Senior Bowl Stock Report
These days, there really is no extended break or off-season for fanatic football fans. The finale of the college football season is the annual Senior Bowl game played in Mobile, Alabama. That game pits graduating student-athletes from the north and south and gives them one final game before their potential professional careers begin.
The Senior Bowl also gives the participating players a chance to make an impression and get themselves noticed before February’s NFL Scouting Combine. Every year somebody creates a stir by having a big performance, either in the game itself or in the practice week held before the game.
This year was no exception. Several big names managed to make an impression on the hundreds of professional football scouts and personnel-men in attendance. Let’s take a look at some of the names that may have helped or hurt their potential 2012 NFL draft value.
Joe Adams (WR/KR) Arkansas- Had a Senior Bowl M.V.P. performance for the South. Caught eight passes for 133 yards in the game. Looks to be a very good slot-receiver candidate who will offer mis-match potential for linebackers or safties. Is also a tremendous kick returner, further increasing his value.
Chris Rainey (RB/WR) Florida- Draws favorable comparisons to fellow former Florida rb/wr hybrid Percy Harvin. Though smaller than Harvin, Rainey might be quicker and absolutely schooled elite cornerback prospect Janoris Jenkins in the Senior Bowl practices. Has major character concerns that will raise a red flag for some teams.
Kellen Moore (QB) Boise State- Moore was really hurt when he was officially measured in at under six feet tall. There are currently no NFL starters of that size. Further dropping his value was his struggles with accuracy, footwork and timing. Moore is a winner and should still be a late round pick, but he might have to explore changing positions.
Vinny Curry (DE/LB) Marshall- Improved his stock tremendously with a two sack, one pass deflected performance. At 6-3 265 lbs. has the ability to play either as a defensive end or five-technique. A strong showing at the Scouting Combine could move him up into the bottom of round one, where he could be targeted by teams utilizing the 3-4.
Jeff Fuller (WR) Texas A&M- Plagued by dropped passes all week. Minimal impact in the Senior Bowl game, catching three balls for 16 yards. Also looked to run sloppy routes. Still has impressive size, but now looks only to be a late round selection.
Brandon Boykin (CB) Georgia- Had an excellent week of practice. Handled all receivers in practice fairly well. A bit on the small side (5’9″ 189 lbs.). Added bonus is that he could make an excellent kick and punt return man. A strong Combine showing could move him up into round two. UPDATE: Apparently Boykin suffered a broken leg in the Senior Bowl, but the injury isn’t considered serious and reports are that he should be healed and ready to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine.
Chris Polk (RB) Washington- Perhaps the most maligned player at the Senior Bowl. ESPN’s Todd McShay said he hurt his stock more than any other player. Yikes. Allegedly looked out of shape and slow. Started off the Senior Bowl with a couple of impressive runs, then disappeared. Value has fallen so much that it might not be a surprise to see him selected until the third round. Still, he has time to recover and improve his standing at the Combine.
Janoris Jenkins (CB) North Alabama- Solidified his status as a first round pick. Had an excellent week of practice and should be the third cornerback selected in the 2012 NFL draft. Was dismissed from Florida, so there will also be some character concerns for Jenkins.
Russell Wilson (QB) Wisconsin- Like Kellen Moore, Wilson was hurt by the tape measure. He measured in at a paltry 5-10 1/2 203lbs. That would make him the shortest signal-caller in the entire NFL. Also struggled with consistency and accuracy throughout the Senior Bowl practice week. He’ll likely be a very late pick or even an undrafted free agent.
Doug Martin (RB) Boise State- Looked like the best running back at the Senior Bowl. Strong lower body with excellent speed, Martin has drawn comparisons to Ray Rice. Should be a top-five running back selection at the draft. Like Rice, could be selected in the second round.
Alfonzo Dennard (CB) Nebraska- Had a very poor showing. Looked slow and struggled in coverage. Also looked to have poor footwork and could be over-powered by bigger NFL receivers. Ended up missing the Senior Bowl game itself with a hip flexor injury. Went from consideration to be the third cornerback selected to maybe falling as low as the third round.
Mike Adams (OT) Ohio State- Also solidified his first round billing with an excellent week of practice. Shut down elite pass-rushers like Courtney Upshaw and Quinton Coples. Could be in consideration to go in the top twenty of the first round at the draft.
Other players with stock on the rise: Quinton Coples (DE) North Carolina, Juron Criner (WR) Arizona, Dwight Jones (WR) North Carolina, Bobby Wagner (LB) Utah State, Georgia Iloka (S) Boise State, Marvin Jones (WR) California, Isaiah Pead (RB) Cincinnati, Brandon Weeden (QB) Oklahoma State