MOBILE, Ala. —With the third and final day of practices for the 69th annual Senior Bowl now wrapped up, let's take a look at some of the top news and notes from Ladd-Peebles Stadium:
• It's important not to allow just one practice session to be a make-or-break moment, but Baker Mayfield might've separated himself from the rest of the talented North Team quarterbacks a little bit on Thursday. While Josh Allen, who has been considered by many to be a Top 2-worthy pick in this year's draft, definitely flashed elite arm strength and throwing ability down the field, Mayfield just looked way more comfortable, accurate and consistent on this, the final day of practices. The Heisman Trophy winner gets knocked because of his height (an even 6 foot) — and he hasn't had a whole lot of experience working under center — but if he can go out in Saturday's game and do what he did in Thursday's practice, then I don't think it would be unfair to put him in the discussion as a top pick candidate, too.
• We had a chance to catch up with tight end Durham Smythe after today's practice — and we'll have more on that up on our site tonight and tomorrow — but what a day on the field for the Notre Dame product on Thursday. While Smythe was good for about one catch a game for the Irish offense this past season (he finished with 15 receptions for 244 yards and one touchdown), he showed in Thursday's practice that he can certainly make plays all over the field when needed, catching passes and creating separation against the likes of Kyzir White, Armani Watts and Trayvon Henderson. Another plus for Smythe is his ability to block in the run game, something he was depended upon to do time and time again in Notre Dame's offense, which featured one of the top offensive lines in all of college football. Someone could be getting a steal, perhaps in the mid to late rounds, when they pick up Smythe in April's NFL Draft.
• What position will Jaylen Samuels play when he gets to the pros? That's the question about this versatile North Carolina State product, who seems like he could thrive as a running back, a fullback or a wide receiver, much like Christian McCaffrey for the Carolina Panthers. On Thursday, Samuels got open with ease against his linebacker and safety counterparts time and time again, showing off his quick feet. Samuels, who had 78 rushes for 407 yards (5.2 yards per carry) with 12 touchdowns on the ground and 75 receptions for 593 yards and four scores through the air in 2017 for the Wolf Pack, is definitely an interesting prospect coming into this draft.
• Marcus Davenport — are you kidding me? I was really looking forward to seeing this guy up close during Wednesday's first padded practice and was a little underwhelmed, but, boy, did he change my mind on Thursday. The defensive end from Texas-San Antonio is definitely raw, but he has all the tools — the power, the size — to get the job done as a pass rusher at the NFL level. I wouldn't be surprised, if he goes into the NFL Combine and impresses, if we see Davenport being taken in the Top 10 or 15 in April's NFL Draft.
• Keeping an eye on the offensive line, Austin Corbett from Nevada really had a nice performance today at both guard and tackle, especially during team drills. We saw Corbett pair well with fellow lineman Bradley Bozeman on a double team, and then Corbett absolutely destroyed an LSU defensive lineman in front of him, driving him back several yards. Corbett, a three-time All-Mountain West Conference selection, is one of many talented guard prospects in this year's NFL Draft class, and his versatility to be able to play both inside and outside certainly doesn't hurt his stock.
• Quick kicker note: Daniel Carlson has displayed quite the boot here in Mobile. The Auburn product on Thursday continued his strong week by nailing a 58-yard field goal, which cleared the goal posts with plenty of room, for a second straight day. Carlson leaves Auburn holding 14 school kicking records, and was the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year for a second straight season in 2017, as the All-American hit 69 career field goals, made 141 consecutive PATs (the second-best in SEC history) and finished fourth in SEC history with an 83.1 career field goal percentage. Remember: Adam Vinatieri is set to become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins March 14, so while he's expressed an interest to return to the Colts in 2018, the team could also very well be looking for his replacement.
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