The 2020 NFL Draft process is underway, and the NFLPA Bowl is this coming Saturday. What players should you watch in the game?
It’s officially 2020 NFL Draft season as the all-star games are underway. The Tropical Bowl was last week, and now it’s Shrine Bowl and NFLPA Bowl week, where players get the chance to impress coaches and scouts during practices and the game.
The NFLPA Bowl has had some impact players over their last few years, from guys like Genard Avery, Charvarius Ward, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in 2018, along with Tarik Cohen, Samson Ebukam, Zach Pascal, and Shaquill Griffin in 2017. Clearly, there will be players here who find a role in the NFL.
Let’s take a look at five players to watch down in California for the NFLPA Bowl.
Omar Bayless, WR, Arkansas State
What a jump Omar Bayless had in his senior season. Bayless caught 93 passes in 2019 for 1,653 yards and 17 touchdowns, which are ridiculous numbers. At 6’3″ and 207 pounds, Bayless has the frame to handle physical corners, good hands, and good ball skills. He lacks some refinement as a route runner, but as far as possession receivers go, he’s excellent. Bayless reminds me a lot of Marques Colston.
Tipa Galea’i, EDGE, Utah State
Tipa Galea’i had a productive final two seasons at Utah State, posting 15 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss. Galea’i has the ability to win on the edge and be productive dropping into coverage (two picks, three passes defensed). He has a chance to rise in the edge class with a strong week in one-on-ones along with the game.
Amari Henderson, CB, Wake Forest
Amari Henderson probably isn’t talked about as much as teammate Essang Bassey at corner, but Henderson has plenty to like on tape. He had a great season numbers-wise (four picks and 10 passes defensed in 2019) and shows a great ability to recover with his speed. Henderson, at 6’1″ and 180 pounds, can play near the line of scrimmage and be effective at the catch point.
Jonathan Ward, RB, Central Michigan
After a down year in 2018, Jonathan Ward got back to it with a great senior season. He rushed for 1,108 yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He also caught 34 passes for 329 yards. Ward has the ability to run between the tackles and make plays in open space. Could he get the call up to Mobile with a thinner running back group there right now? We will see.
Jaylinn Hawkins, S, California
The Cal defense was a blast to watch in 2019, and Jaylinn Hawkins was a big part of that. He worked well down near the line of scrimmage as a box safety, but also made some plays in coverage, logging three interceptions and two passes defensed. He has a chance to rise in the safety class.