Senior Bowl Buzz -- Wednesday Night

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Army offensive tackle Brett Toth is really creating a buzz for himself in scouting circles and is quickly ascending draft boards. He’s also creating conversation as to what will come next.

After a terrific week of practices at the Shrine Game, Toth has come to Mobile and grades as one of the best offensive line prospects here at the Senior Bowl. His play on Wednesday was splendid, as he shut down every top defender who lined up across from him.

Earlier today I tweeted that I was getting flashbacks of Ali Marpet, the Division III lineman from Hobart who dominated the Senior Bowl in 2015 and went on to be a second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that year.

The similarities between Toth and Marpet don’t end on the practice field of the Senior Bowl.

Several people I have spoken with believe Toth could be a second or third-round pick in April’s draft were it not for his military commitment.

That’s where the mystery begins.

The Department of Defense stipulates that any person graduating from one of the nation’s military academies must serve two years in the armed forces upon graduation. As recently as 2017, the department said they would no longer approve waivers for players to defer their service in order to play sports professionally.

I’m told it’s not a policy that’s carved in stone.

If the United States Military Academy believes they would be better served having Toth, a prospect from the academy the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time, enter this year’s draft and play in the NFL, they could apply for a deferment of his services.

This is a gray area and it will be interesting to see how this plays out, as much of Toth’s final draft grade is dependent on the decision.

The Oakland Raiders are one of the many teams who love Marcus Davenport of UT-San Antonio. And as I heard first-hand, they are considering the pass rusher with their first pick.

Davenport would be an interesting choice if the Raiders, who already have Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin on the edges, look in his direction.

The team will own the ninth or 10th pick of the draft, depending on the results of a coin toss with the San Francisco 49ers.

Last week during Shrine practices, we spoke a little about the expected sweepstakes for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who could be the big name in free agency if he’s not re-signed by the Washington Redskins.

Word around the Senior Bowl is that Cousins is expected to command a salary in excess of $25 million annually. The eventual contract Cousins signs could rival or exceed the historic deal signed by Detroit Lions signal caller Matthew Stafford last August.