Senior Bowl 2012: 5 Players Who Will Stand Out
With names like Kellen Moore and Brandon Weeden on the roster, the 2012 Senior Bowl offers plenty of talented players for future NFL scouts to observe.
However, the biggest names are not always the ones who perform the best in these games. There are a number of other factors (momentum, skill set, individual matchups) that will determine which players shine this weekend.
Here are the five players that are primed for the biggest performances on Saturday's Senior Bowl.
Doug Martin, Boise State Broncos
Doug Martin didn't get the attention he deserved while playing for the Boise State Broncos, mostly because he was playing alongside Kellen Moore and partly because he was playing at Boise State.
However, Martin is a very talented tailback. He rushed for 1,260 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2010, and was even better this season with 1,299 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Martin is on a roll after rushing for 151 yards in the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas, and he will continue that success in the 2012 Senior Bowl.
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin Badgers
Despite having to adjust to a new team, new coach, and new offense this season, Russell Wilson built off his second-team All-ACC performance in 2010 with the North Carolina State Wolfpack to make first-team All-Big 10 in 2011.
He led the Wisconsin Badgers to a Big 10 Championship and Rose Bowl berth, while throwing for 3,175 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also finished ninth in the Heisman voting.
With his athleticism and the way he's been playing of late (he's only thrown one interception since October 22), Russell Wilson will stand out among the quarterbacks in the Senior Bowl.
Courtney Upshaw, Alabama Crimson Tide
Courtney Upshaw has made the transition to defensive end in preparation for where he believes he'll be playing in the NFL, and apparently it hasn't slowed him down at all. He has been one of the most dominant defensive players at Senior Bowl practices according to one scout.
Upshaw was top 20 in the nation with nine and a half sacks this season, and he also showed his athleticism intercepting a pass against the Florida Gators.
Upshaw is one of the most ferocious defensive players playing in this game, and he will likely come up with a big play at some point.
Quinton Coples, North Carolina Tar Heels
Quinton Coples is projected by most to be a first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and apparently he's living up to that hype at the Senior Bowl. According to ESPN's Kevin Weidl, Coples has been unstoppable in this week's practices, and looks like the best player on the South roster.
With his immense talent and the way he's been playing in the game's preparations, Coples is set to have a big game on Saturday. He will likely get to Kirk Cousins, Kellen Moore, and/or Russell Wilson a few times.
DeVier Posey, Ohio State Buckeyes
After losing much of his senior season to his suspension, DeVier Posey's draft stock subsequently took a dip throughout the year.
However, Posey played well in the little time he had with the Ohio State Buckeyes, reeling in two touchdowns and 162 receiving yards in the final three games.
With that momentum and his stock needing a boost, Posey is primed for a big week. He will make a big play, perhaps bring in a touchdown, at some point in the 2012 Senior Bowl.