1355337933595824131?s=21
WR Amari Rodgers - Clemson
Dec 19, 2020; Charlotte, NC, USA; Clemson wide receiver Amari Rodgers (3) catches a pass for a 67-yard touchdown near Notre Dame safety Shaun Crawford (20) during the first quarter of the ACC Championship game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
While early signs point to Meyer wanting to add speed to the roster in general, but it also wouldn't be a complete shocker to see the Jags target a slot receiver in the draft. Of course, it may depend on if the team decides to keep Keelan Cole or not. Whether the Jags plan to get a slot receiver or not, it's going to be hard to ignore Amari Rodgers, especially after watching a ton of film on Trevor Lawrence. The young receiver has also piled on to his stock after a good week in Mobile and also came away from the all-star game itself with four catches for 24 yards and an impressive touchdown pass where he had to take a massive hit. That said, inserting Rodgers into the Jags lineup with his former teammate in Lawrence, who heavily favored him in college, could make the Jags' passing game more threatening than it is.