Senior Bowl 2012: 5 Prospects You Must Watch During the Game

Jon Dove@!/Jon_Dove42Contributor IJanuary 28, 2012

Senior Bowl 2012: 5 Prospects You Must Watch During the Game

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    The 2012 Senior Bowl boasts several high-level prospects and some that may even come off the board in the top 10. A few prospects utilized this week of practice to impress scouts and solidify their draft stock. While a lot of players helped themselves, only a few really stood out and separated themselves from the rest of the prospects.

    This group of players are sure to take the field today and provide some explosive plays. If you want to see some top-level play, it's important to keep an eye on the following list of players.

Quinton Coples, Defensive End, South Squad

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    North Carolina's Quinton Coples entered the Senior Bowl with a bit of a declining stock. Evaluators were starting the question his effort and ability to make a major impact. However, he took full advantage of this opportunity and showed that he can be an elite player at the next level.

    Coples combines excellent size, length and quickness, which allows him to generate pressure off the edge. His wide array of pass-rush moves will make him a nightmare to block in today's game. There's a real possibility that he can leave the Senior Bowl getting some top five discussion.

    One key to watch during today's game will be Coples' effort and motor. This is the biggest knock on his game, and if problems arise today, it could really hurt his stock.

Zach Brown, Linebacker, South Squad

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    North Carolina has a few prospects in today's game, and Zach Brown is one of the more talented players who will take the field. This game will offer him an opportunity to show off his elite athleticism and quickness. Expect to see Brown making plays from sideline to sideline and delivering punishing hits.

    Brown is a well-rounded linebacker capable of supporting the run and dropping back in coverage. He will absolutely jump out and appear to be one of the more explosive players on the field. His short-area burst will be apparent when he closes on the ball-carrier and breaks on the football in pass coverage.

    Don't be surprised if Brown leads both teams in tackles.

Courtney Upshaw, Linebacker, South Squad

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    Alabama's Courtney Upshaw is one my favorite players in this draft and has the potential to develop into an All-Pro. His combination of size, strength and quickness makes him a very dangerous and well-rounded player. During today's game, you'll see Upshaw bring pressure off the edge and provide excellent run support.

    Keep an eye on the way he utilizes his hands to control the blocker and work his way to the football. Also, watch how explodes off the line, attacks the edge and delivers a jolt to the lineman. I see no reason why Upshaw can't work his way into becoming a top-10 selection.

Doug Martin, Running Back, North Squad

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    Boise State's Doug Martin didn't receive the type of national attention that other running backs in this class did throughout the year. However, his combination of power and quickness makes him one of the better all-around backs in this draft class. Today, we all will get an opportunity to see the type of potential that Martin boasts.

    Watch how quickly he reaches the line of scrimmage and works his way through the hole. It's this quickness that allows him to reach the second level and pick up big chunks of yardage. Also, keep an eye on the way he keeps his pad level low and finishes off the run. Don't let his size fool you, he is a very powerful runner capable of working in between the tackles.

Mike Adams, Offensive Tackle, North Squad

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    Ohio State's Mike Adams really has an opportunity today to help his draft stock. He will be facing potential top-10 pass rushers like North Carolina's Quinton Coples and Alabama's Courtney Upshaw. The way he handles the top-level prospects will go a long way in determining when he comes off the board.

    If he struggles today, many evaluators will move forward seeing him as a right tackle only. However, if he's able to hold his own, Adams could find himself making a push towards the top 10. The pass-heavy NFL puts great value in an offensive tackle's ability to protect the passer.

    There will not be better one-on-one matchups in today's game than the one's that will feature Adams versus Coples, Upshaw and South Carolina's Melvin Ingram. Each of these pass-rushers boasts a wide array of moves that will surely test Adams' all-around pass-blocking ability.

Vinny Curry, Defensive End, North Squad

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    Marshall's Vinny Curry utilized his opportunity at the Senior Bowl to show off his pass-rush ability. He might be the most well-rounded pass rusher in today's game. He doesn't boast elite quickness, but he makes up for it with good technique and timing.

    Watch the way that he exploits the weakness of his opponent as he works his way to the quarterback. He will deploy a speed rush, bull rush and a wide array of countermoves. The opposing offensive lineman will be tested today as they attempt to stymie Curry's pass rush.