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14 takeaways from the Senior Bowl: Is Dobbs another Dak?

MOBILE, Ala. -- Here are some final takeaways from Senior Bowl practice week, with emphasis on areas of need for the Buffalo Bills, leading up to Saturday's college all-star game:

* Possible winner of the "He Could Be Another Dak Prescott" Award is Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs, a member of the South squad. He doesn't have the "wow" factor Prescott or Carson Wentz had at last year's Senior Bowl, but he did make consistent improvement during the three full practices Tuesday through Thursday. Dobbs has excellent mechanics, throwing a nice, tight spiral and releasing the ball quickly. He sees the field well, makes good decisions and showed more of a commanding presence by his final workout. An aerospace engineering major, his intelligence is off-the-charts and serves him well on the field.

Scouts are concerned that at 6-foot-3 and 216 pounds, he isn't large enough to withstand NFL punishment. Therefore, early projections have him being drafted in the fourth round, where the Dallas Cowboys selected Prescott largely on the strength of his impressive performance at the Senior Bowl, or fifth round. Of course, Prescott proved he should have been the top overall choice and it's an extreme long-shot another rookie will have the incredible season Prescott did in 2016. Still, Dobbs is a fascinating prospect.

* It's interesting that the Cleveland Browns' coaching staff, led by Hue Jackson, is here, guiding the South squad. In 1951, Browns coach and founder Paul Brown collaborated with then-New York Giants coach Steve Owen on the idea of staging the annual college all-star game here. Brown and Owen coached the teams, Brown for nearly 10 years, before the rest of the NFL teams complained that it gave him too much of an advantage in assessing college prospects and pushed the league to rotate coaching staffs as Senior Bowl does now.

* Trent Taylor, a wide receiver from Louisiana Tech, has been fun to watch. He's only 5-8 and 177 pounds, so that will likely keep his stock down, but he's exceptionally quick and shifty. He consistently makes plays and caught the attention of several scouts this week.

* At 6-3 and 304 pounds, Charlotte defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi is an imposing figure. He packs considerable power, which showed up in a big way when he delivered blows with his hands against offensive linemen or drills with blocking bags. But he's amazingly light on his feet, showing quickness as an inside pass rusher and in sideline-to-sideline pursuit. On a stretch run during Thursday's practice, he motored from back side through the gap to chase down the ball-carrier from behind.

* Scouts and coaches do as much listening as watching at practices. They're especially curious to hear what sort of instruction the coaches from the Browns and Chicago Bears (guiding the North team) give, because it can be a strong indicator of the players' NFL readiness. If the coaches address a technique issue, such as hand placement, that's generally considered a positive because it's correctable. However, if they say anything about a player not being quick enough off the snap, that could be a sign of a physical skill he's lacking and, therefore, is unlikely to change at the NFL level. Also, a coach's enthusiasm in working with a player can be another tell about the prospect's quality.

* With that in mind, another quarterback who made substantial progress during practices was Nate Peterman, from Pittsburgh, on the North team. And the enthusiasm Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains has shown while working with him has been unmistakable.

* Scouts are impressed with the physical makeup Iowa cornerback Desmond King. He's listed at 5-10 and 206 pounds, but he has a thick frame and is a strong, physical player. His seems to be a natural fit as a nickel back, matching up well with slot receivers. Yet, despite being relatively short, he has the strength to hold his own against tight ends. Scouts also liked his anticipation and patience, making him less susceptible to play-action.

* Although his 6-3, 325-pound frame doesn't look very athletic -- some would call it downright sloppy looking -- UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes does show surprising ability to get to where he needs to be to make plays. He also shows a high degree of toughness.

* A player who could be a good fit at middle linebacker in Sean McDermott's 4-3 defensive scheme is BYU's Harvey Langi. He's 6-2 and 252 pounds, and does a good job plugging holes and taking on blockers. He's extremely tough and intelligent. It's noteworthy that the South team designated him as its defensive signal-caller.

* The tight end who is widely considered the most talented overall player in the Senior Bowl is Alabama's 6-5, 249-pound O.J. Howard, and has put on a show this week with his running, catching, and blocking. However, another player at the position who has drawn plenty of rave reviews is Mississippi's Evan Engram. At 6-3 and 236 pounds, he doesn't have Howard's size, but he shows a great knack for getting open and has superb hands.

* During the final full practice of the week, Oklahoma State safety Jordan Sterns was someone who commanded attention by flying all over the field to make play after play. He also showed exceptional instincts.

* Villanova defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon seemingly caused his draft stock to jump with a solid week of workouts. Although the 6-7, 280-pounder has all of the qualities of a power rusher, he shows a surprising amount of shiftiness that could make life difficult for opposing offensive tackles.

* Perhaps the most interesting defensive player here is LSU linebacker Duke Riley. At 6-1 and 231 pounds, he might not have the ideal size to play inside linebacker in the NFL and seems to be more of a hybrid linebacker/safety. But scouts are enthralled with his speed, which allows him to cover a great deal of ground in a hurry, and the fact hits extremely hard. They also love his instincts.

* Michigan receiver Amara Darboh turned plenty of heads with his yards-after-contact ability. He looks the part of a classic possession guy.

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