29 January 2012
2012 Senior Bowl Post Game Report
The 2012 Senior Bowl was played Saturday January 28th 2012 after a week of practice ran by the Vikings and Redskins coaching staff. Last weeks East-West Shrine Game actually kicked off NFL Draft Season. Every NFL team had scouts at the game trying to find the next NFL Draft Prospect, and for good reason, 12 players from last years game were drafted in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Time is of the essence, the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine begins on February 23rd and the actual 2012 NFL Draft starts on April 26th, 2012. If you care about the score, the North beat the South 23-13.
The best player in this game and a certain top 10 draft pick was DE Quinton Coples from North Carolina. He was simply un-blockeable and was in the quarterbacks face all afternoon. He mostly made his money on inside moves and arm overs, but on one occasion he displayed outstanding athletic ability buy jumping over a cut block and getting a sack. Coples is a true defensive end, and at 6' 5" 276 pounds he is suited to play in a 4-3 defense. He is decent against the run, but might be to light to play end in a 3-4 defense.
The MVP of this game was RB Isaiah Pead (5' 10" 200 lbs) from Cincinnati. He is extremely explosive, shifty and can break tackles. He also displayed his versatility buy returning kickoffs and boy did he return some impressive kickoffs. One of his kick returns was for 60 yards and the next was for 38 yards. He also had eight rushes for 32 yards. He might have ran himself into the second or third round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Im not putting OLB/DE Vinny Curry, (Marshall) in the same category as last years Senior Bowl star Von Miller, but Curry did raise his draft stock considerably. Curry is a natural pass rusher, quick and explosive and he also displayed a nice bull rush, one time pushing Florida State Zebrie Sanders back into the quarterback. Curry (6' 4" 260 lbs), could be drafted early, maybe even late first/early second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. He will be drafted to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Last season Curry recorded an impressive 22 tackles for loss (TFL) and 11 sacks.
I wasn't real impressed with any of the quarterbacks to be honest with you. 28 year old QBBrandon Weeden (Oklahoma State) started the game for the South. He (Weeden) got a lot of hype during the week, where he looked pretty good. In the game he was decent but doesn't look very athletic and throws to many interceptions. During the season he threw 3 interceptions (INTs) against Louisiana-Lafayette, 2 INTs against Tulsa and Kansas State, and 3 INTs in their loss to Iowa State.
Wisconsin Quarterback (QB) Russell Wilson is a little small (5' 11" 210 lbs), but he throws very well on the run and can take off and rush the ball like a running back. He doesn't look comfortable or accurate in the pocket however.
Arizona QB Nick Foles came in the game in the 3rd quarter and stood big and tall in the pocket. He completed his first pass to Joe Adams for 20 yards. However, after that he struggled with accuracy. Some of his balls ended up in the ground as he seems to throw a nose down football. Foles did throw a nice 20 yard TD pass to fellow Arizona WR Juron Criner (6' 4" 210 lbs). Criner ran a nice route and held onto the ball after a big hit in traffic.
Boise State Kellen Moore was extremely accurate, but he has marginal arm strength and like Russell Wilson, is a little small (5' 11" 190 lbs). Moore also doesn't have the mobility of Wilson, but looks good in the pocket.
Michigan State's Kirk Cousins had a good week of practice and he looked pretty good in the 2012 Senior Bowl. He completed a nice 32 yard pass over the middle on a crossing route to Ohio State's WR DeVier Posey. Overall I don't think Posey was that impressive however, he missed a sure touchdown on a pass in the end zone.
I wish Division 1AA Chattanooga QB B. J. Coleman (6' 3" 225 lbs) played in the 2012 Senior Bowl. So far in the post season he has looked like the most impressive QB, he played great at the East-West Shrine Game and it would have been nice to see him compete against some better talent.
Probably the most impressive receiver stats-wise was Arkansas' Joe Adams (5' 11" 190 lbs). After a first quarter fumble, he recovered with some nice catches finishing with 133 receiving yard. He catches the ball well and fights for extra yards. Oklahoma CB Jamell Fleming (5' 11" 192 lbs), made a nice tackle and stripped the ball out of Adams hands causing the fumble.
Probably the highest rated receiver in this game was Arizona State WR Gerell Robinson. He is huge and plays huge (6' 4" 224 lbs). He runs good routes and with his long legs has deceptive speed. Robinson caught a short pass on a crossing route in the 3rd quarter and turned it upfield for a 30 yard TD.
NFL Network Draft analyst Mike Mayock is really high on Ohio State OT Mike Adams (6' 6" 310 lbs). I'm not as high on him as Mayock is and I don't think he is a first round offensive tackle. I think he'll be good value in round two however. Adams held his own against South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram for the most part, but Alabama OLB Courtney Upshaw (6' 2" 269 lbs) displayed a nice punch on a bull rush and beat Adams for a sack. Adams is tall and plays a little high, but he moves his feet very well.
I really like Michigan DT Mike Martin (6' 1" 300 lbs). He (Martin) is a physical stud and a former high school wrestler. Martin uses his hands very well and plays with good leverage. He might be at his limit size-wise however, I don't think his frame can handle much more muscle.
North Carolina (NC) OLB Zach Brown might be the fastest linebacker in this 2012 NFL Draft. He made a nice play on a screen pass reading and reacting for a tackle for loss (TFL). He needs to do a better job taking on blockers, but he is a fast twitch athlete with elite speed and excellent size (6' 2" 230 lbs). He will likely rise after the Combine after he burns up the track. He holds the 55 meter record at NC.
Another linebacker (LB) that played well was Florida State LB Nigel Bradham (6' 2" 240 lbs). He ran Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson down and sacked him and that's no easy task as Wilson is one of the most elusive QBs in the nation.
A relatively unknown linebacker emerged in this game. Utah State LB Bobby Wagner (6' 1" 232 lbs) looked very athletic and he takes on blocks and runs well. Wagner could be a late round sleeper.
Tennessee DE Malik Jackson isn't a household name, but he had an excellent week of practice and got a lot of pressure on quarterbacks in the game. At 6' 4" 265 lbs, he could be an excellent outside linebacker for a team that runs a 3-4 defense.
On a negative note, a cornerback (CB) that I was real high on was Iowa State CB Leonard Johnson. He had a great week of practice but missed a key tackle in the Senior Bowl.
Also Appalachian State WR Brian Quick didn't impress me when he caught a pass and needed to fight for an extra yard to get a first down. He was stopped short and didn't seem to fight for extra yards. That's unacceptable for a receiver with his size (6' 4" 218 lbs).
Lastly the biggest faller might be Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard. He is an excellent tackler, but he had trouble in covering speedy receivers. During practice in the week before the game he couldn't turn and run very well and doesn't have fluid hips. He also tweaked his hamstring in practice and didn't play in the game.