Counting down our top 10 questions that could be answered in today’s Senior Bowl at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium (4 p.m. EST, NFL Network):
10. How will the North’s interior offensive linemen handle the girth and power of Alabama’s Terrence Cody? Cody isn’t a guy whose name you’ll hear much in this game, but he does a great job eating up space on first and second downs, making everyone else around him better.
9. Can USC standout Taylor Mays make up for his unimpressive week of practice with a statement-type game? Mays hasn’t looked real instinctive in coverage and takes far too long getting out of his breaks and closing on the football in his drop. We know he has the skill set, but his ability to at least make plays on the ball in the deep half will be key.
8. Does Mississippi State’s Anthony Dixon get enough opportunities at running back to have an impact on the game, or will he probably see more time as a lead blocker? Dixon is the type of back who’s going to “wow” you with one or two carries, but he has the size and patience to get stronger as the game goes on. It will be interesting to see the type of role he has in the South offense.
7. Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick had a good, but not a great, week in Mobile, Ala. How will he hold up vs. the double-teams inside against some of the bigger South offensive linemen? Odrick is considered a candidate as both a three- and five-technique guy, but if he hopes to play inside in the NFL, he’s going to need to prove he can play with a bit more base than he’s shown at times this year.
6. Speaking of massive offensive linemen on the South, where will Ole Miss standout John Jerry prove to be most effective? He’s taken reps at guard and both tackle spots this week and has been dominant when lined up inside at guard and at right tackle. He doesn’t look nearly as natural on the blind side, but he’s a big, gifted lineman who will quickly find a home starting for an NFL team.
5. Who comes out of this game as the top quarterback prospect? Right now, I feel confident saying that Jarrett Brown would rank as my No. 1 QB prospect from the Senior Bowl. He has the ceiling of a David Garrard type of player if given time, but it will be interesting to see how the rest of the QB crop performs when thrown into live game action.
4. Does Arkansas State defensive end come Alex Carrington leave Mobile as one of the nation’s fast-rising prospects? He’s displayed the get-off burst and power to consistently win his one-on-on matchups on the outside, so it will be interesting to see if he’s as effective when asked to read his run/pass keys during live action.
3. Is there anyone on the North who has the ability to stay with Ole Miss WR Dexter McCluster? I’m sure we’ll see McCluster used in a variety of ways on the South offense, but I’m really looking forward seeing him lined up in the slot vs. Boise State corner Kyle Wilson — the two top performers at their respected positions here.
2. How does Florida State safety Myron Rolle handle his first live game action in over a year? He did a decent job all week showcasing some natural athleticism, but he hasn’t looked overly instinctive — which was to be expected after his long absence from the game — and has yet to make a play on the football.
1. Finally, what will Florida quarterback Tim Tebow bring to the table? The guy is a gamer and isn’t the type of prospect you can evaluate during a week of practice. His ability to move the chains and put points on the board — no matter how unorthodox it may be — will be key for him today.
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