Scouts Inc. - Senior Bowl Day 3 buzz....

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by Risen Star, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    Under-the-radar prospects rising

    Todd McShay
    Scouts Inc.

    MOBILE, Ala. -- Senior Bowl week presents an opportunity for players from smaller programs and conferences to step up and show they belong with the big boys, and three 2012 prospects have taken full advantage of that chance at this year's game.

    Marshall DE Vinny Curry (6-foot-3, 265 pounds)
    Curry is well-known in scouting circles and was considered a potential Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) pick even last season, but I doubt many fans across the nation realize Curry was third in the FBS with 22 tackles for loss in 2011, and tied for sixth with 11 sacks.

    He doesn't have elite burst, top-end speed or athleticism, but Curry's initial quickness has been very good during Senior Bowl week and he is showing the ability to transition that quickness into power moves. Once he forces offensive tackles to stand up and respect his power, Curry does a nice job using rip or swim moves to beat them inside or outside.

    What stands out above all, though, is his relentless motor, toughness and passion for the game, and one game from 2011 illustrates those qualities perfectly. Curry's mother, Linda Jackson, fought cancer for more than a year -- something he dealt with while still remaining committed to his teammates -- and she passed away early in the week leading up to Marshall's game against Rice. Curry did not practice at all during the week while mourning his mother, not even returning to campus until an hour before kickoff.

    However, he decided to play and dedicate his performance to his mother. All Curry did against the Owls was record nine total tackles, 3.5 sacks, a fumble recovery, and force a fourth-quarter fumble that led to the game-winning touchdown for Marshall. He's the kind of player it's easy to pull for, and Curry had done everything he can this week to solidify a Day 2 grade. In fact, it won't surprise me if he ends up working his way into the second round before all is said and done.

    Louisiana-Lafayette CB Dwight Bentley (5-9⅞, 176)
    Bentley played high school football with fellow South team CB Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama), and they have clearly been the top two defensive backs on the South roster. Bentley is undersized, but with his quickness, fluidity and body control he can flat-out cover.

    He had only seven career interceptions -- due in part to teams preferring not to challenge him -- and while his ball skills are not elite he has shown in Mobile the ability to find, adjust to and fight for the ball in the air.

    Two other things have stood out about Bentley, including his confidence. He has the ability to put negative plays behind him and bounce back on the next snap, something that is very important for a cornerback. Bentley has also taken coaching well this week, picking up what the coaches are telling him and making the necessary adjustments on the next play.

    He was considered a Day 3 possibility coming into the season, but his improvement as a senior and his showing this week against future NFL receivers has improved his stock. Bentley has risen as much as any other prospect in attendance, and could very well come off the board on Day 2.

    Utah State LB Bobby Wagner (6-0ΒΌ, 241)
    Wagner has a solid frame, and he's showing some scheme versatility lining up on the strong side after spending a lot of time inside in college. He was highly productive for the Aggies, ranking eighth nationally in tackles per game in 2011, and is very strong at the point of attack.

    Wagner takes good angles to get into sound position, and his pop and power at the point are very good. And while he lacks elite range in coverage, Wagner has been great pressing tight ends at the line of scrimmage and has shown good instincts and awareness against the pass. He gets good leverage -- not just depth, but also width -- to cover as much ground as possible, and he is far from a liability in that area.

    Wagner now ranks as the No. 4 inside linebacker on the board -- behind the likes of Luke Kuechly, Vontaze Burfict and Dont'a Hightower -- and he's gotten himself to the fringe of Day 2.
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  2. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    Up-and-down DBs
    Janoris Jenkins continues to impress, and there's no question he is the best defensive back on either roster. Jenkins has the ability to flip his hips and run with receivers downfield, and he is one of the more sudden, fluid athletes here this week. He was all over Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller throughout the day, and while Jenkins did get beaten once after guessing on a route his overall talent continues to shine.

    Oklahoma State S Markelle Martin has shown the ability to deliver big hits, but there are concerns about his coverage ability. Martin is good diagnosing running plays, but he's tight and lacks ideal speed in coverage. He also failed to finish a play against LSU TE Deangelo Peterson that could have been an interception, though he did knock the ball away. Martin has also shown that he will take risks in coverage, but his tightness doesn't allow him to recover when he guesses wrong.

    Criner still shining
    Arizona WR Juron Criner has had a sneaky-strong week, showing smoothness for his size (6-2⅛, 220) and impressive hands. Criner uses his frame effectively when shielding defenders from the ball, and his 10-4 hands were on display today on over-the-shoulder grabs and catches in traffic. He continued to help himself with another solid effort.

    Linebacker report
    Kennan Robinson of Texas has been an interesting player to watch this week. Robinson moves well early in practices and during one-on-one drills, but when the team period arrives he does not stack and shed blockers effectively and lacks violence in his hands.

    North Carolina's Zach Brown is showing quickness and speed, and he can shoot gaps as soon as they open up. Brown also has good range in coverage, but he simply could not catch the ball on Day 3. He's using his hands to attempt to snatch the ball out of the air, but Brown had three drops during coverage drills and looked shaky all day.

    QB battle continues
    We've talked a lot about quarterbacks this week, but it's worth noting that Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden continued to show he's the best quarterback in attendance this week. He is playing with good tempo and during 7-on-7 drills drove the ball into a tight window downfield. He's also throwing with good balance, putting good zip on a hook route to fit the ball between two defenders.

    And while Weeden didn't play in a pro-style offense in college, he's adjusting well to five- and seven-step drops and executing play-action without much problem.

    Day 3 was a bit better for Arizona's Nick Foles, who showed better balance and accuracy. Foles is playing smart and making good decisions, though we would like to see him be a bit more aggressive. He's making a lot of safe throws, but we'd like to see him let it rip a bit more and show off his arm talent. He's doing what's asked of him within the system but little more, but there's not a lot of excitement or creativity in his game this week.
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  3. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    Here's a sampling of the impressions we took away from early action on Day 3 of Senior Bowl week:

    Boise State's Kellen Moore was not as sharp Wednesday as he was over the first two days, forcing a couple of throws into coverage. However, Moore continued to show the most polish of the North team quarterbacks.

    He got the ball out quickly and was decisive with his throws, which helps mask his lack of arm strength. He also showed good anticipation and touch, and Moore's pocket presence when avoiding the rush was impressive.

    Wisconsin's Russell Wilson has the strongest arm on the North roster, flashing the ability to drive the ball vertically, and his athleticism continues to shine through. However, Wilson struggled during the team period because his short stature (5-foot-105) forces him to move within the pocket to locate passing lanes, causing him to be late on throws. He delivered some nice balls during 7-on-7 drills with no linemen in front of him, but the negative impact of Wilson's height was on full display Wednesday.

    Michigan State's Kirk Cousins continues to be very steady overall. He didn't do a lot to get excited about in terms of playmaking ability, but he made good decisions and flashed some arm strength when he put good zip on a deep out to the opposite hash.

    Wideout report

    Iowa's Marvin McNutt had one of the better days among the North wide receivers, showing some savvy route-running to find ways to get open. McNutt (6-24, 216) isn't overly explosive but he is quick enough for his size. He caught the ball well away from his body and showed good body control.

    Marvin Jones of California was generally good snatching the ball with his hands and he showed a good feel for getting open against zone coverage. Jones also displayed some polish on his routes, showing the ability to set up defenders out of his breaks.

    N.C. State's T.J. Graham has some speed, suddenness and explosion to his game, but he has to do a better job tracking the ball. Graham was late getting his head around to locate a deep ball at one point, though he showed some feel for zone coverage and caught a nice ball on a seam route during 7-on-7s. He has some added value as a return man, where he is smooth changing directions and can hit creases with his explosiveness.

    DBs are underwhelming

    There is not much overall speed among the North defensive backs. Iowa State CB Leonard Johnson has some quick-twitch, short-area movement skills and is a scrappy player, but we still have questions about his ability to run with receivers and limit separation at the next level.

    Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard continues to struggle to limit separation, at one point getting beaten by McNutt on an inside move. Dennard has tight hips, and you have to wonder about his top-end speed and playmaking ability.

    On a more positive note, Notre Dame S Harrison Smith has looked good. It's sometimes hard to get a good read on safeties in all-star practices because tackling is limited, but Smith is competing hard and putting himself in the right spots. He could clean up his angles to the point when the ball is in the air, but overall Smith is helping himself this week.

    Different days for LB duo

    Utah State LB Bobby Wagner continues to play well and show he can handle a step up in competition. He was good in coverage on Day 3, making it hard for Michigan State TE Brian Linthicum to get off the line. He did an excellent job getting into the flat to take running backs out of the underneath passing game. We haven't seen him rush the passer during Senior Bowl week, but he can be seen doing so on film.

    Nebraska LB Lavonte David is an athletic prospect who shows good range on tape, and he has the potential to be a solid run defender and above-average man-coverage linebacker in a scheme that values smaller linebackers with speed. However, this week he's not finishing plays in coverage. David is showing the ability to stay on the hip of underneath receivers, but he's making tackles rather than plays on the ball.

    RBs look good

    Boise State RB Doug Martin showed good vision and patience on Day 3, and he caught the ball well. Martin made a nice grab above his shoulders on a pass over the middle and brought in a waist-high throw in the flat and turned smoothly upfield. He didn't look natural fielding kickoffs, but overall it was a nice day for Martin.

    Massachusetts FB Emil Igwenagu hasn't had a great week but did bounce back a bit Wednesday. Igwenagu made a good grab over his head when working across the field, and he was more aggressive and physical, putting a nice kick-out block on Wagner at one point.

    Ohio State RB Dan Herron is running hard and finishing plays by delivering blows, but it's hard to know exactly what to make of that because of a lack of live tackling. It will be interesting to see whether that carries over into the game this weekend. Herron didn't show great burst, though, failing to get behind Boise State LB Shea McClellin on a wheel route.
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  4. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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  5. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    That's what makes the draft so great.
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  6. RS12

    RS12 Well-Known Member

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    Dont want any DB whose main strength isnt coverage.
  7. dboy214

    dboy214 Benched

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    vinny curry sounds like a type of guy who would flourish in the steelers culture.
  8. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    If I was comparing Curry to anyone it would be Anthony Spencer. Very solid player but lacks the quick twitch explosion to be great as a pass rusher. Might have a better overall motor than Spencer but looks can deceive in short study.

    Weeden is definitely the best QB of the group. Too bad he is so old.

    I think the DBs will look good come game time. A lot of these drills are really hard on the DBs. They have zero help and wide coverage areas. Janoris does look like a stud. Reminds me quite a lot of Mike Jenkins. Lots of swagger but smallish by elite standards. May be chosen in that same 20-ish area. Could be a target if we trade down to 20 which is on my short list of Draft ideas.
  9. Bigdog

    Bigdog Well-Known Member

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    I was hoping we could get Bently in the 4th or 5th rd. I guess that is out the window now.
  10. CATCH17

    CATCH17 1st Round Pick

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    Does he lack effort? Because that is the key ingredient missing in Spencer's game.

    If Curry is like Spencer but is a high effort player than i'd draft him.
  11. supercowboy8

    supercowboy8 Well-Known Member

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    My problem with Curry is how he plays vs the run and can he drop into coverage.
  12. Gaede

    Gaede Well-Known Member

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    I like Curry a lot. I think he's got the tenacity and quickness to really rush the passer.
  13. supercowboy8

    supercowboy8 Well-Known Member

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    ok, but can he do the other jobs of a SOLB?
  14. Gaede

    Gaede Well-Known Member

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    Who knows?! He's a draft pick after all, who knows if any of them can do anything in the pros?

    We know he hustles, we know he's a good kid, we know he can get at the QB. If he's big enough and smart enough, I don't see why he wouldn't be able to do the other stuff.

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