Which NFL Draft prospects separated themselves at the Senior Bowl, for better or for worse? At the game itself, there were a few clear winners on each side of the ball as prospects stood out and put together strong performances. On the whole, the week’s worth of practices and the game itself gave players a chance to booster their draft stock and answer some questions in front of scouts from every NFL team. The stakes, as you can imagine, were high.
Here are a few of the players that both won and lost this week in Alabama.
Christian Ponder, quarterback from Florida State: Easily the best quarterback in the game, Ponder looked comfortable in the pocket and made some nice throws for the South. He finished as the most productive quarterback, completing passes for yards and two touchdowns. For his efforts, he was named the most valuable player.
Von Miller, linebacker from Texas A&M: Miller was a beast during the game, flying around and making plays. His speed in pursuit was on display more than once as he hauled down quick running backs from behind and made plays in the open field.
Cameron Jordan, defensive lineman from Cal: Jordan had what was likely the best week of practice of any player in Alabama, looking unstoppable at times. How good was he? The coaches had to tell him to tone it down during drills after his dominant performances early in practice. Jordan will likely find himself in the top-15 come April
Leonard Hankerson, wide receiver from Miami: Hankerson had a huge game in the Senior Bowl, leading all receivers with 99 yards and a touchdown on five catches. His routes were crisp, his hands were solid and he boosted his draft stock with his performance in Alabama.
Jake Locker, quarterback from Washington: Locker had a chance to begin to put some of the questions about his accuracy and passing to rest, but disappointed. He showed improved, but was inconsistent for much of the week. On Saturday, he completed 6-10 passes for 98 yards, but struggled with high throws and fumbled twice. He’s only a loser here because of that inconsistency.
Stephen Paea, defensive lineman from Oregon State: Paea is here not because of his performance, but because of the unfortunate incident that occurred early in the week. Paea tore his meniscus in drills early in the week and was forced to leave early. As with any injury ahead of the draft, it has the potential to harm his draft stock and, perhaps, drop him out of the first round.
Colin Kaepernick, Ricky Stanzi and Andy Dalton: The quarterbacks struggled all week and none of these three stood out in the game itself. All three had plenty to prove coming into the week, but all three battled inconsistency and struggled all week. Analysts are projecting all three as mid- to late-round picks that will need some development time at the NFL-level.
The South was the big winner as they took home the Senior Bowl title this year. Behind Ponder’s two touchdowns, the South jumped out to an early lead and held on down the stretch as the North came back, securing a 24-10 win. Hankerson and Kerley each caught touchdowns and running back Noel Devine took one in on the ground for the South.
For the rest of our coverage from the game, check out our Senior Bowl StoryStream.