Renamed the NFLPA Game this year, the senior all-star game has only been operating since 2007. When it began, it was considered to be roughly the equivalant of the Hula Bowl, featuring a few draft-worthy prospects but certainly not ranking with the East-West Shrine Game or Senior Bowl.
This year's class, however, boasts a roster that can match the Shrine Game and, unlike the Senior Bowl which scouts complain caters to the media as much as NFL personnel, the Texas vs. Nation game makes things easy on scouts. Teams are given "unbelievable access to the players" according to one long-time scout, making the interview process that every team makes a priority during these events a much more efficient process.
Most importantly, the San Antonio-based game is developing quite a reputation for talent. According to the game's official website, 93% of the 2009 roster (111 of 119) went on to sign NFL contracts. CEO Kenny Hansmire and Player Personnel Consultant John Murphy deserve a great deal of credit.
There is legitimately mid round talent at every position and plenty of sleeper candidates throughout the roster, as well. Below are my top ten prospects for the Texas and Nation teams. For a look at the complete roster, click here .
Texas Team (players born in Texas or played collegiately there)
- Josh Portis, QB, California (PA)
- Denarius Moore, WR, Tennessee
- Robert Housler, TE, Florida Atlantic
- Derek Newton, OT, Arkansas State
- Byron Bell, OT, New Mexico State
- Jerrell Powe, DT, Mississippi
- Ugo Chinasa, DE, Oklahoma State
- Colby Whitlock, DT, Texas Tech
- Spencer Paysinger, OLB, Oregon
- Kevin Rutland, CB, Missouri
- Nathan Enderle, QB, Idaho
- T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina
- Derrell Johnson-Kouilianos, WR, Iowa
- Willie Smith, OT, East Carolina
- Curt Porter, OT, Jacksonville State
- Kendrick Ellis, DT, Hampton
- Christian Anthony, DE, Grambling
- Adrian Moten, OLB, Maryland
- Dominic DeCicco, S, Pittsburgh
- Mark Legree, S, Appalachian State
As you'd expect from NFLDraftScout.com , we'll be represented in San Antonio throughout the week of practice. Fellow senior analyst Chad Reuter will be checking in with daily practice reports that will be either featured stories on the main site or here on the blog.