Senior Bowl 2011: Jake Locker and 10 Players with Highest Bust Potential
The 2011 Senior Bowl is underway and it marks one of three chances these seniors have to raise their stock prior to April's NFL draft.
Draft stock can change in the blink of an eye and these seniors will be competing hard throughout this week of practice all in an attempt to impress the scouts.
Some guys will shine and others will be exposed. With two days of practice in the books, here is a look at the 10 players in this year's Senior Bowl who have the highest bust potential.
Honorable Mention: Cameron Heyward
Cameron Heyward was forced to withdraw from the Senior Bowl after it was revealed that he suffered a hyperextended elbow in Ohio State's Sugar Bowl victory over Arkansas. He is expected to recover in 10-12 weeks.
Heyward really could have used this week in Mobile to solidify his stock as a first rounder after his 2010 season highlighted some inconsistencies in his game.
Couple his inconsistent play with injury concerns and that makes Cameron Heyward a prime bust candidate.
10. Mark Herzlich, LB Boston College
It's impossible not to root for Mark Herzlich. He battled cancer and is now battling to be drafted on one of the first days of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Unfortunately, Herzlich has lacked the closing speed necessary to be effective in the running game and he has really struggled in coverage.
He has a chance to right the ship, but for now the Boston College standout looks like a reach in either of the first two rounds.
9. Noel Devine, RB West Virginia
Noel Devine's stock was never sky high to begin with, but he was at least though of as a decent third down running back prospect.
However, after the weigh in at the 2011 Senior Bowl, even third-down back is a bit of a stretch.
Devin measured in at just 5'7'' tall and 160 pounds with eight and a half inch hands.
There's undersized and then there's Noel Devine.
8. Ricky Stanzi, QB Iowa
A lot of scouts are falling for Ricky Stanzi, but not me.
Stanzi has relied on short, underneath passing plays to show off his so called "accuracy" in the first few days of practice.
However, when he throws the ball deep he is far less accurate.
Stanzi was an inconsistent leader and passer throughout his Hawkeye career and I expect very little from him at the next level.
7. Demarco Murray, RB Oklahoma
Demarco Murray will impress a lot of people with his burst and his soft hands but he goes down on first contact far too often.
He has very skinny legs and does not take on tacklers aggressively making him a third-down running back at the very best.
Any team that selects Murray as an every-down running back will be disappointed.
6. Greg Jones, LB Michigan State
Greg Jones is another player who's stock suffered a hit on weigh-in day.
Jones measured in at under 6'0" tall making some question whether he has the size to play linebacker.
Size is not the only issue with Jones. Michigan State's defensive star has also been exposed in pass coverage early in the week which does not bode well for him being selected on day two.
5. Stephen Paea, DT Oregon State
Stephen Paea weighed in much lighter than expected at under 300 pounds. He may not have the size to play defensive tackle, but he also doesn't have the speed to play defensive end. Paea is going to need to bulk up in order to avoid becoming a disappointment.
4. Rodney Hudson, OG Florida State
Rodney Hudson has had a disappointing start to the week.
He measured in with very short arms at just 32 1/2 inches and he has looked out of shape in practice.
If Hudson can't show up for the Senior Bowl in shape and ready to play how can any team have faith in him?
3. Derek Sherrod, OT Mississippi State
The weigh-in went well for Derek Sherrod as he recorded the longest arms of anyone at the Senior Bowl.
However, practice has brought out some of the inconsistencies in Sherrod's technique.
He plays very high in his stance and was exposed by some of the more talented defenders in Mobile.
2. Nate Solder, OT Colorado
Nate Solder is in contention for being the best left tackle prospect in the 2011 NFL Draft, but he is not living up to the hype.
He has impressive height and feet but he does not have the athleticism or knee bend that makes him an elite tackle.
He has a chance to go up against the very best this week, but for now I am considering him a very risky prospect.
1. Jake Locker, QB Washington
Jake Locker is the biggest boom or bust prospect in this year's NFL draft.
On the one hand, Locker has incredible athleticism and arm strength on the other hand his accuracy and decision making has been spotty at best this season.
My biggest worry with Locker is that his confidence could be totally ruined by his disastrous senior season.
Confidence is such a critical attribute for a quarterback to succeed in the NFL.
The draft process will show whether or not Locker still has what it takes to be worthy of an early first-round selection.
Either way, the team that drafts Jake Locker is taking a significant risk.