Pauline Senior Bowl preview

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by RS12, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    The quarterback position is loaded with talent and a lot is on the line in Mobile. Derek Carr of Fresno State hopes to replicate the phenomenal performance of his older brother David, who solidified his status as the top pick of the 2002 NFL Draft after his showing at the Senior Bowl. And while Derek won't be the first selection of this year's draft, he could cement his place in the opening round with a knockout week.

    A pair of ACC passers, Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech, have been tumbling down draft boards and hope to stem the bleeding. Each offers a big arm, yet can be all over the place with throws. The ability to accurately deliver passes during three days of practice is critical for both.

    Finally, Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois, a late addition after A.J. McCarron dropped out, hopes to build upon the momentum he started last week at the East-West Shrine Game and further improve his draft grade.

    Running Back

    One of the more intriguing stories at the position is Jerick McKinnon of Georgia Southern. A quarterback by trade, McKinnon will asked to line-up at running back, the position teams project him to play in the NFL. On film, he's swift, elusive and creative when the ball's in his hands. He must now prove he can handle those duties when not lined up under center.

    Antonio Andrews of Western Kentucky is another sleeper of sorts to watch this week. Entering the season graded as a free agent, Andrews posted career highs for rushing yards (1,730), receptions (41) and touchdowns (16). He's a ball carrier with a complete game who can line up as a third-down back or situational starter at the next level. His mission at the Senior Bowl is to put all his football skills, both physical and mental, on display which will only enhance his draft stock.

    Receivers/Tight Ends

    Another college quarterback, Kain Colter of Northwestern, will be moving to a new position in Mobile. The Wildcats' leader under center for three seasons, Colter was productive passing the ball as well as running it. He now must prove he has the ability to catch the ball as a true receiver. The Senior Bowl has a history of college quarterbacks successfully transitioning to receiver as Matt Jones (2005) and Antwaan Randle El (2002) both shot up draft boards after a terrific week of practice.

    Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz is all over boards, yet, by my grade, he's the top-rated senior at the position. A tight end in an offensive lineman's body, Fiedorowicz is a devastating blocker with better-than-advertised pass-catching skills. Can he get down the field as much teams want in a tight end these days? Or is he just a short-range target? The answers scouts come away with this week will impact Fiedorowicz's draft grade.

    Offensive Line

    The offensive line offers an eclectic group of prospects with the versatility to line-up at several positions.

    North Dakota State's Billy Turner rates as the top small-school prospect invited to the Senior Bowl. He's a college left tackle projected by many to the right side, though some have him pegged as a guard. Turner will earn a lot of money if he's able to competently hold down the blind side spot this week.

    The same goes for Brandon Thomas of Clemson. Forced to the left tackle slot early in his career, Thomas has the size and style most project to guard in the NFL. Should he display any skill protecting the edge at tackle during practice, Thomas will watch his stock soar.

    Morgan Moses of Virginia and Jawuan James from Tennessee both showed great ability early in their college careers yet never elevated their games and are close to being labeled as underachievers. The Senior Bowl is their chance to show scouts they have bright futures and the desire to play pro-ball.
  2. Leadbelly

    Leadbelly Well-Known Member

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    Billy Turner has been my pet cat of pet cats for months. Three weeks ago CBS Sports had him as the 247th ranked prospect and I could cheat and put him in my mock as a RD7 guy. Two weeks ago they moved him up to 150. This week they have him at 100. Now, day into the Senior Bowl week, there's chatter he might be a top-40 guy. I hoped he'd measure up a little short for OT, but he has enough size and arm length for the edge.

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