GAINESVILLE FL - SEPTEMBER 04: Janoris Jenkins #1 of the Florida Gators celebrates after a defensive stand against the Miami University RedHawks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 4 2010 in Gainesville Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Day three is over and we have three prospects (and then some) you should be keeping an eye on as the Saturday game approaches.
One thing that became immediately apparent if you just took a sweeping glance at the North team vs. the South team Senior Bowl rosters. The South teams talent seems to far outweigh the North teams as far as talent goes on paper. As the practices develop it seems that the talent may lay heavy on the South teams side on more than just paper.
The Denver Broncos have several needs and we've been discussing what can happen via free agency, the Senior Bowl offers the best opportunity to see what the nation's best Seniors can do against one another. Needs for the Broncos are predominantly on defense, though there is much depth to be added offensively as well.Some players that I would love to feature here are two defensive linemen that will probably be long gone before the Broncos get an opportunity to draft in the first round: defensive end/outside linebacker Melvin Ingram out of South Carolina and defensive end Quinton Coples out of North Carolina. One that could be available in round one, but I don't expect the Broncos to use a first on a quarterback is Brandon Weeden out of Oklahoma St. he has been the best of the quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl in my opinion.
The three players on the South team that I would like to feature are cornerback Janoris Jenkins out of North Alabama, defensive tackle Brandon Thompson out of Clemson and linebacker Sean Spence out of Miami.
Yes, I know, but maybe some of you don't. Jenkins was only the second true Freshman cornerback in Florida history to start on opening day. He was dismissed two seasons later for having his second arrest in three months. He debated joining the NFL Supplemental Draft before deciding instead to join Terry Bowden at North Alabama.
Aside from being probably the best cover corner in the draft, the man excels in press coverage and closes incredibly fast on passes when in zone coverage. That's not all, he returns punts, but he returns punts and it's almost like he's using a real life Madden Easter egg that is making the rest of the coverage team go slow. Double threats are invaluable, having one player who can fill two positions is great. The best part is he may be available in the second round...
So you've been screaming for the Broncos to draft a defensive tackle for the last two seasons? Well, Thompson isn't going to be the one that you've been screaming for, but he's not going to disappoint you either. He measured 6'2" and 311 lbs. at the combine, prides himself a run-stopper and fits perfectly in a 4-3.
Thompson has been the most impressive interior defensive lineman competing this week at the Senior Bowl in my opinion. I can't make a guarantee that he'll be a Ndamukong Suh type impact as a rookie, but he should have more than a Nick Fairley type impact. He's been rocketing off the snap count and over powering would be blockers consistently.
Remember complaining about Denver passing on Clay Matthews in 2009 after he turned out to be incredible? Well, Spence might be a way for making up for that. The knock on Spence is that he is small (5'11" or the same height as Elvis Dumervil), but the way he throws his body around like a kamikaze is sure to continue to raise a lot of eye brows throughout the week.
His hits are like mini-explosions and often are for a loss. He can also do time at middle, I am not going to speculate at the possibility of him making a switch at the NFL level, but if the Broncos are considering that for him than his size isn't going to be that big of a factor. Also Spence should be available past the first, even second round.
North Carolina linebacker Zach Brown, Furman cornerback Ryan Steed and N.C. State wide receiver T. J. Graham.
Check in tomorrow and I will have some of the best of the best from the 2012 Senior Bowl.