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North Beats South in Senior Bowl 2019 as QB Daniel Jones Wins MVP

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 26, 2019

North quarterback Daniel Jones, of Duke, throws a pass during the first half of the Senior Bowl college football game, Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

The North defeated the South 34-24 in the 2019 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday, with Duke Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones taking home MVP honors.

It was a defensive struggle during the first half, although Will Grier and the South squad had some early success. Grier led the South to the end zone on the game's opening drive by going 75 yards in just less than five minutes.

Grier led the South on another scoring drive during his next possession as well. His ability to extend a play was on full display during a 34-yard pass-and-catch to Clemson Tigers wideout Hunter Renfrow on a third down:

NFL Network @nflnetwork

What a play! @WVUfootball's @willgrier_ โžก๏ธ @ClemsonFB's @renfrowhunter on 3rd down! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ ๐Ÿ“บ: @seniorbowl only on NFL Network https://t.co/jbXjMBRezb

Grier completed four of his eight pass attempts for 61 yards in one quarter of action. This was his first game action since Nov. 23, as he skipped his team's bowl game last month.

NFL Network @nflnetwork

.@WVUfootball's @willgrier_ talked to @TomPelissero about his performance so far ๐Ÿ”Š๐Ÿ†™ ๐Ÿ“บ: @seniorbowl only on NFL Network! https://t.co/oNhgU1aOwt

Speaking of Renfrow, the two-time national champ opened some eyes with a 21-yard punt return moments before halftime:

NFL Network @nflnetwork

.@ClemsonFB's @renfrowhunter making something out of nothing on the punt return ๐Ÿ‘€ ๐Ÿ“บ: @seniorbowl only on NFL Network! https://t.co/WiILu96vOK

On the other side of the field, Missouri Tigers star Drew Lock had his latest opportunity to try to establish himself as a potential first-round pick. The 6'4", 225-pound Mizzou signal-caller showed scouts his improv skills with an underhanded throw late in the first:

NFL Network @nflnetwork

Patrick Mahomes has the sidearm throw. @MizzouFootball's @DrewLock23 with the underhand throw ๐Ÿ˜ณ ๐Ÿ“บ: @seniorbowl only on NFL Network! https://t.co/ozCKCCineP

Lock, who ranks 32nd on Bleacher Report draft expert Matt Miller's latest big board, finished the day 9-of-14 for 57 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions.

NFL.com's Chase Goodbread was among those impressed by Lock:

Chase Goodbread @ChaseGoodbread

Looked good. Feet really calm in the pocket when it was clean. Scouts will like the ball he threw incomplete to McLaurin better than anything he completed. https://t.co/Dt3Hz67Uu2

The North offense eventually settled in and was able to gain some momentum after halftime.

Jones had the strongest performance of any quarterback on the day. The 6'5", 220-pound passer led the North on a pair of scoring drives to open the second half, showing off his mobility on one of the touchdowns:

NFL Network @nflnetwork

.@DukeFOOTBALL's Daniel Jones makes it look easy on the TD! ๐Ÿ’ฏ ๐Ÿ“บ: @seniorbowl only on NFL Network https://t.co/KZ93fQzvVL

He also found the end zone through the air, although UMass receiver Andy Isabella was a big reason why:

NFL Network @nflnetwork

Way to finish the TD, @UMassFootball's @AndyIsabella5! ๐Ÿ‘ The North takes a 17-12 lead in the 3rd! ๐Ÿ“บ: @seniorbowl only on NFL Network! https://t.co/QriNL1wQ84

That performance caught Miller's eye:

Matt Miller @nfldraftscout

Daniel Jones is cooking a little to start Q3

Jones finished the day 8-of-11 for 115 yards, two touchdowns (one rushing) and zero interceptions. The Blue Devils star landed at 28th on Miller's latest big board.

Of note, Penn State's Trace McSorley went 7-of-13 for 59 yards and recorded eight rushing yards as well for the North squad. Washington State's Gardner Minshew (1-of-8, four yards) and Auburn's Jarrett Stidham (4-of-5, 30 yards, fumble) also saw time on the field for the South.

Quarterbacks weren't the only ones on the field, of course. Isabella (seven catches, 74 yards, one touchdown), Ohio State receiver Terry McLaurin (four catches, 53 receiving yards; one rush, 19 rushing yards) and Louisiana Tech edge-rusher Jaylon Ferguson (sack; No. 22 on Miller's big board) were among the other top performers.

While the players don't know where they might land in the NFL draft, many on the North side were honorary Oakland Raiders for the day, as coach Jon Gruden was rewarding his playmakers with helmet stickers:

NFL Network @nflnetwork

What does the @Raiders sticker mean on the helmet? @CFD22 breaks it down โ˜ ๏ธ ๐Ÿ“บ: @seniorbowl only on NFL Network https://t.co/dSdXG9qz5Y

NFL Network @nflnetwork

Score a TD, get a @Raiders sticker โ˜ ๏ธ ๐Ÿ“บ: @seniorbowl only on NFL Network https://t.co/HqN5HIPyNJ

That gave players a little extra incentive for the showcase game. And it may have played a role in turning an early 9-0 deficit into a 34-24 victory.

Players now have about one month to prepare for the 2019 NFL scouting combine, which will run from Feb. 26 through March 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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