GREAT BLUE NORTH DRAFT REPORT
NEWS AND INFORMATION ON THE NFL DRAFT
2013 Senior Bowl Pracrice Wrap-up
by Paul Guillemette and Colin Lindsay
January 25, 2013
It is also important not to put too much emphasis on what happens at the Senior Bowl. With underclassmen not eligible to attend and several of the top-rated seniors passing on the event, only a fraction of the top prospects for the 2013 draft are actually in Mobile this week. Indeed, none of the players rated in the top 10 in the 'GBN 'Big Board' heading into Senior Bowl week, for example, was at this year's Senior Bowl, as were just 9 of the top-rated 40 prospects for the 2013 draft.
It is also worth noting that the all-star game setting have a number of limitations for particular positions. QBs, for example, are asked work with unfamiliar receivers in often unfamiliar schemes which are designed to test as much their ability to learn and adapt rather than their actual passing skills. Same story for RBs who will never get enough touches in an all-star week to get into any kind of rhythm, as well as LBs and safeties, who are almost by definition limited by the lack of overall hitting in an all-star game format. In contrast, all-star settings are probably better suited to evaluating positions such as offensive and defensive linemen. Indeed, the one-on-one pass rush drills, for example, can provide some pretty useful data about offensive and defensive linemen, although even that drill can be misleading because the pass rushers tend to have more space to operate than they normally would in a full-line situation.
The bottom line is that the Senior Bowl is a useful part of the pre-draft process, but certainly not as important as the combine. And in the end neither is as important as the regular season tape evaluation. Indeed, few NFL teams will dramatically alter their grades on specific players based on what they see at the all-star games including the Senior Bowl. Instead, what most teams will do is head back to the game tapes when a player either exceeds expectations or disappoints at the Senior Bowl to check for what they may have missed.
All that said there were a couple of general observations that came ut of this week's Senior Bowl practices:
1) This may have been one of the deeper groups at QB at the Senior Bowl in a while, but when thre week of practice was done there were still almost as many question as answers about the position. North Carolina State's Mike Glennon, for example, clearly has the strongest in Mobile this year, but as we was during the season was inexplicably at times, while both Tyler Wilson of Arkansas and Oklahoma's Landry Jones also have the physical tools to be fine pro passers, but can be rattled when pressured. And so on ... Bottom line is that it does not appear as if any of this year's Senior Bowl QBs was really able to separate himself from the pack.
2) There is some real depth emerging at several positions
including CB. Desmond Trufant of Washington, in particular, was one of
the real stars this week, while Jordan Poyer of Oregon State, Leon
McFadden of Fresno State, and Jamar Taylor of Boise State, along with
small school stars B.W. Webb of William&Mary and Robert Alford of
Southeastern Louisiana all had strong weeks of practice. As a result,
it looks like there could be as many as a half dozen or so
solid corner prospects clumped together in the middle of the second
round at this year's draft and then another half dozen or so more
decent prospects at the position in the 3rd round area.
3) There is a similar scenario developing along the
offensive line. Indeed, while OTs Eric Fisher of Central Michigan and
Lane Johnson of Oklahoma were among the top 3-4 players overall at this
week's Senior Bowl practices, there was plenty of depth upfront as guys
like OTs David Quessenberry of San Jose State, Xavier Nixon of Florida,
Justin Pugh of Syracuse, Brian Winters of Kent State, Kyle Long of
Oregon, Jordan Mills of Louisiana Tech, and Garrett Gilkey of Chadron
State, along with OGs Larry Warford of Kentucky and Illinois' Hugh
Thornton and California C Brian Schwenke all more than held their own.
What's also interesting about the position is that almost all of those
tackle prospects will ultimately likely kick inside to OG at the next
level, meaning their should be some good depth along the interior
offensive line right into the middle rounds this coming April.
4) Having with the big guys: This year's Senior Bowl was a
coming out party of sorts for several small-school players who more
than able to hold their own this week. Along with corners Alford and
Webb and OT Gilkey, safeties Jonathan Cyprien of Florida International
and Georgia Southern's J.J. Wilcox, Missouri Southern DT Brandon
Williams, and Harvard FB Kyle Juszcyyk also had solid weeks. On the
other hand, Elon WR Aaron Melette struggled to get separation much of
Here's Pigskin Paul's All-Senior Bowl practice team:
RB STEPFAN TAYLOR - Stanford
FB KYLE JUSZCZYK - Harvard
WR QUINTON PATTON - Lousiana Tech
WR AARON DOBSON - Marshall
TE VANCE McDONALD - Rice
OT ERIC FISHER - Central Michigan
OT LANE JOHNSON - Oklahoma
OG LARRY WARFORD - Kentucky
OG HUGH THORNTON - Illinois
C BRIAN SCHWENKE - California
DE CORNELIUS WASHINGTON - Georgia
And a few honorable mentions include Oregon RB Kenjon Barner; Oregon State WR Markus Wheaton; Fresno State G/T David Quessenberry; North Carolina MLB Kevin Reddick; and Boise State CB Jamar Taylor;
On the other hand, guys who likely didn't do a whole to help their draft stock this week included BYU DE Ziggy Ansah, Virginia OT Oday Aboushi, Notre Dame C Braxston Cave, Illinois DE Michael Buchanan, SMU DE Margus Hunt, Penn State DT Jordan Hill, Ohio State DE/LB John Simon, and Utah State CB Will Davis.
If you have comments or suggestions, e-mail the Editor, Great Blue North Draft Report. The GBN can also be reached by phone at (613) 692-1088 or regular mail at 320 Shadehill Crescent, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2J 0L6.
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