The story of the day at the marquee college all-star game was the quarterback play.
Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield was the biggest star in attendance, but he was a non-factor Saturday, throwing 7 passes on 2 offensive series before exiting. Three other QBs took full advantage of their time in the spotlight. I was there to see it all up close, analyzing the game from the sideline for the NFL Network broadcast.
Here's a look at seven players who helped themselves on Saturday.
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Allen is going to build momentum in scouting circles coming out of the Senior Bowl. He's already considered one of the top prospects at his position, and I expect there to be even more excitement about him now.
He didn't have a lot of success in the first half, and could have shut it down at that point, but he didn't. He came back out to start the second half, and I love that he did. He competed, and he showed his complete skill set in second half, finishing the day 9-of-13 for 158 yards and 2 TDs.
We saw his strength to be able to absorb hits and make throws despite the contact. We saw his athletic ability when he took off and ran a couple times. We also saw the fastball that everybody talks about -- he gets plenty of juice on his throws. However, both of his TD passes in the third quarter were beautiful touch throws. I also liked watching him interact with his teammates in this game. He had a lot of energy, and you could see guys rally around him.
The fact that he hasn't fared well against Power Five teams in his career has been one of the biggest knocks against Allen, but he took advantage of the opportunity this week to show the NFL that he can compete against elite talents. I came into the week with Mayfield ranked one spot ahead of Allen on my board, and it remains very close between those QBs. I'm not ready to call that race just yet.
Allen has some rough edges that he still needs to smooth out, but we got a glimpse on Saturday of what it looks like when it all clicks for him. He makes throws that no one else can make.
Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta and Western Kentucky QB Mike White
Obviously, Allen and Mayfield were the biggest stars this week, but Lauletta and White were the two biggest winners of Saturday. With all the attention on the other QBs, they stepped up in a big way and showed they have starting traits. They possess plenty of poise, anticipation, timing and accuracy.
White looked like he had the game MVP award locked up with his outstanding play early on (8-11, 128 yards, TD), but Lauletta entered in the second half and swiped it from him, completing 8-of-12 passes for 198 yards and 3 TDs.
Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
Davenport wasn't very effective in the first two days of practices here, and some people didn't really give him much of a chance to adjust to the environment at the Senior Bowl before criticizing him. He clearly needed that adjustment period because he was unstoppable late in the week of practices, and it carried over to the game. He recorded a half sack and scored a TD on a fumble recovery. His numbers might not jump off the page, but the North team had its hands full trying to slow him down.
DJ Chark, WR, LSU
There was zero buzz on Chark coming into this week, but he had everyone talking by the end of the week. His production was outstanding (game-high 160 yards on 5 catches) -- everyone can see that -- but it shouldn't go overlooked that he also was good on the coverage teams, covering kicks.
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
Penny showed that he has plenty of burst, racking up 137 total yards (64 rushing, 73 receiving). His 73-yard TD catch showed the versatility that he brings to the table. In a year where we have so many good underclassmen running backs, he had to make a splash in this game to stay relevant. He definitely did that. I think he's positioned himself as a second-rounder at this point in the process.
Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State
Leonard has been one of my favorite players all week long. He was all over the field again on Saturday, recording a game-high 14 tackles. I liken him to Jaguars OLB Telvin Smith.
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