May 122012

When: January 23rd-29th

Where: Mobile, Alabama

What: A sort of combination of an All-Star game and a mini combine that scouts use to grade senior draft prospects. 

Who: (List not finalized and will be updated as more prospects accept)   

QB Andy Dalton- TCU

Posted a 34-3 record with TCU over the last 3 years, including a 13-0 record this year. He’s a four year starter. He lacks the elite arm strength and comes out of a system that inflates stats, but his 61:19 TD:INT ratio over the last 3 years is very impressive. He’s also got solid mobility and solid size at 6-3 220, but looks like a mid round prospect at best.

QB Colin Kaepernick- Nevada

Nicknamed Cam Newton of the West joining Newton and Tim Tebow as the only QBs in the 20-20 club (20 passing TDs, 20 rushing TDs). He’s a four year starter with 142 total touchdowns (82 passing, 59 rushing, 1 receiving) in his career. He lacks the mechanics and the accuracy and doesn’t have Newton’s build, weighing in at about 220 at 6-6. He’s got solid arm strength and upside, but he is a system quarterback.

QB Jake Locker- Washington

Could have gone as high as #8 to Oakland last year, Locker decided to return to a team with a terrible supporting cast in 2010. His decision to return drew some questions about his commitment and competitiveness, not willing to challenge himself at the next level. His stats this year also hurt his stock as well. 4-20 for 71 yards against Nebraska, 7-14 for 64 yards against Stanford, 10-21 for 68 yards against UCLA, and 5-16 for 56 in a rematch with Nebraska stand out in a season where he overall completed 55% of his passes for 6.8 YPA, with 17 touchdowns and 9 picks. However, he is one of the few quarterbacks in this class to operate a true West Coast offense and his teammates deserve a lot of the blame. He’s a project, but he has upside and should still go in the first round. A strong performance against the best of the best this in the Senior Bowl will go a long way in assuring Locker goes in the first. He could go as high as #7 to San Francisco or #10 to Washington.

QB Greg McElroy- Alabama

Quarterbacked a very successful run first offense with Alabama for the last two years, including a national championship in 2009. He did exactly what you want out of a quarterback supported by that kind of defense and running game, not make mistakes, with only 9 picks in 2 years. He’s got a decent arm and solid mechanics out of a Pro Style offense, but looks to be a mid round backup type prospect at the moment.

QB Christian Ponder- Florida State

A 3 year starter with solid short accuracy, but not a strong arm. He’s got good mobility, but not breakway speed and won’t be able to switch positions. He doesn’t appear to have a good enough arm to be a starter in the NFL, but he’s a strong leader and can be a solid backup, at best a Ryan Fitzpatrick type starter. I expect him to go 4th round or later.

QB Ricky Stanzi- Iowa

An interesting sleeper, supported by a great supporting cast which did mask some of his flaws, but he’s got an NFL arm and experienced in a Pro Bowl offense. Only threw 6 picks all last year, 4 in his last 5 games, and, in my opinion, outplayed potential first round pick Blaine Gabbert in the Insight Bowl. This game could be the opportunity he needs to show himself as a potential day 2 prospect.

RB Anthony Allen- Georgia Tech

Played the fullback role in Georgia Tech’s run heavy offense, leading the way with 1316 yards on 240 carries and 7 scores. He also averaged 9.7 YPC in 2009 alongside Jonathan Dwyer. As with Dwyer last year, there are some concerns about the weird style offense Allen played in and how he will convert to the NFL. There are also some issues about his speed and 40 time. He’s not a true bruiser at 6-0 229, though he does have good size. He’ll need to run at least a low 4.6 to be considered as a day 2 prospect.

RB Charles Clay- Tulsa

Essentially plays the fullback role in Tulsa’s explosive offense, Clay is a great pass catcher with 189 catches for 2044 yards and 28 touchdowns in 4 years, he can also pick up the extra yard at 6-3 235. He has a role in the NFL and it may be as an H-Back.

RB Noel Devine- West Virginia

Much hyped out of high school, Devine rushed for  4317 yards and 29 touchdowns in 4 years at West Virginia, backing up Steve Slaton for a year before having two monster 1200+ yard years in 2008 and 2009 before struggling this year, a trend on this offense. He could run in the 4.3s and he has good hands, but at 170-175 pounds, he’d be one of the smallest guys in the league he might fall into day 3 as purely a gimmicky weapon type player and kick returner.

RB Roy Helu Jr.- Nebraska

He’ll need to post a good 40 time at 6-0 220 to be considered before the 5th round. He has decent size, but is projected to run in the 4.6s or even 4.7s. Rushed for 1000+ yards in back to back years, though he was very inconsistent this year. 307 of his 1245 yards came in one game, a very impressive performance against Missouri, but the clunker type performances are heard to ignore. He rushed for less than 60 yards in 6 of his 13 performances and only broke 100 4 times.

RB Kendall Hunter- Oklahoma State

One of the nation’s leading rushers with 1548 yards and 16 touchdowns, his weigh in could decide whether or not he is a day 2 prospect. He’s listed at 197, but could be anywhere from 188-202. There are very few lead backs (even Chris Johnson) who weigh less than 200 pounds. He doesn’t break a lot of tackles and doesn’t have elite breakaway speed or a good 40 time. He also had a 1500+ yard season in 2008 before getting benched in 2009.

RB Derrick Locke- Kentucky

Though undersized, Locke has good speed and explosion and burst at 5-9 190. He doesn’t have the size to be a lead back, but with 1793 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns on 361 carries in the last 2 seasons combined, he runs well and he also is a good pass catcher. He should be drafted late as a complimentary back.

RB DeMarco Murray- Oklahoma

Murray split carries with Chris Brown in 2008 on the Oklahoma team that made the National Championship game, rushing for 1002 yards and 14 scores on 179 carries, but struggled mightily as the lead back in 2009 averaging 4.1 YPC over 171 carries. He got bigger and healthier this offseason and broke the 1000+ yard mark once again, rushing for 1214 yards on 181 carries and 15 touchdowns. He might not be the best in between the tackle runner, but with 143 catches in the last 3 years, he’s a solid 3rd down back at the very least. He’s got good size at 6-1 210 as well and could sneak into day 2.

RB Bilal Powell- Louisville

Doesn’t do any one thing amazingly, doesn’t have great speed at 6-1 215 or break a lot of tackles and runs sort of upright. However, he rushed for 1405 yards this year at more than 6 yards per. He’s a one year wonder statistically, but he could still be drafted late day 2 or early day 3. He catches passes efairly well with 30 in his last 2 years. 

RB Da’Rel Scott- Maryland

Had his best year as a sophmore in 2008 with 1133 yards and 8 scores on 209 carries, but hasn’t been nearly that good since. If he wants to get drafted, he’ll have to prove he’s just as good now as he was then. 

RB Daniel Thomas- Kansas State

If Thomas can run a good 40, he could be the 3rd back off the board, somewhere in the late 2nd round. He’s got good size at 6-2 228, but not good enough to still be a high draft pick with a mid 4.6 or late 4.6 40. Thomas bruised through smaller defenders for 2850 yards and 30 touchdowns in the last 2 years and also caught 52 balls. He should be a lead back at the next level.

FB Owen Marecic- Stanford

Known as the guy who once scored an offense touchdown and a defensive touchdown within 13 seconds of each other. Marecic played both fullback and linebacker in college and is listed as a fullback for this game. He is, at the very least, a great versatility character guy and special teamer and should be a mid day 3 pick. He has scored 12 offensive touchdowns in the last 2 years and also caught 17 balls in 2 years showing good hands at 6-1 244. He also had two picks as a middle linebacker this year.

WR Vincent Brown- San Diego State

A big time producer and tough to bring down in the open field, the small school Brown caught 69 passes for 1352 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s got good size at 6-1 195 and should run a solid 40, but needs to play well in this game to prove he can compete with the big boys. 

WR Edmund Gates- Abilene Christian

A small school prospect looking to establish himself with the big boys, Gates stands at 6-1 200.

WR Leonard Hankerson- Miami

The athletic Hankerson broke out this year as a senior for Miami with 72 catches for 1156 yards and 13 touchdowns. He’s got solid athleticism and reliable hands and should be a solid #2 type receiver in the league. He could sneak into the 2nd round, but it’s probably a 3rd or even 4th round prospect.

WR Dwayne Harris- East Carolina

He caught 101 passes for 1123 yards and 10 touchdowns and also gained 104 yards on 16 carries. He also is a talented kick returner and he’s bigger than your average all purpose player at 6-0 205. He could be a legitimate day 2 pick out of East Carolina.

WR Jerrel Jernigan- Troy

Someone I’m looking forward to watching, Jernigan should be a solid slot receiver at the next level. He’s got solid route running ability and great athleticism. In the last 3 years, he’s caught 232 balls for 2741 yards and 15 touchdowns and also rushed for 852 yards and 5 touchdowns on 118 carries. He also returned a kick return and a punt return for touchdown last year. Size is his only issue at 5-9 190.

WR Ronald Johnson- USC

A much hyped prospect coming out of high school and into USC, he’s got great natural athleticism and should run a low 4.4 or high 4.3 40 at 6-1 185, but, even in his best season this year, he failed to establish himself as an elite receiver. He caught 64 balls for 692 yards and 8 touchdowns. His athleticism and return ability should make him an early day 3 prospect.

WR Jeremy Kerley- TCU

Andy Dalton’s favorite target this year for undefeated TCU, Kerley caught 56 balls and 10 touchdowns, but only managed 575 yards. He’s not a great route runner nor an explosive deep threat so at 5-10 182, he could go undrafted. This is his chance to prove people wrong.

WR Paul Niles- Nebraska

Plagued by foot injuries and unable to build upon 40 catches for 798 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2009. He’s a physical 6-1 220 receiver and a good kick returner, but health will be key for him. He’ll have to show he’s healthy this week if he wants to get drafted before day 3.

WR Austin Pettis- Boise State

The more athletic of the two Boise receivers we will see this week, the 6-3 210 Pettis has caught 134 balls for 1806 yards and 24 touchdowns in the last 2 seasons, but was consistently outperformed by counterpart Titus Young.

WR Greg Salas- Hawaii

The numbers are eye-popping, with 225 catches for 3379 yards and 22 touchdowns in the last two seasons, but he’s the product of a system and a weak schedule. Hawaii throws more than anyone else in the country. He’s barely his team’s leading receiver. A mid 4.6 40 at 6-2 215 isn’t going to cut it either. He could go undrafted.

WR Matt Szczur- Villanova

A jack of all trades, can play running back, wide receiver, punt returner and kick returner, and even center field. He’s signed a 1.5 million dollar contract to play for the Chicago Cubs that any team who drafts him needs to be aware of. He’s an exciting player, but his commitment to football is going to be questioned. Still, I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do against tougher competition. If he’s drafted high enough, it might be enough for him to pick football, but the risk is definitely there. He’s probably a day 3 guy.

WR Courtney Smith- South Alabama

A physically imposing 6-5 230 receiver who dominated the division II level and had a strong 105 yard 2 touchdown game against Division I UC Davis earlier this year. He should be interesting to watch. His size alone could get him drafted. 

WR Titus Young- Boise State

Boise’s “other” receiver, Young doesn’t have Pettis’ size, but at 5-11 170 with a low 4.4 40, he’s a scrappy player and an excellent route runner. Reminds me a lot of Deion Branch, another smaller guy with great hands, a great workout, great quickness in space, and great route running ability. He has 150 catches for 2256 yards and 19 touchdowns in the last two years and could take advantage of a bunch of receiver underclassmen returning to school (Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, DeVier Posey, Ryan Broyles) to sneak into the 2nd round.

TE Preston Dial- Alabama

A better blocker than his size would indicate, at 6-3 240, but he’s probably nothing more than an h-back at the next level. He doesn’t have great speed either and his stats weren’t particularly jaw dropping with 25 catches for 264 yards and 3 touchdowns in really his only productive offense year this year. He’s got his work cut out for him and could really benefit from showing he can play special teams.

TE Lance Kendricks- Wisconsin

Next in line of Wisconsin’s factory of undersized tight ends, the 6-4 240 Kendricks should be drafted somewhere around where Travis Beckum and Garrett Graham were drafted, 3rd-4th round. Kendricks caught 43 balls for 663 yards and 5 scores this year, but isn’t much of a blocker. If he makes it into the 3rd round, it’s because of this weak tight end class.

TE Mike McNeill- Nebraska

Another undersized tight end who might have some trouble getting drafted, McNeill caught 81 balls for 1047 yards and 11 touchdowns as a 3 year starter for Nebraska, but his stats dropped off each year, a bad sign.

TE Lee Smith- Marshall

He has the size to be an NFL tight end for sure at 6-6 265, but with only 61 catches for 693 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2 years against weak competition, he hasn’t played up to the potential. Occasionally brilliant though, he should get drafted late on upside. 

TE Luke Stocker- Tennessee

Has the physical tools at 6-6 250 to be a great tight end, but didn’t put it all together in college. He’s caught 68 balls for 806 yards and 7 touchdowns in his last 2 years, and isn’t as good of a blocker as his size should suggest. He’ll probably be a day 3 prospect on upside.

TE DJ Williams- Arkansas

Should be the 2nd tight end off the board in this week tight end class, after underclassman Kyle Rudolph. Williams lacks elite height at 6-2, but he’s got good size at 6-2 250 and is an underrated blocker. He caught 144 balls for 1737 yards and 10 touchdowns in three years as a starter. He’s probably a day 2 prospect. 

OT Gabe Carimi- Wisconsin

The best pure right tackle prospect in a while. He doesn’t have the athleticism or footwork to play left tackle in the NFL, but still could be drafted in the first round as a right tackle or even a guard because he is a monstrous run blocker. He anchored a Wisconsin line that was one of if not the best in college football and got better as the year went on. He is 6-7 330 and uses it well in run blocking and he’s not completely lost in pass protection.

OT Anthony Costanzo- Boston College

My top offensive tackle prospect, with the ability to line up at left tackle or right tackle. He moves his feet well and his extremely athletic and polished. If he measures in at 300+ pounds, he should come off the board somewhere between 15-40.

OT Brandon Fusco- Slippery Rock

Slippery Rock? What the hell? Who would name a college Slippery Rock (no offense to any potential readers from Slippery Rock university, though I doubt there are that many). I’ll admit I had never heard of this kid until I saw his name on the roster. ESPN lists him at 6-4 299, which is a bit undersized, but I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do with the big boys.

OT Marcus Gilbert- Florida

Strictly a right tackle at the next level, but he’s a solid mauling run blocker who should be a day 2 pick.

OT Kevin Kowalski- Toledo

A small school prospect with a smaller frame at 6-4 295, he probably won’t be drafted, but he could prove me wrong. 

OT DeMarcus Love- Arkansas

A raw swing tackle with the ability to play left tackle in addition to right. His athleticism at 6-5 315 is very impressive, but he needs to be more fundamentally sound and consistent. He should be a day 2 prospect.

OT Jason Pinkston- Pittsburgh

A fairly standard day 3 right tackle, with lacking athleticism and inconsistent technique. He’s an accomplished starter on Pittsburgh’s line. 

OT Derek Sherrod- Mississippi State

Should be one of the first tackles off the board in this weak tackle class. Naturally a left tackle, but can play right. Very fundamentally sound and good size at 6-6 310.

OT Nate Solder- Colorado

He could be a combine wonder. A former blocking tight end who has put on 30-35 pounds in the past 2-3 years to become a 6-9 315 offensive tackle, yet can still run in the 4.8s or 4.9s. He is still raw and his balance is a bit off, but he’s an accomplished college tackle and could go in the first round.

OT Danny Watkins- Baylor

Lacks natural athleticism, but is a solid run blocking tackle at 6-4 315. He could be a late day 2 pick, but should be a day 3 pick.

OT Lee Ziemba- Auburn

Lacks elite strength, but has good mobility and should come off the board in early day 3. Should be a right tackle at the next level, but has the athleticism to become a left tackle. He can also play guard. A very accomplished college player.

G Clint Boling- Georgia

Played both tackle positions as well as right guard for Georgia, making 49 career starts and 38 in a row. A smart offensive lineman that can play anywhere, but is probably a guard in the NFL because he lacks strong footwork and mobility. Likely a late day 2 earlier 3 pick.

G James Brewer- Indiana

A massive run blocking offensive lineman with huge upside at 6-8 335 and the ability to play both guard positions and right tackle. He isn’t a very mobile guy and he’s very raw, but he can be coached up and could sneak into day 2.

G James Carpenter- Alabama

Played both guard and right tackle for Alabama and was a bruising offensive lineman, but he lacks elite athleticism and isn’t particularly big at 6-5 300. He’ll probably be a day 3 pick as a guard.

G Rodney Hudson- Florida State

Can’t play all schemes because of his size at 6-2 282 and if he were to bulk up, he could mess up his game, but he has been Florida State’s best offensive lineman since his freshman year. He’s smart, can play some center, and has great footwork. He should be a day 2 prospect. His weigh in will be key.

G Benjamin Ilajana- Villanova

A small school prospect with the potential to make a big impression at the Senior Bowl, he can play guard or tackle and is likely a 2nd round pick with the ability to sneak into the first. He showed up big time in the FCS playoffs for Villanova and anchored a line that was regarded as one of the best in the FCS.

G John Moffitt- Wisconsin

The other major pro prospect on Wisconsin’s strong run blocking offensive line, Moffitt looks like a day 2 prospect and should be one of the first guards off the board. He’s 6-5 323 with solid mobility and amazing strength.

G Mike Pouncey- Florida

The consensus top interior line prospect, Pouncey’s twin brother Maurkice went 18th overall last year and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie center. Pouncey could have a similar future. He can play guard, center and some right tackle, but is primarily a guard. He’s a massive run blocker who I think can be better than his brother.

G Steve Schilling- Michigan

A fairly standard guard prospect who should come off the board in mid to late round 3 as a depth guard.

C Kristofer O’Dowd- USC

Should be one of the top center prospects off the board, O’Dowd has been a much hyped center prospect since he chose USC. He fits a zone blocking scheme well, but can play any. He’s undersized at 6-5 300, but can play some guard.

C Jake Kirkpatrick- TCU

One of the nations best centers for the last few years, Kirkpatrick should be an early day 3 pick and one of the first centers off the board. 

DE Allen Bailey- Miami

For the first 3 years he was at Miami, Bailey was the workout wonder who never lived up to it on the field. He was 6-4 275, capable of playing inside and out, and ran a mid 4.6 40 with great bench press numbers. Before his junior year, he put on about 10-15 pounds and started living up to his measurables. He had 7 sacks in 2009 playing mostly in the middle at tackle and 7 sacks in 2010 playing mostly end. Rumors say he can still ran in the 4.7s at 6-4 288. He has great versatility and would be best off as a 3-4 end. He should come off the board in the first round, but he could slide because of how deep this defensive line class is. Nonetheless, he’s a top 40 pick with a huge upside.

DE Adrian Clayborn- Iowa

Clayborn really should have come out last year, coming off a 11 sack year at 6-3 288, capable of playing 4-3 end, 4-3 tackle, and 3-4 end, he would have been a top 15 pick. Since then, he’s assaulted a cab driver and only managed 4.5 sacks this season, though still providing a solid force against the run. He’s still likely a first round pick, but this is a deep class and he could slide.

DE Ryan Kerrigan- Purdue

Essentially this year’s Brandon Graham, Kerrigan has 25.5 sacks in the last 2 seasons, but lack of elite athleticism and short arms will keep him from being a top 10 pick. If he has a strong Senior Bowl like Graham did last year, he could still go top 15 like Graham did (#13) as the 3rd 4-3 end off the board, behind DaQuan Bowers and Robert Quinn. He’s a tenacious player who lives in the backfield. He can also play 3-4 rush linebacker.

DE Sam Acho- Texas

Acho looks like a day 2 pick. He has all the measurables, but has yet to put together a strong season and he’s very inconsistent on tape. He’s never had more than 8 sacks in a season and didn’t show up in some games. He doesn’t play the run well at all. He can also play 3-4 rush linebacker.

DE Pierre Allen- Nebraska

A decently athletic defensive lineman who has never had more than 5 sacks in a season. He could be drafted late, but probably won’t be.

DE Christian Ballard- Iowa

Has all the physical tools to be a 1st round pick and plays like a 1st rounder at times, but his inconsistency will drop him into day 2. At 6-5 297, he’s best off as a 3-4 end, but can play 4-3 tackle.

DE Jeremy Beal- Oklahoma

Has 27.5 sacks in his last 3 seasons, but lacks elite athleticism. At 6-3 267, he’s an ideal 4-3 end and could sneak into the end of the 1st round thanks to this draft class’ lack of true 4-3 ends. At worst, he’s a 2nd rounder. It remains to be seen whether he can play the 4-3 or not.

DE Cameron Jordan- California

A natural fit as a 3-4 end because of his size, 6-4 285, and because he played in one of college football’s lone 3-4 defenses. He has 12.5 sacks in the last 2 years and has good versatility but could fall to day 2 because of this class’ depth. If he can outperform guys like Bailey and Clayborn, he could become a first round or even a top 20 pick.

DE Parnell McPhee- Mississippi State

Put on about 15-20 pounds after his junior season and it didn’t pay off, cutting his sacks from 5.5 to 2. He’s still solid against the run and can play both a 3-4 and a 4-3, but he’s probably a day 3 pick.

DE Brooks Reed- Arizona

Reed has 17 sacks in his last 3 seasons and very good athleticism. He’s regarded as best fit in a 3-4 as a rush linebacker, but he’s got the size to play on the line in the NFL. His 40 time and other measurables should be solid.

DT Jarvis Jenkins- Clemson

Has all the physical tools to succeed in the league, but he can be streaky. A monster against the run at times, but not much of a pass rusher. He’s best off as a 4-3 tackle, but can play 3-4 end and if he were a little bigger, he’d be a perfect 3-4 nose tackle.

DT Drake Nevis- LSU

The 6-1 291 only fits the 4-3, but he provides a good inside pass rush with 7 sacks this season and isn’t a liability against the run. He reminds me of a less hyped version of Glenn Dorsey. He should go in the first round, but there are so few 4-3 teams that he could slip.

DT Phil Taylor- Baylor

This year’s Terrence Cody without the hype, a massive 6-4 355 pounder, he’ll have to keep his weight in check and stay in shape, but he can be a monster against the run and a day 2 pick in a weak nose tackle class.

DT Cedric Thornton- Central Arkansas

Another small school prospect, projects well as a 4-3 under tackle with his quickness, but lacks size at 6-3 290. Could also play a 3-4 as an end. 

DT Sione Fua- Stanford

A stud run stopper in the middle of Stanford’s defense with good size at 6-2 310. He doesn’t have prototypical nose tackle size, but he play the 3-4 nose tackle and the nose tackle in a 4-3 as well. He doesn’t offer much of a pass rush, but his physicality in a weak nose tackle class could make him a day 2 pick.

DT Chris Neild- West Virginia

Strictly a 4-3 tackle, the 6-2 300 Neild is solid at the point of attack and strong against the run. He doesn’t offer much of a pass rush, but could be drafted late day 3. 

DT Ian Williams- Notre Dame

At 6-2 308, he is a strong enough run stopper to play the nose in both the 4-3 and the 3-4, which will make his intriguing as a depth guy on day 3. A big thing for him, in addition to showing pass rushing moves, will be proving the health of his recently injured knee.

OLB Mason Foster- Washington

Should come off the board in the 2nd round. Best off as a strong side linebacker at 6-2 240, Foster has 347 tackles, 6 forced fumbles, 10 sacks, and 4 picks in 3 years as a starter. A well regarded locker room guy and not a liability in coverage.

OLB Mark Herzlich- Boston College

The feel good story of the Senior Bowl, Herzlich was a 1st round prospect heading into 2009 as a junior when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his leg. He is cancer free and played well in 2010, but not quite the same. If he can show he’s all the way back at the Senior Bowl, he could be a day 2 prospect. He had 110 tackles, 2 sacks, 6 picks, and 2 pick sixes in 2008 and 65 tackles and 4 picks in 2010. He has good size at 6-4 240 and would be best on the strong side of a 4-3 in the NFL. At worse, he’s a tremendous locker room guy.

OLB Ross Homan- Ohio State

Awful measurables with a 4.7 40 at 6-0 228, but he gets things done. He has 248 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 6 picks in his last 3 years, but he’s also 24 in March as a 5th year senior. He should come off the board early day 3.

OLB Greg Jones- Michigan State

He’s reportedly put on the 10 points he needed to and we’ll see at his weigh in. if he weighs in near 240, he could sneak into the first. He can play any linebacker position in a 4-3 and the middle in a 3-4. He has 385 tackles and 12 sacks in his last 3 years and he has great mobility and ball awareness. He reminds me of Jerod Mayo.

OLB Colin McCarthy- Miami

A prototypical 4-3 linebacker who had a great senior season with 120 tackles. He made great strides in coverage, a weakness of his after his junior year. He could be a day 2 pick because of his versatility.

OLB Von Miller- Texas A&M

May have had an even better season this year than in 2009 when he had 17 sacks. He developed more pass rushing moves, proved himself to be more than a 1 year wonder, played hard through injury early in the season, got healthy and had 9 sacks in his last 6 and 11 total, and he improved in coverage so the 6-3 240 linebacker can play the 4-3 as well as the 3-4. He’s best as a 3-4 rush linebacker and could be the first 3-4 rush linebacker off the board. He could go as high as #11 to Houston. How he fares in coverage as a linebacker full time in the Senior Bowl, after playing end all year, could determine his stock.

OLB Lawrence Wilson- Connecticut

A stat sheet filler all 4 years at UConn, Wilson had 438 career tackles, including 3 years of 100+, 9 sacks, 4 forced fumbled, 5 picks, and 3 pick sixes. He doesn’t have the speed to make up for his 6-1 228 frame, but he could be a day 2 pick as a weakside linebacker. He’s fairly solid in coverage. 

MLB Josh Bynes- Auburn

An underrated middle linebacker prospect that could slip all the way to day 3. He was the leader of Auburn’s defense and he’s excellent in coverage. He lacks size, but his mobility makes up for it and he’s a perfect fit for a cover 2. Not a great fit for a 3-4 at 6-2 233, but he’s a playmaker in the air and on the ground. Had a 100 tackle season in 2009 and has 7 picks in 3 years. He deflected 5 passes for National Champion Auburn this season.

MLB Nate Irving- NC State

Missed all of 2009 with injury, but bounced back with 89 tackles, 7 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles this year. The injury history is an issue, but he should be a late day 2 early day 3 pick in a week middle linebacker class.

MLB Kelvin Sheppard- LSU

Back to back 100+ tackle seasons for LSU with 4 sacks this year, but he doesn’t quite have the mobility to move outside. His 40 time won’t be great and he struggles in coverage. He also tends to be inconsistent. He could be a day 2 prospect, but might drop to day 3.

MLB Quan Sturdivant- North Carolina

Character issues hurt his stock. He’s been arrested for marijuana and was suspended 5 games this year for an NCAA violation. He hasn’t lived up to his hype or his strong sophmore year yet either. He could fall to day 3.

MLB Chris White- Mississippi State

Prototypical 3-4 middle linebacker size at 6-4 245, White, a late bloomer, had a fantasic senior season with 105 tackles and 6 sacks and with all the 3-4 teams needing depth, he could sneak into day 2.

MLB KJ Wright- Mississippi State

Bigger than White at 6-4 255, but also significantly slower and less productive. Might go undrafted even with the need for 3-4 linebackers.

MLB Casey Matthews- Oregon

Can’t go wrong with a Matthews. Matthews is brother to Clay Matthews III, a defensive player of the year candidate for the Green Bay Packers, son of Clay Matthews II and grandson over Clay Matthews Sr. both of whom are accomplished NFL players. His uncle Bruce Matthews is a hall of fame Center and his cousin Kevin also is in the NFL. This Matthews had 73 tackles, 3 picks, and 3 sacks this year and came up huge in a losing effort in the National Championship against Auburn. He should be a day 2 pick.

CB Curtis Brown- Texas

Didn’t live up to his measurables as a senior and actually played slightly worse than in his junior year, costing him a shot at the first round. He’s still a day 2 guy even in a deep cornerback class.

CB Jalil Brown- Colorado

At 6-1 210, he’s bigger than most corners, but he’s still athletic enough and plays bump and run well. He’s a day 2 pick.

CB Kendric Burney- North Carolina

Character issues and size issues, 5-9 185, could drop him into day 3 despite 11 picks and 3 pick sixes in his career. He actually matches up well man-to-man with smaller receivers, but can’t handle bigger ones.

CB Rashard Carmichael- Virginia Tech

Should be a solid depth corner in the NFL. With corners in heavy demand, he could sneak into day 2. He has 10 picks in the last 2 years.

CB Ras-I Dowling- Virginia

May have hurt himself by going back to school, once a consensus top 20 pick, Dowling could slip into the 2nd round this year. He has good size and is solid in coverage and generally is better than former teammate Chris Cook who went in the 2nd round last year, but he could be drafted later than him. His flaws in coverage were exposed this season.

CB Marcus Gilchrist- Clemson

Could get drafted as a depth corner, but I don’t expect much of him. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong this week.

CB Jaiquawn Jarrett- Temple

A small school cornerback with 9 picks in 4 years, he has a lot to prove this week. 

CB Joe Lefeged- Rutgers

A Thorpe award semifinalist, Lefeged was known was big hits as a cornerback at Rutgers. At 6-1 205 with lacking speed and issues in coverage, he’s a tweener and could have shown trouble being drafted before round 5. 

CB Chris Marsh- Utah State

An intriguing small school prospect who I am really looking forward to watching live. He projects as a day 3 prospect with upside. He has good size at 6-1 195 and dominating weaker competition.

CB Johnny Patrick- Louisville

Shot up into day 2 consideration with a strong senior year in which he picked off 5 passes and had one pick six. He’s got good measurables, athleticism, and technique and could go as early as the 2nd round. 

CB Chris Rucker- Michigan State

A talented corner/safety hybrid with a bad legal past who will have to start proving people wrong with his play on the field.

CB Shareece Wright- USC

He has a checkered academic past, but after finally getting on the field for a full season as starter this year, he really impressed. He could move up to day 2 range.

CB DeMarcus Van Dyke- Miami

Never really lived up to the hype, but could be a late round flier guy. He’s physically talented, but never put it all together for a consistent stretch of time.

S Ahmad Black- Florida

A playmaker with 13 picks in 3 years, but his size leaves him in a pickel. Very few 5-9 185 safeties make it in the NFL and he doesn’t have the speed or ability in coverage to play corner. He might just be a depth defensive back and could fall to late day 3.

S Quinton Carter- Oklahoma

Really come into his own as a safety in the last 2 years with 175 tackles and 8 picks in his last 2 years, but at 6-1 205 he’s a bit of a tweener. He’s not athletic enough to play free safety or big enough to play strong safety. Someone could take a chance on him day 2 though.

S Eric Hagg- Nebraska

Part of Nebraska’s amazing defense and secondary, Hagg is purely a safety at the next level. He can play free safety at 6-2 210 and is strong in coverage. He thing he could be an interesting day 3 sleeper. 

S Zac Etheridge- Auburn

Another feel good story, Etheridge could be drafted after once suffered a severe neck injury. He was able to play again and did a decent job playing centerfield for Auburn’s defense this year, picking 3 passes. He could be drafted day 3 as depth.

S DeAndre McDaniel- Clemson

Had an amazing 8 pick junior year in 2009, but decided to return. His flaws were really exposed this year as he really struggled in coverage. He should still be a day 2 pick on upside.

S Da’Norris Searcy- North Carolina

One of many Tarheels suspended for something stupid this past September, Searcy came back and showed some late round upside with 4 picks. He could get drafted.

LS Danny Aiken- Virginia

He’s a long snapper…I don’t know.

LS Christian Yount- UCLA

See above.

K Kai Forbath- UCLA

Nailed 72 of 83 for his first 3 years as UCLA’s kicker, but missed 5 of 18 this season. He should still be drafted.

K Josh Jasper- LSU

One of the best kickers in the country, Jasper nailed 28 of 34 with 2 of 3 from 50.

P Alex Henery- Nebraska

Averaged 43.2 per punt as a senior and also nailed 68 of 76 as a place kicker.

P Chas Henry- Florida

Averaged a nation leading 45.1 yards per punt as a senior and had an impressive 43.0 average for his career.

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