The Senior Bowl has become one of the most critical pre-draft dates on the football calendar. Under the guidance of director Jim Nagy, the week-long event now attracts the top-tier senior and graduate prospects in the country.
Much has been made of how the Cincinnati Bengals have used the Senior Bowl to identify key draft targets. It gives the front office a chance to evaluate leadership and get to know the prospect on a deeper level than the game tape alone can offer.
You can watch all the action from the practice sessions and the week’s culmination, the Senior Bowl game on Saturday, Feb. 5. In this piece, we look to highlight five prospects who may be getting a closer look from Duke Tobin and his team.
Trevor Penning, OT (Northern Iowa)
- Height – 6’7″
- Weight – 321
Seemingly every year, the Senior Bowl throws up a small school prospect who boosts his stock during the week’s practices. In recent years, that includes Alex Cappa and Quinn Meinerz. The process allows them to show off their ability against Power 5 competition, something their tape isn’t full off.
The word is already out on Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning this year. After the Bills selected teammate Spencer Brown in the third round last season, the scouting world was well aware of the talent Penning had put on display.
Penning has been exclusively a left tackle in recent seasons and, in over 1,000 snaps, has only given up two sacks. Physically strong enough to make Bruce Feldman’s ‘Freak List’ ahead of the year, Penning’s commitment to his conditioning has allowed him to add weight to his frame without losing mobility.
With solid grades in the passing and run game, the question is how high will Penning go? With starting tackles at a premium, a solid week in Mobile, and it’s likely he will be off the board by the time the Bengals pick in round 1. Could he be the offensive line solution that Cincy trades up to land?