Senior Bowl 2012: Initial Post Game Recap

Senior Bowl week is officially over, but the draft process for these seniors has only just begun. No doubt we'll hear a lot more reaction from the Senior Bowl in the coming days and weeks, but lets have a quick look on a few the things I noticed throughout the game. (Note, it's important to not put too much stock into this one game. The practices during the week meant a lot more to most scouts.)

  • Quarterback plays was inconsistent throughout the game, which isn't massively surprising given the talent on show and having just a week to practice timing with new receivers. Brandon Weeden was the only one able to get into any real rhythm early on, completing a couple of nice throws off play-action, before guard/tackle prospect Cordy Glenn stepped on Weeden's foot as he dropped back. Weeden stumbled, but attempted to make a throw, but was hit as he threw and was intercepted. Weeden sat the second and third quarter before being brought back in late in the fourth. His first play was a deep play-action pass. It clearly didn't come out cleanly as it wobbled a lot in the air. This meant the pass went off course and was easily intercepted.
  • Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson didn't really do anything to improve his stock. He displayed a good ability to throw on the run (which we knew he could), but struggled in the pocket, missing a touchdown opportunity on a deep corner route in the red zone. To his credit, he made an excellent back-shoulder throw downfield while running to his left, and he had the only touchdown pass of the first half (again, throwing on the run).
  • Kellen Moore was poor overall. His release had a small wind up at times and he got away with a couple of throws. One quick out route was lucky to be tipped at the line or Dwight Bentley, who read the play nicely and jumped the route, would have come away with an easy interception. But in Moore's defense, he was unlucky to have two brilliantly thrown passes dropped in back to back plays.
  • DeVier Posey dropped the second of those passes by Moore. He later quit on a corner route in the end zone resulting in an easy interception off Kirk Cousins.
  • Mike Adams shut down Courtney Upshaw and Melvin Ingram in the first half. Upshaw had a quiet game in general after he and Ingram looked the best of first round pass-rushers on the South squad. I don't think I heard Ingram's name called once. He's a tweener prospect that looks better rushing from a defensive end in a 4-3, but looks too small to play there on all three downs.
  • Quinton Couples will draw more and more comparisons to Julius Peppers. He has the body and talent, but needs to show maturity and consistency. He took over one drive, displaying the ability to rush from either side effectively, but gave up a stupid unnecessary roughness penalty diving on Kellen Moore after Moore had given himself up. He was having a fairly quiet second half until he blew up a run by Isaiah Pead and tackled him down for a loss.
  • Isaiah Pead showed off his return skills, returning his first punt for 60 yards, and averaged 49 yards per return. The North offensive line struggled to block for him in the run game against the imposing South defensive line. Pead was named MVP after the game.
  • One of the better players on the interior of that South defensive line was Brandon Thompson from Clemson. He was stout against the run and pushed the pocket when rushing the passer. He got some time at the end of the game at defensive end in a 3-4 front and was unfazed by that either.
  • Corner Donnie Fletcher struggled in the first half, took a bad angle on a broken tackle by receiver Joe Adams. He was then beaten easily twice by Juron Criner, getting lucky that the ball on the second play was batted down at the line or it would have been a touchdown.
  • Joe Adams gave up a fumble early trying to get some yards after the catch. But came back strong after. He finished the game with six catches for 116 yards. He was constantly breaking tackles and getting a lot of yards after the catch. His week can only have improved his stock and he was named outstanding player of the South team.
  • Criner finished the game with six receptions for 77 yards. He ran some crisp routes to get himself open and secured a catch from his Arizona teammate and quarterback, Nick Foles, for a touchdown. Foles played the entire third quarter and went well into the fourth. He had the best stats of any quarterback in the game, but struggled stepping into his throws even when his offensive line gave him plenty of time to do so. This makes me worried about his ability to throw on the run. If he can't sort out his feet when he throws from the pocket with time, how can you expect him to do so on the run.
  • Texas A&M receiver Jeff Fuller had a horrible week in practice. He continued that in the game. He dropped an easy deep pass from Ryan Lindley and rarely saw the field after that.
  • Speaking of Lindley, he saw playing time in the second quarter and during the two minute drill at the end of the game. He made one good play in that two minute drill on fourth and 12. He kept his poise, stepped up under pressure, rolled out to his left keeping his eyes downfield and completed the throw on the run for a first down. However, that's just about the only play he made all game. In fact, the next play he tried to force a ball down the seam and was intercepted...
  • Washington defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu displayed his ability to penetrate and make plays in the backfield. However, with his body type, he's projected to be a 3-4 nose tackle rather than a 4-3 defensive tackle. As a nose tackle, he'll have to be a lot more responsible holding his gap and occupying blockers rather than purely trying to penetrate. It's something he'll need to work on. I do wonder if a 4-3 team is attracted to his pass-rushing abilities and plays him as a big-bodied defensive tackle, much like the Cleveland Browns did last year with Phil Taylor.
  • The biggest disappointment for me was Chris Rainey. He hardly saw the field after a good week of practice. He was left to return kicks but failed to provide any spark.

That's pretty much all of my notes from the game after watching it live. I'm sure I missed some, so let us know in the comments how you felt about the game and what I've missed on.

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