The first of three days of Senior Bowl practice is in the books, and a plethora of potential Raiders had the opportunity show out in front of scouts from all 32 teams at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.
Day 1 of Senior Bowl practice is quite honestly the most important time for prospects to show scouts what they bring to the table, as many of them only stick around for a day or so, while few if any team scouts actually stay for the game.
The top non-QB prospect in attendance in Mobile is South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw, who was clearly dominant in one-on-one drills and may have solidified himself as a surefire Top 15 pick.
In between practices, I had the opportunity for a quick Q&A with Kinlaw, and here’s what he had to say:
Cyril: What do you think about the Raiders franchise? Could you see yourself in silver and black?
Kinlaw: Oh, most definitely. When I think about the Raiders, what comes to my mind is just tough, gritty, stuff like that. Just bash your head in, you know.
Cyril: That reminds you of yourself, right?
Kinlaw (smiling): Yeah, a little bit.
Cyril: You’ve talked about improving your pass rush and how you’ve shown mostly a bull rush. What other moves are you trying to showcase here?
Kinlaw: Long arm, double hand swipe, counter off the bull. The bull ain’t going to go nowhere. If it’s there, if it’s available, I’m still going to use it. But if you sit down on it, you know, I try to snatch them, pull counters off that.
Cyril: What do you think the best part of your game is right now, and what do you need to improve most between now and your rookie season?
Kinlaw: Best part? Probably just striking people. You know, getting displacement, things like that. I can improve, definitely improve on pass rush. That’s for sure.
Cyril: Do you think you’d be better in a one gap or two gap scheme?
Kinlaw: It don’t really matter to me. I can definitely get better at both, but at the end of the day, I think I could probably excel being at being a one gap type of guy.
Cyril: The Raiders have two young guys in Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell on the line already. What do you think of them?
Kinlaw: I would love to play with them guys, man. For sure. Maxx goes crazy off that edge, man. He definitely gets to the passer. What, he had double digit sacks this year right? He did his thing man. I love his pass rush.
Additional Day 1 Practice Notes
- Michael Pittman Jr. and Van Jefferson both stood out in one-on-one drills against defensive backs. Pittman’s speed and physicality was on display with every route, and he imposed his will on defensive backs. Jefferson, meanwhile, is a real technician and showed exactly that while routinely separating from defensive backs in coverage.
- Don’t sleep on SMU WR James Proche. He’s a smooth route runner that may have the best ball skills of any receiver in attendance.
- Jalen Hurts didn’t help his stock on Day 1 after throwing a series of ducks. Even without any defenders in the area, Hurts’ passes were off-target and he seemed to be overthinking simple drills. He could be quite the athlete if placed in a Taysom Hill-type role, but I’m not sure if he has a future as a starting QB in the NFL.
- Troy Pride Jr. and Dane Jackson stood out at cornerback. Pride Jr. was tenacious on every rep and Jackson was the stickiest in coverage on Day 1.
- Clemson guard John Simpson shook off a few bad reps to have a solid day. In a relatively weak interior offensive line class, Simpson has a chance to be a second-round pick. He got some reps at left tackle as well, which suggests that a few teams must have asked to see what would look like as a swing tackle.
- Wake Forest CB Essang Bassey would like to forget about Day 1. He was manhandled quite often in coverage against the North receivers.