Senior Bowl Risers and Fallers

Keet BaileyCorrespondent IIFebruary 2, 2010

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 7:  Taylor Mays #2 of the USC Trojans lines up against the Arizona State Sun Devils on November 7, 2009 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.  USC won 14-9.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
Jeff Golden/Getty Images



Jeremy Williams, WR, Tulane

Despite not having the ideal size and speed combination, Williams made the most of his Senior Bowl opportunity.

Starting with 1-on-1 drills on Tuesday’s first full pads practice, he showed his ability to get in and out of his cuts and separate from the defensive back. He also showed an excellent ability to come back for the ball, rather than letting it come right to him.

Following a solid week of practice, he caught six balls for 82 yards and had a 27-yard scamper on the ground.

Because he’s not extremely fast, he could slip into the third round. However, he’s a guy that could step into a team right away and get quality playing time.


Dexter McCluster, RB/WR, Ole Miss

Three carries for -1 yards in the Senior Bowl doesn’t keep me from thinking that McCluster helped his stock immensely this week. He showed more promise in the passing game than anything, pulling a nice double move on Javier Arenas and making a diving catch.

Also, on Tuesday, he had a great quick slant in which Arenas was burned. He caught three balls for 30 yards in the Senior Bowl and had a costly fumble, but the important thing is that he showed his versatility even more.

You can put him in the slot, in the backfield or returning kicks, and he’s going to produce. I think he’s going to be a hot commodity in the second round.


LaGarrette Blount, RB, Oregon

Blount has had a rough year following the Boise State game. After being suspended for most of the season, Blount came back strong in his last two games, despite getting limited carries and averaging around six yards a carry with a pair of touchdowns.

This week, he showed good vision in practice. That continued in the game with a 14-yard touchdown that he bounced to the outside.

Blount’s character issues may push him down to the third or fourth round, but he could be a steal. Coming in at 245 pounds, he also seemed to be in great shape.


Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan

While I don’t see LeFevour as a second-round pick like Corey Chavous, I think he did move up a round, possibly fourth, in the draft.

LeFevour really did all he could to make a smooth transition to playing under center. He ran a shotgun spread offense for four years at Central Michigan.

He made several nice throws in 7-on-7 drills, a couple in which he squeezed in between defenders.

He’s always been able to make plays on his feet, while also throwing on the run. That may make a team covet him a bit more to put him in the bottom of the third round, but most likely middle of the fourth.



Brandon Graham, DE/OLB, Michigan

Graham just had a great week and really showed scouts that he wants to be a top 15 draft pick. Despite a lack of ideal size, he embarrassed some of the offensive tackles this week.

He showed a great display of power and finesse, which threw the tackles off. He just adjusted to the blockers very well and knew what moves he needed to put on to get to the QB.

He had two sacks and a forced fumble in the North defense's dominance of the Senior Bowl. Graham may have pushed his way into the top 20 after this performance.


Dan Williams, DT, Tennessee

Other than Graham, I can’t think of another defensive lineman who helped himself more.

Williams proved doubters wrong about him gaining those 15-20 pounds this season. He played a great Senior Bowl, following an effective week.

In double-team drills, he did a great job of holding the point of attack and also showed that he can be both a 1 or 2 gap player, making him more versatile.

Right now, he looks like he could be a dominant NT in either a 3-4 or a 4-3. He’s a top 20 pick in this draft.


Kyle Wilson, CB, Boise State

What we knew about Wilson was that he was fast. However, he showed an excellent ability to break on the ball and also get physical at the line.

His best trait is his breakaway speed. He baits quarterbacks to throw it his way, so that he can jump in for a deflection, if not a pick.

He’s very versatile. He can play safety and corner, and he was great in one-on-ones this week. He also has a lot of value as a kick returner for teams and may have pushed himself into the first round.


Sean Weatherspoon, LB, Missouri

Weatherspoon is a guy that’s very underrated. Many people have him as a first-round pick (albeit a late one), but don’t really know why. The reason why is because he’s a phenomenal athlete who can do it all.

He’s a defensive leader and very vocal. That’s another great trait. One of the best things about Weatherspoon is his ability to cover as a linebacker.

The Senior Bowl showed that he also has an uncanny ability to read and react, much like his defensive teammate Daryl Washington, who also excelled for the North defense. Weatherspoon should be a lock for the first round.


Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State

I really liked what I saw out of Odrick. Being a Big Ten follower, I’ve enjoyed watching Odrick for the last couple of seasons, and he just seems to be getting better.

He’s a great space eater because he’s very strong. He showed that in the double team drills as well as in the game for the North defense.

He was a big reason that the North defense held the talented South running backs to just 30 yards on the ground.

There’s no reason why Odrick would slip out of the first round in any other draft. However, he could make it to the early second because of the depth of DT and among talent in general in this 2010 NFL Draft.  


Daryl Washington, LB, TCU

Daryl Washington may be the linebacker who’s going to rise the highest. In the NFL today, you have to be able to excel in coverage being that we’re evolving into a passing football league, and Washington may be the best cover linebacker in the entire draft.

Washington’s worries were that he didn’t get off blocks and may not be physical enough due to his size, but he showed nothing but physicality, even making a great tackle off of a nice coverage sack on Tebow.

Washington may be able to slip into the first round, assuming he’ll have a good combine; however, size may be of a bit of a concern for some teams.




Tim Tebow, QB, Florida

Tebow struggled in practice his first day: fumbling snaps and really struggling to get the hang of being underneath a center. In no pressure throwing drills, he struggled to have accuracy when putting zip on the ball.

His most accurate passes were lobs going for 15-20 yards. In a few 7-on-7 drills, he had a couple tipped balls that appeared to be nowhere near the wide receivers.

He’s got a slow throwing motion and bad footwork and is really struggling in three- and five-step drops. His touch is another aspect of his game he needs to improve to become a quality quarterback at the next level.

He really needs a good amount of work to really prove that he deserves to be higher than a third-round draft grade.


Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati

Pike is a guy that I’ve never been high on. I honestly see him as a Derek Anderson-like player, who was bailed out by solid offensive talent and playing mediocre or worse defenses.

Pike has a decent arm but lacks the touch you need as a QB in the NFL. His footwork is very poor, and he’s another shotgun/spread offense quarterback that seemed to struggle a lot under center just like Tim Tebow—unlike his counterpart, Dan LeFevour.

Pike should be a fifth-round pick, as a developmental guy, with a fourth-round ceiling.


Mike Iupati, OG, Idaho

After Mike Mayock hyped Iupati up as a guy who can play all five offensive line positions, he sure disappointed. Excelling in the run game, Iupati really showed his weakness in the passing game, while playing RG lined up against Geno Atkins.

On one drive, he should have been called for blatant holds twice. Atkins got the best of him almost every passing play, and he just embarrassed Iupati. However, Iupati played pretty well at offensive tackle, which is confusing because his calling seems to be offensive guard.

I think he’s still a first-round draft pick. He is a versatile guy with long arms who excels in the run game, but if he plays like he did Saturday in the NFL, he could bust easily.


Taylor Price, WR, Ohio

Price just did not have a good week, overall. He was consistently getting jammed at the line of scrimmage, rounded off his routes and dropped a few balls.

Despite having a few balls thrown at him, he had one catch for eight yards in the Senior Bowl and really struggled with getting separation from corners.

Lacking top-end speed, he really needed to display soft hands and crisp route running, and he failed to do that. He’s still a guy that could go fringe fourth round.



Taylor Mays, S, USC

Let it be known that I’ve never been a Mays fan. For two seasons, I’ve had people try to convince me how great of a player he is. I just don’t see it.

This week didn’t help his cause. Tuesday’s practice was just ugly for him. He won’t be playing corner, so it may be unfair to rate his man coverage. However, he grabs all over players when he knows he’s been beaten, and he struggles to turn back for the ball.

Watching the game, I saw no improvement on wrap up tackling. He had Bell for a six yard gain, and instead, he just put a shoulder into him, allowing Bell to stay on his feet to pick up five more yards.

He had a great interception, but that one play doesn’t make up for all of his faults during the week.

I think a team is going to grab him in the first simply because he’ll most likely have a great combine. I think he could easily slip into the second round with guys like Earl Thomas evolving as true play making safeties.  


Javier Arenas, CB, Alabama

Arenas already is a shorter cornerback at 5’8", so he’s already going to shoot down the boards. However, he’s always made up for it in speed.

In practices, he just could not cover speed receivers and got in trouble a couple times trying to sit on a WR’s route.

He did poorly trying to break on the ball. While he made a few nice tackles and showed a lot of heart, he just doesn’t look like a guy that can make a significant impact in the NFL.

I’m saying he ends up a fifth or sixth rounder, with a potential bright future as a special teamer.


Brandon Lang, DE/OLB, Troy

One of the most disappointing players for me this week was Lang. I was a fan of his for the last couple seasons. He showed poor burst and only seems to have one move when pass rushing.

He seemed to really struggle against stronger offensive lineman and had trouble adjusting to the quicker offensive tackles.

Lang could be a good later round project for a team, in the mold of Larry English, who got significant playing time this season with San Diego.


Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama

The biggest problem with Cody is the weight he came in at. Showing up to the Senior Bowl at 370 pounds really raised some eyebrows, and not in a good way.

Being overweight limits the snaps he’ll get in the NFL, making him less likely to be taken in the first round.

Character issues because of potential laziness will be on the back of the scouts’ minds. Cody slips to the middle of the second round, despite being a great run stuffer.


Trevard Lindley, CB, Kentucky

Lindley was one of my personal disappointments. I really thought he’d come in and show that he can be up there with guys like Kyle Wilson and Perrish Cox.

Instead, Lindley failed to be physical at the line, didn’t look back for the ball and at times, gave way too big a cushion for receivers. He got exposed in 1-on-1 drills and a few times in 7-on-7’s.

For a guy that’s as physical as he is, I was surprised to see a lack of push at the line. He’s going to need to have a great combine to get back into the bottom of the second round.


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