2011 SENIOR BOWL GAME REVIEW:
by Colin Lindsay, Editor and Publisher, Great Blue North Draft Report
That’s a wrap… Another Senior Bowl is in the books after last week's game capped off activities in Mobile. And while most NFL teams generally place far more value on what the players do in practice than in the game itself, this year it's likely that NFL personnel people were hoping to get answers some from answers from the game itself on a number of players including several of the QBs in Mobile as well as the OT class which featured most of the top-rated prospects at the position for the 2011 draft. Unfortunately, though, those same NFL pro personnel people probably had as many questions about those particular players after the game as they had beforehand.
The all-star game format can be a tough environment in which to judge a QB as they are usually working in an unfamiliar offense with unfamilair receivers. Plus, they usually only get a couple of series in a row before giving way to the next guy so can never really get into a rythym. That said, no player at the 2010 Senior Bowl was under more pressure to preform than Washington QB Jake Locker who had had an inconsistent week of practice in Mobile after a very disappointing senior season in which he had fallen from a potential #1 pick overall to a possible mid-to-even-late first round prospect. Ubnfortunately though, all pro scouts saw from Locker during the Senior Bowl game was more of the same. Unlike most of the other QBs in Mobile, Locker did show the arm strength to get the ball downfield without a big windup and without much air under the ball, but few of his passes were right on target and he hung out at least a couple of receivers with ill-advised high passes late over the middle. As well, while he showed some athleticism when he forced from the pocket, Locker also put the ball on the ground a couple of times further questioning his football smarts and instincts.
On the other hand, Colin Kaepernick of Nevada continued to be something of a revelation in Mobile. Kaepernick still needs to speed up a very deliberate release, but showed exceptional am strength and accuracy as he really zipped a number of darts right on thenumbers well down-field. Meanwhile, each of the other four QBs in Mobile, including Christian Ponder of Florida State who was named the game's MVP after throwing a couple of TD passes, as well as Grg McElroy of Alabama, Iowa's Ricky Stanzi and Andy Dalton of TCU, had their moment as all four appeared accurate and in command when they took quick drops, planted and threw at underneath targets, however, all four also struggled to get the ball downfield with much authority or accuracy.