2020 Senior Bowl: Watch List Defense Breakdown

Senior Bowl

The 2020 Senior Bowl is a mere five months away. This week, the nation’s top collegiate All-Star game released their annual watch list. The list contains over 450 players from schools all across the country.

The SEC leads all other conferences with 120 prospects.

Yesterday we looked at the offensive players. Today, we will look at the different position groups on defense and break down who we like the most and who we can’t wait to see more of in the fall.

EDGE RUSHERS (25)

Alex Highsmith Charlotte
Kendall Futrell East Carolina
Nasir Player East Tennessee State
Ja’Quan Bailey Iowa State
Trevon Hill Miami
Michael Danna Michigan
Joshua Uche Michigan
Kenny Willekes Michigan State
James Smith-Williams North Carolina State
LaDarius Hamilton North Texas
Joe Gaziano Northwestern
Daelin Hayes Notre Dame
Khalid Kareem Notre Dame
Julian Okwara Notre Dame
Jonathon Cooper Ohio State
Qaadir Sheppard Ole Miss
DJ Wonnum South Carolina
Kendall Coleman Syracuse
Alton Robinson Syracuse
Darrell Taylor Tennessee
Mekhi Brown Tennessee St.
Keisean Lucier-South UCLA
Christian Rector USC
Bradlee Anae Utah
Tipa Galeai Utah State

25 edge rushers found their way onto the Senior Bowl watch list. Julian Okwara is potentially the headliner of this group. Kenny Willikes could be if he recovers from a leg injury that ended his 2018 season. Tipa Galeai is the sleeper of the group.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (41)

LaBryan Ray Alabama
Raekwon Davis Alabama
McTelvin Agim Arkansas
Marlon Davidson Auburn
Derrick Brown Auburn
Trevon McSwain Duke
Jabari Zuniga Florida
Tyler Clark Georgia
Julian Rochester Georgia
Matt Leo Iowa State
Ray Lima Iowa State
Calvin Taylor Jr. Kentucky
Breiden Fehoko LSU
Rashard Lawrence LSU
Michael Dwumfour Michigan
Carlo Kemp Michigan
Mike Panasiuk Michigan State
Raequan Williams Michigan State
Carter Coughlin Minnesota
Lee Autry Mississippi State
Chauncey Rivers Mississippi State
Bryce Sterk Montana State
Darrion Daniels Nebraska
Khalil Davis Nebraska
Carlos Davis Nebraska
Jason Strowbridge North Carolina
Larrell Murchison North Carolina State
Neville Gallimore Oklahoma
Austrian Robinson Ole Miss
Josiah Coatney Ole Miss
Benito Jones Ole Miss
Robert Windsor Penn State
Lorenzo Neal Purdue
Javon Kinlaw South Carolina
Keir Thomas South Carolina
McKinley Williams Syracuse
Emmit Gooden Tennessee
Malcolm Roach Texas
Garrett Marino UAB
Leki Fotu Utah
Jonah Williams Weber State

Auburn’s Derrick Brown could have been a round one pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Now he is the best defensive lineman on the Senior Bowl list. There are several studs on here. Javon Kinlaw, Raekwon Davis, Neville Gallimore, Rashard Lawrence and more could all find themselves in the first-round conversation. Carter Coughlin is a player I want to see more from this year.

LINEBACKERS (55)

Anfernee Jennings Alabama
Jordan Fehr Appalachian State
Akeem Davis-Gaither Appalachian State
De’Jon Harris Arkansas
Cole Christiansen Army
Blake Lynch Baylor
Evan Weaver California
Davion Taylor Colorado
David Reese Florida
Sage Lewis Florida International
Mykal Walker Fresno State
Tae Crowder Georgia
Jonas Griffith Indiana State
Kristian Welch Iowa
Marcel Spears Jr. Iowa State
Kash Daniel Kentucky
Michael Divinity LSU
Isaiah Davis Maryland
Michael Pinckney Miami
Shaquille Quarterman Miami
Zach McCloud Miami
Khaleke Hudson Michigan
Joe Bachie Michigan State
Thomas Barber Minnesota
Kamal Martin Minnesota
Leo Lewis Mississippi State
Cale Garrett Missouri
Dante Olson Montana
Mohamed Barry Nebraska
Javahn Ferguson New Mexico State
Antonio Jones-Davis Northern Illinois
Asmar Bilal Notre Dame
Malik Harrison Ohio State
Willie Hibbler Ole Miss
Troy Dye Oregon
La’Mar Winston Jr. Oregon
Cameron Brown Penn State
Markus Bailey Purdue
Kyahva Tezino San Diego State
TJ Brunson South Carolina
Christian Rozeboom South Dakota St.
Zach Hall Southeast Missouri State
Shaun Bradley Temple
Chapelle Russell Temple
Daniel Bituli Tennessee
Jeffrey McCulloch Texas
Bryan London II Texas State
Jordan Fisher Toledo
John Houston Jr. USC
Jordan Iosefa USC
Francis Bernard Utah
Caleb Peart Vanderbilt
Cam Gill Wagner
Justin Strnad Wake Forest
Zack Baun Wisconsin

There aren’t any what you would call “standout” players in this group. However, several will be dotting NFL rosters next year. Anfernee Jennings and T.J. Brunson stand out to me. Akeem Davis-Gaither is a player have yet to study but want to.

CORNERBACKS (42)

Shyheim Carter Alabama
Trevon Diggs Alabama
Jace Whittaker Arizona
Elijah Riley Army
Javaris Davis Auburn
Chris Wilcox Brigham Young
Nevelle Clarke Central Florida
Delrick Abrams Jr. Colorado
Kevin McGill Eastern Michigan
Levonta Taylor Florida State
Jaron Bryant Fresno State
Monquavion Brinson Georgia Southern
Kindle Vildor Georgia Southern
Michael Ojemudia Iowa
Rashad Robinson James Madison
Kristian Fulton LSU
Manny Patterson Maine
Zedrick Raymond Miami (Ohio)
Lavert Hill Michigan
DeMarkus Acy Missouri
Lamar Jackson Nebraska
Stephen Griffin North Carolina State
Nick McCloud North Carolina State
Troy Pride Jr. Notre Dame
Donte Vaughn Notre Dame
Damon Arnette Ohio State
A.J. Green Oklahoma State
Vernon Dasher Ole Miss
Myles Hartsfield Ole Miss
Jalen Julius Ole Miss
John Reid Penn State
Dane Jackson Pittsburgh
Christopher Frederick Syracuse
Prince Robinson Tarleton State
Jeff Gladney TCU
Baylen Buchanan Tennessee
Charles Oliver Texas A&M
Dominic Davis USC
Bryce Hall Virginia
Essang Bassey Wake Forest
Amari Henderson Wake Forest
Myles Bryant Washington

The cornerback class could be very deep in the 2020 draft. The Senior Bowl watch list reflects this. Trevon Diggs, Damon Arnette, and Bryce Hall are potential first-round selections. Kindle Vildor is a player I look forward to seeing in person in October.

SAFETIES (39)

Jeremy Fejedelem Air Force
Alvin Davis Jr. Akron
Jared Mayden Alabama
Jeremiah Dinson Auburn
Daniel Thomas Auburn
Ashtyn Davis California
Jaylinn Hawkins California
Tanner Muse Clemson
K’Von Wallace Clemson
Jamal Hicks Colorado State
JR Reed Georgia
Stanley Green Illinois
Luther Kirk Illinois St.
Marlon Bridges Jacksonville St.
Mike Lee Kansas
Jordan Griffin Kentucky
Kyle Dugger Lenoir Rhyne
L’Jarius Sneed Louisiana Tech
Antoine Brooks Jr. Maryland
Antwaine Richardson Maryland
Josh Metellus Michigan
David Dowell Michigan State
Brian Cole II Mississippi State
Jaquarius Landrews Mississippi State
Ronnell Perkins Missouri
Josh Sandry Montana
Bobby Price Norfolk State
Jarius Morehead North Carolina State
Jalen Elliott Notre Dame
Jordan Fuller Ohio State
Jalen Moore Oregon State
Garrett Taylor Penn State
Navon Mosley Purdue
Damon Hayes Rutgers
Jeremy Chinn Southern Illinois
Nigel Warrior Tennessee
Brandon Jones Texas
Julian Blackmon Utah
Reggie Floyd Virginia Tech

The safety class does not look special at all. The name with the most buzz appears to be D2 Lenoir-Rhyne prospect, Kyle Duggar. I hope he gets invited to the Senior Bowl because there will not be a great amount of his tape available.

SPECIALISTS (27)

LS Steve Wirtel Iowa State
LS Blake Ferguson LSU
LS Matt Beardall Marshall
LS Evan Crabtree Miami (Ohio)
LS Liam McCullough Ohio State
LS Riley Lovingood Tennessee
LS Geron Eatherly Tulane
LS Grant Merka UTSA
LS A.J. Carty Washington
LS Rex Sunahara West Virginia
PK Ryan Tice Central Michigan
PK Ricky Aguayo Florida State
PK Rodrigo Blankenship Georgia
PK Tyler Bass Georgia Southern
PK Tucker McCann Missouri
PK Chase Vinatieri South Dakota St.
PK JJ Molson UCLA
PK Dominik Eberle Utah State
PK Ryley Guay Vanderbilt
PK Cooper Rothe Wyoming
PT Alex Pechin Bucknell
PT Tommy Townsend Florida
PT Logan Tyler Florida State
PT Will Hart Michigan
PT Joseph Charlton South Carolina
PT Sterling Hofrichter Syracuse
PT Braden Mann Texas A&M

The Senior Bowl will invite two kickers, punters, and long snappers. The only lock I feel safe about is Braden Mann of Texas A&M. That kid can boom the ball.

The 2020 Senior Bowl takes place from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama on Saturday, January 25th.

Image courtesy of Butch Dill, AP