Daniel Jones extended his arm for a handoff, but pulled it back at the last moment. The Duke quarterback was going right but rolled back left, fooling enough defenders to forge an easy path to the end zone.
It capped a 10-play, 84-yard drive and scored the North squad’s first touchdown during Saturday afternoon’s Senior Bowl.
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was waiting for Jones near the sideline, ready to slap the iconic silver and black shield on his helmet.
Jones wasn’t the only one with a Raiders sticker after a 34-24 victory in the annual college all-star game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
Several NFL draft prospects earned one from the Raiders coaching staff, which led the North squad all week. Some guys -- including Delaware safety Nasir Adderley, UC Davis receiver Keelan Doss, UMass receiver Andy Isabella and Texas edge rusher Charles Omenihu -- got two.
That was an easy way to see which players left a good impression on Raiders coaches in this game, typically deemed less important than the practices leading up to it.
Gruden still thinks the game holds value. Here’s why:
“It will weigh in because it’s full-speed live,” Gruden said Thursday, the last full practice of the week. “When you’re live, that’s the only evaluation that we’re lacking. You can run all the controlled environments you want, but the best evaluation comes in games.”
That’s especially true for running backs, who have easier paths through practice without going to the ground. Notre Dame’s Dexter Williams followed up an excellent week with a solid game effort that included a touchdown run, which is what scouts want to see.
The aforementioned players were solid. South defensive lineman Kingsley Keke of Texas A&M was all over the place early on, and end Jaylon Ferguson got to the quarterback a few times. Mississippi State end Montez Sweat flashed his athleticism on occasion. Both offensive lines had solid moments as well.
Jones was the best North squad quarterback, and Adderley had an excellent game including an interception late.
Scouts will break down Senior Bowl practice and game tape time and again in the coming weeks and months leading up to the NFL draft, trying to find players who can help after turning pro.
That includes the Raiders, who leave with great knowledge of every prospect who played in this game.
“Everybody will tell you they look at the Senior Bowl practice tape, the Senior Bowl game film over and over and over,” Gruden said earlier this week. “You watch the matchups over and over and over.
“I remember doing it with [late Raiders owner/GM Al Davis]. He would put the Senior Bowl on for the 44th time and I would say, ‘how many more times are we going to watch that game?’ There’s tremendous value in it. It’s a great tool, and provides great matchups you would never see if you didn’t come here.”