Rookie center Jimmy Morrissey was the Las Vegas Raiders’ final pick of the NFL Draft earlier this month, and his eagerness to be a last-minute addition to Senior Bowl may have earned him a spot in the Silver and Black.
On the eve of 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl — which took place on Jan. 30 in Mobile, Alabama — executive director Jim Nagy needed to add an offensive lineman because of injuries that occurred during the week. Nagy knew Morrissey was working out about an hour’s drive away in Pensacola, Florida, so he called the former Pitt center to see if he would be interested in playing in the game on very short notice.
“He said ‘Mr. Nagy, I’ll be right there,’” Nagy told Silver and Black Pride on Monday of Morrissey’s response. “He’s a hell of a good kid. He’s going to make it because of who he is and what his makeup is.
“Some kids get their noses bent out of shape if they’re not invited (to the Senior Bowl) right away, but not Jimmy. He was just happy to get the chance to compete.”
Morrissey spent all of that Friday afternoon and evening in January working with the Carolina Panthers’ offensive line coaches to learn the playbook. By Saturday, he played both guard positions and center in the game.
“It was incredible,” Nagy said. “It speaks to his mindset and competitive nature.”
Nagy spoke to several general managers in the months after the Senior Bowl leading up to the draft about Morrissey. One of those people was Raiders’ general manager Mike Mayock.
Mayock and the Raiders drafted Morrissey in the seventh round with their final pick at No. 230. The 22-year-old Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania native began at Pitt as a walk-on ... and ended his college career as a team captain.
Players who are drafted in the late rounds are difficult to project as future starters but Nagy wouldn’t put anything out of Morrissey’s range. Nagy said Morrissey reminds him of New England Patriots standout center David Andrews, who was undrafted because he didn’t have great physical tools. Andrews has since developed into one of the best centers in the game.
“I’d never put a ceiling on a kid like Jimmy because of the way he is wired,“ Nagy told us. “You can poke holes about his lack of size and physical talent all you want ... but Jimmy has all the intangibles you want from a guy in your offensive line room.”