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Senior Bowl 2013: Players Who Need to Have a Big Game to Improve Draft Stock

NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 27:  Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on October 27, 2012 in Norman, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2013

The entire week of the Senior Bowl is a great time for prospects to stand out for NFL scouts. However, there are some who need an impressive performance in the game itself.

While practices are nice to show off work ethic as well as performances in one-on-one drills, the final event will give NFL teams a better idea of what players can do when it matters the most.

Regardless of what these players did during the week, they can really help their draft stocks by having a big day in the all-star game.

 

Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma

Landry Jones has everything scouts look for in a quarterback. He has a strong arm, good accuracy and the size necessary to succeed at the next level.

However, the biggest knock on him throughout his career has been his decision-making ability. While there are a lot of drills in practices, it is still tough to prove this skill until he gets to a game. 

When Jones gets into the game on Saturday, he will need to prove that he can put together successful drives without making costly errors. Most importantly, he must take care of the football and avoid turnovers.

While one game will not erase an entire college career, a poor performance could drop him further down draft boards.

 

Denard Robinson, WR, Michigan

Unlike other players at this event, Denard Robinson has the challenge of playing at a different position from the rest of his college career.

The Michigan player was a quarterback for the last four years, but he is now trying to show that he can be a receiver in the NFL.

In practices, he struggled at times with his route-running and has not had the best hands. However, he is still a playmaker and has the ability to score from anywhere on the field.

Robinson must hope the coaching staff works to get him the ball in different ways so he has the chance to show what he can do. A couple of screen passes turned into big gains can go a long way toward helping his profile.

 

Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers

Linebackers do not get much of a chance to show what they can do during practices. With minimal contact, it takes away most of what players at that position do best.

Khaseem Greene is one of the best linebacker prospects in this game with his speed to cover a lot of ground. However, the former safety needs to show that he can tackle well enough to be as effective in the NFL.

If he struggles in this game and misses a few tackles, it will severely hurt his stock. On the other hand, he can move his way toward the first round of the draft if he shows he can overcome his size and be a well-rounded player. 

 

Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

Like linebackers, it is hard to get a read on running backs during practices. Without hitting, speedy players like Kenjon Barner have impressed scouts over hard-hitters like Stepfan Taylor.

The Stanford running back is one of the strongest players in the draft and spent his entire career breaking tackles. He has the ability to turn small gains into big plays regardless of how much space his offensive line gives him.

In the Senior Bowl, Taylor will want to show his strength as both a runner and a pass-blocker. 

Although he does not have elite speed, the things he can show during a game will certainly impress NFL front offices much more than anything he did during a week of practice. 

 

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