Four days in Mobile: Wrapping up Senior Bowl practices
By Dan Kadar on Jan 24 2014,
Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming
There was no receiver in Mobile craftier than Herron. In drills and full team practices he showed quick feet to get open and speed to beat defensive backs over the top. Herron will get knocked because of his size (just under 5-foot-9) but looks and plays just like Marvin Jones of the Cincinnati Bengals.
• From a physical standpoint, no players were more imposing that Minnesota defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman and Virginia offensive tackle Morgan Moses. Hageman has a future either as a traditional 4-3 defensive tackle or as a five technique end in a 3-4. The Pittsburgh Steelers could be a nice fit if they don't bring Ziggy Hood back.
Best agility: Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
Huff may be the most fluid athlete at the Senior Bowl. He shakes past, slips around and jumps over defenders, spinning, twisting and dashing with ease. While Mike Davis of Texas, Jordan Matthews of Vanderbilt and several other receivers stood out, I talked to several scouts who thought Huff was the most impressive of the bunch.
The only knock I saw on Huff was his tendency to catch the ball with his body. He does not have to -- he showed he can catch the ball away from his body – and it is certainly a bad habit he will have to break at the next level.
Best feet: Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming
Only 5-8 and 193 pounds, Herron may be part feline. That kid is as quick as a cat. He made corners whiff on several occasions as they tried to jam him off the line of scrimmage while in press coverage.
When defenders were in the off position, his cuts in and out of breaks on routes were sharp and sudden. Herron will make a solid slot receiver in the NFL.
Best route running: Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin
He may not have the fastest 40-yard dash time of the bunch, but without much wasted motion, Abbrederis’ routes are efficient and extremely difficult for defensive backs to read. If a defensive back is undisciplined with his eyes and gets caught peeking at the quarterback, the 6-foot, 189-pound Badger will make him look silly.
I watched him run one route that was a double move, and he actually made the defensive back spin around twice. This guy was impressive all season in the Big Ten, and he was consistent in Mobile.
Abbrederis is a superb route runner. When a wr, makes me go woooh that's some route running...its special. The way he abused Roby and single handedly knocked him down 10-20 slots in the draft is a testament to his ability.
1 Takkarist McKinley-OLB UCLA
2 Budda Baker-FS Washington
3 Noah Brown-WR tOSU
4 Joe Mixon-RB Oklahoma
5 Ahkello Witherspoon-CB Colorado
6 Riley Bullough-ILB Michigan State
7 QB-Seth Russell-Baylor
If we go sub 6 foot I prefer Jalen Saunders from OU. Straight ankle breaker.
1) Tak McKinnley-OLB-UCLA
3) Kendell Beckwith-ILB-LSU
3) Justin Evans-S-TAMU
4) Samaje Perine-RB-OU
5) Levon Meyers-OT-N.Illinois
6) Chad Kelly-QB-Ole Miss
7) Josh Dobbs-QB-Tenn
By Chris Roling , Featured Columnist Jan 29, 2014
A wild Senior Bowl is in the books after the nation's best four-year players convened in Mobile, Ala., for the start of a lengthy process that serves as the biggest job interview of their lives.
While most scouts make the trip to see the prospects compete against each other in practice, the game itself holds some value, too.
Like every year, the bowl will produce a few names who were previously known but not locks to go high in the draft. Unfortunately, the new collective bargaining agreement that locks rookies into contracts has resulted in more underclassmen declaring than ever, so the talent pool at the annual spectacle has dwindled.
The amount of players who can sneak into the first round is significantly lower than in recent years, but a few players still managed to put together strong performances that will move them up boards.
Vanderbilt standout wide receiver Jordan Matthews had himself quite the week at the Senior Bowl, a process he entered as a fringe first-round pick in the minds of many.
Go ahead and scratch a first-round grade next to Matthews' name—in permanent marker.
Things started great for Matthews as he stood out above most according to NFL Network's Charles Davis, via NFL.com's Chase Goodbread:
He will go into the briar patch, take his hits and keep on ticking. I never worry about that part with him. Obviously, people are going to want to know what he runs (at the combine). All in all, I think he's a big-time prospect. Let's face it: How many quarterbacks threw to him at Vanderbilt? Try to name them all. Yet everyone knew he was coming each week in the SEC.
Matthews followed this strong showing up with two catches for 38 yards in the big game, which was a sound tally considering eight different receivers caught a pass.
What scouts saw in Matthews is a big-bodied wideout at 6'3" and 206 pounds who has a game that translates well to the pro level right off the bat. He did not need the help, but Matthews' stock got a boost.
If Colbert is saying anything about this kid, it means they won't draft him. These guys think they are amazing poker players with pre-draft positioning. If he really was hoping to get this kid in later rounds, he'd keep his mouth shut. No way is he going to purposely cause other teams to notice him.