The Senior Bowl presents a great opportunity for prospects to erase question marks about their game and elevate their draft stock. The week not only allows players to show off one last time in pads in the game itself, but it gives scouts the opportunity to watch practices and observe all aspects of each prospect’s game. With the Senior Bowl quickly approaching, Patrick Fise looks at the players with the most to gain or lose from their performances.
Devon Still – DT, Penn State
Still is one of the best defensive tackle prospects in the 2012 draft. He has the size and athleticism to be used in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. Still has a good burst with a combination of quickness and power, which allows him to get pressure against the pass and be a disruptive force against the run. Still’s biggest weakness is his inconsistency, especially against good offensive lines. At the Senior Bowl he needs to prove that he can be successful against good interior offensive linemen. He must show up consistently at both Senior Bowl practices and the game itself. He projects as a mid to late first round pick. With a good performance at the Senior Bowl, Still could move into the top half of the first round. In a weak class of defensive linemen, Still could see his stock rise fast.
Nick Foles – QB, Arizona
With Matt Barkley and Landry Jones returning to school, the 2012 draft class is in need of a player to step up and fill the void as the third quarterback in the draft. Foles has the ability to be that quarterback. He has great size at 6’5” and 240 lbs and displays a strong arm. He is very accurate on short routes, which are featured in the Arizona offense. Foles needs to show that he can produce outside of the spread and prove that he is not simply a system quarterback. He must display the ability to take snaps from under center and read defenses. He also has questions about his pocket presence and ability to deliver the ball under pressure. Foles has the ability to really climb boards as the draft approaches. There are several quarterback needy teams that will examine his Senior Bowl performance closely. With good performances in the Senior Bowl and at his pro day, Foles could cement himself as the third quarterback taken in April.
DeVier Posey – WR, Ohio State
Posey lost most of the 2011 season as a result of the suspensions from the Ohio State memorabilia scandal. Although scouts have a decent volume of tape from 2009 and 2010, he was not able to separate himself this year and improve on previous seasons. Posey has average size and good athletic ability. He is very good at reading coverages and finding the hole in zones. He is an effective route runner and creates separation for himself with a good release and crisp cuts in and out of his breaks. He struggles with drops because of his small hands and inconsistency in catching the ball away from his body. Of all receivers, Posey might have the biggest opportunity to climb draft boards between now and April. A good showing at the Senior Bowl would go a long way in showing that he is a reliable option at the next level.
Quinton Coples – DE, North Carolina
Coples has a lot to prove at the Senior Bowl. While he stout against the run, there are questions concerning his pass rushing abilities. He has a solid burst with both good quickness and strength, but lacks the speed and agility to consistently pressure the passer on the edge. Coples has a big offseason ahead of him in which he could move up or down draft boards. Senior Bowl will be important for Coples as he will be showcased against good offensive tackles.