Get your draft caps on because it's Senior Bowl week! While the Dallas coaching staff heads out to Miami for the Pro Bowl, Jerry Jones and his team of scouts are in Mobile, Alabama for the 2010 Senior Bowl.
The game is set to kickoff on January 30 at 3 PM (CST).
After watching the Cowboys' offensive line, I think it's safe to say that we all expect Jones and his staff to draft a tackle and an interior lineman or two...or three. By the looks of it, this could be a good draft to do so.' defensive line outperform the
The general consensus seems to be that the Cowboys need--and will go and get--an offensive tackle in the first round. If this is indeed their approach, the team will likely have their eyes fixed on two small school behemoths for most of the weekend--Vladimir Ducasse of UMass, and Mike Iupati of Idaho. Iupati actually spent his college career at Idaho at guard, but many scouts project him as a tackle.
Ducasse spent his college career at tackle, though many see him as a guard in the NFL. Both fit into Dallas's traditional mold for offensive linemen, which is to say they're immense in size. Iupati, a native of American Samoa, stand six foot six and weighs in at 325 pounds; Ducasse, a native of Port Au Prince, Haiti, is six foot five and 330.
More after the jump.
It may have been only a coincidence, but the Cowboys contingent perked up when Idaho offensive guard Mike Iupati took the stage. Iupati was measured at 6 feet 5 and 325 pounds. Iupati was a finalist for the Outland Trophy, given to the nation's top lineman.
Mocking Dan at SBN's Mocking The Draft has this to say about Lupati:
Idaho guard Mike Iupati had a 35-inch arm length. How important is that? Example:
• Eugene Monroe 34″
• Jason Smith 33 3/4″
• Andre Smith 35 5/8″
• Michael Oher 33 1/2"
There is no question that Iupati is considered by most to be the best guard available in the draft. However, he gained that status playing against the below-average opponents of the Western Athletic Conference. Iupati is a strong, athletic guard, but he’ll have to prove it against the best competition he’s ever faced. Play well, and he could be a first-round pick.
The profile, here, is a great read on Ducasse, who was born and raised in Haiti.
This scouting report projects Ducasse going somewhere in Rounds 2-4.
WalterFootball.com breaks down the weigh-ins by position.
The site's writer, Matt McGuire, previews the offense. Let's take a look at his description of the wide receiver group, shall we?
The star of this group has to be LSU's Brandon LaFell whom I have given a 4-star, first-round grade. He is a big, physical target with underrated speed after the catch. He has a chance to really separate himself from the pack this week.
Mardy Gilyard from Cincinnati needs to show me that he can maintain concentration and show soft hands. I personally feel he is a little overrated, but you never know what can happen in practice.
Ole Miss's Dexter McCluster is a very fast player who finds ways to maximize yardage when you put the ball in his hands. He is a slot receiver at the next level.
I feel like Tulane's Jeremy Williams is the sleeper of this group. He is a good route runner and has great body control.
Two more to watch are The Citadel's Andre Roberts and UAB's Joe Webb who will be making the conversion from quarterback to receiver. Miami's Jimmy Graham is an athletic freak, but he needs to show consistency and make plays with the heat on. USC's Anthony McCoy and Alabama's Colin Peek round out the tight end class thus far.
Gilyard has been a very productive receiver.
Gilyard, a first team All-American selection by the American Football Coaches Association, was named the BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year for the second straight year this season and was a first team All-BIG EAST selection at wide receiver. He led the conference and finished second in the country with 2,690 all-purpose yards and was also tops in the BIG EAST in receiving yards (1,191), receiving yards per game (91.62), receptions per game (6.69), punt return average (12.63 ypg) and kickoff return yardage (1,281).
The Bunnell, Florida native finished his career as Cincinnati's all-time leader in receptions (204), receiving touchdowns (25), receiving yards (3,003), all-purpose yards (5,904), kickoff returns (93) and kickoff return TDs (4).
Evidently, Gilyard weighed in much lighter than scouts expected.
Mardy Gilyard , also came in very light. While certainly elusive, scouts wonder if he'll be able to get off press coverage in the slot at only 179 pounds.
Some players, on the other hand, impressed the scouts with their weigh-ins.
Florida State outside linebacker Dekoda Watson , boasting arguably the most impressive physique of either roster, surprised by measuring in at 6-2, 232 pounds. He had been listed by the Seminoles at 226 pounds and some scouts had estimated that he'd actually weigh in under 220.
NFL teams looking for bullish backs will be certain to keep an eye on Mississippi State's Anthony Dixon and Oregon LaGarrette Blount , each of whom measured in at an eye-popping 245 pounds. Their weight certainly wasn't due to extra slices of pizza following their seasons. Trim waistlines and thick lower bodies should aid in their transition to the NFL.
Utah pass rusher Koa Misi , who played defensive end for the Utes, seems to be taking his likely conversion to outside linebacker seriously. Expected to weigh in at 6-2, 263, but instead came in nearly an inch taller and at a relatively svelt 243 pounds.
Here are some photos from today's weigh-in.
Another guy who seems to be on the verge of a really big week is Massachusetts offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse. The guy definitely looked the part today at 6-4 5/8 and 326 pounds.
Finally, at nearly 6-8 and only 305 pounds, is it any wonder why Notre Dame offensive tackle Sam Young struggles to anchor on contact? He looked really thin through the lower half and has a frame that lacks bulk throughout.
Another great site that previews the Senior Bowl is NFL Draft Countdown.com. Switching it up to the defensive side of the ball, I checked out what Scott Wright had to say about the Bowl's safeties.
At safety USC’s Taylor Mays may be the best prospect on Mobile this year, regardless of position. By going back for his senior season Mays opened his game up to additional scrutiny and as a result of that overanalysis his stock has dropped. However, this is a perfect opportunity for Mays to silence all of those doubters and reestablish himself as one of the premier prospects in this class.
Another guy to watch out for is Nebraska’s Larry Asante. A rocked up, in-the-box strong safety, there has been talk that Asante could come off the board as early as the second or third round but he may need to convince others that he’s worthy of such a lofty grade this week.
Then of course there is Florida State’s Myron Rolle, the Rhodes Scholar who hasn’t played in over a year while going to school at Oxford.
SBNation's NFL page says that "all eyes will be on Tebow".
After a sterling NCAA career with the Florida Gators, Tebow must now prove to NFL scouts that he has the tools to be a NFL QB, not just a mobile college signal-caller who relies on his legs as much as his arm. Tebow needs to show he can make all the throws with authority, and that he has the intangibles to make plays and move the chains without resorting to taking off out of the pocket.
Starting today, coverage of the practices will be shown on the NFL Network - as will the game, itself, on Saturday. Also, "Path to the Draft" is scheduled to air at 8 PM (EST) tonight. Mike Mayock will begin reviewing the practices while offering his always insightful observations. If you don't have NFL Network, you should be able to watch the show on its website after it airs.
I will leave you with some fun links to help you get to know the players. Enjoy!