While it is still considered to be early in the pre-draft process, the Senior Bowl was the last live action the talent evaluators had the opportunity to watch when it came to most of the top prospects in the nation. With the combine and pro days approaching, the Senior Bowl was the last chance these players had to button up the chin straps and get at it for a few days. Some took advantage of the opportunity, while others failed to make an impression. I came up with a 2010 All Senior Bowl team that took the best from each position and there is a little write-up for each group.
LT: Vladimir Ducasse – Massachusetts (N)
LG: Mike Iupati – Idaho (N)
C: Matt Tennant – Boston College (N)
RG: John Jerry – Ole Miss (S)
RT: Chris Scott – Tennessee (S)
Most of the talent evaluators down there told me the group that had the most to gain or lose in terms of their draft grade were the linemen. The one-on-one pass rush wars were a great way to measure a pair of prospect’s true power and footwork up against each other as opposed to watching them on tape. It was evident in watching Mike Iupati (Idaho) that he had the most brute strength of any offensive lineman in Mobile. His initial punch stifled defender after defender and while he may be raw technique wise, he left Mobile with a first round grade. John Jerry (Ole Miss) and Matt Tennant (Boston College) are starting caliber blockers but they may be more scheme-specific than others. Both still hold a 2nd-3rd round grade going in to the combine. Chris Scott (Tennessee) is a huge body that is the prototypical right tackle in the pros, but even at that spot he needs quicken up his feet and play with more knee bend to deal with NFL speed rushers. He is a mid-to-late round prospect with promise. And speaking of promise, Vladimir Ducasse (Massachusetts) had an up and down week in Mobile but the ups he showed might be enough to put him in to 2nd round consideration. He has the ideal frame and feet for the blind side position, but he will be a project in terms of technique and adjusting to the speed of the NFL coming from a lower form of competition in college. After a roller coaster week in practice performance wise, Ducasse walked away with the highest game grade of any North offensive lineman on my sheet.
QB: Dan LeFevour – Central Michigan (N)
RB: LeGarrette Blount – Oregon (N)
FB: Rashawn Jackson – Virginia (N)
WR: Jacoby Ford – Clemson (N)
WR: Andre Roberts – The Citadel (S)
TE: Jimmy Graham – Miami (S)
ATH: Dexter McCluster – Ole Miss (S)
This really is not the week to evaluate a quarterback but like everything else in Mobile, it is a useful tool to compare the prospects in the same environment with the same personnel. Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan) did not stand out in practice throughout the week, but he was the most steady of the six. He was not making a lot of mistakes and his balls were consistently smooth coming out of his hands. On top of that, he put together the top performance on game day and appeared to be in a zone of comfort after just a week within the scheme. There was a lot of downhill running in Mobile with big backs that appear to be short yardage specialists at the next level. However LeGarrette Blount (Oregon) showed every down ability and may have put him back in to the top 64 despite missing most of the 2009 season as a result of an on-field altercation in September. Rashawn Jackson (Virginia) was the most athletic of all the tight ends and be brings the some receiving ability that the other lead blockers did not show. Wide receivers Jacoby Ford (Clemson) and Andre Roberts (Citadel) put themselves in to 2nd round consideration, although both have very different games. Ford’s game is based more on speed while Roberts’ game stems from his quickness and sure hands. One of the most interesting stores in this class to follow will be that of Jimmy Graham’s (Miami). The former basketball player showed some top tier receiving ability downfield and while the blocking portion of his game needs work, someone is going to see the potential in him as a receiver and take a flier on him in the 3rd-4th round area. Dexter McCluster (Ole Miss) was easily the most explosive athlete of the week as he was making plays as a running back and wide receiver, not to mention his fluid return ability that was on display. With a strong performance at the combine, McCluster could sneak his way in to the end of the first round.
DE: Brandon Graham – Michigan (N)
DT: Jared Odrick – Penn State (N)
DT: Geno Atkins – Georgia (S)
DE: Tyson Alualu – California (N)
As I stated before, the guys that start each play with their hand in the dirt have the most to gain throughout the Senior Bowl week. These four defensive linemen all had a fair share off success throughout their four year careers, but the performance they put on during practice and in the game was huge for their draft stock. Brandon Graham (Michigan) was the winner of the week with his consistent domination at the point of attack. He is a perfect mixture of Elvis Dumervil and Lamarr Woodley and the type of game he possesses translates very well to the next level. He is a legitimate first round contender now despite the lack of top tier physical tools. Jared Odrick (Penn State) and Geno Atkins (Georgia) showed consistent explosion at the point of attack and were disrupting the opposing backfield all week. Atkins was gave Iupati a headache throughout the game and something like that will not go unnoticed. Tyson Alualu (California) did not display first round ability but the motor he plays with and how many blockers struggled to keep him at bay certainly improved his draft grade. He was up against some of the top offensive linemen in the country and he was consistently winning the one on one battles inside and out. He entered the week as a possible top 100 guy, but there was some talk in Mobile that he could be a 2nd rounder if he grades out well athletically.
WLB: Daryl Washington – TCU (N)
MLB: Sean Weatherspoon – Missouri (N)
SLB: Koa Misi – Utah (N)
From day one, it was evident that the best four or five linebackers in Mobile resided on the North squad. The athleticism of Daryl Washington (TCU) stood out right away as he appeared to move up and down the field better than some of the safeties there. While he lacks some much needed bulk, he showed no hesitation in throwing his hat in to traffic and laying the wood. Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri) was the character of the week that had a hard time keeping his mouth shut for more than minute. He was the leader of the North squad that back his talk up with a few strong performances. He was a stout inside defender against the run and he also displayed some outstanding coverage ability in space. Both Washington and Weatherspoon are potential first round draft picks. Misi did not catch my eye early in the week but the more familiar he became with the style of defense he was put in to, the more he started wrecking havoc. He is a big presence on the strong side at 6’3 – 244 pounds, but he also moved very well in pursuit and in man coverage. He proved that he is a capable of being a 2nd round selection in April.
CB: Kyle Wilson – Boise State (N)
S: Myron Rolle – Florida State (S)
S: Larry Asante – Nebraska (N)
CB: Perrish Cox – Oklahoma State (S)
It is rare to see a player, at any position, have a strong practice every day throughout the week. But Kyle Wilson (Boise State) put his name atop the senior cornerbacks in the 2010 draft class with his display of man coverage ability. He was in the hip pocket of nearly every receiver he covered and he was violent at the line of scrimmage as a press corner. Perrish Cox (Oklahoma State) has the physical tools that talent evaluators search for in a first round cornerback, and he put them on display as the week progressed and showed some outstanding ball skills. Considering how long it has been since Myron Rolle (Florida State) has played competitive football, he came out a winner from the Mobile. He showed up in arguably better shape than anyone on the field, and was surprisingly fluid in coverage. He never was a first round draft pick but when putting the intangibles together with his tool set, Rolle could have put his grade in to the 2nd-3rd round area. Asante did not make a ton of plays throughout the week but he was the most physical safety of the group. He delivered some of the biggest hits we saw in Mobile but also showed his sure tackling ability, a lost art in the NFL that a lot of coaches wish their defensive backs had. If he can test out well physically, Asante could be a 3rd round pick in April.
Thank you for using New Era Scouting as a resource for information regarding the Senior Bowl over the past ten days. Stay with us in the coming months, as the bulk of our scouting reports are on the way.
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