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The NFL Combine is made up of several tests for teams to further evaluate potential players and is meant to measure a number of different things - athleticism in general, top-end speed, explosiveness, agility, power, and strength. Intelligence, skills, hand-eye coordination, and maturity. Essentially, the skills needed to play at a high level in the NFL.
The Northwest is sending twelve players to the Combine - Oregon will be represented by G Mark Asper, DB Cliff Harris, RB LaMichael James, LB Joshua Kaddu, TE David Paulson, S Edward Pleasant and QB Darron Thomas. Washington sends WR Jermaine Kearse, G/T Senio Kelemete, RB Chris Polk, and DT Alameda Ta'Amu and Oregon State sends WR James Rodgers. So - what should you be watching?
Fans like to place a lot of emphasis on the '40-time' a player records and that's typically the number that gets thrown around the most, but there are many tests to monitor as you watch the Combine this week. The typical tests administered at the Combine include: 40-yard dash, bench press (225 lb repetitions), vertical jump, broad jump, 20 yard shuttle, 3 cone drill, 60-yard shuttle, position-specific drills, interviews - each team is allotted 60 interviews in 15-minute intervals, physical measurements, injury evaluation, drug screen, the Cybex test and the Wonderlic Test. Let's run through them quickly.
The 40: Yes, this is the sexiest of them all. The 40-yard dash measures how quickly the athlete can run 40 yards, starting from a dead stop. This test is broken down into splits as well - 10 yards and 20 yards, to measure acceleration vs top-end speed. Fast split times indicate quick twitch acceleration and is valuable for any player in this league.
A good 40-time is going to be in the 4.4 to 4.5 second range for receivers, running backs, and defensive backs. 4.6-4.8 is what you could expect from a lot of the other positions - linebackers, defensive ends, tight ends, and some quarterbacks. Most linemen are going to run 4.9 or higher. If you see anyone run in the 4.3s or even the 4.2s, you're seeing something special.
Bench: This is mainly for the big guys - linemen and linebackers. It measures strength and stamina, mostly. Oregon State's Stephen Paea set the all-time Combine record last year with 49 reps at 225 pounds but anywhere in the 30s is pretty good. Guys with longer arms don't do as well because they're lifting the weight further, but in general I don't think teams look too much into the bench press test, unless a player just does horribly. That would indicate lack of dedication most likely - failure to hit the weights or prepare yourself.
Vertical Jump: This test tells teams how much lower body explosiveness a player has. You're not allowed to run and jump; you take off from a standing position, and a benchmark for the elite group in terms of vertical jump is 38" to 42". Anything more than that, you're looking at a freak of nature. Well, all these guys are kind of freaks in that sense, but 43", 44" or more is pretty rare. Virgil Green of Nevada hit 42.5" and Jonathan Baldwin of the Chiefs hit 42" on his vert last year to lead the way.
I'd say this test is probably more important for the receivers and defensive backs but really, lower body strength and explosiveness is pretty important for any player.
Broad Jump: Similar to the vertical, this test measures lower body strength and power. Explosiveness. The player jumps forward as far as they can from a standstill. 10 feet is the baseline for 'good', but if you get into the 10'6" range, you're looking impressive. Julio Jones blew everyone out of the water last year when he registered an 11'3" broadjump. The recent best was Cincinnati's Jerome Simpson in 2009, who jumped 11'4".
20 yard Shuttle (AKA "short shuttle"): Also referred to as the "5-10-5", it's a test of a player's lateral movement ability. The player basically starts in the middle of an area that's 10 yards long - he bursts out of a 3-point stance and fun five yards to the right, switches gears and go ten to the left, then again to the right to finish off. This drill is a lot more important than many people believe - some say it's more important than the 40-yard dash because it measures short-area quickness and agility, things any player on the NFL field requires. A good test in this area can get you noticed. Boise State's Austin Pettis set the bar last year with a 3.88 second short shuttle. Anything below 4-flat though, and you're getting looks.
3-Cone Drill: Similar to the 20-yard shuttle in importance. It measures change of direction, short-area burst, agility, and importantly, balance. Also known as the "L" drill. Players start out in a three point stance at the first cone, run forward five yards to the second, change direction back to where they started, change direction again and back to the second cone again. Instead of stopping there, they hang a right and around the third cone at the end of the "L". Coming back, the player again makes a 90 degree turn to their left then through the finish. Basically, it measures a players ability to keep their speed up through sharp turns and is especially important for receivers, corners, and defensive ends.
Benchmark for 'good' is 7 seconds. Benchmark for 'elite' - 6.5 seconds. Jeff Maehl turned some heads last year and ran a 6.42 for the best time at the Combine. He wasn't drafted, but caught on with Texas as an UDFA. Teams will be watching this time very closely, especially for those three positions.
Those are the mains physical tests to keep an eye on. A good 40-time will get a player some recognition, but a strong 3-cone drill and/or short-shuttle makes a big difference as well. You may have the best hands in the world as a receiver, but if you can't make quick cuts and maintain your speed, you're going to have more trouble against elite cornerbacks in the NFL. Visa versa as well for the defensive backs, and obviously for defensive ends, if you can't get by a left tackle your career at that spot may not last long.
Teams will also put players through positional drills to test their skills in catching, coverage, throwing, and a myriad of other 'football' skills. They'll interview players to evaluate their maturity, dedication, intelligence, etc. They will administer the Wonderlic Test, which is a timed test to measure IQ. The Cybex test is meant to measure fitness and joint movements.
The NFL Combine is the first best way for front offices to gather information on the players that they are potentially going to invest millions of dollars in. It's going to be exciting.
The North team, featuring three Washington Huskies, defeated the South team by a score of 23-13 in the 2012 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. on Saturday afternoon. Those Washington players that were featured were running back Chris Polk, offensive tackle Senio Kelemete and defensive tackle Alameda Ta'Amu.
Polk was the North team's third leading rushing trailing Isaiah Pead, the game's MVP, of the Cincinnati Bearcats and Doug Martin from Boise State. He carried the ball six times for 16 yards for a 2.7 yards per carry average. Polk may not have gained many yards on the ground but he's still rated as one of the top running backs in this year's draft class.
All of the scoring in this year's Senior Bowl was done by kickers and quarterbacks as there wasn't a single running back that found their way into the end zone. There is still a couple months and the combine until the draft so the book isn't completely closed on Polk, Kelemete or Ta'Amu as they still have time to improve, or hurt, their draft stock.
The Washington Huskies will be represented well at the 2012 Senior Bowl and each of their former players will look to boost their draft stock with a strong performance. Between Chris Polk, Senio Kelemete and Alameda Ta'Amu, the Huskies should see at least three players have their names called at the NFL Draft, if not more. Here is what to watch for on Saturday afternoon.
Chris Polk is currently ranked among the top-tier of running backs and many think he will be selected in either the second or third round. While he lacks the breakaway speed that scouts tend to like with their running back prospects, Polk does an excellent job protecting the football and runs hard on every single play. A big performance in the game and workout drills could propel him as high as the early second round.
As for offensive lineman Senio Kelemete, many view him as a third or fourth round pick. All eyes will be on his injured ankle to ensure its health and that Kelemete has regained all of his strength in the area. Should he continue to impress at workouts and in the game, he could potentially be a late-second round pick.
Alameda Ta'Amu had quite the career at Washington, although he has reportedly struggled thus far in workouts in front of NFL scouts. A defensive tackle with a nose for the ball, some worry about his ability to be effective against the larger offensive linemen he will face on a weekly basis in the pros. Most believe he will be a fourth round pick when it is all said and done.
The 2012 Senior Bowl is finally here and it will be the final chance for all fans to catch one last glimpse of the seniors they've watched grow and develop over the years. For the players, it's their time to shine and improve their draft stock, with numerous scouts set to be in attendance over the weekend. A big game and week of workouts can go a long way in determining their fate come April. Here is some game day coverage to get you ready for the Senior Bowl.
Start Time: Kickoff will be at 1:00 p.m. from Seattle, which is 4:00 p.m. ET.
TV Schedule: NFL Network will broadcast the game live on Saturday. Paul Burmeister will handle the play-by-play duties, while analysts Mike Mayock and Charles Davis will serve as the analysts. Rebecca Haarlow and Heath Evans will be reporting from the sidelines.
Radio Coverage: Sirius XM Radio will air the game on channel 88. Jason Horowitz will call the action alongside game analysts Tim Ryan, the former Chicago Bears defensive lineman and two-time USC All-American, and Pat Kirwan, a former NFL scout, coach and front office executive. Former NFL quarterback Jim Miller will serve as the sideline reporter. Ryan and Kirwan will host the pre-game show starting at 3:30 pm ET/ 1:30 p.m. MT.
The University of Washington is represented this week at the 2012 Senior Bowl by OG Senio Kelemete, DT Alameda Ta'amu, and RB Chris Polk. I've hit on Polk already a little bit today but I wanted to point you to a couple of interviews at New England Patriots Draft.com on the two former Husky linemen.
But first - here is a little bit - good and bad - that is being said about Kelemete and Ta'amuby ESPN/Draft Insider.net's Tony Pauline:
Mon: Ta'amu displayed great power today and bullrushed blockers off the ball all afternoon. He's big and powerful with a thick lower body which he gets the most out of.
Tues: Not as good as Monday but continues to show a lot of power and force.
Mon: Kelemete was one of the most athletic blockers on the field. He's fluid, blocks with terrific fundamentals and is strong at the point. He did a great job squaring into defenders then holding the point. Terrific start.
Tues: Took a step back today. Very athletic but was beaten several times by a variety of defenders with inside moves and power.
Now, with a big tip of the cap to New England Patriots Draft.com - the interviews.
Chris Polk continues to try and boost his stock down in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl this week and thus far there have been mixed reviews. I've seen tweets and articles saying he's looked great, and others saying they weren't impressed. Because scouting is so subjective, I wouldn't put a whole lot of stock in it and rather go off his record and career at the University of Washington, but it's interesting to keep an eye on nonetheless.
More of that later, but first I wanted to point out an interview with Chris, who sat down with New England Patriots Draft.com's writer Doug Kyed at Senior Bowl Media Night for a few minutes, and he had some interesting things to say.
His most interesting response (about 1:50 in) comes when he is asked about the fact that he was technically a senior this year, having never received a redshirt season for 2008 when he played just two games before being injured --- the school had always listed him as having received the year. That he didn't technically get the redshirt year has allowed him to be able to play in the Senior Bowl.
Polk says in the interview that it was always part of the plan not to receive the official redshirt.
"I knew I was leaving this year,'' Polk said. "I didn't want them to turn in the paper work.''
If he really was always planning to leave, Polk kept up a good front throughout the 2011 season, insisting in interviews up until two days prior to the Alamo Bowl that he hadn't decided and would have to sit down with UW coaches and family and make his decision.
Here is the interview, again, tip of the cap to NEPatriotsDraft.com.
If you're a Seahawks fan and Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins is not yet on your radar, you may want to start considering the idea of him in cobalt blue. If logic doesn't dictate enough that the Seahawks would be interested in an athletic, strong armed and accurate, charismatic quarterback like Cousins, you could rely on a little rumor and intrigue. Several scouts have now pointed out that the Seahawks were particularly interested in and talked to the former Michigan State quarterback both Monday and Tuesday at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and talk is beginning to heat up a bit at the idea of taking Cousins, potentially in round 2.
Here's what a few scouts were saying about Cousins' first two days at the Senior Bowl:
CBS Sports/NFL Draft Scout.com's Rob Rang:
[Kirk] Cousins out-shined Wisconsin's Russell Wilson and Boise State's Kellen Moore by attacking all levels of a talented North defense. His experience in a pro-style offense was obvious as he made quick decisions, showed accuracy short, middle and deep and thread the needle through tight spaces. Whereas his teammates struggled to find a rhythm with their new receiving corps, Cousins was hitting on all cylinders, spreading the ball all over the field and hitting his backs, tight ends and receivers on a variety of routes.
National Football Post's Dion Caputi:
Two days down at the Senior Bowl and Brandon Weeden (for the South) & Kirk Cousins (for the North) have been the top QBs for their squads.
National Football Post's Wes Bunting:
Have to admit #MichiganState QB Kirk Cousins looks like a flame thrower in comparison with Russell Wilson and Kellen Moore.
QB Kirk Cousins with nice bucket throw during team session, spins it clean with nice touch.
Optimum Scouting's Erik Galko:
Was impressed with Michigan St QB Kirk Cousins today. Only QB to get the ball out on time and with velocity. He and [Brandon] Weeden so far 1-2 at QB.
I have to admit that Cousins wasn't really someone I had considered strongly before this week - and though it's probably smarter consult the 2011 season gametape than to base your opinion on an All-Star game and the scouting reports emerging from there, you can color me intrigued.
Luckily for Seahawks fans, we have a blogger that does just what I haven't, and Rob Staton of Seahawks Draft Blog has begun heavily scouting Cousins' game tape from Michigan State's season. Check out his first installment here,including great game breakdowns and in-depth analysis.
Here are some reports out of Mobile Alabama and the Senior Bowl for your reading pleasure. The more you know.
2012 Senior Bowl: Tuesday South Practice Notes | Articles
It was day two for the South Practice today, including the second time I got a chance to watch these guys perform. I got a great look at the talented defensive linemen and linebackers on this roster, while a few positional players wowed as well. The biggest winners today were Chris Rainey, Juron Criner, Matt McCants, Casey Hayward, and Markelle Martin.
Draft Breakdown — Senior Bowl Interviews 1/23
At Senior Bowl media night, I caught up with a few athletes. Here are the conversations:
Draft Breakdown — Senior Bowl Diary: Day 2
Today at practice we finally got to see both teams play – and in ideal weather. The sun was shining and even though there was a bit of a nip in the air the field conditions were perfect. It was a great sign especially after a slippery Monday. Full pads allowed for many players to state their cases – who stood out and who dropped the ball? Here are some of my rambling observations.
2012 Senior Bowl: Brandon Weeden Interview | NEPatriotsDraft.com - 2012 NFL Draft
Former Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden was kind enough to chat with NEPD writer Doug Kyed yesterday at Senior Bowl media night.
Senior Bowl: Kellen Moore's flaws being exposed - Mocking The Draft
Senior Bowl practices would either be a boon for Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, or expose him to NFL scouts. Monday's initial practice received almost no praise from those in attendance. Even NFL scouts. Here's what one told Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
The Senior Bowl experience | National Football Post
It's quite a show in Mobile, Ala.
SENIOR BOWL: QBs look to improve their standings in NFL draft | Pensacola News Journal | pnj.com
Quarterbacks at Senior Bowl are looking to impress and move up and fill the sports behind the April's draft Big 3 -- Luck, Griffin III and Tannehill.
2012 Senior Bowl Practice Report, North Team Day 1 - Big Cat Country
The 2012 Senior Bowl kicked off practice in Mobile, AL at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Monday afternoon after the conclusions of the weigh-in results. The practices today were held at the same time due to the morning weigh-ins, but are normally held split between the morning and the afternoon. The North Team's practice took place at Ladd-Peebles today while the South team took place across town at Fairhope Stadium. The practice was slow paced in shells, so I focused my attention on the glory positions; wide receivers and quarterbacks.
2012 Senior Bowl Practice Report: North Team, Day 2 - Big Cat Country
The 2012 Senior Bowl practice kicked off on the second day with the North team practicing in the morning session. The sessions began with some special teams drills and saw N.C. State wide receiver T.J. Graham muff a punt and then fumble a punt a few attempts later when he was trying to pick up some yards on the return. In the drills, Wisconsin punter Brad Nortman boomed his kicks and routinely got quite a bit of hang time, garnering him some attention from a few scouts after practice.
DTs Reyes, Martin proving disruptive at Sr Bowl - CBSSports.com
With Penn State's Devon Still -- NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated senior defensive tackle -- out of the Senior Bowl due to a sprained toe scouts were curious to see which of the remaining interior defensive linemen would be able to step up their play.
2012 Senior Bowl: Tuesday North Practice Notes | Articles
It was the first day of full pads here at the Senior Bowl, and as expected, it was a GREAT day for scouting the north squad that has some outstanding talent across the board, per usual at the Senior Bowl.
Senior Bowl First Impressions | The Rookie Scouting Portfolio
Under the mentorship (and light hazing) of Matt and Cecil Lammey, I’m credentialed to cover the Senior Bowl for the first time and getting a crash course in the world of pre-draft scouting in Mobile this week. You can read our detailed scouting observations from Day 1 and check out Matt’s detailed thoughts on the Minnesota Vikings’ approach to teaching WR play at the New York Times’ Fifth Down blog [link forthcoming], but I thought I’d share a newbie’s perspective of the weigh-in and first afternoon practice.
Senior Bowl Interview with Marvin Jones | The Rookie Scouting Portfolio
Marvin, let’s talk about the technique involved with playing wide receiver.
Senior Bowl Tuesday practice report - Tony Pauline - SI.com
SI.com draft expert Tony Pauline is live in Mobile, Ala., where some of the draft's brightest talent are taking part in Senior Bowl week, the annual prospect showcase. He'll be providing live analysis from practice each day throughout the week.
Jenkins hoping for second chance at Senior Bowl | National Football Post
Cornerback booted from Florida wants to show he has learned from mistakes.
Senior Bowl: North Practice Report Day 2 | National Football Post
Who were the standouts Tuesday?
QB, WRs emerge at Monday's North Sr Bowl practice - CBSSports.com
Making a strong first impression at the Senior Bowl can send a player's stock skyrocketing and boost his rookie contract by millions of dollars.
Senior Bowl Report: Tuesday Morning Practice | Shutdown Corner - Yahoo! Sports
We've got a special treat for all you draftniks — Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders is down in Mobile for Shutdown Corner to cover all the sights from the Senior Bowl. This is his first of many practice reports. You should also follow Mike at @FO_MTanier for further updates and other football wisdom!
Five players to watch at Senior Bowl practice today | National Football Post
With both squads in full gear today, I expect the competition level to rise down here in Mobile at the Senior Bowl practices. And here is a list of five players I will be watching today in one-on-ones, 7-on-7, etc. Some talent to check out at both practice sessions.
Senior Bowl week will go by quickly and one of the best scouting opportunities of the offseason will soon be over. Make sure you're up to date on everything that's going on down in Alabama by checking out the links below:
2012 Senior Bowl: Five players who could breakout - Mocking The Draft
Every year, players hope to elevate their NFL Draft stock with good week of practices at the Senior Bowl. Last year, a great week of practices turned Baylor offensive lineman Danny Watkins into a first-round pick.
2012 Senior Bowl: Despite missing players, rosters full of talent - Mocking The Draft
This year's Senior Bowl rosters have several top players missing. Injuries knocked out quarterback Ryan Tannehill, wide receiver Kendall Wright and defensive tackle Devon Still. Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd pulled out. Stanford tight end Coby Fleener and West Virginia defensive end are simply nowhere to be found on the roster sheets.
2012 Senior Bowl: Some thoughts on the weigh-in portion - Mocking The Draft
Senior Bowl weigh-ins are complete and they featured a lot of what we expected. Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams is huge (6-foot-7, 323 pounds) and Alabama wide receiver Marquis Maze is not (5-foot-7, 184 pounds).
What to look for at the Senior Bowl | National Football Post
The NFP is down in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl this week. The beginning of the scouting process for some of the top talent in the 2012 NFL Draft. And here is what I am looking for when I watch practice.
Monday thoughts: Focus on defense, 3-4 & Senior Bowl " Seahawks Draft Blog
Pete Carroll and John Schneider really keyed in on the offensive line last April, spending their first pick on right tackle James Carpenter and then drafting John Moffitt. Coupled with the 2010 addition of Russell Okung and the free agent signing of Robert Gallery, this was some makeover. As it happens, all suffered injuries last season but the line coped thanks to improved depth and the coaching influence of Tom Cable.
2012 Senior Bowl: Defensive Preview | Articles
While the offensive side of the had some very intriguing match-ups, it's the defense that features some of the top tier talent of the Senior Class, especially at defensive end and linebacker. The senior class could have anywhere from 8-12 first round picks on this Senior Bowl defense, so you'll be sure NFL scouts will be in heavy numbers all week long.
2012 Senior Bowl: Offensive Preview | Articles
While by the time this is posted, the complete rosters haven't quite been posted, I'll still do my best to preview the offense here in what is a loaded running back and receiver class compared to last year. And in my eyes and an entire offensive side of the ball that should have anywhere from 6-10 first round draft selections.
Senior Bowl preview: Big week for Arizona QB Nick Foles - NFL - Sporting News
Players and coaches began arriving for Senior Bowl week with weigh-ins and practices beginning Monday in Mobile to see some of the best college football players in the nation. While many are underclassmen, there are plenty of elite prospects at the Senior Bowl that will make an impact in the NFL next season. A year ago, Von Miller dominated all week and turned out to be a premier rookie in 2011. So, who is this year’s Miller?
Early impressions from Senior Bowl weigh-ins - CBSSports.com
It might seem silly to think that lasting impressions can be made on scouts when athletes strut on stage for the weigh-ins prior to various all-star games but talent evaluators can take a lot from the height, weight, hand size, arm length, and general build of the athletes.
Senior Bowl Preview: The Top 10 Defensive Prospects | National Football Post
Looks like one of the better defensive groups in years.
Senior Bowl practice notes Day 1 | National Football Post
Who are the winners from day one?
Get Sharp: Welcome to the Senior Bowl | National Football Post
Joe Fortenbaugh and Wes Bunting take a look at a few of the intriguing prospects on this year’s rosters.
Senior Bowl Weigh-In Results | National Football Post
Who stole the show during this year’s weigh-in?
Draft Breakdown — Senior Bowl: 23 prospects, 23 questions
With an exciting week of Senior Bowl practices rapidly approaching, there is plenty for top prospects to prove. In honor of practices beginning on the 23rd of January, here are 23 questions that I have about 23 prospects heading in to Mobile:
Senior Bowl Preview: Offense " Tom Melton's NFL Draft Blog
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State: Weeden is my top quarterback because he has what the scouts are looking for in terms of size and arm strength. It will be interesting to see how he does with a batch of new receivers, but I like him as a prospect. Do I think he’s a 1st rounder? No, but I think he may end up in the 2nd round or at least the 3rd round barring a very problematic week for him here.
His age will limit his stock, and it will definitely make him a polarizing candidate because I believe he will need a year of development before he can have significant success as a starter (meaning he would be about 30 years old by the time he was a starter). He’s got potential though and should have 6-8 years of quality quarterbacking in him if he is developed correctly, and that’s more than enough to spend a 2nd or 3rd round pick on if you need a quarterback.
Senior Bowl Preview: Defense " Tom Melton's NFL Draft Blog
Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall: Curry is a very talented player but when I watched him I just didn’t see 1st round ability from him. He’s been very productive at Marshall and deserves to be at the Senior Bowl, I just don’t know that I buy him as a 1st round pick based on the film I’ve seen of him. I will be very interested to see how he does against this significant jump in competition.
Senior Bowl Notes: North Roster: Day 1 " Tom Melton's NFL Draft Blog
No quarterback really separated himself today in my opinion, but Kirk Cousins (Michigan State) looked solid as far as arm strength and accuracy. A couple of his deep balls wobbled a bit and two of them weren’t thrown to the correct shoulder that I saw, but it’s the first day and the QB’s and WR’s have no chemistry together yet. Russell Wilson (Wisconsin) struggled a bit and threw a number of passes that were either behind his intended receiver or they were not in stride so they had to slow down. Again, it comes down to a lack of chemistry, but he had his flashes.
I think Wilson has the strongest arm of the group, but it’s not a very strong-armed group of quarterbacks. Kellen Moore (Boise State) looks like he is in for a bit of a tough week. His arm strength is very average and while he threw a few nice balls today I just don’t think he has the arm to be a starter. You can overcome a lot of things with football IQ and intangibles but that lack of arm strength will limit him and any offense that chooses to make him their starter.
Sports Illustrated's Tony Pauline is in Mobile this week covering the Senior Bowl and in his Monday practice report, had some good things to say about Washington Husky Senio Kelemete. Pauline is as respected in the business as they come and has a wide range of sources, so his column at SI.com is a must read and I'd recommend following him on Twitter.
Here's what Pauline noted:
Senio Kelemete (G/Washington) has been incredibly athletic on the field and has stopped several top-rated pass rushers -- including Jack Crawford of Penn State -- dead in their tracks. In the full scrimmage Kelemete annihilated Vinny Curry on one play.
High praise for Kelemete, who is currently rated somewhere around the 3rd round. The 6'4, 300 pound senior played left tackle for the Huskies last year but will likely play guard at the next level.
According to Bob Condotta's Husky Blog at the Seattle times,
Rob Rang, a senior analyst at NFLDraftScout.com, said Kelemete will likely be moved back to guard at the next level. His organization currently has Kelemete, who was named to the All-Pac-12 second team this year, ranked as the No. 5 guard prospect and pegged as a third-round pick.
"Kelemete is a better fit inside, where his lack of height and reach won't limit his effectiveness," Rang said, adding that Kelemete is "surprisingly light on his feet" which helps make him "a very intriguing guard prospect, especially for teams operating out of a zone scheme."
The hometown Seahawks run a zone scheme that requires guards to be more athletic and spritely, and their current LG, Robert Gallery, is a former tackle as well. Obviously, the Hawks took two offensive linemen in last year's Draft, but Gallery isn't getting any younger and Kelemete, a former two-time captain for the Huskies, makes an interesting prospect.
Another Husky was noted in Pauline's report as well, with Alameda Ta'amu getting some love. Pauline:
Alameda Ta'amu (DT/Washington) has displayed a lot of power on the inside, consistently pushing offensive linemen off the ball and into the backfield.
The 2012 Senior Bowl kicks off this week and some of the nation's top seniors will look to improve their stock and make themselves a little bit of money. With scouts, coaches, GMs, and media members present in Mobile this week, the Senior Bowl represents an excellent opportunity for players to showcase their talents.
Here are some of the top prospects at receiver.
Juron Criner WR 6-4 / 215 Arizona
At 6'4, 215 pounds, Criner has prototypical size for an NFL wide receiver and with 10 1/2 inch hands, possesses the biggest mitts of any player on the Senior Bowl roster. Apparently having big hands can somehow transfer to catching the football? It's science. Criner followed up his 82 catch, 1233 yard 11 TD 2010 season with 75 catches for 956 yards and 11 TDs in 2011. He'll be someone to keep an eye on and if he has a big week he could see his stock jump from the present 3rd round or so grade on him.
Jeff Fuller WR 6-4 / 220 Texas A&M
Another big wide receiver target at 6'4, 220, the son of the former NFL defensive back of the same name, Fuller has the size, speed, and measureables that NFL teams love. He has no known off-field issues and grew up around the game. He followed up a strong junior season where he caught 72 passes for 1066 yards and 12 touchdowns with a 63 catch, 709 yard and 5 touchdown performance in his senior season. He'll look to boost his stock this week.
Dwight Jones WR 6-4 / 225 North Carolina
Dwight Jones is a bona-fide first-round wide receiver and likely the top pass-catcher in Mobile with Kendall Wright pulling out due to injury. Jones caught 79 passes for 1119 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Tar Heels this year and his size, speed, and separation ability set him apart as a prospect. If he's still around in the 2nd round, he'll be a steal.
Marvin McNutt WR 6-4 / 215 Iowa
McNutt, apart from having an awesome last name (and first name, for that matter), is a former high-school quarterback that received scholarships for baseball, football, and basketball. He chose football at the next level and and as a top-50 recruit went to Iowa. He made the switch to receiver in his sophomore year and has improved every season. He snagged 78 passes for 1269 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2011 and is making his way up draft boards.
Brian Quick WR 6-5 / 220 Appalachian State
Small school receiver with size and length (officially listed as 6'3, but with an 81.25 inch wingspan (Calvin Johnson has 82" wingspan, for comparison). Lower level of competition and pretty raw as a prospect, but could be a nice target in the later rounds.
As it pertains to the Seahawks - I don't really have a sense of whether or not this front office would be looking at wide receiver in this year's Draft. I'm of the personal opinion that you can never have too many playmakers on offense and tend to think that the Seahawks are anything but set in that positional group, but with other holes they make look elsewhere this season.
University of Washington RB Chris Polk looks to propel himself into the first-round discussion this week with a solid performance at the Senior Bowl, taking place down in Mobile, Alabama.
Though many thought that Polk was only a junior, officially, apparently he never actually applied for a medical redshirt his first year with the team so he's listed as a senior and thus can take part in this year's Senior Bowl. Polk emerged as one of the premiere backs in the country after three straight 1000+ yard rushing seasons, including the last two where he rushed for over 1400 yards each. Polk has averaged over five yards per carry over his last two seasons and has scored 21 touchdowns for the Huskies in that time.
He's getting some love from the national draft pundits, too. Per ESPN's Jessamyn McIntyre, here's what Mel Kiper said on Thursday during a national conference call when asked about Polk and where he projects to go:
"I think he's one of the top five running backs in this draft. ... If he can stay healthy I think you're looking at a guy who can help out in the passing game; he can catch the football.
I like the fact that when you look at his size (Polk is listed at 5-foot-11, 222 pounds) and the way he can move that pile, he can run inside, he can run outside, he picks up a lot of yards after contact, which made him one of the more impressive between-the-tackle runners.
I think he's a multi-dimensional player. If he can stay at 100 percent he's got a chance to be a very good back in the NFL. I see him going no later than the second round."
With many in Seattle speculating that the Seahawks could be looking at a running back in round two or round three this year, Chris Polk is naturally the player that comes to mind - if he lasts that long. He's a versatile running back with good speed, power, and catching ability out of the backfield and in my mind, he'd be a perfect complement to Marshawn Lynch, should the Seahawks decide to re-sign him. Polk would give Seattle another very dangerous weapon on offense to develop.
Make sure you tune in here for updates on how Polk's week is going at the Senior Bowl - we'll be keeping an eye on what scouts are saying.
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