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2020 NFL draft: Quick-hit thoughts on the Senior Bowl weigh-ins

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Related: Future Patriots from the past decade of Senior Bowls

Mark Schofield/Pats Pulpit

Can a player win a weigh-in?

Sure, but we will get to that in a moment.

First off, we can be honest for a second. Weigh-in morning at the Senior Bowl is one of the oddest parts of the week. Actually scratch that, it is the oddest. Picture a large convention center, transformed into an auditorium thanks to a vast array of chairs and portable bleachers, complete with a stage. On the stage? A podium, a tape measure pasted to a platform, and a scale.

In the audience? Bleary-eyed members of the media and various assembled front office members.

And over the course of two hours, NFL draft hopefuls walk across the stage wearing tights to get measured and weighed. It is as awkward as it sounds, but it is the first step of the long draft process, and a long week.

Now back to the initial question. Can a player win a weigh-in? Yes, if you are Javon Kinlaw. The defensive tackle from South Carolina came in and looked every bit the part of a future NFL DT:

That is a large human being. When you pair those measurables with the explosiveness he displayed on film, you see why many down in Mobile and around the league are talking about Kinlaw as a very early first-round selection.

(This is all a way of saying that do not get your hopes up Patriots fans, it is hard to believe he could be there at 23).

Another aspect of a morning like this is when the quarterbacks are measured. Many scoff at “QB hand sizes,” and I used to count myself among those who wondered about the reasonableness of such a measurement. But like any other data point, it is an opportunity for future study. The benchmark of sorts for a quarterback, depending on who you talk to, is either 9.25 or 9.5 inch hands. The theory being the bigger a QB’s hands, the easier it is to grop the football, throw in weather, and handle pressure in the pocket.

The theory does have some merit, but context is important here. For example, last year both Drew Lock and Brett Rypien measured in with nine inch hands. This should bring you back to the tape. Are their instances of smaller hands perhaps causing them problems? Perhaps they struggle throwing in weather conditions. Perhaps they have a higher instance of fumbles in the pocket.

Those measurements led me back to the tape. With Lock you could look at his final regular season game against Arkansas, on a cold, rainy and raw afternoon. He was still throwing darts.

With Rypien? It was a different story. Fumbles in crowded pockets and struggles dealing with poor weather conditions.

The hand sizes do matter.

Both Jordan Love and Justin Herbert checked that hand size box, coming in ten inches even for Herbert and 10 5/8 for Love. If you’re looking for that box to be checked, both of those quarterbacks checked it for you Tuesday morning.

The two quarterbacks that might face some questions about hand size are Anthony Gordon from Washington State and Shea Patterson from Michigan. Gordon checked in at 9.5 inches, while Patterson came in at 9.25. From studying them on film, there were not concerns about hand size but data like that will send people back to the film.

For Patriots fans worried about the tight end position — and that is probably everyone reading this — you got some good information from the weigh-ins this morning. Brycen Hopkins came in with some very good measurables:

Hopkins was impressive on film, and I thought he was a very good red zone weapon for Purdue. It will be very interesting to watch him at practice this week.

Then there was Stephen Sullivan, the WR/TE hybrid from LSU:

That is a very long player with an impressive wingspan. Sullivan came to LSU as a wideout and also saw time at tight end, and the Tigers given their weapons on offense did not rely on him a ton. But if you watch how he was used against Oklahoma in the National Semifinal, you saw him often flexed out more like an X-receiver, but his film also has instances of him aligned as a traditional tight end or in the wing, and handling blocking duties effectively. Another player to watch this week.

Another tight end to watch this week is Jared Pinkney, from Vanderbilt, an All-SEC performer during the 2018-2019 season:

Pinkney is a very physical player, who could probably serve as more of a traditional NFL tight end early in his career.

A TE who is getting some buzz down in Mobile is Adam Trautman, from Dayton. I have yet to dive into his film, but others who have came away impressed. This could be the start of a big week for him.

Along the defensive line, while Kinlaw might be out of reach for New England McTelvin Agim from Arkansas was added to the roster this week following his performance last week at the East-West Shrine Game. His week got off to a good start with some solid measureables:

If you are looking for some Danny Shelton insurance, you might have found it from the Big Ten, and Nebraska’s Darrion Daniels:

This is a very difficult man to move in the interior. He might not have the ability right not to consistently two-gap in the NFL, but there are flashes of that on his film from last season. Consistent performances this week would certainly boost his stock.

Then there is one more player who Patriots fans should certainly keep an eye on, depending on how decisions at linebacker (read: Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins) pan out. That is linebacker Zack Baun from Wisconsin. Studying him this season I saw an athletic off-ball linebacker who is extremely versatile. For example, in one game alone I saw him align at EDGE and pressure the passer, then drop and run with a wide receiver (Ohio State’s Binjimen Victor) on the same drive. He can play.

As you can see from the GIF, I’m betting Belichick agrees. Or at least, I’m going to try and speak it into existence.

Up next, the practices begin! That’s right, we’re talking about practice. Follow along with the hijinx on Twitter @MarkSchofield.