I woke up Saturday morning in a fantastic mood. After waiting all week long, the Senior Bowl had finally come. As a full time college student, I could not go down to Mobile Alabama and watch the Senior Bowl practices myself. Thankfully, there were plenty of other people who were there to give me day by day reports. One day, I hope to make it down there and give a live report.
However, since I couldn't make it down to Alabama, I did the next best thing. I taped and watched the Senior Bowl game. I went into the game looking at 5 main prospects: Von Miller, Cameron Jordan, Phil Taylor, Mark Herzlich, and Jaiqwuan Jarrett. Naturally, all of these players impressed me. However, the people that impressed me most were not in those top 5. There were a lot of players who made their cases on Saturday and some of them were pretty convincing. Let's go over all the prospects who might be on the Broncos radar after Saturday.
The North team was talked about a lot leading up to the game. The offensive line was supposed to be the teams biggest strength and was supposed to lead the team to victory. When the game came, the exact opposite occurred. The South's defensive line dominated the North. Now, that doesn't mean that there weren't any good prospects on the North. Quite the opposite. There were quite a few players that really impressed me when I put on the tape.
Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina
There might not be another player who helped himself more on the North then Kendric Burney. The 5 ft 9 cornerback came into the Senior Bowl with a lot of questions. He left leaving a very good impression on scouts. Burney displayed great instincts on Saturday. He made several nice tackles and played great when he was off coverage. Now, his size and speed aren't great so he will likely never be a great CB, but he could be a real asset as an off coverage corner. He will make his money as a back up CB and a ST player. He probably went from a late round grade to a mid round grade thanks to his time in Mobile. While he helped his stock, he is not a player the Bronco need. We already have a guy like Burney in Syd'Quan Thompson.
Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue
Kerrigan is simply a good football player. I don't know how his measurables will be, but he is a tough guy with great instincts and a non stop motor. He showed some real skill from the 4-3 DE position. He was explosive at times and showed great read and react skills. Kerrigan is likely going to be drafted from 16-32. He is going to be a high motor player that will be a fan favorite. However, his draft stock is mid to late 1st and that makes it very unlikely that he will be a Bronco next year.
Jaiqwuan Jarrett, S, Temple
Jaiqwuan is one of the guys I couldn't wait to look at this week. He played for Temple which meant I didn't get to watch him all that much. Jarrett is a guy that has a lot of potential. He impressed quite a few people this week. He has decent size at nearly 6 ft and 196 pounds. Jarrett showed very well at the Senior Bowl. The thing I noticed about this guy is that he is a physical hitter. He's not afraid to throw his body around and nail a WR. He also displayed decent cover ability, although this is clearly the weakest part of his game. Jarrett has a lot of potential in my mind. He is probably a 3rd round pick who can be a very good safety with good coaching.
Sione Fua, DT, Stanford
If you have been following my work, you will remember that I stated that Fua is my favorite NT prospect in the entire draft. After watching him at the Senior Bowl, he only reaffirmed that statement. Fua is a great penetrating DT. He uses his strength to disrupt running lanes. Several times Fua pushed back a guard or center and got to the RB. Fua doesn't offer much in the pass rush department which will probably take him off of a lot of 4-3 boards. However, 3-4 teams will be very intrigued by him. He is likely a late 2nd-3rd round prospect.
Mason Foster, LB, Washington
Foster is a guy that I got to watch a lot of being a Pac-10 fan. Foster is a tackling machine. He totalled 372 tackles in his time at Washington. The question with him is what position does he translate to in the NFL. After the Senior Bowl week, he likely has tons of teams asking him that same question. Foster created a bit of buzz over the week due to strong practices. He showed good instincts, read and recognition skills, and the ability to shed blocks and get to the ball carrier. I think he would make a nice sam or will linebacker in the 4-3 and will likely be a 2nd round prospect. The thing to watch for Mason is his 40 time.
Jalil Brown, CB, Colorado
Playing next to Jimmy Smith, Jalil Brown became an after thought in Colorado. However, he had a very nice Senior Bowl game. He showed really good coverage skills going up against stud WR Lenonard Hankerson. He was step with step with Hankerson every time he was across from him. He has decent size standing at 6 ft, 202 pounds. He isn't as good of a corner as Jimmy Smith, but he is a guy who I think could be a nice #2 with some good coaching. It will be interesting to see what his 40 time is.
Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon
Casey is talked about a lot at MHR because of his older brother Clay. I have repeatedly said that Casey is not his brother and will likely never be as good. Watching this game only further confirmed that believe. However, that isn't to say Casey isn't a decent prospect. He is a very instinctive linebacker who is all heart and hustle. He doesn't have great measurables standing at 6 ft, 230 pounds. He also has mediocre speed it appears. Casey is a guy whose hustle and heart make him better then he really is. I see him as a guy who can be a special teams star and maybe be a nice contributor on a team. I don't know if he will ever be a starter, but he will certainly never be his brother. He is a 3-4 round prospect who will likely be overdrafted due to his bloodlines.
Ian Williams, DT, Notre Dame
Ian Williams is one of the guys I had as a sleeper. He is a big guy who moves surprisingly well for his size. He was one of my 3-4 nose tackle prospects. He made a heck of an impression on me this weekend. The 6 ft 1, 311 pound defensive lineman from Notre Dame played very well. He showed a great initial burst and really nice strength. He was one of the best run defenders in the game along with Fua. He got a coverage sack which is when the secondary covered the WR long enough for Ian to get to the QB. He is not only my 2nd favorite nose tackle in the draft, he is one of my favorite guys to go in the 3-4 range. He's a guy who with some coaching could be very very good.
Richard Sherman, CB, Stanford
I didn't know who Sherman was at all going into the Senior Bowl, but I kept finding myself wondering "Who is that #7, that was a nice play". Sherman is a very raw guy. He was a WR at Stanford before switching to CB. Sherman made a very good impression on Saturday. He has great size at 6 ft 3, 190 pounds. He displayed some good closing speed and is not afraid to deliver a lick on receivers.He made a nice play on the ball in the 1st half and got an interception. He's a guy that needs to be developed. He likely will be taken somewhere in the 4-6 range. If the Broncos get a pick in that area, Sherman might be a wise investment.
Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College
Everyone knows how much I love Herzlich. I think he is exactly the kind of player that the Broncos need in the linebacker corps. He had a nice game despite having a rough week of practice. He displayed good instincts and fought off some blocks and got to the ball carrier. He displayed some good closing speed also. He also did a pretty good job dropping in coverage. He is still working his way back to his 08 form, but he keeps getting better and better. I would draft him in the 2nd which is where I believe he will go. Mid to late 2nd-3rd.
Cameron Jordan, DT, Cal
Cam Jordan had a fantastic Senior Bowl week. He probably had the 2nd best week. He is now solidly a 1st round pick with the potential to go top 10. He shows great burst off the line and can get to the QB. He uses his hands very well. He beat OT's all week in one on one drills. He didn't blow me away at the actual game, but he is a guy who is going to start day 1 as a 3-4 DE and will be an impact player.
Christian Ballard, DT, Iowa (Shout out to Sayre)
Ballard is a guy that was not highly though of because he was playing next to Adrian Clayborn and he is a little inconsistent. However, he had a very nice week. He culminated it all with a good game on Saturday. He fought of blocks well to make the tackles. He showed the ability to pressure the QB. I think 3-4 DE is his best position, but he can play 4-3 DT.
Da'Rell Scott, RB
Joe Lefeged, S, Rutgers
Lance Kendrick, TE, Wisconsin
The south team was full of guys that made a lot of plays. They aren't highly thought of prospects, but they are guys that will make a team and be effective players. Just note that I won't be putting Leonard Hankerson on this list because I don't believe we will be drafting a WR in this draft.
James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
Carpenter impressed me a lot on Saturday. He is a guy that wasn't highly thought of, but his stock could be on the rise. He is a big guy standing at 6 ft 4, 313 pounds. He was a beast in pass protection, rarely allowing guys to get near the QB. He also did a nice job blocking at the 2nd level. With Ryan Harris being a free agent, a new RT is going to be needed. Carpenter is a big guy who could protect the blind side of Tebow if he gets proper coaching. He needs work on his technique, but he has good potential. He is a 3-5 round prospect.
Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
I was really impressed with Jenkins on tape. He is a big guy standing at 6 ft 3, 309 pounds. He got into the back field several times and flushed the QB out of the pocket. He showed great hustle running down several RB's and QB's down field. He showed a good burst. Now, he has had stamina issues his entire career. However, he is a guy that I believe can be effective if he can keep his stamina up. He is a 3-5 prospect that could be a nice find as a 4-3 DT.
Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
Miller had the best week of anyone. He has propelled his stock to potential top 5 status. Miller is a fantastic pass rusher. He is going to make some real money as a 3-4 OLB. However, on Saturday, the two teams were forced to play in a 4-3. Miller showed great read and react skills. He got a number of tackles for loss by reacting to the play. He has a great future ahead of him. I believe we will only select him at #2 if we are keeping the 3-4. If we are switching to the 4-3, I don't believe he is worth the #2 overall.
Derrick Locke, RB, Kentucky
Locke was very impressive on Saturday. He showed a great burst and great vision. He made some great cuts and was arguably the best running back. Now, the biggest question with Locke is his size: 5 ft 8, 186 pounds. Locke is going to go on day 3 (rounds 4-7). He could be a Darren Sproles type of player.
Lee Ziemba, OT, Auburn
Ziemba is a guy that I was very impressed with. He was very good in pass protection. He contained all the inside pass rushers and redirected all the edge rushers. He is a guy that needs work though with technique. He needs to work on his footwork and his hand placement. He is a 3-5 prospect who could end up starting one day.
Sam Acho, DE, Texas
Acho had a great performance on Saturday. He displayed a great ability to rush the QB. He got to the quarterback a couple of times. He even got a sack/fumble. There were some questions as to if he could play the 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB positions. The question with Acho is if he is strong enough to hold up against the run. If he can prove that, he will be a 2-3 round pick.
Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor
Phil is a guy that a lot of people were going to look at this week. I think it is safe to say he passed the test. Taylor is a huge guy standing at 6 ft 3, 337 pounds. He is a heck of a run defender. He uses his big body to clog lanes and take on multiple blockers. On top of that, he is a decent pass rusher also. This makes him versatile as both a 3-4 NT and a 4-3 DT.
Kelvin Sheppard, LB, LSU
Sheppard was one of my favorite linebackers earlier in the year. However, his stock fell throughout the year. One of my biggest questions with Kelvin was whether he could shed blocks enough to be a 3-4 linebacker. However, since the Broncos appear to be switching to the 4-3, the LSU linebacker becomes very attractive. On Saturday, he was the leader of the defense which is exactly what the Broncos need. I saw him fight off a couple blocks to get to the RB. He also played some ST. I like Sheppard a lot and he is a round 3-4 prosepct.
DJ Williams, TE, Arkansas
DJ has been talked about a lot. He came in at 6 ft 1, 237 pounds. This makes him undersized to play the TE position. Scouts like Mike Mayock think he might be an H-Back at the next level. After watching him on Saturday, I believe he is going to be a TE and a very good one at that. I watched his blocking and he did a very nice job. He set the edge a couple times and was pretty good in pass protection. He is a 3-4 round prospect who is going to be a great find for someone.
Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
I saved the best for last. Reed was my absolute favorite player on Saturday. He came in at 6 ft 2, 257 pounds. He was a beast. He was a force as an edge rusher. He pressured the QB all game long and even got a sack. I didn't believe he could play the 4-3 DE before Saturday. Now, I am extremely high on him. I don't know how he will hold up against the run, but at the very least he is a pass rush specialist who has a very high motor. He is a 4-7 prospect who will make a team fall in love with him. I sincerely hope it is the Broncos.
Colin McCarthy, LB, Miami
Shareece Wright, CB, USC
Charles Clay, FB, Tulsa
Nate Irving, LB, North Carolina St.
Cedrick Thorton, DE, Southern Arkansas
There is your Senior Bowl scouting report. There are a lot of prospects on this list. Here are my top 10 favorites of Saturday's game.
1. Ian Williams, DT, Notre Dame
2. Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
3. Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
4. Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
5. Mason Foster, LB, Washington
6. Sam Acho, DE, Texas
7. Richard Sherman, CB, Stanford
8. Jaiqwuan Jarrett, S, Temple
9. James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
10. Derrick Locke, RB, Kentucky
What do you guys think? Who were your favorite guys, who caught your eye, and who do you think is on the Broncos radar after the Senior Bowl week concluded. Let me know in the comments. There is another game this weekend that will feature a couple of interesting prospects including Ole Miss DT Jerrell Powe. Until next time, MHR.