Now that the full week of practices at the 2012 Senior Bowl have been completed and the vast majority of the NFL scouts and decision makers have left Mobile, Ala. it's time too look at who helped themselves the most this week. The standard rule of thumb after talking with some scouts is that a player can help themselves as much as moving up a single round in the NFL draft, but that's about the limit of what a player can do.
Here are five players who really helped themselves during the week:
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: Coples didn't help himself so much as show exactly what the scouts were looking for. Coples came off a stellar junior season to have kind of a ho-hum senior season and there were rumors he kind of "took the year off". Coples came into Mobile and dominated all week long. He doesn't have the speed rush most look for in a defensive end, but he's got great size, power, and explosiveness who should fit right in at the left defensive end position.
Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa: McNutt really separated himself from the other wide receivers in the Senior Bowl. While speed is going to be a concern when he runs his 40-yard dash, McNutt makes up for that in his route running. He's smooth out of his breaks and can create separation. Not only that, but he seemed to catch everything with his hands and plucked the ball out of the air. He also plays much bigger than his 6-foot-2 220 pound frame, boxing out defenders and going up for the football.
Chris Rainey, WR/RB, Florida: I was really curious to see how Rainey would do in Mobile, given his small stature. Last year, the coaches wouldn't even let Noel Devine participate in blocking drills and I expected the same for Rainey. After the first practice however, Rainey moved to wide receiver and really opened some eyes. One scout likened Rainey to a "faster Dexter McCluster", given his ability to simply just run right past defenders and surprisingly good hands.
Dwight Bentley, CB. Louisiana-Lafayette: The little Ragin' Cajun cornerback cemented himself as one of the best corners in the 2012 NFL draft during the week in Mobile. Bentley displayed the speed, quickness, and was physical with some receivers who were much bigger than him. With a good showing at the NFL Combine and his Pro-Day, Bentley could be a surprise early pick for a team looking for a starting cornerback.
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State: Weeden had some question marks about his arm strength and if he was actually good or just a product of the Cowboys system and wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Weeden answered all of those questions with a stellar week in Mobile and proved himself to be far and away the best quarterback on either team. There are concerns about Weeden's age, but there is some talk he could potentially be the third quarterback taken.