Senior Bowl 2010: 10 Players Who Improved or Hurt Their Draft Stock
Well, it was an eventful Senior Bowl, and there is much to take away from it for NFL scouts and GMs.
Tim Tebow did not get much of a chance to prove himself, but when he was in, it wasn't pretty. He definitely did not make teams excited about his potential. There were some people who thought he would go to Jacksonville in the first round, but they may be reconsidering.
There were several other high profile guys who made impressions—good or bad—and this slideshow will concentrate mainly on guys I figure the New York Giants were looking at.
Even if I'm wrong about who the Giants are looking at, I don't care. There were just some guys who flat out made plays, and others who made me drop them down a couple rounds.
So now that I'm done rambling, here they are.
Stock Down or Neutral: Terrence Cody—Alabama DT
The big fella in the middle had scouts murmuring when he hit the scales at 370 pounds, and his play was just as questionable.
Aside from a couple plays, he was really not in the action. He did make an impressive spin move out of a double-team to force a fumble, but he looked like an inflated balloon on the field.
It's hard to say his stock took a huge drop, but if he stays at that weight, it will.
If he is going to impress the NFL teams at the combine, he'd better lay off the donuts.
Stock Up: Dan Williams—Tennessee DT
Dan Williams outplayed Cody immensely. He was definitely the best defensive tackle on the field, in my opinion. He had a couple tipped balls, was constantly pushing the pocket, and made several plays in the run game.
Williams was someone who I had heard about, but had never seen play on TV. It was incredible. The announcers kept calling his name, and he kept giving them reasons to.
I would love to see the Giants trade down to like 18 or 19 and draft this guy, but taking him at No. 15 is not out of the question either.
Stock Way Down: Mike Iupati—Idaho OG
Holding penalties that were called and not called, taking away a touchdown, and constantly getting whupped by Dan Williams and Gene Atkins from Georgia.
It was not a good game for Mike Iupati. I loved him when I watched him in his bowl game, but he did not play well against top competition.
He'd better impress scouts at the combine if he wants to jump back to the first round.
Stock Way Up: Brandon Graham—Michigan OLB
Projected by some as one of the top three or four OLBs, if not the best, he certainly will don this honor after his week at the Senior Bowl.
Graham was flat out dominant against the top offensive tackles during practice, and there was a lot of buzz about him going into the game.
He did not disappoint. Going against guys like LSU's Ciron Black and Selvish Capers, they were no match for him in one-on-one situations.
He reminded myself and the announcers of LaMarr Woodley from Steelers, who is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.
He could be a defensive end in Perry Fewell's 4-3 scheme, as he is even better against the run, they say.
Stock Down: Tony Pike—Cincinnati QB
I didn't like how inconsistent Pike looked while in the game. He would make an excellent throw, but as soon as things didn't go well, he became erratic.
His size and arm strength are enough to get him at least a third-round pick, but he didn't show many NFL qualities in terms of making throws.
He did show an ability to move out of the pocket, and he had a good feel for the pass rush. He has good instincts, but he needs to be more consistent.
Stock Up: Mardy Gilyard—Cincinnati WR
Mardy Gilyard was incredibly active in the game, from returning kicks to continually catching the long ball from Dan Lefevour.
Gilyard was already considered one of the top pro prospects, but I would be surprised if he made it past the third round in the draft after his display in the game.
He showed an incredible ability to leap over guys and kept catching long balls despite being well-covered, including his touchdown catch.
He reminded me of Larry Fitzgerald, but he'll have a lot of work to do if he wants to keep that comparison going.
Stock Down: Tim Tebow—Florida QB
Well, here's the slide you were probably looking for. Tim Tebow had a bad week in practice, and Todd McShay considered him to be the fifth- or sixth-best QB at the Senior Bowl.
There were six QBs there.
It didn't change when the game ended. He still looked like the worst QB on the field, not to mention fumbling the snap twice during the game.
He kept missing wide open guys, and his release has not improved at all. I've always been skeptical of Tebow's ability to play in the NFL because his release is the slowest I've ever seen from a successful college player.
He takes practically a full second to get the ball out of his hands, which is something opposing corners will pounce on.
Walter Football projected Tebow to go No. 10 to Jacksonville. In my opinion, they would be moronic to take him there. He could be had in the second or even third round now.
Tebow needs to start from square one and relearn how to throw the ball. His instincts and athletic ability will allow him to find a spot in the Wildcat offense for now.
Stock Up: Taylor Mays—USC Safety
The biggest problem with Mays, according to scouts, is that he looks for the big hit before going after the ball. He also sometimes over-pursues and doesn't wrap up when tackling.
He erased some of those notions in the game. He made a great play reading QB Sean Canfield's eyes and intercepted a pass on the goal line. The interception prevented the North from getting a score, and also allowed the South to get a touchdown before halftime.
He also made a couple good plays coming up and stuffing the run. I was watching Mays throughout the game because he is a possibility for the Giants to take at No. 15.
Other than one occasion where he came up and tried to make a big hit and overran the running back and missed the tackle, he played pretty well.
He will have impressed Giants' brass.
Stock Down: Dexter McCluster—Ole Miss RB/WR
Dexter McCluster was used plentifully in the first half, but to no avail. His running ability has to be called into question after yesterday, not to mention his size.
The announcers admitted they were saying the same thing about Chris Johnson's size when he was at the Senior Bowl in 2008, but this can't be the same.
Johnson is 5'11'', 200 pounds, McCluster is 5'8'', 165 pounds. That is not an ideal playing weight for the NFL.
That being said, Tony Sparano thinks he can be well utilized in the NFL, especially in the Wildcat formation.
Teams will be wary of McCluster unless he blows people away with a fast 40 time.
Stock Up: LeGarrette Blount—Oregon RB
Blount was arguably the best RB in Saturday's game. He ended up with seven carries for 37 yards, which is a 5.1 clip. He also scored the game's first touchdown.
But the stats don't really tell the story. He was ridiculously hard to bring down, and ran with a chip on his shoulder.
He is the most powerful runner in this year's draft, if you ask me. He has a lot to prove to teams in the coming months due to his character issues, but he should make a fine player in the NFL.
Am I the only one drooling over his 6'2'', 245 pound frame/speed combination?
Others Who Played Well
Zac Robinson came in the game after Taylor Mays' interception and led a quick, impressive 82-yard touchdown drive, capping it off with a touchdown pass to Colin Peek. Numbers: 12-21, 176 yards, one touchdown.
Jeremy Williams out of Tulane also had a good game for the South, finishing with six catches for 82 yards. His route running impressed me the most, but he made a fantastic leaping catch in that 82-yard drive before halftime.
Lonyea Miller played behind Fresno State's monster RB Ryan Matthews, but he definitely got teams looking at him after his display in the game. He ended with nine carries for 44 yards.