The Senior Bowl 2013 is underway and it is clear that there are five players who are really standing out from the pack.
These are the most impressive players so far, the ones who have played great in practice and have gotten noticed by NFL decision makers.
Who are these five players? Read on to find out.
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Eric Fisher is one of the best offensive tackle prospects in the draft and he's done nothing to change that perception at the Senior Bowl.
He's shown first-round talent and is the best offensive tackle here. Matt Bowen of National Football Post was effusive in his praise:
It is easy to see the skill set the LT brings to the field. Fisher has great flexibility, power in his base and is strong on the initial punch. The Central Michigan product stands out in One-on-One drills and plays with technique. That sells in Mobile when you can consistently win matchups in front of the entire league. There is no question Fisher carries a first round grade and I would bet he is climbing up some draft boards.
Fisher is a first-round pick, but with his top performance, he could skyrocket his way into the top-10 of the round.
John Jenkins, DT, Georgia
John Jenkins is a big defensive tackle prospect, but he's showing at the Senior Bowl that he's quick, too.
The 6'4", 359-pound defensive tackle shows surprising quickness and he combines it with a lot of power for great results. As Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports noted:
As you would expect from a man his size, Jenkins' bull-rush is superlative, but where he stands out, and where he reminds me of current Kansas City Chiefs and former Memphis lineman Dontari Poe, is in his ability to get around blockers in multiple gaps with more than just pure weight. He knifed through several double teams, and took Chadron State's Garrett Gilkey out of the picture on more than one play. Shading between center and guard, Jenkins almost demands that double team, though there are times when he loses leverage and can get pushed back by single blockers. However, when he shows off a surprising spin move and gets mobile, there are few linemen who can hold him back. One thing I really like about Jenkins is that he never stops trying to beat blocks -- if you do stand him up, he'll hand-fight or try to loop around the block. Any team that plays a 3-4/4-2-5 hybrid set of schemes would enjoy having him on its roster.
Jenkins has a lot of versatility and could play all along the defensive line. His speed and power is going to shoot him up draft boards.
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Ryan Nassib has been rocketing up draft boards in recent weeks and his performance at the Senior Bowl has done nothing to stop that.
As B/R's very own Matt Miller notes, Nassib has been playing well ahead of the other quarterbacks:
Nassib has much better control of the football than his counterparts, showing better touch on underneath throws and great zip on every pass. Standing on the sidelines with Nassib throwing right at me, I was able to see great spin on passes headed to the boundary on 15-yard out patterns. There's no unnecessary air on his passes, and definitely no flutter from a weak arm.
Nassib met with the Philadelphia Eagles, who hold the fourth-overall pick in the draft. His performance in the Senior Bowl could make that selection a reality.
Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
Quinton Patton is creating quite the buzz at the Senior Bowl. According to B/R's very own Matt Miller, Patton is moving up the draft board:
Patton was on fire in the Tuesday afternoon session, showing off great speed and better hips than I expected. He was executing a nice double-move, showing quick cuts and the feet to fake out cornerbacks who jump his mid-routes. Patton got behind Robert Alford on one such route and left the Southeast Louisiana corner in his tracks.
Patton had a huge year for Louisiana Tech, catching 104 passes for 1,392 and 13 touchdowns.
His great Senior Bowl performance will push him up draft boards and he could even sneak into the first round.
Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State
Leon McFadden is not a household name, but he's making quite the splash at the Senior Bowl.
The 5'10", 193-pound cornerback is a bit undersized, but he makes up for it with strong instincts. According to MLive.com, McFadden has been making plays all over the field:
San Diego State's Leon McFadden impressed in coverage today. McFadden is one of the shorter corners on the South roster, a shade under 5-foot-10, but he has a strong build at 193 pounds. He got his hands on several passes, including a spectacular one-handed interception where he stepped in front of an out route intended for Georgia wide receiver Tavarres King.
McFaden has been impressing NFL decision makers with his strong play. Lions coach Jim Schwartz said that:
“It was a nice play early on in the first practice,” Schwartz said. “He's got good size. He's put his hands on some balls. He's played man (coverage) as well as zone pretty well. He's done a nice job. It's early in the week, but he's represented himself very well. He's an interesting guy.”
If McFadden can keep up this fine play, he will shoot up draft boards and could be taken in the second round.