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2012 Senior Bowl Roster: Top 5 NFL Prospects to Watch

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIJanuary 13, 2017

2012 Senior Bowl Roster: Top 5 NFL Prospects to Watch

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    Since it's launch in 1992 there have been 45 clubs to grace the Premier League; some have fared a lot better than others.

    Relegation is part and parcel of English football, and every year three teams face the dreaded drop to the Championship.

    However there have been five teams over the last 18 years that have been so bad it is difficult to understand how they ever got to the Premier league in the first place.

    Here are the very worst...

Quinton Coples, Defensive End, North Carolina

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    Coples is easily one of the most talented guys in this year's draft and at 6'6" and 272 pounds he has ideal size for a defensive end. He has a rare combination of power and quickness.

    Coples is incredibly gifted physically, but did not play with urgency during his senior year. He finished the season with 55 tackles and 7.5 sacks, which simply isn't good enough for a guy with his talents. 

    He has a chance this week at the Senior Bowl to prove that questions about his maturity, desire and work-ethic are unfounded and that he can be an elite rush end at the next level. 

Janoris Jenkins, Cornerback, North Alabama

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    Jenkins appeared to be a first-round lock during his time at Florida, but after being kicked off the Florida football team in April 2010 following two drug-related arrests, he was forced to attend Division II North Alabama. 

    He has maintained his elite skills, but he will definitely be under the microscope this week as he carries a ton of baggage with him. 

    Jenkins is a tad undersized at 5'9" and 177 pounds, but he has good top-end speed and has outstanding cover skills. He has the potential to be a lock-down corner and if he can play well against solid competition this week it will go a long way towards easing fears about his ability dropping off.

    He can also help in the return game.

    Jenkins will have to prove himself in interviews with teams this week, if he can erase those concerns he'll go a long way towards moving himself back into the first round.

Courtney Upshaw, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

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    Upshaw has been a big-time riser this season and he should convert to a 3-4 outside linebacker at the NFL level. He has great size at 6'2" and 265 pounds and compares favorably to Pittsburgh's LaMarr Woodley. 

    During Monday's practices Upshaw looked equally solid against the run and the pass. While he isn't a pure speed rusher, he is very quick for his size and has excellent power. 

    The key transition for Upshaw will be how he plays in space at the next level as he may be asked to back-peddle in coverage, something he rarely did at Alabama. 

    If Upshaw proves he can at least be competent backing off the line of scrimmage and shows good burst rushing the passer, he will likely solidify himself as a mid first-round pick.

Nick Foles, Quarterback, Arizona

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    Thanks to Matt Barkley and Landry Jones deciding to return to school, Foles has rocketed up draft boards and is in the mix to be the third quarterback taken (after Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin). 

    Foles certainly has the ideal size, as he's nearly 6'5" and 245 pounds, and he also has a nice release, good accuracy, and a strong arm to go with all of that. His footwork needs improvement, but any team who drafts the Arizona product would likely plan on sitting him for a few years anyway, so there would be time for development.

    The 23-year-old completed 69.1 percent of his passing in 2011, while throwing for 4,334 yards, with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. When you consider the roster he had around him, those numbers are remarkable.

    Foles is not very mobile, but has presence and awareness in the pocket. His intangibles are fantastic and if he plays well this week expect the late first-round buzz he's been getting to continue.

Melvin Ingram, Defensive End, South Carolina

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    If you're thinking there are a few defensive end/outside linebacker prospects on this list, you're absolutely right, as the 2012 NFL draft will be heavy on the hybrid rushers. Ingram is as good as any of them. 

    At 6'2" and 272 pounds Ingram is incredibly athletic and has a nose for big plays. He appears ticketed to be a 3-4 outside linebacker if he can drop a few pounds, but he could also be targeted as a pass rushing specialist in a 4-3 scheme.

    He racked up 10 sacks this season while adding two interceptions, a fumble recovery and two defensive touchdowns as well. 

    Ingram looked great on the first day of practice, diagnosing plays quickly and using his power and quickness to establish himself as one of the top players in attendance this week.

    A good showing at the Senior Bowl will only further solidify Ingram's status as a solid first-round pick.

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