2012 Senior Bowl
Drafttek analyst Michael Schottey attended the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. His 3 reports are below the links.
Senior Bowl Reports from around the Net:
Bleacher Report - Top Game Performers
Houma Today - Game Report
National Football Post - Sr Bowl Top 10
National Football Post- South Notes
National Football Post- North Notes
CBS Sports (Rang) - Thursday Report
CBS Sports (Rang) - Wednesday Report
CBS Sports (Rang) - Monday Report
NY Times - Tuesday Offensive Notes
NY Times - Tuesday Defensive Notes
NY Times - Day 3 Risers/Fallers
NY Times - Day 1 Impressions
Drafttek Report (Schottey) for Thursday 1/26 (Wednesday Drills)
1) Quinton Coples (DE/OLB UNC) was once considered the top prospect in the 2012 Draft. Poor and inconsistent play as a edge rusher dropped him down many boards. At the Senior Bowl this week, he's looked to make fools of anyone who's doubted him. Consistently beating the South's tackles (who, admittedly, aren't that great), Coples has started to make some waves though the Crowd at Ladd-Peebles. If he can duplicate that effort against the North squad, he may work himself back into the Top-10 in April.
2) One of the biggest issues with so many people reporting from an event like the Senior Bowl, is the preconceived notions everyone came with to Mobile, AL. While many have been down on Brian Quick (WR Appalachian State), I have seen a good (yet very raw) receiver prospect. Quick is at his best when he's either running a nine-route or using his size to shield the defender on a short-yardage slant. Those are the basic building blocks to a solid big receiver and one NFL teams should look to draft in the middle rounds.
3) I've written and tweeted nothing but nice things about Chris Polk (RB Washington), but he's having a tough week in Mobile. A lot of us expected him to weigh-in and be one of the more chiseled physiques, he wasn't. A lot expected him to dominate these practices, and he hasn't. All things considered, this shouldn't affect his stock much and he has plenty of time to put together an awesome combine workout and pro day. He's still a fringe first-round prospect, but he hasn't solidified himself this week like he could have.
4) Brandon Weeden (QB Oklahoma State) has been phenomenal this week and can really spin the football. Weeden would be in the conversation for the #3 quarterback spot in the draft, except for the fact that he's a near decade older than some of his peers. For a team that strikes out in free agency or the first round of the draft, Weeden will be an intriguing prospect. Even at 29, he could give an NFL team 10-12 years of solid quarterback play. That seems OK for a second round pick.
5) Kelechi Osemele (OT/OG Iowa State) put a defender right on his backside in drills this week. It was an impressive feat of strength and highlights the biggest parts of Osemele's game --brute force and the tenacity to use it. Osemele played left tackle at ISU but hasn't spent much time there here in Mobile and won't in the pros either. However teams at the bottom half of the first will have his name high on their boards.
Rumor Mill: The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't get much from the QB position in 2011, but they'll be sticking with Blaine Gabbert for the foreseeable future. If they bring in veteran backup help, it will be someone who won't be seen as a competitor for the former Missouri Tiger. Speaking of the Jaguars, if former Jags HC Jack Del Rio gets the defensive coordinator position in Denver, look for former Offensive Quality Control coach Matt Griffin to enter the conversation there as well. When asked what the Detroit Lions needed in the draft, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said "we need some attitude." Attitude got the Lions in a lot of trouble in 2011, but if the fiery DC has his way, Detroit might be doubling down on the "Bad Boys" persona.
Drafttek Report for Wednesday 1/25 (Tuesday Drills)
1) One of the real revelations of the Senior Bowl has been the North's Audie Cole (LB NC State). Not only is Cole much bigger than he ever looked on film, he also plays a lot bigger than many expected as well. If the crowd at Mobile was able to have a play-by-play man, Cole's name would've been worn out on Tuesday morning with tackle after tackle after tackle. He looks like one of the best linebackers here and should shoot up draft boards.
2) Kirk Cousins (QB Michigan State) has been given a pretty perfect chance to shine this week. With two physically limited teammates at quarterback, Cousins just needs to play like an average NFL prospect to be the best QB on the North squad. He's also been given a great opponent in a stacked South team. Anything he does against them in the game this week will be seen as a plus. Cousins is a smart, athletic quarterback who can be very accurate for long stretches. He needs to rein in some of his decision making, but he's showing that he clearly has a pro arm this week.
3) Joe Adams (WR Arkansas) does a lot of the little things very well--he can catch the ball away from his body in traffic and set up his defender with a variety of head shakes and shoulder moves. The one knock I had on his game from the afternoon practice was that he was unable to properly track the ball over his shoulder on deep routes. If he adds that vital piece to his game, he could be a mid-round steal in April.
4) Alfonzo Dennard (CB Nebraska) is technically pretty sound, at least compared to many of his peers in Mobile. Yet, for all his hip-sinking and balance, he's not covering his man very well in either team drills or one-on-ones. Part of it is simply physical--he's a smaller d-back and he's been put in nickel during much of the practice. However, it is also mental--Dennard is a tough player who loves roughing up the competition. Since he can't do that in practice, he's thinking just a little to much and is being turned around in man and losing his target in zone. I fully expect Dennard to have a good game here in Mobile, but his stock shouldn't be any higher than second round.
5) Both Isaiah Pead (RB Cincinnati) and Vick Ballard (RB Mississippi State) have a bunch of "extra" value at running back. Catching the ball, toughness after the catch and situational expertise are all things that teams will look for in the middle rounds. However, if either of these players wants to succeed in the NFL, they need to turn up field sooner and run north/south. Pead will take absolutely everything to the edges while Ballard just doesn't seem confident enough to hit the holes he's being given.
Rumor Mill: You're not hearing Mitchell Schwartz's (OL Cal) name much these days, but don't be surprised if you hear it a little sooner on draft day. Word from an OL guru says that Schwartz is being seriously overlooked by the media, but that teams love him. Mohamed Sanu (WR Rutgers) is the "best player" one source has "ever been around." If I told you who that source was (and the many players he's been around over the years) you would get how much that statement sunk in. Expect Sanu to run in the low 4.5s and be in competition for a top-20 draft spot. Jack Del Rio is currently out of a job, but he may not be for long. I caught him hobnobbing with John Fox in the team hotel and pestered him about the Broncos later on. He's not the only guy the Broncos are looking at (both internally and externally) but he could be the early favorite.
Drafttek Report for Tuesday 1/24 (Monday Weight-In's and Practice)
1) The Senior Bowl weigh-in is always a bit of a surreal experience--both for players and media. "Meat Market" is a term thrown around quite a bit and it actually fits. Still, the weigh-in is important to see how each player carries his weight--two players who weigh 200 lbs can actually look vastly different. The big winners of the weigh-in were: Courtney Upshaw (LB/DE Alabama) who is a massive athlete; Mike Adams (OT Ohio State) who came in at exactly 6070; and Mike Martin (NT Michigan) who wowed everyone with his former wrestler physique.
2) "Losers" from the weigh-in: Marquis Maze (WR Alabama) who measured in at 5'7", which is 3 inches shorter than his listed height; Kellen Moore (QB Boise State) who looked more like someone's little brother than a draft prospect; and Ben Jones (OC Georgia) who had decent size, but looked like he could stand to lose a bit of fat around his midsection.
3) Practices were a little light on the first day, so it's important not to make too much out of these first impressions. Still, it was impressive to watch Marvin Jones (WR Cal) run a full route tree and flash some impressive catches. He didn't get as many targets as he probably would have liked in college, so a standout performance here could go a long way toward moving him into the second day.
4) Russell Wilson (QB Wisconsin) doesn't have the size teams like in a quarterback, but he has absolutely everything else. He didn't complete every pass he should've on the first day with new receivers and new play calls (no one does), but he showed impressive footwork and a ridiculously quick release. He may never be a long-term starter in the NFL, but he should have a very long pro career.
Rumor Mill: One source said Mike Adams may be the best OT in the draft--yes, even over Matt Kalil. While I was skeptical, don't be surprised if some personnel guy feels the same way in April and Adams ends up in the Top-10. Chris Polk (RB Washington) hasn't been receiving a ton of love from the Draftnik community, but teams love him. He will either be drafted in the first round or be a very hot commodity in the second. Overheard that Vontaze Burfict (LB ASU) is a great player, "when he wants to be." Burfict isn't here this week, but lots of teammates and opponents are. Let's just say that his welcome may have been overstayed at ASU, even though he left early.