NCAA Football

2011 Senior Bowl: Position Breakdown

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After a week at the Senior Bowl, it's certain that players' stock has risen or fallen, and it's important to breakdown who went where and how they ranked overall at their position all week longWe'll breakdown who rose, who fell, ranks of each position, and a few notes from every position at the Senior Bowl.  (Stephen Paea, Terrell McClain, Curtis Marsh , Edmond Gates not included due to injury.) These don't necessarily indicate who is the best overall prospect, just ranking how they did over the week with consideration of their overall skill set.

1. Jake Locker
2. Christian Ponder
3. Colin Kaepernick
4. Greg McElroy
5. Ricky Stanzi
6. Andy Dalton

While he didn't dominate all week, Jake Locker was impressive enough as far as technique, footwork, arm strength, and in meetings for him to be a lock for the Top 15. After him, I don't see another long term starter, with Colin Kaepernick having an outside chance if a team gives him 3-4 years to develop. Christian Ponder and Greg McElroy look like great backups, and Ricky Stanzi and Andy Dalton look like developmental guys who could one day be solid backups.

Running Backs
1. Derrick Locke
2. Kendall Hunter
3. Roy Helu Jr.
4. Demarco Murray
5. Da'Rel Scott
6. Bilal Powell
7. Noel Devine
8. Anthony Allen
FB 1. Owen Marecic
FB 2.Charles Clay


Derrick Locke was very explosive all week, and I think a team could see enough Darren Sproles in him to reach and take him in the 2nd round. Kendall Hunter showed by far the quickest feet of the group, and while he's no Maurice Jones-Drew, he could be a solid backup. DeMarco Murray didn't emerge at all this week, and while he may be the only one with number one running back potential, he didn't show it this week. Anthony Allen wasn't all that bad this week, and the running backs were all close, but I thought he really struggled in pass blocking, which also pushed Jonathan Dwyer, another GT alum, to the bottom of the 6th round. 

Wide Receiver
1. Leonard Hankerson
2.Titus Young
3. Vincent Brown
4. Jeremy Kerley
5. Dwayne Harris
6. Courtney Smith
7. Greg Salas
8. Austin Pettis
9. Ronald Johnson
10. Niles Paul
11. Jock Sanders

Of all the receivers, only Leonard Hankerson has number one receiver potential as of now. However, Titus Young looked like a great number two option in the NFL. Vincent Brown and Dwayne Harris showcased great hands and concentration all week. Also, I really like Jeremy Kerley's slot potential, great quickness and deep play ability with good hands. Courtney Smith will be a bit of a project, but could be the next Marques Colston if he falls too much. Greg Salas and Ronald Johnson were just okay, with Salas running great routes but body catching and Johnson showing good quickness in his breaks but not consistent routes.

Tight Ends
1. Luke Stocker
2. DJ Williams
3. Lance Kendricks
4. Mike McNeil
5. Lee Smith
6. Preston Dial

Luke Stocker looked the part of a future NFL starting tight end, and a good Combine could give him a Dustin Keller like rise. DJ Williams looked like strictly an H-Back, which hurt a little, but he showed great hands and ball skills. Lance Kendrick didn't wow me, but he was solid all around. Lee Smith looks like either a great blocking tight end or a possible left tackle convert.

Offensive Tackles
1. Derek Sherrod
2. Gabe Carimi
3. Anthony Castanzo
4. Nate Solder
5. Jason Pinkston
6. DeMarcus Love
7. James Brewer
8. Marcus Gilbert

Of all of the left tackle prospects (the top 4), only Derek Sherrod looked consistent enough to be a solid option at left tackle. Gabe Carimi showed he could play tackle and guard, and that versatility should help. Nate Solder struggled too much with inside rushers, and I think he needs some work. Jason Pinkston's arm length and size (6'3) make him only a fit at right tackle in a zone scheme, but he could start early in Washington or Houston. James Brewer looked a bit stiff, but he has raw talent and could be a great NFL right tackle with time.

Offensive Guards
1. Clint Boling
2. Danny Watkins
3. Rodney Hudson
4. James Carpenter
5. John Moffitt
6. Stephen Schilling
7. Lee Ziemba

I thought the top four guard prospects here thoroughly impressed. I don't see any of them escaping the Top 70 picks. Clint Boling took care of most of the South defensive linemen, and he's the only guard I see as a possible 1st rounder with a good Combine. Teams and coaches I talked to said Danny Watkins's age isn't a concern. Lee Ziemba will only fit on a few teams at guard, but he showed he can be a mauler at the 2nd level, though his pass blocking was very suspect.

1. Jake Kirkpatrick
2. Brandon Fusco
3. Kris O'Dowd
4. Kevin Kowalski

Jake Kirkpatrick really impressed me and was rarely beaten. He could be one of the top centers regardless of the Senior Bowl. Also, Brandon Fusco picked up techniques very quickly, and that intelligence and coachability will impress scouts.

Defensive Tackles
1. Christian Ballard
2. Phil Taylor
3. Jarvis Jenkins
4. Allen Bailey
5. Sione Fua
6. Cedric Thornton
7. Ian Williams
8. Chris Neild

Christian Ballard was a big winner this week, really impressed and could play DE or DT in 4-3 and DE in a 3-4 very well. Phil Taylor was the top nose tackle this week, but Sione Fua looked like a solid option as well there. Allen Bailey was originally a defensive end, but he played best inside as tackle and that's probably his best fit. He's still very raw.

Defensive Ends
1. Cameron Jordan
2. Ryan Kerrigan
3. Sam Acho
4. Jeremy Beal
5. Brooks Reed
6. Pernell McPhee
7. Pierre Allen

As I've said many, many times, Cameron Jordan was simply dominate, and I could see him as high as the Top 10. Ryan Kerrigan showed some stand-up ability as an outside linebacker as well, and his power rush skills got him a lot of attention. Sam Acho looked surprisingly comfortable as a coverage linebacker, and I think he'll rise up boards quickly. Brooks Reed was pointed out many times for his great motor and he could be an OLB as well, but he lacks great athleticism to be a high pick.

Outside Linebackers
1. Von Miller
2. Colin McCarthy
3. Mason Foster
4. Casey Matthews
5. KJ Wright
6. Lawrence Wilson
7. Ross Homan

In my opinion, no outside linebacker looked "bad" at all. I thought Von Miller separated from the group, but that was obvious. Colin McCarthy really impressed me with his athletic ability, Mason Foster looked good in space and in coverage, Casey Matthews looked complete as well, KJ Wright showed great versatility for his size, Lawrence Wilson was maybe the most athletically gifted outside of Miller, and Ross Homan was the best coverage linebacker. All seven could be future starters in 2-3 years.

Inside Linebackers
1. Kelvin Sheppard
2. Greg Jones
3. Nate Irving
4. Mark Herzlich
5. Josh Bynes
6. Chris White

Kelvin Sheppard
was the leader of the South defense, and that leadership ability plus his size makes him a great inside linebacker prospect, maybe first round. Greg Jones showed more versatility than I expected. Mark Herzlich looks like a better fit at ILB, and could be a great 3-4 guy.

1. Kendric Burney
2. Jalil Brown
3. Marcus Gilchrist
4. Rashad Carmichael
5. DeMarcus Van Dyke
6. Curtis Brown
7. Shareece Wright
8. Johnny Patrick

In all honestly, all the cornerbacks showed enough good ability that I think all seven could be off the board by round four, but I don't think any go in the Top 40 picks. Jalil Brown got the most interest all week long and he was impressive, but I liked Kendric Burney's physicality and press coverage ability, though he did struggled at times down the field. Rashad Carmichael got hurt, but was on pace for a great week. Demarcus Van Dyke looked awfully skinny, but showed good hips and length in coverage.

1. Ahmad Black
2. DeAndre McDaniel
3. Jaiwquan Jarrett
4. Joe Lefeged
5. Eric Hagg
6. Quinton Carter
7. Da'Norris Searcy
8. Zac Etheridge

No safety really stood out to me outside of Ahmad Black, but with his 5'9 size, questions about his starting ability will be there. Still, I'd love him on my team. DeAndre McDaniel showed good range, but doesn't look like a dominate player. Joe Lefeged surprised me with how versatile and athletic he was. Eric Hagg got a lot of attention as a raw talent, could go higher than his value is because of it. Da'Norris Searcy looked solid as a returner, and his speed at safety and return skills could make him a solid draft pick.

Biggest Winners

1. Cameron Jordan
2. Titus Young
3. Derrick Locke
4. Derek Sherrod
5. Christian Ballard

Cameron Jordan could be as high as the Top 10 picks, while Titus Young is safely in the Top two rounds. Also, Derek Sherrod and Christian Ballard both could be as high as middle 1st rounders, and Derrick Locke should be the first change of pace back taken, probably in the 3rd-4th round range.