Linebackers Off of the Line of Scrimmage
1. Telvin Smith, Florida State - I want Telvin on my football team. I think there will be a pointless argument stating Smith could be converted to safety. He is a linebacker despite a 218 lbs frame. Smith understands how to use his length to take on blockers and has ridiculous speed to chase down plays. Besides, many teams are featuring light linebackers/heavy safeties in certain situations.
2. Christian Kirksey, Iowa - Kirksey was my No. 20 Senior Bowler prior to the week. He played over top of corners and tight ends in the slot very frequently and also flashed some strong side linebacker ability at the line of scrimmage. I doubt Kirksey tests well, but he accomplishes his assignment and could be a third day pick to watch.
3. Chris Borland, Wisconsin - I knew the Zach Thomas comparisons were coming. I love how Borland makes the most of his length when attacking blockers, but asking if he can obtain and sustain backfield vision from snap to snap is a worthwhile question.
4. Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA - Zumwalt is a fiery player who can play multiple linebacker spots.
1. Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois - Not only was Ward the best S at the event, he might be the best corner as well. I like his versatility to win over the slot, against tight ends, or in a traditional safety role. Ward has a good chance of being the third safety selected in May.
2. Jaylen Watkins, Florida - Watkins was widely considered the fourth corner for the Gators this season, but he displayed good movement skills to mirror receivers and solid timing to disrupt at the catch point on multiple routes.
3. Keith McGill, Utah - McGill is only a press man corner, but at Utah he was used in bail and off coverage looks. The NFL is obsessed with size at the position now.
4. Pierre Desir, Lindenwood - Desir was my No. 2 Shrine Game participant before and after the week. He carried that performance over to this event, settling in to stick with receivers after slowing them down to his speed. Desir lacks catch up speed, but his length compensates for it.
Top 25 Senior Bowlers Moving Forward:
1a. DT Will Sutton, Arizona State
1b. DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
3. DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
4. Edge rusher Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech
5. Edge rusher Dee Ford, Auburn
6. G Zack Martin, Notre Dame
7. Edge rusher Marcus Smith, Louisville
8. QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
9. WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
10. S Jimmie Ward, NIU
11. OL Brandon Thomas, Clemson
12. T Billy Turner, North Dakota State
13. QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois
14. T Jack Mewhort, Ohio State
15. LB Telvin Smith, FSU
16. DT Caraun Reid, Princeton
17. LB Christian Kirksey, Iowa
18. G Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
19. Edge player Kyle Van Noy, BYU
20. C Weston Richburg, Colorado State
21. T Seantrel Henderson, Miami
22. G Jon Halapio, Florida
23. WR Robert Herron, Wyoming
24. LB Chris Borland, Wisconsin
25. DT Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech