Mississippi State Football: Six Bulldogs that Should Play in the Senior Bowl
The 20-21 College Football season has been turned upside down, on its side, and back right-side-up again due to the Coronavirus. COVID-19 has definitely impacted the Mississippi State Football team. You have to give kudos to the young men who have taken the field each week to play the game they love while dealing with a pandemic.
After the season, all of the hard work pays off for some Bulldogs. Some prospects will be selected in the upcoming NFL Draft. A path some take to the draft is playing in postseason all-star games where they are coached by some of the best in the business and even some professional coaches.
Several SEC prospects have received and accepted their Senior Bowl invite. Currently, the accepted invite list does not include any Bulldogs. There are seven Bulldogs in the Senior Bowl Top 250. Another school in Northern Mississippi only has five.
It is one thing to note that due to the NCAA rule granting an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19, these young men could play another year of college football. Here are six Bulldogs that I feel should play in the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Erroll Thompson – MLB/ILB
Erroll Thompson is the unquestioned leader of the Defense for Mississippi State. Thompson continues to creep up the career total tackles list for Mississippi State. In forty-five games, he has 275 career tackles with more to play.
Thomspon is a smart, instinctual, and hard-nosed inside linebacker. He has experience playing in multiple defenses, which shows he is also a student of the game. He also has shown his chops in pass coverage with an amazing leaping red zone interception against Vanderbilt.
Kobe Jones – DE/OLB
Kobie Jones enters his first season as a starter with plenty of playing experience. His stats won’t wow you, but what he does on the field will. He has a motor that doesn’t quit. That trait alone will catch the eye of an NFL Scout.
Jones showed he was a team leader when he led the team out of the tunnel carrying Mississippi’s new state flag in the Vanderbilt game. Jones has the intangibles to improve his draft stock if he is invited to the Senior Bowl. Jones is not included in the Senior Bowl Top 250.
Marquis Spencer – DE/DT
Marquis Spencer is one of the most versatile defenders on the Mississippi State roster. He has experience playing outside linebacker and defensive end. He has added thirty pounds to his frame since he was a freshman, and that gives him the girth to also play defensive tackle.
If not for an injury in 2018, Spencer would already have been through an NFL camp and definitely fighting for a team roster spot. Spencer also showed he still has some coverage ability as his interception late in the game helped seal the Bulldog victory against Vanderbilt. Spencer is not included in the Senior Bowl Top 250.
KJ Costello – QB
Before KJ Costello transferred to Mississippi State to play in Mike Leach’s AirRaid offense, he was already being discussed as a possible NFL draft Pick. After leading the Bulldogs to an upset at LSU, everyone was on his and the Bulldogs bandwagon. Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas A&M confused and exposed Costello.
He was knocked out of the Alabama game, and I feel Rogers should remain the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs the rest of the way. Costello does have some talent, and maybe he just was not suited for the AirRaid Offense. Playing in the Senior Bowl with an NFL coaching staff evaluating him is just what Costello needs.
Osirus Mitchell – WR
Osirus Mitchell was a very raw prospect when he signed with Mississippi State in the class of 2016. He has transformed himself into a solid receiver in his senior year. He has been the top receiver in one or more receiving categories over a season since 2019, and he is currently the receiving touchdown and yardage leader for this season.
Mitchell is the prototypical possession receiver, and he has the body and frame to help a team. If he ends up playing in the Senior Bowl, Mitchell can prove himself and possibly surpass some receivers rated ahead of him for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Kylin Hill – RB
The senior season that was wasn’t for Kylin Hill. NFL scouts and Bulldog fans were excited to see what he could do in the AirRaid Offense. Unfortunately, Hill only played three games in his senior season and opted-out to prepare for the NFL Draft. Honestly, I would love to see Hill play another year of college football somewhere, but that is a story for another day.
Kylin Hill is a dangerous runner with the ball in his hands. He was able to showcase his receiving ability against LSU with a 75-yard touchdown catch and run and against Kentucky, tying a school record with 15 catches in the game.
Hill is not without his critics as some feel he has durability issues, doesn’t show up in big games, and some question his overall ability to take his game to the NFL. If you watch the film on Hill, you can see that his critics may have a point, as Hill did come out of several games with apparent injuries, and he did not have stellar performances in enough marquee matchups.
I cannot deny that Hill has missed time with injuries, and as far as him not showing up in big games, the whole team did not show up for the same marquee matchups. Let’s focus on what I see from Hill when he is at his best.
Hill has the ability to change direction, leap over would-be defenders, and he will initiate contact against a tackler. He has run for 2435 yards and 16 touchdowns in his career. While he may not have top-end speed, he is a shifty enough runner to make an impact.
Out of all of the players on this list, Hill needs to play in the Senior Bowl the most. If Hill performs well at the Senior Bowl, it is possible he can prove his doubters wrong and carve out a successful career in the NFL.
Mississippi State Offensive Linemen in Senior Bowl Top 250
There are three Mississippi State Football players listed in the Senior Bowl Top 250 that did not make my list. Dareuan Parker, LaQuiston Sharp, and Greg Eiland are offensive men that very well may receive an invite and elect to play in the Senior Bowl. I also feel these three linemen have a skill set that can help them achieve their goal of playing in the NFL.
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