The 2010 Tebow Bowl, otherwise known as the Senior Bowl, displayed a couple of Louisiana State Tigers that were essentially interviewing for higher draft picks in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Offensive tackle Ciron Black was the most notable Tiger on the field as he is projected to be one of the top offensive linemen in this year’s draft.
Black had a good showing in the Senior Bowl, demonstrating great run blocking ability, getting far down the field and blocking on the second and third levels consistently.
On a first quarter reverse sweep to the left side, Black pulled wide and led Tulane wide receiver Jeremy Williams 27 yards down the field for a huge gain, showing his speed and versatility.
Black consistently pushed defenders back on run plays in the Senior Bowl but his pass blocking was not to the level that he is capable of. While he did not allow any sacks, his footwork did look sloppy at times and he got away with a few holding penalties that went uncalled in the game but will not go unseen when scouts watch the game tapes.
Overall I think Ciron Black played well and neither hurt nor helped his draft status.
Another notable Tiger in the Senior Bowl was linebacker/safety Harry Coleman.
Coleman had a good showing in the game demonstrating versatility by playing both outside linebacker and safety.
The Bayou Bengal safety turned linebacker was consistently in on tackles showing the ability to hunt down the ball carrier.
On one particular play early in the game, Coleman lined up as an outside linebacker and displayed great speed as he tracked down a wide receiver on a quick pass to the sideline.
Coleman also showed some strong abilities in man coverage.
Projected to be a 5th round pick, Coleman’s ability to play linebacker, safety and special teams makes him a safe pick for any team. Solid Senior Bowl play, if coupled with a good showing at the combine, may jump Coleman up to the 4th , or maybe even late 3rd round.
There were quite a few notable non-Tigers playing in the Senior Bowl, but none more notable than Florida’s All-World quarterback Tim Tebow.
Tebow did not help his draft grade at all, going 3-6 for 23 yards.
Aside from his stats, Tebow simply did not look comfortable, a big change from his normal cool and collective stature.
He constantly double pumped on passes, which as we all know, will not work on the NFL level.
For a reference that Tiger fans can understand, Tebow looked very Jarrett Lee-like.
Oregon running back Legarrette Blount, well known for his knockout punch to Boise State’s Byron Hout, delivered a few knockout blows in the Senior Bowl. He showed great ability to run both inside and out as well as the strength to run through and over tacklers.
Blount definitely put himself back into the picture as one of the top running backs in this years draft.
On the defensive side of the ball, TCU linebacker Darrel Washington, USC Safety Taylor Mays and Florida State defensive backs Patrick Robinson and Myron Rolle all had great showings in the game.
Washington, probably the best pure linebacker in the draft, demonstrated his sure tackle ability with a beautiful open field tackle on Tim Tebow that would have normally been a big gain for the Florida quarterback.
Mays did not do anything spectacular, but did what he has been known to do. Mays is a ball hawk that always comes in and makes the big hit. Mays will need to show scouts that he can make the tackle as well as the knockout hit if he wants to improve his draft grade. Mays is a solid 1st round pick regardless.
The Florida State tandem of Robinson and Rolle played fantastic in Saturday’s game.
Robinson showed his abilities in both run and pass defense and definitely solidified his draft position as one of the top cornerbacks.
Rolle is a scout’s dream as he has both the physical and mental tools to be a dominant NFL corner. The Rhode scholar was on display for scouts for the first time in over a year and did not look like he had missed a day. Rolle showed both coverage skills and his toughness as he was consistently in the pile on run stops.
Overall, the Senior Bowl was what I expected. Players helping themselves the most in the game were Legarrette Blount and Darrel Washington. The player that hurt his draft status the most had to be Florida’s Tim Tebow. Look for Tebow to drop to the 3rd or maybe even 4th round.