I finally had the opportunity to watch the game tape of the Under Armour Senior Bowl, which took place on Jan. 30 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Several players stood out in the game that could have an impact in fantasy football leagues in the near future.
I will never claim to be an actual NFL scout, but these players listed below all had impressive performances against the country’s best senior NFL prospects. It would be foolish to base the future prospects of a player on his play in an all-star game, but the Senior Bowl is another tool for finding the players that will make an impact for your fantasy football team.
Jarrett Brown and Dan LeFevour, Quarterbacks
Both were the most impressive quarterbacks on the field. Brown showed impressive arm strength and the ability to move around in the pocket. He will need some time to learn the NFL game, but he reminded me of David Garrard. LeFevour looked like the most NFL-ready of the six Senior Bowl quarterbacks with his polished mechanics. He led the North team on two touchdown scoring drives in the second half, which sealed the win. LeFevour's touchdown throw to Mardy Gilyard erased any doubts about his arm strength.
Mardy Gilyard, Wide Receiver/Return-man
Gilyard made several big plays including a 43-yard reception and a 32-yard touchdown reception from Dan LeFevour. Gilyard looked great in the open field on his punt and kickoff returns. Despite his lack of size, Gilyard never gave defenders the chance to get a solid hit on him.
LeGarrette Blount and Lonyae Miller, Running Backs
The South team had little success running the ball, while the North team had several impressive performances. LeGarrette Blount and Lonyae Miller both improved their draft stock after being considered late-round fliers. Blount ran with determination and tried to prove he had matured following his suspension for most of the 2009 season. The comparisons between Blount and Brandon Jacobs will remain because of their running styles, but Blount reminded me more of T.J. Duckett than Jacobs.
Lonyae Miller took a backseat to Ryan Matthews for the Fresno State Bulldogs in 2009, but made the most of his opportunity at the Senior Bowl. Miller reminded me of Packers running back Ryan Grant with his hard running and surprising bursts through the line.
Sean Weatherspoon and Brandon Graham, Linebackers
Two players that will make an impact in IDP (Individual Defensive Player) leagues are linebackers Sean Weatherspoon and Brandon Graham. Weatherspoon had five tackles, but was most impressive in pass coverage. He broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Dexter McCluster and looked like a running back in the open field on his 57-yard interception in the fourth quarter.
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock compared Brandon Graham to LaMarr Woodley during the broadcast. That's high praise, but I have to agree with Mr. Mayock. Graham’s fantasy value will depend on if he is listed as a defensive end or a linebacker. Graham would be better suited in a 3-4 defensive scheme because of his size, and he could use his aggressiveness to give opposing quarterbacks nightmares.
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