Senior Bowl 2012: Highlighting the Game's Most Exciting Players

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2013

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 17:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines tries to split the tackles of Louis Trinca-Pasat #90 and Micah Hyde #18 of the Iowa Hawkeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Senior Bowl allows four-year college football players to showcase their talents and includes some of the NFL draft pool's most exhilarating athletes.

Many of the biggest game-breakers in college football have hit the field in Mobile, looking to add more highlights to their draft reels. Some players are well known in college football geekdom, while others will become NFL draft legends through their play starting this week.

Which players will likely take our breath away at the Senior Bowl? These three are the best bets.

Kenjon Barner (RB) – Oregon

Any offensive prospect coming out of Oregon is an interesting one, but Kenjon Barner may be the most fascinating.

He’s a small back at 5’9”, but he offers an imposing package of strength and speed for his size. The question is, is he built for running between the tackles in the NFL?

In addition, there’s the Oregon factor. Barner benefited from running in an offense that wears down its opposition through the no-huddle attack. As a result, Oregon runs more plays than most, and there are seemingly few slow-developing plays in the playbook.

In the Senior Bowl, a pro-style formation will be utilized and Barner will be called upon to pass block more often. Seeing how he adjusts early on will be key to his draft stock.

Denard Robinson (WR) - Michigan

One of the biggest game-breakers in recent college football history, Robinson’s highlight reel is full of athletic plays against Big Ten talent. The Senior Bowl is his first look against NFL talent.

We all know about his exploits as a dual-threat quarterback, but now he’ll take his skills to a more physical wide receiver position.

Whether he gets stoned in man coverage or not is something to watch for. If he shows deft quickness off the line and can make some plays in the slot, he may have a bigger future in the short term than currently projected.

Robbie Rouse (RB) – Fresno State

An unknown with a catchy name, Rouse has gotten dazzling early reviews out of Mobile.

He comes in as Fresno State’s leading rusher, with over 4,600 yards, and it’s easy to see why. The 5’6” running back can stop on a dime, blast upfield and run with determination in traffic.

As long as evaluators see him as a change-of-pace back, Rouse could be a game-changer at the next level. He showed poise and vision against the tougher competition he faced all year. In fact, that’s bigger than any highlight the scat-back will have this week.

Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter