Senior Bowl: South Final Practice Notes

NFL Draft

Andy Dalton, QB-

Dalton struggled more and more this week as practice wore on, and really exposed a lot of holes in his game. Coming into this week a lot of people were saying he could be a 2nd or 3rd round quarterback, but now I think he dropped into the 5th-6th round range. He’s a great competitor and a nice leader, but I just don’t see an NFL QB.

Greg McElroy, QB-

McElroy make anyone believe he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but I think he had a solid enough week to show he can be a capable backup. While the upside may be minimal, he can offer good value for a team as a late round pickup.

Christian Ponder, QB-

Ponder had the best week among the South quarterbacks, and 2nd best overall. He isn’t great in any one area, but he is capable enough to be a good starter at the next level. Ponder answered the most important questions about his health and arm strength. I think he solidified himself as the 5th quarterback in this class.

Anthony Allen, RB-

Allen for a bigger back, who was used to running out of the option, displayed good vision and acceleration. While his game is a little raw, he displayed a good amount of promise.

Noel Devine, RB-

Devine needs to get bigger to hold up for entire seasons (much less games), but he flashed his big play ability in practice. He has excellent speed and quickness, and if he can get a little stronger while maintaining that speed/quickness, he will play a valuable role in the NFL.

Derrick Locke, RB-

Locke couldn’t really answer questions about his durability this week, but did show great vision and cutbacks.

Leonard Hankerson, WR-

Hankerson got better and better as the week wore on, and really established himself as the top senior receiver. After a shaky start, Hankerson looked a lot crisper in his route running, and showed improved quickness and speed. He is the type of player who doesn’t possess top end wheels, but finds ways to get the most out of what he has. Hankerson also showed much better hands, as well as the ability to adjust to the ball.

Jeremy Kerley, WR-

Kerley showed good speed and the ability to change directions quickly. He has the ability to make defenders miss and should have a good career as a slot receiver.

Courtney Smith, WR-

Smith has excellent size and potential, but was one of the most raw prospects in Mobile. His play is pretty inconsistent in every department (speed, route running, hands, adjusting to the pass), but he shows enough potential to be a late round pick.

Greg Salas, WR-

Salas is a guy who I thought got better each and every practice. There were some concerns on how he would translate to a more pro style system, but he caught the ball well and was perhaps the best route runner on the South.

Kris O’Dowd, C-

O’Dowd is a smart football player, but just isn’t refined and strong enough to be considered a starter. He got really exposed in the one-on-one drills, though he always looked better in the team drills (not great, but capable). He really struggled with anyone lining up over top of him, and looks no better than a backup.

Marcus Gilbert, T-

Gilbert’s week ended early, but I thought he held his own during practice. While he profiles only to the right side, he displayed good strength, and looks like a solid starter there.

Rodney Hudson, G-

The week didn’t start out great for Hudson, but he really improved as the week wore on. He isn’t the biggest or strongest guard, but he gets the job done. He is very quick and gets into defenders early and gains leverage. He has quick hands, which allows him to engage defenders early to slow their momentum. He could still look to add more strength, as he might not be able to hold up against bigger tackles, but otherwise he looks to be a good starter in the NFL.

Danny Watkins, G-

Watkins moved inside this week and he looked like a natural (despite the fact he has only played football for a couple of years). He looks to be an instant starter and a true mauler at the next level.

DeMarcus Love, G/T-

Love has the size and strength to be a very good tackle (likely on the right side) in the NFL, but his technique and awareness are awful. He doesn’t set his feet properly, or use his hands effectively. While the promise is there he is a raw tackle prospect at this point. I’m guessing he falls a couple of rounds come April and is more of a 5th round type.

Clint Boling, G-

While Boling played tackle in college and lined up there some this week, he is obviously a guard at the next level. He works very well in the proverbial ‘phone booth’ and is a tough blocker at the point of attack. He is still a bit raw inside, but should develop as a future starter.

James Carpenter, T-

Carpenter was a guy who looked like he would definitely have to switch inside at the next level, but he more than held his own at tackle in Mobile. Not only did he firmly establish himself as a tackle, but he looks like he is athletic enough to handle the blind side. There is still some rawness to his game, but overall he looked impressive.

Derrick Sherrod, T-

Sherrod is one of the more frustrating prospects in Mobile, as one play he looks like a sure-fire first rounder and then the next you think he needs two years of developmental time. He probably profiles best as a right tackle, though at times he looks like he can handle the left side. He doesn’t dominate, and have that mean streak you like to see in tackles, but he usually gets the job done.

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