Senior Bowl: Who Looked Good
Lee Ziemba, G/T:
Where did this come from? All week Ziemba continuously got beat whether he was playing guard or tackle, and suddenly he plays like the All-American he was in college. Ziemba was stellar all game, and held his own versus the best Northern defenders. After a week of watching his draft stock dropping, Ziemba regained a good bit of what he lost with an impressive game.
Leonard Hankerson, WR:
Hankerson built upon a great week, with one of the most impressive performances of yesterday’s game. He caught everything thrown his way, and continuously got separation from the North’s best cornerbacks. Hankerson might not be fastest receiver, but he finds ways to get open and showed great hands and awareness.
Sam Acho, DE/OLB:
Acho had up and down practices this week and didn’t particularly stand out, but he really picked his play up in a game situation. Acho was causing havoc for the the North’s tackles all game long. He showed great quickness and a nose for the ball.
Derrick Locke, RB:
I came into this game thinking the North’s running backs of Roy Helu, DeMarco Murray, and Kendall Hunter were going to be the most impressive, but it ended up being the South’s Derrick Locke that was the runner that stood out. Locke showed great quickness and field vision. He continuously got extra yards when it looked like the play was stopped.
Von Miller, OLB:
Wow, what a game! Miller was all over the field, making big play after big play. Even when he wasn’t making the tackle or the sack, Miller made the play as he would always be around the ball. On multiple occasions his field awareness meant that a lead blocker had to take him on or the ball carrier had to change directions meaning, someone else was able to make the play. Miller sniffed out play after play, and really shut down the North’s offense. He showed all the skills that will make him an elite defender at the next level, and now looks like a lock to go in the top 10 (maybe even top 5).
Rodney Hudson, G/C:
Hudson really had a great game and once again showed that size doesn’t always matter. Hudson has always been considered too small by a number of scouts, but his technique is so good that once the game starts he rarely gets beaten on a play. Hudson kept opening up holes in the running game and anchoring in pass protection, proving that he can hold up against NFL caliber talent.
Phil Taylor, DT:
Taylor had cemented his status as the top Nose Tackle in this draft class with a great weigh in and week of practice, now after his performance in the game he is a near lock to go in the top 50 picks (probably top 40). Taylor got a good bit of penetration all game, and was too much for the North linemen to handle.
Brooks Reed, OLB/DE:
Reed, like a number of South defenders, had a big game and seemed to be constantly in the backfield. The fact that the South defenders had such success is pretty impressive considering the Northern offensive linemen are a pretty talented group and because the defense was so vanilla. Teams aren’t allowed to blitz, or stunt in the Senior Bowl, so the four down linemen (and it has to be four) are the only ones rushing the passer. To get so much pressure without creativity is pretty much unheard of, and speaks volumes about the preparedness of each team.
Christian Ponder, QB:
Ponder didn’t have a great game, but he was impressive dissecting the North’s defense and showed great leadership on the field. He led the first two scoring drives for the South. And while his biggest pass play was a horrible throw that Hankerson made a great catch on, the rest of his throws were much more impressive.
Colin Kaepernick, QB:
Kaepernick didn’t have a great day, but his performance was better than his stats show. His interception was a bad break as it bounced off the receivers hands. Kaepernick showed great elusiveness (except from Von Miller) and bought time with his feet. While the throwing motion is still a bit ugly, Kaepernick threw probably the best ball of the game. He showed all the reasons why he has the potential to be a great quarterback in the future, though he did show that he is still a very raw prospect. For me the most impressive thing about Kaepernick’s performance was that after multiple drives of ineffectiveness from Locker and Stanzi, the North team showed the most signs of life while he was at the helm.