Analysis of the North’s 34-17 Win in the 2020 Senior Bowl

2020 Senior Bowl

The 2020 Senior Bowl week was the official start of the 2020 NFL Draft process. After three practices, the game was a showing for the fans based on what NFL scouts and coaches saw already. The game last Saturday was a huge showing of how the prospect prepares and plays on game day. Multiple players stood out in the Senior Bowl practices and in the game. This game was an emphasis on the progress they have shown all week.

The South Squad started out strong in the Senior Bowl game led by the Cincinnati Bengals coaching staff. Throughout the game, the defense for the North Squad came alive and took over to hold down the South. The offense for the North Squad was another unit that was huge in the second half as they scored 24 points. The Detroit Lions, led by head coach Matt Patricia, was the coaching staff for the North Squad. In the end, the North Squad beat the South Squad with a 34-17 score with multiple impressive performances on both sides of the ball.

2020 Senior Bowl Breakdown

Justin Herbert Impresses in First Quarter

Justin Herbert was impressive all week in the Senior Bowl practices as anticipated. In the first drive of the game, Hebert led a conservative scoring drive for the South Squad. Herbert threw for 31 yards while going 4-for-4 on his passes including a 16-yard screen pass to Florida running back Lamical Perine. Hebert played in all drives of the first quarter as it is regular to switch multiple players in the game. He threw for 83 yards and a touchdown on nine completions (out of 12 attempts). Despite the loss for the South Squad, Herbert was named 2020 Senior Bowl MVP. This was one of the best chances to showcase his talent to the full extent in front of NFL scouts and coaches. His Draft stock significantly with him potentially becoming a top-ten pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

North Squad Defensive Line Dominates South Squad Offensive Line

The game was huge for the North Squad defensive line as they impacted the game by containing South’s offense. Utah defensive end Bradlee Anae, Michigan State defensive end Kenny Willekes, and Syracuse defensive end Alton Richardson all accounted for two sacks each. When going against the first-team offensive line, they made top drives. The second-team offensive line had a hard team containing the defensive line of the North Squad. The South’s drives couldn’t find consistency with Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and Colorado’s Steven Montez at quarterback because the offensive line was atrocious. There were times where they had to double-team Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore because he would easily win matchups one-on-one. Even when double-teamed, Gallimore won those matchups. The South Squad only ran for 117 yards on 37 carries for an average of 3.2 yards per rush.

Joshua Kelley, Anthony Gordon Carry the North Offense

Anthony Gordon is the third former Washington State Cougars quarterback in a row to play in the Senior Bowl. Gordon was named North Squad offensive MVP of the game by passing for 69 yards and two touchdowns on eight completions (out of 12 attempts). His two touchdown passes came with five minutes of game time to put the North with a big lead. UCLA Bruins running back Joshua Kelley had a great Senior Bowl week as he displayed his explosiveness and speed. One of the most underrated qualities for a running back in an NFL offense is their reliability in the passing game. Kelley was a consistent target in the short-passing game throughout the week. In the game, Kelley rushed for 105 yards on 15 carries for an average of seven yards per rush.

Other 2020 Senior Bowl Standouts

Many other prospects in the game played consistently and won individual matchups. Former Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Jauan Jennings caught an 18-yard touchdown reception from Hurts as he could not get many looks to the offensive line causing the offense to fall apart. Former Notre Dame cornerback Troy Pride Jr. had a big interception for 33-yards that was almost returned for a touchdown. Some of the top offensive linemen of the game were Josh Jones (Houston), Calvin Throckmorton (Oregon), and Logan Stenberg (Kentucky).