The Reese’s Senior Bowl was more important than ever in 2021, with the 2021 NFL combine canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The NFL recently announced the change as players would be doing all on-field drills during their school’s pro day. Interviews with all prospects shouldn’t be an issue as they can happen on Zoom.
For top prospects such as quarterback Trevor Lawrence of Clemson or Oregon’s Penei Sewell, no combine isn’t an issue. However, for many prospects, it takes away one avenue for players to impress NFL teams.
That meant for those who were invited to the Senior Bowl had an incredible opportunity.
Virginia Tech sent two players to the Senior Bowl in running back Khalil Herbert and safety Divine Deablo.
Herbert opened some eyes last week when he absolutely obliterated Ohio State linebacker Tuf Borland in pass-protection drills. It was a good moment for Herbert to show another aspect of his game.
Ain’t no way LB should let a RB do him dirty like this.... Lawd pic.twitter.com/JFWjiX3dHs— Coach Carlos Whitmire SR. (@CoachWhitmire) January 30, 2021
Herbert didn’t have a big game in the actual Senior Bowl, but that’s not the most important part of the week. He gets to be coached by an NFL staff, and coaches from all around the league watch the practice film to see how he performs in practice.
Herbert will shine during the interview process so that will never be an issue. It will be interesting to see what he runs in the 40 at Virginia Tech’s pro day. Herbert is an ideal fit for a team that runs a zone-blocking scheme.
Imagine him in San Francisco with Kyle Shanahan or in Los Angeles with Sean McVay?
Deablo used last week to help his case as well. Deablo’s size (6-foot-3, 228) was impressive. His experience in Blacksburg playing for Bud Foster will prepare Deablo well for the NFL. He has proven he can play safety, is solid in coverage, and an intimidating defender in the back-end of the defense.
Let the Kam Chancellor comparisons officially begin.
Deablo is a chess piece for smart NFL defensive coordinators. He can play strong safety, or move in the box and play outside linebacker. His coverage skills could help him play a multitude of roles at the next level.
Deablo’s high football IQ is another feather in his cap. It was a good week for Deablo.
Deablo and Herbert will join Caleb Farley and Christian Darrisaw as Hokies who will be drafted in 2021.