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Carson Wentz solidifies standing as first-rounder at Senior Bowl


MOBILE, Ala. -- I've been very impressed by the overall talent for the 2016 Reese's Senior Bowl. The quarterback play has been solid this week and this has proven to be one of the deepest DL groups we've seen here in quite some time. Here are a handful of players that stood out to me over the course of the practices this week in advance of the game, which will be broadcast exclusively on NFL Network on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 30
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network

2016 Reese's Senior Bowl coverage:


North Dakota State QB Carson Wentz entered this week facing more pressure than any other prospect in Mobile. He was by far the highest-rated passer heading into the week of practice and everyone was eager to see how he would respond to the pressure and higher completion level. He responded with an outstanding performance. He displayed ideal size, arm strength and most importantly, poise. This moment wasn't too big for him. I'm looking forward to watching him play on Saturday, but he's already done enough to earn his spot in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Indiana OT Jason Spriggs had an outstanding week of practice. He displayed quick feet, balance and knee bend. He was inconsistent when I studied him on tape, but he put together a steady, dependable week of practice. He won't get out of the second round and he could garner some consideration late in the first round.

Ohio State WR Braxton Miller was the most explosive player in Mobile. While he's still learning the nuances of the position, it was impossible to ignore his suddenness in his release as well as his ability to find another gear when the ball is in the air. He will need some work as a route runner, (he's trying to incorporate three moves when one will do) but he doesn't have any physical limitations. He made one ridiculous catch on the sideline where he completely spun around and plucked the ball away from his frame. That was all I needed to see. He's going to figure it all out at the next level and he's going to be a stud.

LSU LB Deion Jones had an excellent week of practice. Five years ago, we wouldn't be hyping up a linebacker that checked in at a very lean 219 pounds. However, the NFL game has changed and we've seen several light linebackers have a dynamic impact over the last few years. Guys like Deone Bucannon, Telvin Smith and Kwon Alexander have each overcome their lack of ideal size because of rare explosiveness, instincts and playmaking ability. Jones was all over the field this week. He has incredible lateral range against the run and he can cover all day long. Some team is going to have the courage to take him in the second round and I believe they'll be rewarded for it.

Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins suffered a minor injury and won't play on Saturday, but he made quite an impression on NFL evaluators during the week of practice. In a loaded DL group, he stood out because of his quickness and pass-rush savvy. He dominated one-on-ones by using a variety of moves to go along with his explosive get off. He should be a lock to go in the middle of the first round.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.



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