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Tag:Senior Bowl
Posted on: March 4, 2012 5:29 pm
 

Penn State DB Lynn ran at Combine with torn calf

Many players cite an old injury as a reason not to work out at the Combine. 

Penn State's D'Anton Lynn is hoping that a disappointing performance at the Combine will be disregarded by scouts due to the fact that he was attempting to compete with a torn calf, at least according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.   

The 6-0, 206 pound Lynn was clocked at 4.77 seconds in the 40-yard dash -- the slowest time recorded by any defensive back at the Combine this year. Though he participated in the bench press (17 reps) and jumps (31.5" in the vertical and 111" in the broad jump), Lynn elected not to participate in any of the other timed events at the Combine after running the 40-yard dash.

According to Schefter's report, Lynn had planned to warm up and then decide whether to participate in drills based on how the calf felt. The injury had originally taken place during Penn State's TicketCity Bowl loss to Houston. Lynn elected to play through the injury at the Senior Bowl. He was beaten badly there, at times, any may have been wiser to take care of the injury immediately following the end of Penn State's season.

As it stands now, Lynn is expected to miss four-six weeks recovering from the injury. This will keep him from running at Penn State's Pro Day March 14, though he's hopeful to work out prior to the draft.

Considering the lack of speed and coverage ability he showed at the Senior Bowl and Combine, it may not matter if scouts were impressed with Lynn's grit in attempting to compete in drills -- only that he failed to do so at a high level when he had the opportunity.     
   
Lynn is currently rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 32 cornerback for the 2012 draft.  
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:08 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2012 8:36 am
 

Doctor's note confirms ILB Wagner's pneumonia

Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner has been hospitalized in Scottsdale, Arizona since Monday with pneumonia and was advised by a doctor there not to travel this week for the 2012 Scouting Combine. 

Wagner's agent, Kenny Zuckerman, sent a doctor's note explaining as much to National Football Scouting, the group that organizes the Combine in an effort to have the news distributed to all 32 NFL teams. 

Wagner, who earned the North Team MVP honors wih an impressive seven tackle, one tackle for loss, one interception performance in the Senior Bowl last month, is expected to make a full recovery and be discharged "in the next few days." His performance in Mobile helped ease concerns about Wagner's ability to play inside or out in the 4-3 defense as well as inside linebacker in the 3-4 as he demonstrated athleticism, instincts and physicality. Because of this, he's been charging up draft boards as one of the 2012 draft's more versatile linebackers. 

Wagner, whose 446 career tackles are the most from any Western Athletic Conference defender since 1999, earned All-WAC honors after each of the past three seasons. Experienced inside and out, Wagner is gaining grades from some teams as an inside linebacker and at weakside linebacker for others. Due to his athleticism, he's currently rated as the No. 5 OLB prospect in the 2012 draft by NFLDraftScout.com.

To maintain his lofty grade at OLB, Wagner may have to show scouts he has the speed to match up in coverage. It is not yet known, however, whether Wagner will be recovered sufficiently to participate in Utah State's Pro Day March 8 or if a new workout date will have to be set up. 

Update: Wagner has scheduled his on-campus Pro Day for March 30.

Scouts, of course, are interested to see Wagner perform in athletic drills, but like with all players, the bigger need may be for Wagner to travel to Indianapolis prior to the draft for a Combine medical "re-check" after missing the in-depth medical testing this week recovering from his illness.  

Posted on: February 15, 2012 2:59 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2012 3:02 pm
 

Tannehill out of boot, will re-schedule Pro Day

While Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and Michigan State's Kirk Cousins boosted their stock with strong efforts at the Senior Bowl, Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill remains the most talented senior quarterback in the land and is likely to be the first one drafted.

Some believe Tannehill's obvious talent will be enough to land him in the first round, joining redshirt juniors Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III as top 32 picks. Others, including myself, are having a harder time envisioning a quarterback who just 19 collegiate starts at the position as being a first round pick. While I don't include him in my mock draft, I do believe he's among the top 32 talents in this draft. 

Regardless of where he is ultimately drafted, Tannehill will have to first prove his health, as he underwent surgery recently to repair a broken foot suffered during passing drills at IMG Football Academy in Bradenton, Florida. The injury kept him out of the Senior Bowl and while ESPN's Pat Yasinkas is reporting that Tannehill is now out of the protective boot he was in, Tannehill won't be ready to work out for scouts at the Combine or Texas A&M's scheduled Pro Day March 7.

Yasinkas reports that Tannehill is planning to have a Pro Day "in late March" and asked the Aggie quarterback about his recovery timetable.

“We’ll come back and push it pretty hard,’’ Tannehill said. “I’m thinking I should be getting close to 100 percent by right after the combine and we’ll really jump into the on-field stuff then to make up for the time I missed and get ready for pro day.’’ 


Posted on: February 10, 2012 5:34 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2012 9:48 pm
 

NFL source: Barron's surgery won't drop stock

Alabama safety Mark Barron will not be able to participate in the upcoming Scouting Combine after undergoing a double-hernia surgery, NFLDraftScout.com has confirmed. 

Barron is the only safety currently rated by NFLDraftScout.com as a first round talent.
  
There had been speculation at the Senior Bowl that Barron had been unable to participate in the event due to a pre-existing medical condition. 

The rehabilitation for a hernia surgery typically runs two to four weeks but can extend up to eight weeks. The Combine is scheduled to begin in less than two weeks, covering February 22-28 in Indianapolis. 

Complicating matters is that Barron may not be sufficiently healed or in the shape he'll want to be when Alabama holds their Pro Day March 7.

A high-ranking team official thought to be considering using a high pick on a defensive back in the April draft didn't think the surgery would have any lasting impact on Barron's stock.

"No, I can't see it having any real impact on his stock," the source said on the condition of anonymity. "I mean, he's got to get it healthy but he's a damn good football player with lots of tape. No one is going to drop him if he isn't able to run in Indy [Combine] or at their Pro Day."

At 6-2, 218 pounds Barron has the size and athleticism scouts are looking for at the position. He earned First Team All-SEC honors after each of his three starting seasons with the Tide and was voted a consensus All-American as a senior. He leaves Alabama ranked eighth in school history with 12 interceptions and also has 235 tackles and 34 passes defensed to his credit. 

Barron is the second Alabama senior to miss the Combine due to an injury. Senior nose guard Josh Chapman will also not be able to work out after it was discovered that he played through a torn ACL this season.

The captain of an Alabama secondary that finished the year ranked first in pass defense (116.3 ypg) & pass efficiency defense (83.9), Barron is currently projected by both Dane Brugler and myself to be drafted in the first round. 
Posted on: February 6, 2012 11:30 am
Edited on: February 6, 2012 11:32 am
 

Washington RB Polk expects to run in the 4.4s

Alabama junior Trent Richardson is universally considered the top running back in the 2012 draft.

Ask five scouts which runner will follow him on draft day and you are liable to get five different answers. Some are enamored with the pure speed of Miami's Lamar Miller or Virginia Tech's David Wilson. Others like the all-around game of Boise State senior Doug Martin. With an MVP-performance in the Senior Bowl that showcased his potential as a returner, Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead is making a late run up the board. 

A so-so performance in Mobile has taken some of the luster off of Washington's Chris Polk, but if he runs as fast in workouts as he and those close to him expect him to, the former Husky will certainly be in the mix.

Preparing interviews for Lindy's NFL Draft Preview scheduled to hit newstands March 1, I asked Chris at the Senior Bowl what he expects to run in the all-important 40-yard dash.

He smiled and replied simply, "Faster than any of you all think."

Pressed to be more specific, Polk elaborated.

"From what everyone has been saying and I've been reading, I guess speed is one of the big questions everyone has about me. I'm not that worried about it, to be honest with you. I know how fast I am. I expect to run something in the 4.4s."

Though Polk ran for 4,049 yards for the Huskies over his career, finishing second behind only former first round pick Napoleon Kaufman (4,106) in school history. Though he's shown the ability to break free for several long scores over his career (four TDs of 50+ yards), his straight-line speed is considered one of the question marks on an otherwise sparkling résumé. 

Polk is currently preparing for the Combine at Athletes Performance Institute in Los Angeles. If his effort there result in a 40-yard dash time of 4.50 seconds or less, teams won't be able to ignore the fact that his game-tape, frankly, is more impressive than any of the other backs vying to follow Richardson.  

Posted on: February 4, 2012 1:50 pm
 

Diamonds in the rough emerging in film study

Over the past few weeks, my fellow NFLDraftScout.com analyst Dane Brugler and I have been working around the clock to finish up the 300+ player profiles we'll be offering here and for Lindy's NFL Draft Magazine. 

While that time has left me unable to keep up the blog with the frequency I would have liked it has opened my eyes to a few lower rated prospects that haven't been receiving the attention their play warrants.

Here are the names of five prospects whose play forced me to re-evaluate where we've been ranking them... 

QB Brock Osweiler, Arizona State: I was disappointed to see Osweiler leave after his junior season as he remains a raw prospect. However, he possesses a strong, accurate arm and much better athleticism than most would reasonably expect given his huge frame (6-7, 240). There has been so much talk about which quarterback is likely to follow up Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin. For my money, that player has been (and remains) Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill. But in the race to follow Tannehill, Osweiler has the physical skill-set to lead ahead of next group, including Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, the two most impressive quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl. 

CB Ryan Steed, Furman: With a very strong week in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, Steed has been receiving a great deal of positive attention lately. I went back to his junior (as well as senior) film to make sure that the consistency I saw there matched up to his play against lesser competition. Steed is athletic, instinctive and possesses very good ball skills. If he runs in the 4.4s as I expect, he's not just a top 75 guy he might push the Alfonzo Dennard, Leonard Johnson and Stephon Gilmores of the world for a run as a late first round candidate. 

DL/LB Brett Roy, Nevada: Roy played out of position for the Wolfpack, lining up at defensive tackle despite weighing in the 260-270 pound area throughout his career. He has a toned, well-distributed build that isn't going to be able to handle adding the 30+ pounds of "good" weight most teams require at defensive tackle in the NFL. He does, however, show the instincts, lateral agility, vision and open field tackling skills to potentially make the conversion to linebacker for 3-4 clubs. Roy plays to the whistle. I watched him pursue Boise State RB Doug Martin 50+ yards downfield, demonstrating the never-say-die mentality that could help him a roster spot and time to develop.

TE Cory Harkey, UCLA: The traditional tight end is quickly being replaced by hybrid receivers but there are still spots available for blocking specialists. That is precisely what Harkey provides. Harkey caught just one pass as a senior, despite starting all 14 games for the Bruins. He shows the size (6-4, 262), strength, tenacity and technique teams are looking for as an in-line blocker, however, and was invited to the Combine despite his less than impressive catch total...

TE Andrew Szczerba, Penn State: The previous four players I mentioned were all among the players who made the initial invitation list to the Combine. Szczerba did not make this list, though after scouting him in person at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, I believe he has the size, soft hands and blocking skills to warrant a closer look. Szczerba lacks straight-line speed and after missing the entire 2010 season after undergoing back surgery, is a huge medical question mark. In my opinion, these questions, coupled with the 6-5, 265 pound Szczerba starting all 13 games for the Nittany Lions in 2011, simply provide all the more reason why teams should get a chance to look him over in Indianapolis.  
         

Posted on: January 29, 2012 12:22 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 1:15 pm
 

WRs steal the thunder, boost stock in Senior Bowl

As usual, the quarterbacks generated most of the hype throughout the week of practice at the Senior Bowl. But during the game Saturday it was their receivers who stole the spotlight as the North defeated the South, 23-13.

Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams shrugged off a fumble in the first quarter to catch six passes for 116 yards for the South, demonstrating the elusiveness and pure speed that helped him return four punts for touchdowns this season, earning the SEC Special Teams Player of the Year award. For his efforts Adams was named the Senior Bowl's "Outstanding Player" for the South squad.

Arizona's Juron Criner, also of the South, was quiet early in the game but connected with college teammate, quarterback Nick Foles, to the tune of four catches for 50 yards and the South's only touchdown, a 20-yarder with 12:55 left in the game. Criner finished with six catches for 77 yards.

Those receivers managed to stand out despite lackluster play by the quarterbacks. Just as he was throughout the week of practice, Michigan State's Kirk Cousins, for the North, was the most impressive quarterback in the game.

He completed only five of 11 passes overall, with a touchdown and an interception. However, that one touchdown pass, a 41-yarder to Arizona State's Gerrell Robinson with 11:44 left in the third quarter, gave the North a 23-13 lead and enough cushion to hold on for a victory.

MVP honors for the game went to North running back Isaiah Pead, who was also Offensive Player of the Year for Cincinnati in the Big East. In the game, Pead collected 31 on the ground and 98 yards on punt two punt returns, including a 60-yarder that was the highlight of the first half.

Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden, the most consistent of the South team's quarterbacks throughout the practice week was the worst of the six passers Saturday, completing nearly as many passes to the defense (two interceptions) as he did to South receivers (five completions) for just 56 yards.

Other Senior Bowl standouts:

--Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: Undeniably the most talented player in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, Coples continued his dominant week of practice with an MVP-caliber performance in the game. Coples, a shade under 6-6 and 281 pounds, was a consistent threat off the edge and used his long arms and obvious upper body strength to rag-doll pass blockers on his way to the quarterback. Perhaps the most impressive play of the game from Coples, however, came as a run defender. He shook off a block from Iowa State right tackle Kelechi Osemele and with one arm stopped the momentum of running back Isaiah Pead and threw him to the ground for a two-yard loss on 3rd and goal. If Coples played with the same intensity throughout his senior season that he did throughout the week in Mobile, he might have been the easy choice as the top defensive prospect in the 2012 draft.

--Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati: The game's MVP was easily the most explosive running back in this. He demonstrated his unique straight-line speed and agility by accelerating through holes and making defenders miss as a running back and punt returner.  Despite taking on return duties late in his senior season, Pead showed good vision and courage in attacking seams as he averaged 49 yards on the two opportunities. He demonstrated not only athleticism, but also the willingness to cut back inside against the grain and finish his runs.

--Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State: Despite playing with a little less consistency that scouts would like, the 6-7, 323 pound Adams impressed throughout the week of practice with his ability to maintain squarely in front of speed rushers and play with a reliable base against bull rushes. Adams played with much better consistency Saturday, controlling his opponent throughout the contest and distancing himself as the elite offensive line prospect in the Senior Bowl.  Adams surrendered a sack in the 3rd quarter to Alabama's Courtney Upshaw but held up well initially to my top-rated senior prospect and only allowed the coverage sack on Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson after protecting for several seconds.

--Doug Martin, RB, Boise State: While Martin wasn't able to break free for the splashy plays that his North teammate Pead did, it was the former Bronco running back who was the best running back in Mobile throughout the week of practice and he followed that up with an impressive game. Martin showed good burst to and through the hole, as well as the vision and acceleration to gain yardage in chunks as a running back and kick returner. Having impressed scouts with his obvious dedication to the weight room by sporting a chiseled physique during Monday's weigh-in, Martin showcased that his attention to details isn't just limited to lifting weights. He provided excellent effort blocking downfield on a 41-yard touchdown catch by Robinson.

--Bobby Wagner, ILB, Utah State: Like Martin, Wagner initially caught the attention of NFL scouts by showcasing a powerful build on his 6-0, 241 pound frame during Monday's weigh-in. With defenders asked not to take ball-carriers to the ground throughout the week of practice, Wagner wasn't able to wow scouts with what he does best -- tackle -- until the game. He certainly did on Saturday, anticipating and closing quickly on ball-carriers and then wrapping up cleanly to tie with South Carolina safety Antonio Allen to lead the game with seven tackles. Wagner also proved his playmaking ability, recording  a tackle for loss and an interception of Weeden in the first quarter.

For much more Senior Bowl content from NFLDraftScout.com, click here.
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:35 pm
 

Senior Bowl All-Practice Teams

The Senior Bowl is scheduled to begin at 4 pm eastern time and you can bet there will be plenty of NFL scouts who will be watching the game. 

Not nearly as many will be watching the game, itself, however, as took in the practices throughout the week. Quite frankly, the Senior Bowl is like any other all-star game in football or other sport, the players participating in it are largely decided based on popularity rather than talent. 

It remains to be seen which players will help their stock during the game, itself. 
 
Here are the players from the offensive units on the North and South squads making my All-Practice Team.

QB: Kirk Cousins, Michigan State -- Accurate, poised and athletic, Cousins could enjoy a late Andy Dalton-like rise up draft boards this spring.
RB: Doug Martin, Boise State -- Quick, powerful and performing well as a pass blocker and receiver, Martin's strong week places thrusts him into the conversation to be the No. 2 running back drafted behind Alabama's Trent Richardson.
FB: Brad Smelley, Alabama -- Is more of an H-back than a traditional human pile-driving lead blocker. Reliable hands. Consistent effort.
TE: Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette -- Athletic receiver hybrid that some teams will envision as a poor man's Jimmy Graham.
WR: Marvin Jones, California -- May have boosted his stock more than any other player this week. Good size, routes and caught everything.
WR: Joe Adams, Arkansas -- Narrowly beat out Arizona's Juron Criner but speed kills... and Adams certainly has speed.
OT: Mike Adams, Ohio State -- More inconsistent than I'd like but was able to handle some of the game's best due to his length, athleticism.
OG: Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin -- Again, a bit inconsistent but mostly during one on one drills. During scrimmages, Zeitler played well.
OC: Ben Jones, Georgia -- Not flashy, but a tough matchup for the South's defensive tackles all week long.
OG: Tony Bergstrom, Utah -- Got beat early on but improved throughout the week. Solid performance from a player many were unfamiliar with.
OT: Mitchell Schwartz, California -- Like Bergstrom, struggled a bit early but improved throughout the week. Even saw some time inside at OC when injuries forced the North squad to shufle their linemen. Projects best as a RT.

And the defensive players

DE: Quinton Coples, North Carolina -- Unquestionably the most talented player in this game. Has been unblockable, at times.
DT: Mike Martin, Michigan -- Possesses great strength in the hole and a relentless that coaches will love.
DT: Kendall Reyes, Connecticut -- Possesses a better combination of athleticism and strength than some of the more hyped DTs in attendance.
DE: Courtney Upshaw, Alabama -- Solidified his ranking as my No. 1 rated senior prospect in the 2012 draft. Powerful, versatile, instinctive.
OLB: Shea McClellin, Boise State -- Saw a lot of time at weakside linebacker and really impressed... not just me, but scouts, Mike Singletary...
ILB: Audie Cole, NC State -- The biggest ILB here and moved as well as most of the smaller ones.
OLB: Lavonte David, Nebraska -- So fluid that some teams will look at him as a SS convert. Athletic, instinctive and a terrific open-field tackler.
CB: Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama -- Beaten on occasion, but his agility, speed make him the elite senior cornerback in the 2012 draft.
S: George Iloka, Boise State -- Big, athletic and instinctive. Made an impressive interception Tuesday...
S: Antonio Allen, South Carolina -- Demonstrated some fluidity as well as a willingness to make some big hits.
CB: Dwight Bentley, Louisiana Lafayette -- Few players helped themselves more than this late addition. Proved he belonged.          
           

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com