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Senior Bowl 2021: Day 3 notes and observations

The final day of practice prior to Saturday’s game produced some interesting takeaways.

2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice Photo by Senior Bowl/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

The final day of practice at the 2021 edition of the Senior Bowl is one to pretty much wrap up things before the anticipated showdown on Saturday. A number of key prospects were held out of practice, on the day but that does not mean the action was diluted because of it. A number of prospects placed a bow on their practice time this week on day three. Let’s take a look at some of my key notes.

Practice observations

  • I haven’t mentioned them much in my previous columns from this past week but a couple of defensive backs left a lasting impression after having a productive week overall.

Michigan’s Ambry Thomas and Oklahoma’s Tre Brown were able to display their polished skill set at the cornerback position on day three. Thomas in particular is a 6’1 corner out of the Big Ten that thrives in press coverage. His ability to stick to the hip of some elusive receivers out of their stance was impressive. Brown got injured on the final day of practice but his competitiveness and instincts against elite competition left everyone intrigued. Remember, the Falcons do not have a settled situation at cornerback, so they will be watching players like these with interest.

  • I mentioned him after day two and his name pops up again after day three. Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Quinn Meinerz is a tough piece of leather that you want on the interior of the offensive line. At 6’3 320 pounds, Meinerz was evaluated mainly as a center but I saw plenty to believe he can make the transition to guard.

While not the most agile, Meinerz is able to move a bit and get to the second level. When he latches onto defenders, they are going for a ride and it’s going to be rude and disrespectful. There are often D-III prospects that make a name for themselves on the Senior Bowl stage. Meinerz did just that.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
  • Best case scenario for the Falcons if they were to add to the running back position via the draft would be either Alabama’s Najee Harris or Clemson’s Travis Etienne. But in the situation that they wait until a little later in the draft, remember the name Rhamondre Stevenson.

Here is a guy out of the University of Oklahoma that improved his draft stock considerably this week. Entering Senior Bowl week, he was a likely mid-Day 3 guy but after the practice week, Stevenson can very well find his name called on late-Day 2. Not the biggest of backs, but he runs with power and is elusive enough to make a tackler miss. He was also equally impressive in the passing game as well as blitz pickup.

  • While I was unable to view the American team practice later in the afternoon, I was able to pick up a few notes from my writing colleagues in attendance. They all pretty much summed up that UCF’s Richie Grant was the ballhawk prospect that everyone expected of him. Grant hauled in another interception in practice and has been a menace at free safety, even seeing time in the slot. If there was one player that I viewed during the week that I believe the Falcons roster can desperately utilize, it was Grant.