SN Russ Lande Senior Bowl Dish: 10 guys who need to shine
Everyone's focus at the Senior Bowl will be on Tim Tebow, who needs to show he can play under center (without fumbling), make good, accurate throws and overcome his elongated delivery. However, there are 10 other players who need to step up in Saturday's game:
Daryl Washington, ILB, TCU. Throughout the week, Washington showed the excellent athleticism and strength to be a second-round pick. Though he showed these traits, he did not play to his potential because he didn't always have a handle on where the ball was. He needs to prove he has the instincts to read and react quickly because linebackers who lack good instincts often struggle to become productive starters in the NFL.
Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati. Pike was clearly the top quarterback at the Senior Bowl and displayed the big-league arm and athleticism that excite NFL teams. After struggling with his accuracy at times during the week, he needs to hit his targets in the game if he hopes to get chosen in the late first or early second round
Lonyae Miller, RB, Fresno State. Miller helped himself a lot this week by showing better quickness, agility and burst than scouts expected. His strong week helped him overcome the fact that he was a backup to Ryan Mathews in college. But Miller was not good in pass protection, which raises a concern that it was the reason he could not win the starting job in college. Though NFL teams will be interested in how he does running the ball Saturday, they want to see improvement in pass protection. If he can step up, he could put himself in position to be a fourth-round pick. If he continues to struggle in pass pro, he could fall to the late rounds.
Sean Canfield, QB, Oregon State. Canfield came to the Senior Bowl viewed as an intriguing prospect, but since the first day of practice he lacked arm strength and had a very slow and deliberate throwing motion. These issues had a number of scouts who liked him on film questioning his ability to be anything other than a backup, which usually translates to a late-round pick. To improve his stock, Canfield needs to step up and get rid of the ball quicker in the game and has to show he can make strong, accurate throws on intermediate/deep throws.
Jeremy Williams, WR, Tulane. Before he arrived in Mobile, Williams was viewed as a sharp, precise route runner with excellent hands. Scouts had him pegged as a likely fourth- or fifth-round pick who could move into third-round consideration with a strong week. However, he did not have a good week, as his routes were not consistently sharp and he dropped way too many passes. Partly of that was due to his hands, but he also didn't reach out and go after the ball aggressively. He needs a strong game to prove he can catch the ball more consistently.
Andre Roberts, WR, The Citadel. Roberts had a very strong week of practice, proving he can make the big jump to the NFL. He showed the quickness, burst, sharp routes and hands to excite NFL teams. However, NFL personnel men want to see whether Roberts can handle the pressure of a game situation against top talent.
Roddrick Muckelroy, ILB, Texas. Muckelroy did not look like the same athlete or player on the practice field as he did in his career at Texas. NFL people are trying to figure out why. In game film, he was viewed as a good athlete who played strong and aggressively against the run and had the speed to chase down plays. And though he wasn't a star in coverage, he was solid. In Mobile, however, he looked stiff and struggled to change directions. He looked like a limited athlete who would struggle greatly to be productive playing in space in the NFL. He needs to step up in the game and play like he did at Texas. A number of scouts predicted he would emerge on game day and make up for a bad week of practice.
John Jerry, OT, Mississippi. Jerry had an excellent week of practice and was the best tackle in Mobile. Though he does not have to dominate in the game to retain his improved standing among scouts, he has a chance to really help himself. In a season in which there are a handful of tackles at the top of the draft, there is a lot of debate about the next tier of tackles. With a big game, Jerry could put himself in position to be a late second- or high third-round pick.
Jimmy Graham, TE, Miami. Some expected Graham to have a great week and shoot up draft boards, possibly into the first round. It didn't happen. Though he showed good athleticism, size and speed, he has a lot of improvement to make in his route running, cutting ability and hands. He was not natural plucking the ball and often fought the ball even when he caught it. He did not jump out and make people think of Antonio Gates, so he needs a big game to prove he can become an impact receiving tight end in the NFL.
Harry Coleman, S, LSU. Before he arrived in Mobile, Coleman was viewed as a tough, physical safety who made big plays against the run and on passes in front of him. But after Coleman's tough week at the Senior Bowl, scouts have real concerns. He looked tight and unathletic in coverage and struggled to make plays. Coleman needs to really step up and shine in the game to allay fears about his ability to play in deep coverage. If he doesn't, he will end up as a seventh-round pick or a priority free agent.
Last edited by RS12 : 01-29-2010 at 08:22 PM.