Let’s get right down to business. Some fast facts on the 2012 Senior Bowl players that were very interesting to me and I’m sure you will say the same thing.
The 2012 Senior Bowl rosters include 20 All-America selections and countless All-Conference selections. It is expected that 80 percent of the attendees with get selected in the 2012 NFL draft and the other 20 percent will sign contracts.
Keep in mind the 2011 Senior Bowl class had two top-10 picks in quarterback Jake Locker (Tennessee Titans) and linebacker Von Miller (Denver Broncos). This prestigious bowl game in its 63rd season, has had top-10 picks in 15 straight years and several double-digit first rounders for seven consecutive years and 2012 should continue the streak.
This Senior Bowl has 250 media members that have approved credentials for the practice sessions, in which many of those will cover the game as well.
Below are some of the prospects that caught my eye during the practices sessions.
DE Quinton Coples – North Carolina: Extremely good athletic skill set with size and length. Very good initial quickness, change of direction with natural pass-rush skills. Stacked point of attack with use of hands to attack offensive linemen breast plate with pull and jerk shed and burst to the ball.
DT Brandon Thompson – Clemson: Good first step quickness. Disruptive inside presence with ability to defeat double team. Good football instincts to read blocking schemes on the move. Strong use of hands with explosion and power, which is a great combination.
DE Courtney Upshaw – Alabama: Power player with very good football instincts. Good initial quickness and despite short arms with powerful use of hands to create separation with lateral quickness outside the box.
WR Juron Criner – Arizona: Tall receiver with smooth stride and route-running skills and the ability to catch the ball outside his frame.
WR Jeff Fuller – Texas A&M: A great combination of height and length. A long strider with deceptive speed creates separation in route with soft hands and ability to make the big catch at the highest point to play above the defender.
OT Zebrie Sanders – Florida State: Good size with long arms. Good feet to slide and remain frontal of defender, battles to finish vs. edge players.
T/G Cordy Glenn – Georgia: Versatile lineman with athletic ability, feet and very good size and length. Has explosive use of hands, can steer and drive defender. Very good strength and power in play. Upside for the next level is huge.
LB Zach Brown – North Carolina: Aggressive with nose for the football, instincts are good. A collision player with strike and shed and finish to run to the ball.
QB Nick Foles – Arizona: Quarterback with height and athletic skill set along with attributes for the position. Right handed quarterback with very good passing mechanics and spins a tight spiral consistently with effortless motion. Strong arm with deep ball accuracy and touch.
WR Joe Adams – Arkansas: A sandlot, gym rat receiver that doesn’t mind getting dirty diving for balls. Very good initial quickness to create separation from defender vs. bump and press. Very good route-running skills to set up defender with burst and acceleration. Soft hands to catch everything thrown in his area. Very talented receiver and return skills based off film are off the charts.
QB Brandon Weeden – Oklahoma State: Right-handed quarterback that has a gunslinger mentality. Can make all the throws and is a quarterback that works to squeeze it into a tight window with success.
CB Bradon Boykin – Georgia: Has all the skill sets for the next level. Smooth in peddle, can flip his hips and burst to close on ball and receiver.
CB Janoris Jenkins – North Alabama: Very good bump and press technique with use of hands to steer and redirect receiver off his stem. Despite his height, this player is explosive and aggressive. Once all the tall corners are gone, this will be the first one off the board, but if teams do their homework, he is a baller and it won’t matter because he plays bigger then measured.
LB Lavonte David – Nebraska: Lacks the ideal size for the position. Good athlete with power, strength and strong use of hands. Good awareness and coverage ability with burst and acceleration to ball and receiver in space.
QB Kellen Moore – Boise State: His frame and physique is a total turn-off; he must have walked by the weight room every year at Boise State because he lacks bulk. Left-handed quarterback with soft stroke and adequate arm strength. Good awareness and field vision.
QB Russell Wilson – Wisconsin: Lacks the height for the position, but that is the only negative. Spins a tight spiral with very good field vision. Patience in the pocket. Reads coverages very well, to find open receiver at second and third levels. When it’s all said and done, this quarterback might be the best at the 2012 Senior Bowl. Play-maker!
RB Chris Polk – Washington: Thick frame power runner. Soft hands and natural receiving skills for the next level. Will need to fine tune blocking, but aggressiveness and toughness is all in place. Speed is not an issue, is fast enough.
RB Isaiah Pead – Cincinnati: Broke all of Archie Griffin’s high school rushing records. A change of pace running back with very good burst and acceleration. Blocking will be an issue because of size.
C Mike Brewster – Ohio State : Very good size, athletic ability with length and strong use of hands. Good finish to steer and drive defenders consistently.
LB James-Michael Johnson – Nevada: Strong at point of attack. Disruptive and extremely aggressive in 9-on-7 drills and team. Fun to watch and has very good size for the position.
OL Kevin Zeitler – Wisconsin: Tough and aggressive lineman. Is not the best athlete of the bunch, but he has that over-achiever attitude with skill set to develop at the next level. I like this young man.
T Kelechi Osemele – Iowa State: Great size and length with good athletic ability. A very intriguing football player; I need to really study tape on this player. Upside for the next level is huge.
DL Alameda Ta’Amu – Washington: Huge frame, interior defensive lineman to take up a lot of space. Needs more use of hands to create separation from blocker, not because of lack of strength, but not technique sound at this time. Like what he brings to the table.
T Mike Adams – Ohio State: Big man with length, soft feet to slide and remain frontal. He doesn’t let his height of 6-7 limit his movement laterally or his ability to redirect. Good movement to second level, but is slow to gather and strike linebackers on the move.
DE Jack Crawford – Penn State: Former basketball player still learning the position. Raw with very good athletic skill set and attributes for the next level. Very good initial quickness out of stance and natural pass-rush skills. Need to see more film.
TE Michael Egnew – Missouri: Showed he can get in a three-point stance. Good blocker with toughness at point of attack, got narrow based and fell off blocks but that is a technique issue. Soft hands and good route-running ability.
WR Marvin Jones – California: Very good height and length. Good route-runner with soft hands. Good suddenness and burst to create separation. Need to see more tape on this player.
DT Kendall Reyes – Connecticut: Good size, quickness and is explosive football player. Has good feet and change of direction with burst to ball carrier.
Meal of the day; Dreamland Bar-B-Que