MOBILE, AL. — NFL Draft season for the Las Vegas Raiders and the rest of the league has officially begun with the Senior Bowl kicking off practice on Tuesday. The Raiders will likely be looking to bolster both their offensive and defensive lines and below are the guys in the trenches that stood out to me the most during Day 1 down in Mobile.
Otito Ogbonnia, DT, UCLA
From the moment he stepped onto the field, Ogbonnia stood out. He was one of the biggest guys out there, measuring in at 6’ 3.5” and 326 pounds. The UCLA product started hot by winning his first four reps in the one-on-one pass-rush drills and continued to shine in the team period by getting penetration against the run. He’s currently rated as a sixth-round pick on NFL Mock Draft Database’s consensus big board, so Ogbonnia could be a solid Day 3 pick for Las Vegas unless he continues to turn heads and raise his stock.
Travis Jones, DT, UConn
Jones is another massive defensive tackle — 6’ 4 3/8” and 326 pounds — who was hard to miss on Tuesday. Heading into the week, I knew he’d be stout against the run, and he dominated in the one-on-one run blocking/defense period, but it was his success as a pass rusher that stood out the most. He started the practice off with an excellent swim move to beat the offensive lineman off the line of scrimmage and continued to win with a bull rush. When watching his tape, I felt like his swim move could be developed at the next level so it’s good to see that he's starting to polish that move up and beat quality offensive linemen with it.
Niel Farrell Jr., DT, LSU
Heading into practice, I didn’t know much about Farrell as he was widely considered to be a late Day 3 pick before the Senior Bowl. However, he instantly became someone I wrote down to do more research on. The former Tiger showed an impressive get-off as both a run defender and pass rusher. He was winning left and right in one-on-ones and even put some higher-profile offensive linemen on their backs.
Darian Kinnard, OT, Kentucky
Perhaps the best indication of how well Kinnard did on Day 1 was at the end of practice, the Lions’ coaching staff had him and Florida State EDGE Jermaine Johnson square off in three one-on-one pass rush reps while the rest of the team watched. Johnson got the better of Kinnard in those reps but that was the best of the best matchup for the afternoon. The Kentucky offensive lineman was a stalwart in pass protection, and his angles working up to the second level to create rushing lanes as a run blocker stood out to me.
Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana
Mitchell was another guy who I didn’t know much about heading into the week, but he caught my eye early on with a pancake block in one-on-one run blocking drills. He held his own in pass protection as well and proved he belong, something every small school prospect is hoping to do at events like the Senior Bowl. The Louisiana product has a wide range of draft projects at the moment — some analysts have him in the first- or second-round while others have him in the fifth or sixth. However, continuing this momentum will help level that out and he could be a quality Day 2 option for the Silver and Black.