In life, the impression that you make the first time you meet someone can be forever lasting. As the old saying goes, you only have one chance to make a good first impression.
But in sports, it is that last impression that many people will hold on to and pick apart until another impression can be produced. (Just ask Brett Favre, he can’t finish on a good note if his life depended on it.)
For many of the seniors willing to participate in the 2010 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, this is their last chance to change or confirm the minds of the several NFL scouts and experts across the nation in regards to their abilities to play at the next level.
Unfortunately, not every player has been able to end their college career on a high note.
Several of the players taking the field under the leadership of these NFL coaching staffs have stumble immensely and in turn causing their NFL Draft Day stocks to tumble.
Whether these players failed to play well in the Senior Bowl due to fear of being injured or struggled because they just could not live up to the massive amounts of hype that surround them, these meager final impressions during their last few downs in full speed football will be meticulously dissected and used against them once April 22nd comes around.
Here are my Top 2010 Senior Bowl Busts:
Tim Tebow had been the talk of the town the entire week leading up to the 2010 Senior Bowl but despite his efforts, failed to silence any of the questions about his potential success (or lack thereof) in the NFL.
Tebow fumbled the ball twice (losing the ball once) and even though the coaches called shotgun formations to play to his strengths, he appeared to struggle most of the day.
His sub-par arm strength was evident and was seen double clutching the ball too many times.
Tebow finished the day completing eight of his twelve passes for 80 yards, but with most completions coming on screen plays.
Mike Iupati came into the 2010 Senior Bowl ranked as the second best player at his position according to Scouts, Inc's rankings.
Throughout most of the game, Mike appeared to labor with the speedy linemen of the South, forcing him to hold onto jerseys in order to keep them from reaching his quarterback. Several holds were not called but were quite visible.
He also gave up a huge sack deep in the opponents zone in the closing seconds of the first half.
If Iupati can't handle the quickness of these players, it is hard to believe that he will be able to keep up at an NFL pace.
Ranked as the 55th overall player in this year's NFL Draft by Scouts, Inc., Eric Norwood did little to impress in Mobile, Alabama.
On a touchdown play that eventually was called back for holding, Norwood got caught missing his assignment and was forced to try and play catch up with his man, who caught a perfect pass for a touchdown.
Karma would come back and get him though. On a goal line play where it appeared North quarterback Sean Canfield (Oregon State) was stopped at the line, Norwood was caught slowing up before the whistle was blown and instead of finishing the play and stopping Canfield, he allowed him to sneak his way around the pile and into the endzone.
Tony Pike, thought by many to be one of the top five quarterbacks in this year's draft, looked like one of them in the North's opening drive.
After starting the game five-for-seven and 44 yards, Tony seemed to be adding to his NFL Draft stock with each passing play called. But when the South started to get more pressure on Pike, things started to head down hill.
Looking quite rattled by pressure in a game where blitzing was not allowed, Pike would miss his next five passes and finished the day on a rather low note,
WIth many scouts and experts unsure about where Dexter McCluster can fit into their system due to his size (5'7"), his performance in this year's Senior Bowl did little to provide these onlookers with a solidified answer.
On the up side, Dexter caught three passes for 30 yards, with all three coming on little dump passes in the flats.
However, when McCluster was handed off the ball in the backfield, he had trouble breaking any tackles and pushing through the line of scrimmage. His three carries for negative one yard should raise concerns on what he can do as an NFL running back.
Also, one lost fumble has to make some wonder if he could have issues protecting the ball.
Trevard Lindley enters the NFL Draft as the 10th best cornerback but after getting burned on back to back plays by the North's Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan), teams may drop him down a few spots.
On the first of the two plays, Lindley was caught with his hips turned the wrong way, leaving Jacoby Ford (Clemson) practically uncovered, allowing him to easily catch a ball coming out of a curl rout. Luckily for Lindley, Ford was called with an illegal hands to the face penalty, calling the play back.
On the very next play, LeFevour connected with Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati) on a 43 yard pass. Lindley had good position on the play but failed to turn his head to look for the pass, allowing Gilyard to adjust around him and make the grab.
Little things like this can definitely harm the resume that Lindley worked four hard years to put together.