NFL stock watch: Senior Bowl aftermath
After almost a week of practice, this year’s Senior Bowl participants played a game on Saturday, which the South lost, 34-13.
The SEC didn’t have any sort of crazy week during the practices, but most of the players from the conference already have plenty of video competing against NFL-caliber talent.
Still, though it wasn’t extreme, there were some SEC players that helped or hurt their NFL prospects this week.
- CB Nick Marshall, Auburn: He wasn’t the greatest cornerback ever to grace the field at Ladd Peebles Stadium. But the fact that he voluntarily practiced with the defensive backs all week is a huge start compared to recent college quarterbacks reluctant to switch positions. He got burned by Kansas State receiver Tyler Lockett a few times in practice and seemed tight in his hips, but several scouts and smart media members commented on his raw athleticism, and he probably cemented a draft pick.
- OL La’el Collins, LSU: Several questioned whether he’ll be a left tackle in the NFL, but simultaneously called him a strong prospect at guard or right tackle. Balance is sometimes an issue, but Collins is wonderful at recovering. From Dane Brugler of CBS: “Just like his game tape, it didn’t always look pretty for Collins in Mobile, but more often than not, he gets the job done.”
- WR Sammie Coates, Auburn: No one questioned his physical tools. A shade under 6-foot-2 with elite speed, Coates showed up in Mobile yoked at 213 pounds. But he needed to answer questions about his hands and route-running, and he mostly did, demonstrating progress in the eyes of many scouts. His groin injury is worth monitoring and he needs to continue to convince teams his hands aren’t going to be an issue.
- FB Jalston Fowler, Alabama: He got very little run in the game, much like his senior season at Alabama. Fullbacks, H backs and all but the most elite blocking tight ends need to have more than blocking in their skill set, and Fowler proved just that during the week of practice. “It was clear he was also underutilized (at Alabama),” Brugler said. “During drills, Fowler was quick through the hole with decisive quickness and the pop to brush off contact, keeping his feet and rumbling to the second level.”
Others: G Arie Kouandjio, Alabama, S Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss, DL Preston Smith, Mississippi State, RB Cameron Artis-Payne, Auburn; LB Martrell Spaight, Arkansas.
- OT Trent Brown, Florida: He weighed in at 378 pounds. Granted, he’s 6-foot-8, but the consensus among scouts was that he didn’t carry his weight well (one commented on his skinny calves). Several reports claimed he didn’t fare well in practice either.
- QB Blake Sims, Alabama: He didn’t look anything like an NFL quarterback. He’s got above-average athleticism, but hardly enough to create a blip on the radar when being evaluated as an NFL passer. Sims got exposed in the eyes of many scouts this week.
- C Reese Dismukes, Auburn: I’ll let Yahoo! Sports reporter Eric Edholm take this one. “His hands were shockingly small (sub-8.5 inches, with his right hand — the one he snaps with — measuring smaller than his left), he lacks bulk, struggled in one-on-one drills and failed to get good push up front. Dismukes also struggled with his shotgun snapping consistency, which appeared to carry over from the end of this past season.”