clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2015 Senior Bowl weigh-in: 3 things we learned

New, comment

It's the strangest event on the sports calendar, but there is still information and data to digest.

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Senior Bowl weigh-in, the strangest event on the sporting calendar, took place on Tuesday morning.

The process unfolds thusly: NFL evaluators and coaches of all types get together at an exhibit hall armed with pen and paper to jot down a player’s measurements. A player's name is called out and they walk across a stage. For some, this is some type of anti-beauty pageant. They step in first to get their height measured. Then they walk over to a scale. Then their measurement is announced.

Duke guard Laken Tomlinson came in at 6032 and 323. For you and me, that translates to 6’3 1/4 and 323 pounds.

But that’s not it. There are remarks of all types made. What is the curve of his back? How big is his bubble? That’s weird football speak for someone’s butt. Is he flabby? Why does he look like he’s on HGH? What’s with that gait? Time for a position change for him.

Despite the oddness of the event, there are some positives.

The strongest reaction seemed to come when Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton stepped onto the stage. Even at 343 pounds, Shelton got plenty of oohs and has from the crowd.

"Try and move him out of the A-gap," one scout said. "He’s built like a damn bear," said another.

Perhaps the warmest comment overheard was about Wisconsin offensive tackle Rob Havenstein, who measured 6’7 3/8, 332 pounds. The Badgers have a strong history of putting linemen in the NFL with a group that includes Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas, Cowboys center Travis Frederick, Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler and many more.

"He looks like another good Wisconsin kid," a scout said. "That’s a lot of cheese."

1) Measurements that matter

There is a reason to do all of these things. It’s strange, sure. The data carries some value, though, especially to people whose career depends on what players they select in the draft. There were a few measurements that were more noteworthy than others.

Namely, the way a few college pass rushers measured out points to them having a future as an outside linebacker.

Missouri’s Markus Golden (6’2 1/4, 255 pounds), Harvard’s Zack Hodges (6’2, 5/8, 242 pounds) and Washington’s Hau’oli Kikaha (6’2 1/2, 246 pounds) all proved why they’re being worked out at this event as outside linebackers.

The largest player measured Tuesday was Florida offensive tackle Trenton Brown, who came in at 6’8 1/2, 376 pounds. The shortest player at the Senior Bowl is Ole Miss cornerback Senquez Golson, who measured at 5’8 1/2 and 178 pounds. But it’s not like anyone was expecting him to be tall. There were some players who came in much shorter than they were listed in the their college bio.

Miami listed linebacker Denzel Perryman at 6 feet, but he came in at 5’10 5/8. Alabama quarterback Blake Sims was notably under six feet tall at 5’11 1/2 and 223 pounds.

(Oh, and if you’re curious, my measurement is 6051, 289. Pudgy build, muffin top, has arms like someone who types for a living, shouldn’t play football).

2) Phil Savage brings some heat

Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage was throwing some fastballs during his introductory speech at the weigh-in. Savage started by listing the players who declined an invitation. That list included Clemson’s Vic Beasley, South Carolina’s AJ Cann, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Missouri’s Mitch Morse, Louisville’s DeVante Parker and Iowa’s Brandon Scherff.

There were others that Savage said turned down the event that teams should "dig a little deeper on." The implication was that those were players who aren’t at the event for reasons that may not be solely based on an injury. That dubious lists included Clemson’s Corey Crawford, Kentucky’s Bud Dupree, Florida State’s Cam Erving and Rashad Greene, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Wake Forest’s Kevin Johnson, UCLA’s Eric Kendricks, Florida State’s Josue Matias and West Virginia’s Kevin White

Since he’s a quarterback, Hundley of course is the most interesting player to turn down the Senior Bowl. He was eligible as a junior because he graduated already. Some of these players may have small lingering injuries. But it sure seemed like Savage thought some of those players should have been in attendance.

3) Should the NFL Scouting Combine be pushed back?

After calling out players for missing the event, Savage suggested that the Senior Bowl would be better if the NFL Scouting Combine is pushed back. This year the combine takes place from Feb. 17-23 in Indianapolis. Savage asked scouts and general managers to mull over about what they’d think about the combine being at a later date.

Some of the players who dropped out are likely getting prepared for the combine, a critical process for most. Some of are working on their speed for drills and others may be adding weight so they don’t get knocked for their size.

This notion of moving the combine back comes a week after some pondered if the underclassmen deadline should be pushed back to better accommodate players who participate in the national championship game. Ohio State’s Cardale Jones, for instance, had basically 48 hours to make the biggest deacons of his life.

With the draft not happening until the end of April, maybe it’s time the NFL considers stretching out these offseason events.

(We'll have full measurement data up at some point today)