Three Early Standouts at Senior Bowl Practice

Draft season feels like it officially kicked off this week with the start of Senior Bowl practices. The day started with weigh-ins and height measurements and concluded with drills showcasing the skills of some of the top prospects in the 2019 draft. The Packers will have three picks in the Top 45 in April and are looking to capitalize on this rare opportunity.

Here are three early standouts Green Bay could target in the first two rounds:

South Carolina Wide Receiver- Deebo Samuel

Samuel had as impressive of a day as any receiver at the first Senior Bowl practice. His footwork and quick release were on full display as he operated with complete control in one on ones. Samuel displayed the same soft hands he had during his time at South Carolina where led the team with 882 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2018.

The only red flag surrounding Samuel are the injuries that hindered his sophomore and junior seasons. A broken leg limited him to three games in 2017 and he also battled hamstring issue the year prior. He does have a solid physique working for him as he measured in at 6-0 216-pounds. Samuel may not win a ton of jump balls, but his ability to get right into his routes and create separation makes him an ideal candidate for Green Bay’s opening in the slot.

Kansas State Offensive Lineman- Dalton Risner

Risner was a three-year starter for the Kansas State Wildcats. After beginning his career at center, he transitioned to right tackle where he found his true calling a pass blocker. His length, balance, and strength are uncanny as he excels against the bull rush. Risner is also good at controlling gaps and creating lanes for running backs. The Packers do not necessarily have a need at tackle right now unless they decide to part ways with Bryan Bulaga, but that is unlikely.

The Packers may still consider Risner being that he has the potential to move inside where Green Bay has a pressing need at right guard. He did reveal during an interview at the Senior Bowl he is most comfortable at right tackle, however, he’s open to filling in where needed. His main knock is his footwork when defending a speed rusher, an indicator that it might be better for him to move inside.

Risner is currently valued as a second or third rounder on most draft boards.

Mississippi State Edge Rusher- Montez Sweat

Sweat was on a tear during his last two seasons in the SEC conference racking up 30 tackles for loss and 22.5 sacks. He continued that dominance as an absolute mismatch during Senior Bowl practice. Explosiveness, strength, speed, you name it, Sweat looks like a complete prospect. He was originally thought of as a mid to late first rounder, however, he may slide into the top 10. The Packers will have to give Sweat serious consideration if he is still around at pick number 12.

At Mississippi State, he played as a hand in the dirt defensive end in a 4-3 defense so he may have trouble fitting into Green Bay’s system where they frequently ask edge players to rush standing up. However, there’s plenty of tools to work with as Sweat possesses great length and hand strength to stack and shed. His ability to defend against the run is an added bonus but we don’t know yet if he can occasionally drop into coverage.

Tune in to the Senior Bowl Saturday, January 26th where potentially future Packers will be on full display.


Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.



8 thoughts on “Three Early Standouts at Senior Bowl Practice

  1. Sweat went v. Alabama State OT Tytus Howard and lost most of his reps v. Howard. Sweat won 1 rep, 1 rep, and you think he should be drafted top 10? Boston College’s Zach Allen looked really bad on the 1-1 drills all day.. never seemed to have a pass rush plan. this misleading “story” lacks context.

  2. “The Packers do not necessarily have a need at tackle right now”

    Seriously? Bulaga always has injury issues and they have absolutely no depth at either tackle spot. It’s one of their top needs.

    1. Bulaga was coming off an ACL injury and still started in the opener. Only missed two games all year and graded out as the 20th overall tackle per PFF.

      1. Are you familiar with his long injury history? Do you know how many knee and hip injuries he’s had and how many games he’s missed in his career? The answer is 45 games. I love the guy, he’s great when healthy but you can’t count on him staying healthy, and they have nobody to back up either tackle spot.

        1. They can’t let go of Bulaga without having a right guard first. They literally have no one and Bulaga is a proven veteran. One thing at a time

          1. I’m all for keeping Bulaga and hoping for the best. He’s a warrior. I would love Risner. I do appreciate the information you provided in your column. Good stuff.

  3. Dalton Risner has a bit of Nasty in there, I like that in OL.. Move Bulaga inside and let a younger Nasty guy try to start at RT.. ?? Bulaga might in fact be better suited at RG at this point.. ?

    1. I like Risner’s nasty too. Cole Madison had that as well but who knows if he’ll ever play. I always thought Bulaga was underappreciated by fans, he’s been really good when healthy and has played hurt plenty of times to help the team. I’ve also wondered about moving Bulaga inside.

Comments are closed.