Which defenders stood out in Senior Bowl weigh-ins?
The 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl is here, and we start with the traditional measuring of the prospects.
Every year the Senior Bowl kicks off by recording each prospects’ height, weight, arm length, wingspan, and hand span. And while obsessing over things like arm length can seem silly — and it definitely can be — these measurables figure into teams’ assessments and evaluations.
While most of the attention high in the draft will be paid to the New York Giants offense, they can stand to make improvements on their defense as well. So with that in mind, lets take a look at this year’s defensive prospects and see which players “won” and “lost’ weigh-ins.
- Adetokunbo Ogundeji (DL, Notre Dame) – Both of the Notre Dame defensive lineman are expected to make noise this week, but when it comes to weigh-ins, Ogundeji stands out. Coming in at 6-foot-4, 256 pounds, with 35 1⁄4 inch arms, he is going to have teams interested. Ogundeji wasn’t terribly productive last year at Notre Dame, but he still improved each year. It’s reasonable to think his best football is ahead of him as he harnesses his tools.
- Osa Odighizuwa (DL, UCLA) – This name should be familiar to Giants fans, as the younger brother of former Giant Owa Odighizuwa. While Owa flamed out with the Giants, his athletic traits can’t be denied — which is part of what made his busting so frustrating. Osa is a bigger lineman at 6-foot-2, 280 pounds, with 34-inch arms and 10 3⁄4 inch hands, and he has a similar brand of power and explosiveness as Owa.
- Ifaetu Melifonwu (DB, Syracuse) – Considering just how remarkable Obi Melifonwu was when he came out, it isn’t a surprise that Ifaetu stood out in weigh-ins. This week will help teams decide if his future is at cornerback or safety, but at 6-foot-2 5/8 inches, 212 pounds, Ifaetu Melifonwu has the kinds of traits that scouts drool over and coaches want to work with.
- Hamilcar Rashed Jr. (EDGE, Oregon State) – Rashed Jr. has the chance to be a solid Day 2 pick in a fluid EDGE class. He came in bigger than expected at 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, with 33 3⁄4 inch arms. Rashed Jr. is coming off a disappointing season, but measuring closer to the archetype than expected is a step in the right direction for him.
- Janarius Robinson (EDGE, Florida State) – Robinson got a vote of confidence from Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy, saying he “won” weigh-ins. And considering Robinson came in at 6-foot-5, 266 pounds, with 35 3⁄4 inch arms, and 11-inch hands, it’s tough to argue with that assessment. Now he’ll just need to build on that impression on the practice field.
- Baron Browning (LB, Ohio State) – This was going to be an area in which Browning would shine. He has prototypical athletic traits for a modern linebacker. But still, seeing him come in at 6-foot-3, 241 pounds, with 33-inch arms makes an impression, and his ability to move on the field will likely confirm it.
- Charles Snowden (LB, Virginia) – Between Lorenzo Carter and Cam Brown, the Giants have shown a “type” at linebacker, favoring long, lean, and athletic players. Well, meet Virginia’s Charles Snowden, who weighed in at 6-foot-6, 232 pounds, with 34-inch arms. That kind of length is rare for an off-ball linebacker, and if Snowden can move in space, he has the potential to be an intriguing defensive piece.
- Hamsah Nasirildeen (S, Florida State) – This one should take nobody by surprise. Nasirildeen was widely known to have rare height/weight/speed traits from his time at FSU. But with the lines between safety and linebacker blurring, it’s good to see him show up as big as he was listed at 6-foot-3, 213 pounds, with 34-inch arms. He will need to prove that he has the movement skills to stay at safety, or if he will have to become a full-time linebacker at the NFL level.
- Chazz Surratt (LB, North Carolina) – Listed at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Surratt was an enticing Day 2 off-ball linebacker prospect who could help add speed to a defense (such as the Giants). But while he didn’t measure much smaller than listed, coming in at 6-foot-1 1⁄2 inches, 227 pounds is noticeably smaller and (in comparison to players like Browning or Robinson) could be enough to influence a team with strict thresholds for positional size. Surratt’s play on the field will have to do the talking for him.
- Robert Rochell (CB, Central Arkansas) – Being 5-foot-11 isn’t a terrible thing for a cornerback. But it is disappointing when he was listed at 6-foot-2. Rochell is already working uphill to make an impression on scouts and GMs after having played at the FCS level. He will have a harder time doing so at his actual sub 6-foot height than with that rare “6-foot-2” label jumping out in evaluator’s minds.
- Wyatt Hubert (DE, Kansas State) – Hubert was a productive player for K-State. He was named first team all Big XII after the 2019 and 2020 seasons and was one of the more productive pass rushers in the conference. He also improved each season at Kansas State, going from 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss in 2018 to 8.5 sacks and 13.0 tackles for a loss in 2020. But while tape is king and production counts, teams still have measurable thresholds for every position. Coming in at 6-foot-2 with 30-inch arms is going to be held against Hubert as teams look to match big, long tackles with long-armed EDGE players.