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Senior Bowl 2011 Wrap Up

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Senior Bowl 2011 Wrap Up
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

The 2011 Senior Bowl has come and gone and players had a huge opportunity to impress NFL scouts and dynasty league fantasy football owners.  Some did just that, while others disappointed.

Here’s a look at some players who really helped themselves, and some who didn’t.

 

THUMBS UP

Leonard Hankerson, WR, MIA

Hankerson had a great week of practice and backed up the hype with a fantastic performance in Mobile. He finished the day with five catches, 100 yards and one touchdown.

He showed great adjustment ability coming back for a poorly thrown deep ball by Christian Ponder and precise route running ability on his 18 yard touchdown catch.

All in all, Hankerson could have very well moved himself up into the second round of the draft. His speed is going to be in question, but a good time at the combine is going to earn him some big time money.

Derrick Locke, RB, UK

The numbers don’t jump out at you (11 carries for 37 yards), but Locke showed he has some wiggle and elusiveness that could earn him a job as a third down back in the NFL. In dynasty leagues, he’s currently no more than a late round flier, but a good combine performance would put him on the radar.

Christian Ponder, QB, FSU

Ponder was the MVP of the Senior Bowl, throwing for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Don’t let the numbers fool you too much, though. He underthrew his first pass terribly, with Leonard Hankerson breaking off his “go” route to come back to catch the ball.

There are valid questions about his arm strength and his health, but Ponder showed he could grasp the cerebral part of a complicated offense in short time and showed good accuracy. He certainly helped himself over the week.

The comparisons to Chad Pennington are coming, right down to the arm trouble. At least he’ll have people interested now, though.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, NEV

Kaepernick had a bit of an up and down day. He threw for 53 yards, ran for nine more, and tossed one interception. The pick wasn’t really his fault and he otherwise showed great accuracy.

The combination of arm strength and athleticism just jumps out at you with Kaepernick. He went into Mobile as a guy trying to work his way into day two of the draft. He left with many thinking he’s going in the first.

Dynasty league owners should start reading up on Kaepernick and focusing on his combine numbers. He’s looking to me like a future second round rookie draft selection at this point.

Vincent Brown, WR, SDSU

Brown backed up a great week of practice with four catches for 43 yards in the Senior Bowl. There was certainly no other wide receiver who helped themselves more than Brown. He reminds many of a poor man’s DeSean Jackson. Dynasty owners would gladly take a chance on that.

Von Miller, DE/LB, Texas A&M

If you play in an IDP league, Miller is a guy you should take a good look at. He led the nation in sacks last year and looked like a man among boys in the game. He’s going to be a DE in a 4-3 or an outside LB in a 3-4. Regardless, he showed the athleticism and playmaking ability to play either spot and will likely be a top 10 pick in the draft.

If he goes to a good situation, he’s a second to third round pick in a rookie draft, depending on your scoring system. He looks that good right now.

 

THUMBS DOWN

Jake Locker, QB, UW

Sigh.

I thought Matt Leinart made a mistake several years ago when he went back to USC for his final season.  In the end, it cost him the chance at being the No. 1 pick, as he ended up going 10th to the Cardinals the next year. That nightmare is going to seem like a sweet dream to Locker at this point.

Locker was simply awful in the Senior Bowl. His first two series included two poorly thrown balls and two “three and outs” on offense.  He also had two fumbles on the day, while completing just six passes for 98 yards and rushing twice for -10 yards.

Locker’s chances of being drafted in the first round are slipping away. Many NFL pundits are giving him a third round grade after this week. He’s just not living up to the hype.

In the end, this is turning into a total disaster.

DeMarco Murray, RB, OKLA

I was really hoping to see good things from Murray. He ended the day with just two carries for -4 yards. The game dictated his team throwing more than running, but he lost out on a big opportunity.

At this point, he looks like a change of pace back who will likely go on day three of the NFL Draft.

Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia

We all know Devine is little, but he looked like a pinball out there in the game. He did score a touchdown, but had just eight yards on seven carries. He may actually go undrafted.

Roy Helu, Jr., RB, NEB

This upcoming draft isn’t looking good for running backs. I was hoping Helu would show something at the Senior Bowl, but he looked ordinary at best. His vision leaves a lot to be desired and he’s looking like a late round flier or undrafted free agent in the NFL and dynasty league drafts.

On to the combine!

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