Josh Norris

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Senior Bowl Review: Offense

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The purpose of Senior Bowl week is to supplement completed area-scout evaluations in practice and interviews. No evaluations are based on a single week’s performance, but certain prospects did help (or potentially hurt) their status and will force evaluators to take a second look at their live game action. I will breakdown each position below and rank participating performers accordingly. Please note, this is not strictly based on how these prospects did this week, instead it is based on their complete evaluation up to this point.

For comparison, here is how I ranked the attendees prior to this week.

Heights are listed with the first digit being feet, the next two digit as inches, and the final digit is eighths of an inch. Example: 6021 equals 6 feet, 2 inches, and 1/8ths of an inch.


1. Tyler Wilson (6021/218), Arkansas - I should say this now: Nothing has changed with my quarterback rankings (other than Manuel jumping Landry) and I question anyone who writes that one separated themselves from the pack. Wilson sticks to the pocket in the face of pressure and isn’t afraid to test the field vertically. His velocity and placement will need to improve in that section of the field, however, but more decisive footwork will certainly help.

2. Zac Dysert (6027/224), Miami (OH) - The RedHawk sailed multiple passes in 1 on 1s and 7 on 7s, but performed much better in full team activities. My biggest question with Dysert is if he can overcome the miscues that appeared in 2012, after the Miami (OH) offense asked him to make quick decisions on throws less than 10 yards almost strictly from the gun. Go back to 2011 and Dysert displays confident footwork and movement in the pocket while finding downfield targets on the move.

3. Mike Glennon (6066/220), NC State - The longer Glennon holds the ball, the more worried I get. Just like in college, Glennon made some excellent throws all over the field when throwing after bouncing off of his back foot. He could thrive in quick progression, faster tempo offenses, but pressure up the middle, confusion, and receivers failing to separate will give him plenty of trouble.

4. Ryan Nassib (6024/214), Syracuse - Nassib is a conundrum. He has a cannon with limited touch on short to intermediate routes, but his downfield throws look like rainbows. He is mobile, which leads to a lot of movement in the pocket while working through progressions. Some might like that, but I see it as a lack of comfort and possible a frenetic style.

5. E.J. Manuel (6043/237), FSU - It is tough to get a good feel on Manuel. Jimbo Fisher did not do him any favors at FSU, and Manuel flashes some nice throws, but too often the Seminole is a step late on his progression or decision and has placement issues.

6. Landry Jones (6032/221), Oklahoma - I don’t trust Landry as anything more than a fifth-round pick. In a clean pocket early in games he has made some impressive throws, but it tails off after that.

Running Backs

1. Johnathan Franklin (5100/201), UCLA - Off of his 2011 games, I considered Franklin an adequate but draftable prospect. Fast forward to this year and the Bruin showed much better vision when finding cutback lanes or working off blocks and his ability to make people miss at the second level was greatly enhanced. Don’t be surprised if we see him selected at the end of the second day.

2. Stepfan Taylor (5090/216), Stanford - Taylor is shorter than I expected, but the Stanford product seems to find open areas and pick up tough yardage despite a lack of top-end speed. He may run a high 4.5 or 4.6 forty, but Taylor is a confident runner with tools to produce in a dual back role.

3. Mike Gillislee (5112/207), Florida - A true front or strong side runner, Gillislee thrives on working behind pulling linemen between the tackles. Coaches will love the senior because he runs to his assigned lane, follows blocks, and can even create on strong cuts. Add in some good pass protection during the 2012 season, and Gillislee is likely a third- or fourth-round pick.

4. Kenjon Barner (5092/188), Oregon - It may not be popular, but I prefer Barner to LaMichael James. Both have magnets that draw them to the sideline, and James may be a tick faster, but barner is more willing to run between the tackles and instead of pinballing off contact, he can actually absorb hits on occasion to pick up extra yards.

5. Robbie Rouse (5057/186), Fresno State - Rouse is already drawing comparisons to Darren Sproles because of his size. I really like Rouse, but that comparison is unwarranted. First, the Fresno State grad doesn’t have the same short choppy steps as Sproles and instead of explosive cuts I would call Rouse’s open field moves “exaggerated”. Thats not an insult, since his game reminds me more of a smaller Brian Westbrook.

6. Mike James (5105/212), Miami - I would have preferred to see a Shrine call up since James is a late rounder to me. Alen Dumonjic had a nice writeup on James back in November.

(Andre Ellington dropped out of the event)

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Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris

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