You may have been too preoccupied by the Pro Bowl hoopla coming this weekend to pay much attention to reports from the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Alabama, this week. The nation's top college players gathered in Mobile, giving scouts their first look at them outside of campus with their first taste of NFL coaching. The Senior Bowl is the first big event of the draft season in which teams, scouts, and legions of media draft analysts start rearranging their preconceived notions about where players belong in the draft and what their NFL futures may hold.
Nine players at the Senior Bowl appeared in SB Nation's most recent 2012 NFL mock draft. Several others from that mock draft pulled out of the event because of injuries, including Devon Still, Michael Floyd and Kendall Wright. Like the other prospects in this year's draft, they'll get a chance to make their case at the Combine and various pre-draft workouts.
The majority of those nine players from our latest mock draft had a solid week at the Senior Bowl, but a few struggled. Here's a look at how those players did (and where we picked them in our last mock draft) and some clues about where they might show up on the next mock draft based on what they did this week at the Senior Bowl.
Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
10. Buffalo Bills: Coples was not the first defensive lineman off the board in our last mock draft. I doubt that's the case on Monday. By all accounts Coples was the best edge rusher on the field in Mobile this week. No word on how he looked in the hotel ballroom walkthrough. Our own Alfie Crow, who was on the scene this week, noted his strong performance as well as his ability to work on the inside as well as on the edges. Wes Bunting at the National Football Post put Coples first on his list of the top ten players from the Senior Bowl.
Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
13. Arizona Cardinals: We took some heat for this pick, but reports out of Mobile are proving us right. Prior to this week, many had Adams pegged as a fringe first rounder. At 6'7" 323 lbs, calling him a big man is pure understatement. He also moves really well, essential for a tackle protecting the edges from pass rushers. Adams showed the raw skills desirable in a tackle prospect. Experts are divided about whether he belongs on the right or left side. Should be a top-20 pick.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
14. Dallas Cowboys: Jenkins came to the Senior Bowl with a heavy mandate: improve his draft stock after getting banished from Florida and exiled to relative obscurity. He did just that. Buzz from Mobile says Jenkins is a beast in press coverage, a fine pick for teams looking to
Courtney Upshaw, OLB/DE, Alabama
18. San Diego Chargers: The Chargers would be thrilled if Upshaw fell to them in the first round. He will probably be picked before they get the chance. Upshaw showed a natural moxie for rushing the passer, standing up and with one hand in the dirt. He lacks the pure speed that made Von Miller and Aldon Smith top ten picks last year, but he's a powerful attacker that gets his man.
Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Opinions were mixed on Dennard. Tony Pauline at SI.com noted his struggles with mediocre receivers. Matt Bowen at the National Football Post was more enthusiastic about the Nebraska product's ability to play in zone coverage and his penchant for laying big hits.
Kelechi Osemele, OL, Iowa State
23. Detroit Lions: Osemele helped lock down a first-round pick for himself this week. He kept the right side sealed off against a variety of pass rushers, including Marshall's Vinny Curry, who is no slouch as a pass rusher.
Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina
26. Houston Texans: Jones broke with the tradition of UNC products breaking out in draft season after taking it easy in their final year of college. Jones was perfectly mediocre at the Senior Bowl. Described as "going through the motions," Jones got beat by inferior corners in spite of his imposing size and solid hands. Jones was also said to be pretty raw in his route running. If a team feels like they can light a fire under him, they may get a good receiver ... in the second round.
Melvin Ingram, OLB/DE, South Carolina
27. New England Patriots: Ingram's draft stock got a big boost in Mobile. He showed an ability to get to the passer from in a variety of situations. Both 4-3 and 3-4 teams can consider him as a pass rusher.
Cordy Glenn, OL, Georgia
31. New York Giants: Glenn was a big winner at the Senior Bowl. He drew praise for quality work on the left side, but he looks like he could be a special talent as an interior lineman. Glenn bursts off the snap and uses his arms well to move defenders out of the way. He could be picked further up the board in round one.