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Senior Bowl 2018, Day 3 Recap: Learn the names Kalen Ballage & D.J. Chark

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The final day of practice gave us some big performances here in Mobile.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl-North Practice Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday was the final day of Senior Bowl practice before the players get a day off before the Senior Bowl game on Saturday. In one last chance for the competitors to improve their stock with NFL teams in attendance before the game, some players took advantage of the opportunity.

North Practice

  • Wyoming’s Josh Allen had by far his best performance of the week. While he had his high spots during the first two days, he was mired with inconsistency. On Thursday Allen put it all together and showed why, when his ducks are in a row, he makes NFL coaches believe he can be worth a Top 5 pick.
  • Arizona State’s Kalen Ballage continued to impress on Thursday, roasting every linebacker that was assigned to cover him. Ballage could be moved to receiver in the NFL if he doesn’t take off as a runner. Ballage will likely blow up the Combine.
  • Iowa State’s Allen Lazard also had a tough first couple of days here in Mobile, but bounced back on day three. Lazard was a big time recruit who stayed home in Ames, but could face a change to tight end in the NFL if he doesn’t test well.
  • The North team offensive line will be absolutely thrilled to no longer have to attempt to block their teammates. Some who played well today were UCLA’s Scott Quessenberry and Michigan’s Mason Cole.
  • Defensively Justin Jones from North Carolina State continued to play well, and the Ohio State tandem of Jaylyn Holmes and Tyquan Lewis were nearly unblockable. Oklahoma’s Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is very athletic, but will need to learn to compound his pass rush moves when his initial move doesn’t get home.
  • Michigan’s Mike McCray, BYU’s Fred Werner and Purdue’s Ja’Whaun Bentley all had good performances. McCray and Bentley are likely both just two down linebackers, but both were good enough in coverage. Werner is probably a 3-4 pass rusher once he puts on 15 pounds. Bentley could also possibly end up as an edge rusher.
  • Hawaii’s Trayvon Henderson has quietly played well all week, and continued to today. Penn State’s Marcus Allen also played well today. I watched more overall team stuff today than I did the first two.

South Practice

  • Richmond’s Kyle Lauletta seems to have separated himself from the rest of the pack in a bad quarterback group. The FCS star will likely be a Day 3 pick, but he’s given teams some reason for intrigue.
  • James Washington and D.J. Chark both played well again on Thursday. They’re pretty clearly the two best receivers for the South team. Washington will likely be a second round pick, while Chark will likely also end up somewhere on Day 2, but could be a top 40-50 pick based on how he tests.
  • Isaiah Wynn from Georgia could end up being a guy that shoots up draft boards. He played left tackle at Georgia but will be a guard in a zone blocking scheme. He adjusted to playing inside well this week and I know a head coach in the NFC South was watching him intently early this week.
  • Utah’s Kylie Fitts and Alabama’s Da’Shawn Hand both had impressive last days. LSU’s Greg Gilmore will be a solid run defender, and his college teammate Christian LaCouture had his best day on Thursday as well.
  • Auburn’s Tre’ Williams and UCF’s Shaquem Griffin also both had good days. Williams had a huge hit on Tuesday, and while it’s unsure where you play him in the NFL, he’ll find a way on a roster. Ole Miss’ Marquis Haynes also had a nice week.
  • Southern defensive back Danny Johnson had a nice final day in coverage, along with injury replacement Nathan Andrews from Florida State and Alabama’s Levi Wallace. Johnson is probably a slot only, but Wallace will need to continue to add weight before the draft and mini camps.

While the game is ultimately inconsequential, it will be a nice chance for these players to make plays in a game like environment in front of decision makers.