2011 Senior Bowl: Tuesday Recap and Analysis
Another long day at the Senior Bowl wrapped up today with the press conference. I got a chance to talk to a few guys and the coaches there, but the real joy was getting a ton of the prospects numbers. I look forward to speaking with all of those guys over the next few weeks.
So, here are the notes for today.
Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs, along with a handful of other teams, were quick to talk to Cameron Jordan of California, but they talked to him a lot today. Also, they took a really liking to Luke Stocker, and had him talking about his route running and blocking a lot. Both make a lot of sense.
Buffalo Bills - Also talked to Cameron Jordan and while that's smart, I think Bills fans should worry: He's been great this week, I'm not sure about Top 5 great.
New York Jets - Probably just doing their due dilligence, but they also talked to Cameron Jordan for a while, but the more interesting player was Christian Ponder, who could be a nice developmental back-up behind Sanchez for years.
Minnesota Vikings - The Vikings attacked Jake Locker and Colin Kaepernick today and seemed interested in both, both make sense with their value. Also, Lance Kendricks from Wisconsin was talking to a scout for a while, and he could fit in nicely to their plans.
Chicago Bears - They had Vincent Brown drawing plays out and talked with him for a long while. They could still use some receiver help, and Brown's been impressive
Washington Redskins - They spoke with two offensive tackles today, both perfect fits for their system. Derek Sherrod may not be worth their value because they're already paying Trent Williams, but I wouldn't put it past them to value tackles. Also, James Pinkston of Pittsburgh was talked to the Redskins staff extensively, and I think 3rd-4th round he could be their RT of the future.
New Orleans Saints - Ian Williams of Notre Dame, who I didn't think played well this week but others did, was on their radar. Also, Titus Young was spoken to for a while, and he'd be a dangerous edition to their offense. Finally, Jalil Brown, who's apparently been doing great in interviews, was talking to multiple Saints staff members after practice.
Philadelphia Eagles - They spoke with Leonard Hankerson yesterday, but today they focused on Christian Ballard, DeMarco Murray, and Jalil Brown. Ballard got at least two Eagles scouts talking to him, and he told me they were very interested.
Cleveland Browns - They spoke with two receivers today in Vincent Brown and Courtney Smith. Both are blowing up here at the Senior Bowl, both could really help this young Browns offense.
San Diego Chargers - They spoke with two possible 3-4 defensive ends today in Christian Ballard and Allen Bailey. I believe both would fit their system perfectly, with Ballard being a 1st-2nd round value and Bailey a 2nd-3rd rounder.
Seattle Seahawks - They stole Leonard Hankerson from other scouts for about 15 minutes today on the field, which is a ton of time. They appear really interested, and I think he could have great value for them if they trade down in the 1st round or even stick there and have him develop opposite Mike Williams.
Baltimore Ravens - They spoke with Marcus Gilchrist and Jeremy Kerley each for a long while, and that they should. Gilchrist played a mix of safety and cornerback today, and that versatility is just what the Ravens need. Also, Kerley was explosive today, and they are missing that dynamic from their offense.
Oakland Raiders - Uh-oh. It looks like Al Davis asked for who looked the best in spandex at Weigh-In day and ordered his staff members to talk to him, as they spoke with Allen Bailey for a while today. Bailey isn't a bad player and probably a good fit, but he hasn't stood out at all today and he's a classic player that could be lost in Oakland.
At the press conference, head coaches Chan Gailey and Marvin Lewis spoke as well as Colin Kaepernick, Mason Foster, Sam Acho, and Leonard Hankerson. Here were some quotes from them.
-Chad Gailey said he plans to "back off physically later in the week" to save their health in the game. He spoke of Christian Ponder is saying that his "arm problems are behind him" and that he had the "best deep ball of the group". He said that Andy Dalton was "the best scrambler of the group". He spoke about Jeremy Kerley and said that "there's a lot of guys like him", but he's got "very good quickness, good understanding of the game, and catches on quickly". Of Luke Stocker, Gailey said "If you miss him, you're accuracy is poor". And finally, I asked about Courtney Smith, and he emphasized his "raw talent" and his overall "potential" to be productive in the NFL.
-Coach Marvin Lewis spoke of Greg Jones highly, said he really likes his "hip explosion to the ball". I asked him about playing Gabe Carimi, the Outland Trophy winner at guard and he said that he can "show flexibility" and has looked solid at both. He went on for a little while about Jake Locker speaking mostly of his character by saying he has a "great personality" and "the ability to lead" and that he's "outward and vocal". Again, no need to speculate, but the Bengals could use a quarterback....
-A few other quick notes on the rest of the interviews. Colin Kaepernick said the "biggest adjustment is terminology" moreso than the footwork. Mason Foster pointed out that he "played defensive end in college as well", speaking to his versatility and said he always "plays with passion". Sam Acho discussed his National Academic Heisman Award, but said that his greatest honor is "being here against the top seniors in the country". He said that he played at 3-4 outside linebacker his first two years at Texas and says he'd welcome the challenge. He also pointed out that the best lineman he faced today was Alabama tackle James Carpenter. Finally, Leonard Hankerson corrected Shane Hallam (from DraftCountdown.com) after Shane asked about his multiple drops today, with Leonard quickly that he "actually had only one drop today". The biggest concern with Hankerson is his overall speed, and he said his overall goal is to get to the low 4.4s at the Combine, a time that could make him a 1st round lock.
-Talked to Paul Spicer and Justin Griffith again today, both looking for coaching jobs in the future after they ended their football career (Spicer with the Jaguars, who he's currently with as a scout assistant). As far as Griffith, Da'Rel Scott spoke highly of him as a coach. Best of luck to both guys.
-There were two injuries that I saw today in Shareece Wright and Marcus Gilbert, both looked like toe injuries. Also, I heard from www.draftcountdown.com's Scott Wright that Stephen Paea has some meniscus damage and he's out, and Terrell McClain, who really shined at the East-West Shrine game will be his replacement.
-Finally, on a lighter now, I saw Mike Leach at practice today. Now there are no Texas Tech guys and I'm not sure how he's affiliated with a team, but maybe an NFL gig is his next option? I'm not saying...I'm just saying.