Michael Schottey

Live from the Senior Bowl

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Senior Bowl Day Three Recap

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


When analyzing draft prospects, one of the most important things to remember is that "it only takes one." Tim Tebow was a second-round quarterback prospect, but it only took one team to take a shot on his upside, intangibles, and character in the first. Richard Quinn was a mid-round prospect, but it only took team to draft him the second.

Now, Josh McDaniels may have two of the most recent and memorable reaches (and a new job because of them), but other teams fall in love as well. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Tyson Alualu, and Tyson Jackson all were intriguing prospects who intrigued one team more than anyone thought possible. When it comes to Jake Locker (QB Washington), Noel Devine (RB West Virginia), and Nate Solder (OT Colorado) among others, they might not impress every team, but just remember: it only takes one.

Five Positives and Negatives From Senior Bowl Practices Day Three:

1) Bilal Powell (RB Lousiville) is generating some buzz among scouts, media, fans, and teammates. One person referred to him as, "a lot like Michael Turner." Powell's character was described as "More Christian than Tim Tebow." With that kind of athletic and character profile, he's going to rise up draft boards. On the field, Powell took more than one rushing attempt to the house and proved he can handle pass protection.

2) Austin Pettis (WR Boise State is a better all-around receiver than I've given him credit for. He is tough over the middle and has just enough speed to take short routes the distance. He is consistently making plays. Dwayne Harris (WR East Carolina), Titus Young (WR Boise State), and Leonard Hankerson (WR Miami) are all niche wide receivers but have proved this week that they have roles and can help a team. None of them is going to be your number one/X wide receiver, but expect some early pro impact from this group because they all have skills.

3) If you read/hear that Von Miller (OLB/DE Texas A&M) is a liability in coverage, you're getting bad info. Miller greatly improved his coverage skills this year and is showcasing them at the Senior Bowl. He's an every-down linebacker with nearly unlimited upside. He's a top-10 pick for sure, and some believe Miller could go in the top five -- as high as Denver at number two. Likely, he will go lower, but that is the type of week he is having.

4) Gabe Carimi (OT Wisconsin) is having a good week that few are talking about. He's still the same late-first/mid-second guy he's always been, but he's showing the ability to play left tackle as well as taking reps at guard. Derek Sherrod (OT Mississippi State) is who we thought he was. He's not distancing himself from the crowd, but he's clearly the top tackle. DeMarcus Love (OT Arkansas) is playing with a nastiness we didn't see a lot of on tape. He's re-inserting himself into the late-first/early-second conversation.

5) No tight end has blocked better at the second level/in space this week than Lance Kendricks (TE Wisconsin). He simply can't do it "in-line" (that is, block a lineman at the snap), but he's going to help an NFL running back to extra yards. Add that to his impressive pass catching ability, and Kendricks could make some noise in day two of the draft.

1) Allen Bailey (DE/DT Miami) is such a freak athletically that he is a perfect example of the aforementioned "it only takes one" philosophy. However, he just isn't the greatest football player. Bailey doesn't have the violent hands, the bull rush, or the edge rushing ability teams crave. He is a 5-technique and should be drafted right where Kansas City should have drafted Tyson Jackson--in the second round.

2) Mason Foster (LB Washington) and Lawrence Wilson (LB UConn) had tough morning sessions. In individual drills, neither could move as fast or efficiently as Bengals coaches wanted. Players come to Mobile to get coached up by pro staffs, but it's disconcerting when a player needs that much needling. Both showed up a little better in the teamwork portion of practice but grade out as reserves in the NFL.

3) Greg McElroy (QB Alabama) makes a lot of throws one doesn't expect. It's as if he lulls the crowd into low expectations just to exceed them. His biggest con is a lack of ideal arm strength combined with small hands. McElroy rears back and nearly shotputs the ball. Many times it results in an incompletion, but once in a while, it's a touchdown. The best part about McElroy is that he doesn't take stupid chances. He's proved he can make a roster this week, but he's also proved he'll never be a long-term starter in the NFL.

4) James Brewer (OL Indiana) has been beaten every way possible by just about every North defensive lineman. I've seen him bull-rushed into the passer, run around, crossed over inside, and confused at the second level. He's such a physical specimen and has a perfect frame, but he's not making an immediate impact and shouldn't go anywhere near the draft slot old teammate Rodger Saffold did.

5) Courtney Smith (WR South Alabama) was a great redemption story when he was asked to attend as an injury replacement. He's a local kid who has fans watching him in Mobile. After a great first day, he's fallen off the map and has plenty of red flags--character, academics, etc. Early talk was 5th/6th round upside guy. Now, it's not a lock that he'll be drafted.

Michael Schottey is an NFL Featured Columnist at BleacherReport.com and an Analyst at DraftTek.com. He will be covering the Senior Bowl practices all week in Mobile. Follow him on Twitter @Schottey





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