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Senior Bowl talent to watch at the NFL Combine

What to look for at the Combine workouts. Matt Bowen

February 23, 2012
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INDIANAPOLIS—While we wait for the rookie prospects to test on the field here inside of Lucas Oil Stadium, I want to go back and review my Senior Bowl notes. A group of players that stood out on the field from my perspective down in Mobile that can continue to increase their draft stock even more with an impressive Combine workout.

Here are the names in my notebook that I will be watching in Indy…

Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State: I expect the debate over Weeden to continue all the way up until draft day because of his age and the system he played in at Oklahoma State, But I saw a player that threw a very good ball down in Mobile and was the best QB prospect on the field. He could generate some buzz when he throws this week in Indy.

Courtney Upshaw ICONUpshaw looked the part of a first-round talent at the Senior Bowl and now we get to see him test during Combine workouts.

Courtney Upshaw, OLB/DE, Alabama: Upshaw displayed power and used his hands at the point of attack during one-on-one pass rush. Talent to play OLB in a 3-4 front and after talking to scouts, some teams see him as a 4-3 DE. I’m interested the numbers the first round talent produces in the testing and what position he is targeted at.

Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina: At times, the competitive drills at the Senior Bowl looked easy for the DE. Coples displayed speed off the edge that wasn’t matched by any other prospects on the field and his overall athletic ability should stand out in the workouts in Indy. A Top 10 talent that.

Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette: Loved watching Bentley compete down in Mobile during one-on-ones, 7-on-7 and team drills. He isn’t considered a top tier prospect at the CB position, but if he puts together a solid workout, I think his stock starts to rise.

Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame: Had a good feel for the game on the practice field, took solid angles to the ball and was patient with his footwork. As I pointed out in my post on grading the safety position, range and the ability to read the QB are more important for safeties than a 40 time. However, we all know that Smith will see his stock start to climb if he runs in the low 4.5s and looks the part in the workouts.

Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State: Adams is being targeted as a rookie that can play on the right side, but I thought he displayed good enough technique to possibly be looked as a potential LT during his career. Now, we get to see what type of athlete he is and how he matches up against USC's Matt Kalil and Iowa's Riley Reiff.

Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State: A lot of positives on Quick when talking to scouts after practice sessions. He displayed good body control, adjusted to the football and has size (6-3, 220) at the WR position. However, no different than a top prospect like Justin Blackmon, the league wants to see Quick run. His 40-time will impact his stock.

Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama:  I talked about Jenkins on Tuesday because he is a first round talent. Good feet and will use his hands when asked to play press-man, plus he wants to compete. The interviews will be big after off the field issues at Florida, but a solid workout is going to sell to NFL scouts.

Doug Martin, RB, Boise State:  The RB was explosive through the hole and displayed good vision in practice. What does a solid workout do for Martin? I think it puts him in a position (with Miami’s Lamar Miller and Virginia Tech's David Wilson) as the second RB to come off the board after Alabama’s Trent Richardson.

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