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Tight ends Lynch, Gilmore shine in red-zone drills at Senior Bowl


Take away the pads for Thursday's final practices at the Reese's Senior Bowl and it gives the pass catchers a chance to show their stuff, especially in one-on-one red-zone drills. But it can also result in a serious case of buyer beware.

"In the scouting community, we call this Thursday practice the 'Matt Jones practice,'" NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "There's a lot that can be earned today."

Does being named Senior Bowl MVP lead to success in the NFL? You be the judge as we take a look back at the most recent Senior Bowl MVPs.

Jones, the former Arkansas quarterback, dominated at the goal line in the 2005 Senior Bowl and caught the eye of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jones was drafted with the 21st pick in the first round, but was out of the league after four uninspired seasons.

The format should exist to benefit bigger, more physically-gifted receivers like Cody Hoffman of BYU (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) and Jordan Matthews of Vanderbilt (6-3, 206), at least in theory, but tight ends Arthur Lynch from Georgia and Crockett Gilmore of Colorado State stood out. Lynch demonstrated impressive body control, while Gilmore's impressive hands came through with a couple of difficult grabs.

At the other end of the size spectrum is Oklahoma's Jalen Saunders (5-9, 157), who showed off his tremendous quickness.

Matthews and Hoffman have similar builds, but Jeremiah gives a clear edge to the SEC career leader in numerous receiving categories.

Matthews, who had a couple of nice TD catches in red zone drills Thursday, was named the Reese's Senior Bowl Player of the Day.

"When you look at Matthews, he looked more loose, more fluid coming in and out (of his breaks)," Jeremiah said. "Matthews every now and then will surprise you -- he has got a little extra gear and will sneak by you."

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.



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