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2020 Senior Bowl Preview

Read all about the MWC players competing in the biggest post-season showcase event.

Reese’s Senior Bowl

The 2019 college football season is over, but over the next few weeks, post-season bowls will be occurring. Mountain West alums are taking part in the Tropical Bowl, the East-West Shrine Game, and the Senior Bowl. This post will focus on the Senior Bowl.

The Senior Bowl will begin on Tuesday. Players will be checking in and getting officially measured and weighed. For the rest of the week, they will be practicing with NFL coaching staffs before playing in the game, taking place Saturday at 12:30 MST time on the NFL Network.

Participating in this bowl is an excellent opportunity for all the seniors who were able to secure invites. First of all, it’s considered the premiere post-season bowl event, so each player is going up against the best competition possible.

These events are used basically as camps with a game at the end. Invited players get officially measured and weighed upon checking in. Then, there are a few days of practices with NFL coaches. The practice time for players is really at the heart of these events.

This is due to the amount of time players and coaches can spend together observing play and honing their craft collaboratively. It gives the players a chance to be looked at by coaches who know the NFL game. What better way to know where and how to improve than to hear it from the source. Receiving this feedback can give the players an edge as they head into their training for the NFL combine or their respective Pro-day.

Finally, and somewhat related, this gives players a chance to stand out. If a player was overshadowed on his team by other talented individuals, wasn’t featured in his offense, or in the case of those in this article, playing in a Group of 5 conference, they have the opportunity to open the eyes of the coaches with their play and jump onto the radar before draft time. While the combine and pro-days are also good opportunities for this, the more chances of coaches seeing one play and compete, the better position they put themselves in.

Three players from the Mountain West are participating in the Senior Bowl this year. Below we will provide a brief description of each player as well as what they need to show they need to improve their draft stock.

Thanks to the team writers for giving previews of the respective players.

Senior Bowl Schedule (all times central):

Tuesday January 21st

  • Practice 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm (South)
  • Practice 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm (North)

Wednesday January 22nd

  • Practice 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm (North)
  • Practice 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm (South)

Thursday January 23rd

  • Practice 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm (North)
  • Practice 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm (South)

Saturday January 25th:

  • The Game. 1:30 PM (Central Time) at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.

The Players:

Note: The weaknesses or questions described about each player below aren’t necessarily the views of the contributors or site, but rather what could be questions or concerns NFL scouts or talent-elevators or the media have about them, which are still worth discussing as they can have ramifications.

QB Jordan Love (Utah State)

(By Alex)

Love finds himself in less of a spotlight now than he would have been in at this point last year had he been able enter the NFL Draft process. He put up gaudy numbers in 2018-19 while in the system then-OC David Yost had in effect. Alas, Yost left with former USU HC Matt Wells to Texas Tech and Love returned for his junior season; his last year in college can more or less be summed up in one word: meh. He’s still projected by some to go in the 1st round, but people see that as more of a reach than a common sense decision. Most prognosticators see Love going in the 2nd or 3rd round as a guy who could come in and either start right away (if the team is that desperate) or be a backup for a year and tighten up his weak areas.

STRENGTHS: Love is a flamethrower. He’s got great throwing power, which helps him make plays when throwing into tight windows. He has been compared numerous times to Pat Mahomes since he shares very similar physical size and throwing power and he has the ability to make plays happen out of nowhere.

WEAKNESSES: Similarly to Mahomes, though, Love has very raw talent. It needs to be refined, more than likely he needs to sit out a year and learn from a seasoned veteran, someone like Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, or Ben Roethlisberger, a la Mahomes and Alex Smith. His drop in production can somewhat be attributed to the massive changes Utah State went through before the season, losing almost all of his top targets, 4/5 of his offensive line, and almost the entire coaching staff. All of the weight of success for the Aggies was put on Love’s shoulders while also thrusting him into a new offensive system, going from David Yost to Mike Sanford

WHAT TO DO TO IMPROVE DRAFT STOCK: Show scouts he can be consistent and accurate. Love has the power, but he needs to show pro scouts that he can put the ball where it needs to be on a consistent basis. Lucky for Love, the Senior Bowl and the NFL as a whole is chock-full if great playmakers, which may be the difference make to his success. An NFL team looking to draft Love should have a solid corps of talent at the skill positions and a veteran QB to show Love the way if they want Love to succeed with their team.

OL Keith Ismael (San Diego State)

(By Alex)

Ismael is another Aztec standout on the offensive line that will hope to be drafted. Similar to Dixon, he is a productive run blocker that should be drafted around the same round. The only downfall for Ismael is he is slightly undersized, but a possible shift in positions at the NFL level could prove to be a productive move for one franchise.

LB Logan Wilson (Wyoming)

(By FatDuckUW)

Logan Wilson came to Wyoming at 6’2” and 205 lbs. 247 Sports listed Logan as a WR while other recruiting services had him as a DB. The Cowboys saw Logan as a LB. After red-shirting his freshman year, Wilson put on the muscle to bulk up to play the position. He leaves for the NFL still at 6’2” but now at 250 lbs.

Wilson went on to start four seasons at LB for Wyoming. During that time, Logan was named a three-year captain at Wyoming. He was 1st team All-Mountain West this past season. Wilson was even on the national radar last year, finishing as one of the 12 finalists for the 2019 Butkus Award (given to the top LB in the nation). Logan would also finish the season as an AP 3rd-Team All American.

Wilson is a Wyoming kid (graduated high school in Casper, WY) whose only FBS scholarship came from the in-state school. Wilson is the rare NFL prospect from the University of Wyoming, but he is all the rarer since he grew up in Wyoming (not known to produce much in terms of college football talent). His accomplishments at Wyoming have put him in a position to be a likely Day 3 pick in the 2020 NFL draft. He just needs to show that he has the chops to stick at LB in the NFL with a good week of practice and a good showing in the game at the Senior Bowl.

Your Turn: What do you think each of these players needs to do show this weekend? Which do you see as legitimate draft prospects at this time? Let us know in the comment section.