CFB 24/7  


Mayock: Duke's Laken Tomlinson starred at Senior Bowl


Duke has won at least nine games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history, and two of the players most responsible for that run of success had strong performances this week at the Reese's Senior Bowl.

Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder has received a lot of praise from NFL Media analysts, and Thursday it was Blue Devils guard Laken Tomlinson (6-foot-3¼, 323 pounds) who was singled out by analyst Mike Mayock as having one of the best weeks of practice.

Reese's Senior Bowl coverage:



Mayock was especially impressed by Tomlinson's work in drills against Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton, who generally is considered the top prospect at the Senior Bowl. Mayock said Thursday during NFL Network's coverage of Senior Bowl practices that he thought Tomlinson "shot up draft boards" with his work this week.

Tomlinson was born in Jamaica and moved to Chicago when he was in eighth grade. He redshirted as a true freshman at Duke in 2010, then started every game the next four seasons.

Tomlinson had a double major at Duke -- evolutionary anthropology and psychology -- and has aspirations of becoming a doctor. Those aspirations likely will have to be put off for at least a few years as Tomlinson presumably enjoys life in the NFL.

Some other observations Thursday from the NFL Media analysts:

» Washington DE Hau'oli Kikaha, who led the nation with 19 sacks last season, impressed analyst Charles Davis. Kikaha's lack of size (6-2½, 246) almost certainly means a move to linebacker at the next level, and his lack of athleticism makes some observers think that will be a dicey move. Davis said Kikaha is at his best when moving straight ahead, and noted it wouldn't be wise to draft him and have him drop into coverage. Davis also wondered if there were some teams that would ponder putting Kikaha at inside linebacker and ask him to stuff the run.

» As with Kikaha, Utah DE Nate Orchard -- who was second in the nation with 18.5 sacks -- is another who is seen as somewhat of a 'tweener because of his size (he measured in at 6-3¼ and 251). "His lack of size wasn't an issue" this week, said analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who was impressed with Orchard's ability to get off blocks. Orchard is a good athlete -- he played wide receiver in high school in Salt Lake City -- and was a three-year starter at end for the Utes. Mayock also was impressed, saying simply, "He's a really good football player."

College stars show off their skills in preparation for the 2015 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

» Mayock also was high on Northwestern S Ibraheim Campbell (5-10½, 210). Campbell is known as a heady, instinctive player who lacks speed, but Mayock said Campbell "did better than I expected in the drills" despite lacking elite safety speed. "He certainly has helped his draft stock," Mayock said. Campbell was stout in run support for the Wildcats; he was a four-year starter and finished his career with 316 tackles, 11 interceptions, 24 pass breakups and six forced fumbles.

» Wisconsin OT Rob Havenstein (6-7, 322) is one of the biggest players at the Senior Bowl, and he stood out for more than his size this week. As with all Badgers offensive linemen, Havenstein is a mauling road-grader in the run game. But he impressed Davis in the pass-blocking drills: "He had better feet than expected." Havenstein was a three-year starter at right tackle for the Badgers, and he arrived on campus weighing 380 pounds. He also played lacrosse and basketball in high school in the Baltimore area. His twin, Jeff, played basketball at Division I Longwood; he also is 6-8 -- but played at just 225 pounds.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.



The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop