Alabama TE OJ Howard - Photo by: Scott Reynolds/PR
PewterReport.com’s Scott Reynolds, Trevor Sikkema and Andrew Scavelli are covering the Senior Bowl live from Mobile, Ala. and were present at the weigh-in. Here are some of PR’s observations about some of the top prospects, including some that the Bucs will be targeting this week from a scouting perspective.
San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey came in much lighter than expected. Listed at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, Pumphrey, who is the FBS all-time rushing leader, is actually 5-foot-8, 169 pounds, which will cause his stock to drop as there just isn’t any track record for success for running backs that light. Former Bucs and Falcons running back Warrick Dunn was a smaller player who carved out a successful NFL career, but Dunn was 5-foot-9, 187 pounds. That’s an inch taller and 18 pounds heavier than Pumphrey.
BYU running back Jamaal Williams, who is one of the bigger backs in this year’s draft class, was originally listed at 6-2, 220 pounds on the roster, but weighed in at 6-foot, 211 at the Senior Bowl. Williams is a bruising back with tremendous lower body strength and the potential to be drafted on the second day, but his 40-yard dash time will be critical and he needs to run lower than a 4.6 to make that happen.
BYU Jamaal Williams – Photo by: Scott Reynolds/PR
Alabama tight end O.J. Howard, who is regarded as the top senior tight end in this year’s draft, was listed at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds. He weighed in pretty close to that at 6-foot-5 and a half, and 249 pounds with an 80-inch wingspan and 10-inch hands. The Bucs will be scouting him hard this week at the Senior Bowl.
Toledo tight end Michael Roberts, who played in the East-West Shrine Game last week and was featured in SR’s Fab 5 on PewterReport.com, was listed at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, but actually measures 6-foot-4, 261 pounds. He’s a great looking prospect for the Buccaneers.
Arkansas tight end Jeremy Sprinkle weighed in at 6-foot-4 and a half, and weighed 256 pounds, which was his accurate weight on the roster. Yet he was listed at 6-foot-6 prior to the weigh-in. Regardless, his 10.58-inch hands, 34-inch arms and 81.3-inch wingspan put him near the top of the tight end group in terms of ideal measurables. Bucs scouts will be studying his character in interviews as he was suspended from the Belk Bowl due to shoplifting.
South Alabama tight end Gerald Everett, who played his college ball at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, which is the home of the Senior Bowl, was listed at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, but really underwhelmed from a measurement standpoint. Everett checked in at 6-foot-2, 227 pounds with tiny, 8-inch hands. That eliminates him from being an NFL tight end and will likely pigeonhole him into being a receiving fullback/H-back-type player in the NFL and will negatively affect his draft stock.
North Carolina wide receiver Ryan Switzer shocked the NFL scouts and media members in attendance by weighing in at 5-foot-8, 179 pounds. He was listed at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds on the roster prior to the weigh-in. To put how small he is in perspective, Bucs wide receiver Adam Humphries is 5-foot-10, 195 pounds. Humphries is two inches taller and 16 pounds heavier than Switzer.
Louisiana Tech wide receiver Trent Taylor was even smaller at 5-foot-7 and a half and weighing 177 pounds. Although his measurables weren’t as inflated prior to the weigh-in. Taylor was listed at 5-foot-8, 175 pounds on the roster.
Texas A&M wide receiver Josh Reynolds, who followed Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans to the Aggies, was listed at 6-foot-4, 195 pounds, but weighed in smaller at 6-foot-2, 187 pounds. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Reynolds’ weigh-in was his 8.78-inch hands. Receivers ideally have 9.0-9.5-inch hands, and the fact that Reynolds’ came in under the average was eye-opening, especially because it looks like his hands are bigger than that live with some of the spectacular catches he made at Texas A&M. Evans would love to see this Aggie join him in Tampa Bay.
Eastern Washington wide receiver Cooper Kupp has been getting some real buzz in the scouting community and is one of the bigger receivers this year, listed at 6-foot-2, 205. Kupp, whose frame resembles that of Green Bay receiver Jordy Nelson, actually weighed in at 6-foot-1, 198 pounds. That’s two inches shorter and seven pounds lighter. Expect the Bucs to take a close look at this highly productive receiver this week at the Senior Bowl.
USC offensive tackle Zach Banner was the tallest Senior Bowl participant at 6-foot-8, 361 pounds and comes armed with an 82-inch wingspan. Banner is a massive offensive tackle that is strictly a right side player in the NFL.
LSU center Ethan Pocic was listed at 6-foot-7, 302 on the roster, but actually weighed in an inch shorter at 6-foot-6, which helps his cause in NFL circles. Because most quarterbacks aren’t 6-foot-6, it’s helpful to have shorter centers in the NFL so QBs can see over them. Quarterbacks need passing lanes to throw from in the pocket, and despite being very talented, a 6-foot-6 center could prove to be hindrance.
The most eye-popping measurement of the day had to be Temple offensive guard Dion Dawkins, who was 6-foot-3 with an 84.28 wingspan. That’s a 7-foot wingspan. Interior offensive linemen usually have smaller, more powerful reaches. Not Dawkins.
Villanova DE Tanoh Kpassagnon – Photo by: Scott Reynolds/PR
A defensive end that is likely on Tampa Bay’s radar that definitely passed the eyeball test was Villanova’s Tanoh Kpassagnon. This chiseled monster resembles Tampa Bay defensive end Will Gholston, and was listed at 6-foot-7, 290 pounds on the roster. His actual measurements were 6-foot-7, 280 pounds and he looks the part.
Iowa defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson weighed in at 6-foot-2, 309 pounds after being listed at 6-foot-4, 310. He’s actually two inches shorter, but he’s one to watch this week in Mobile. This isn’t a great defensive tackle draft crop and Johnson could really shine with his quickness and pass-rushing ability, and move up draft boards. If the Bucs don’t re-sign Akeem Spence in free agency, Johnson could get a look in Tampa Bay.
Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu certainly passed the eye test. In fact, he was one of the more impressive prospects to step on the stage. He came in at 6-foot-4, 219 pounds. He looked solid as a rock, and anytime a team has a defensive back that is that well built at that size, they have to take notice.
Going into the weigh-ins, Iowa cornerback Desmond King was thought to be small, but he wound up giving up so much in length, too. King’s arm length (29 inches) and wingspan (73 inches) were both shorter than Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis. King was thought to play bigger than his size because of length. That’s no longer the case.
Florida State’s Marquez White came in with the longest wingspan of any of the cornerbacks at 77 inches, and also had the largest hands among the group at almost 10 inches. Filling that out with his 5-foot-11, 184-pound official numbers and White had a very good morning.
Clemson defensive tackle Carlos Watkins is as big as advertised. He officially weighted in at 312 pounds at 6-foot-3, but what was even more impressive was his 81-inch wingspan and 10.38-inch hand size. Watkins is a big boy all around. If he can maintain power with that reach, he’ll be a force all week at practice.
– Trevor Sikkema and Andrew Scavelli contributed to this report
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR’s Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons’ Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: [email protected]
The more I read about Carlos Watkins the more I like him.
That’s one big MoFo.
Thanks Scott, good information.
Yum! Yum! Like a mad dog in a meat house. Come on Licht! Lick’em up! lol.
Scott if we were to draft OJ and he can block,run and catch as well as advertised that would mean one less TE to carry on the roster. Is that a possibility?
Isn’t it funny how we men are always a bit shorter, our endurance a bit weaker and our moves a bit fewer than we claim? Of course our excuses are a bit varied and convincing enough to offset our stretching of reality.
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