MOBILE, Ala. -- The Senior Bowl is an excellent venue for players to carve their niche for the NFL and impress scouts of all 32 teams. The 2012 NFL Draft class is loaded with talented wide receivers and Iowa Hawkeyes wide receiver Marvin McNutt is looking to make an impression and separate himself from the rest of the group.
A lot of people might not know who Marvin McNutt is, but if you watched the 2011 Insight Bowl he's the guy on Iowa who was nearly killed by the falling ESPN SkyCam. "It was scary as... It was scary," McNutt said when I asked him to relive the experience. "It was weird because you're just running out and all the sudden you hear a big crash. Then the next thing you know you feel a cable that's stronger than you pulling on you. It was an experience like 'How did this happen, who's trying to kill me?'".
McNutt ended his senior season at Iowa with 82 receptions for 1,315 yards and 12 touchdowns, but set a school record with 28 career touchdown receptions. The former quarterback who made the transition to wide receiver credits his coaches and hard work. "It says I play around a great group of guys and have been coached by a great group of coaches," said McNutt. "There could have been times they could have given up on me and I could have given up on myself, but Coach (Erik) Campbell and Coach (Kirk) Ferentz keep pushing me and pulling me forward."
"It's a great experience here to be around a top group of guys and top talent," McNutt said about playing at the Senior Bowl in front of NFL scouts, head coaches, and personnel guys. With the Hawkeyes, McNutt played in more of a "pro-style" offense and he thinks that will help him make the transition to the next level. "I think the route running as well as the way we scheme the offense and the passing game, the protections," McNutt said. "Knowing when certain things happen you have to break off routes or with certain coverages."
One of the things McNutt will be able to showcase in the game and did so in his first practice is his ability to get up and get the football. We asked McNutt about that ability to go up for the football and why he's so good at it. "Since I was a kid, I've always had a knack for going up for the ball and when it's in the air I want it," McNutt said. "That's just a mentality."
For more on the Senior Bowl and complete draft coverage, check out SB Nation's 2012 NFL Draft page and Mocking the Draft. For more on the Iowa Hawkeyes visit SB Nation's Iowa blog Black Heart Gold Pants.