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« : January 21, 2013, 02:54:40 AM »

Senior Bowl preview
 Dan Pompei
National Football Post

January 20, 2013, 06:00 AM EST..

 Of course Sunday is a big day for the four NFL teams vying for a spot in Super Bowl XLVII. But it is a big day for the 28 other teams too.
That’s because those teams are descending en masse on Mobile, Ala., for the Senior Bowl and the unofficial kickoff to the draft season. And the hope from all corners of the league is NFL teams will get more out of the Senior Bowl than ever before.
The reason for their hope is the new executive director Phil Savage, the old Browns general manager. The ideas, energy and expertise Savage has brought to the game is very significant for NFL teams, though the storyline has escaped public attention.
From an evaluation perspective, this is how Savage is changing the Senior Bowl:
*There are better players this year.
This looks like the best Senior Bowl roster from top to bottom in a long time, maybe ever. Last year there were 27 Senior Bowl players who weren’t even drafted. Some agents have said that in the past, some inferior players were allowed in the game because Senior Bowl officials were cutting deals with them to get the best players to come to Mobile (If you take my two players who are rated as seventh rounders, I’ll deliver my first rounder). That does not appear to be the case this year.
Savage, who doubles as the radio voice of Alabama football, saw ten Crimson Tide games and six other games in person. He made 25 campus visits, just like the NFL scout he used to be. So he saw more than 40 schools in person. That enabled him to identify the best prospects in the nation. Savage even wrote up scouting reports and posted them on seniorbowl.com.

Mike Glennon can make his draft stock rise at the Senior Bowl.

Six high profile players backed out of the Senior Bowl from the start. They are Montee Ball from Wisconsin, Star Lotulelei from Utah, Geno Smith from West Virginia, Manti Te’o from Notre Dame (he might want to reconsider after the events of last week), Chance Warmack from Alabama and Jonathan Cooper from North Carolina. And, as of Friday, nine others backed out with medical situations, including Southern Cal QB Matt Barkely and Florida linebacker Jonathan Bostic. So the game will be without at least 15 seniors who are likely first, second or third round picks. But all the rest are supposed to be there.
*The practices run by the staffs of the Lions and Raiders promise to give NFL teams more of what they want to see.
One-on-ones are being emphasized more than in the past, so we’ll see more offensive linemen versus defensive linemen, linebackers versus running backs and tight ends, and wide receivers versus cornerbacks.
*The interview process has been organized.
In the past, it’s been catch as catch can on interviews. Now, everything will be formatted. There will be three groups of players. One group of 36 players goes every night. Quarterbacks, receivers and corners have their turn Monday, for instance. Each of the 32 teams will have a station for interviews. The 70 players who aren’t in the group that is being brought from station to station are free to interview on-on-one with other NFL executives.
So players will be able to impact their draft stock like never before.
Here are some players who scouts are particularly looking forward to watching.

Will Davis, CB, Utah State. His stock has skyrocketed this season, but for him to be a lock first rounder, he’ll need to show well against the top receivers here.

Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State. He has a chance to pass Smith and Barkley and become the No. 1 quarterback in the class if he can excel in this format. The game also will provide solid opportunities for fellow QBs Ryan Nassib from Syracuse and Tyler Wilson from Arkansas.

Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist. NFL teams love his measurables but aren’t sure how far along he is. This game will give them a better handle.

Kyle Long, OT, Oregon. The former baseball player and defensive end has a ways to go, but he has some great genes. He was expected to return to school for another year, but he was not granted another year of eligibility. Subsequently he has flown a little under the radar with NFL scouts. He is the type of player who teams could go crazy over in the postseason.

Vance McDonald, TE, Rice. He has quietly climbed the charts and could continue to climb with an impressive showing. Scouts like the fact that he is an all-around tight end.

J.C. Tretter, OL, Cornell. He is raw and needs to build strength, but this former tight end is very athletic. He played left tackle in college and will be tried inside.

J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern. He is the prototypical small school guy who needs to show he can hang with better competition. Wilcox has played safety for only one year, so teams don’t have a lot of tape on him.


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« #1 : January 21, 2013, 06:18:42 AM »

If Glennon goes #1 and Geno Smith starts to fall, I wonder if the Bucs make a move to get him.


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« #2 : January 21, 2013, 11:33:21 AM »

With all the success these young passers that can run are doing, I think someone will take Smith early hoping he can be the 2013 version of RGIII, Wilson or Kaepernick.

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