Final Senior Bowl impressions

D-Line shines

DT Jared Odrick, Penn State

Odrick did a great job creating havoc inside throughout the game, using his bull-rush to consistently push the pocket and his long, powerful arms to disengage from blocks. He routinely was able to overwhelm one-on-one blocks at the point and make his way toward the football. Plus, he did a nice job recognizing his run/pass keys, finding the ball carrier and clogging up run lanes. He’s not a guy who will consistently make plays vs. the double-team at the next level, but he more than held his own vs. some of the bigger offensive linemen on the South roster and should be on almost every team’s draft board as either a 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT.

DT Geno Atkins, Georgia

Atkins not only was the most explosive interior defensive lineman during the week, he also showed up in a big way on game day. Atkins did a great job getting off the ball on time and quickly into the body of opposing linemen. However, what made him so tough to block was his combination of power and leverage on contact. He consistently showcased the ability to work his bull-rush, which in turn made him so much more effective using his length and lateral quickness to slip blocks inside. Atkins looks like an ideal one-gap lineman who will be at his best making plays behind the line of scrimmage.

DE Brandon Graham, Michigan

If there was one guy who made his presence felt more than anyone in Saturday’s game, it was Michigan’s Brandon Graham. Graham isn’t the most physically impressive looking edge rusher, but he does a great job playing with natural leverage and using his length and suddenness to shed blocks and accelerate around the corner. Plus, he’s a smart, instinctive kid who reads his run/pass keys quickly and knows how to find the ball. Looks like one of the more NFL-ready prospects.

Running angry

Don’t tell me that Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount didn’t have anything to prove in the Senior Bowl. He ran like a man on a mission all day long. Blount showed up in good shape last week and showcased the type of burst he demonstrated as a junior in 2008. There are still plenty of questions surrounding his character, but after talking with him following Monday’s practice, the guy seems thankful for a second chance and is ready to enhance a team’s run game as a power guy inside.

Give him some credit

For a big man, Iowa’s A.J. Edds certainly knows how to play the pass. Edds is instinctive in coverage and does a great job reading the quarterback’s eyes and using his length to make plays on the ball. Plus, he’s surprisingly fluid for a guy his size and showcases the ability to flip and find the football quickly out of his transition. He finished the game with one interception and two tackles and again proved that although he may not be flashy, he can certainly be effective in the NFL.

The second coming?</p>

One guy who continues to intrigue is Massachusetts offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse. Ducasse exhibits good range off the edge for his size with the flexibility and base strength to sit into his stance and anchor. He consistently generates good power on contact and can really deliver a nasty punch at the point. He’s still raw and will struggle to stay on blocks, but the guy has the skill set to mature into a very good guard or tackle at the next level. He reminds me a bit of 2009 second-round pick Sebastian Vollmer, who was a similar type of prospect in terms of being a raw but possessing an unlimited amount of potential and overall upside. And much like Vollmer, the team that drafts Ducasse will grade him out as a potential starter who can contribute early in his NFL career, not as a developmental-type prospect.

Just pluck it

Tulane wideout Jeremy Williams isn’t the most explosive vertical threat, but the guy is a physical route runner who has the ability to be sudden down the field and go up and get the football. Williams finished the game with six catches for 82 yards and consistently was able to run corners off his routes and cleanly work his way back toward the throw. Plus, he did a nice job with the ball in his hands and was even responsible for a 27-yard rush. Williams is a tough cover on all areas of the field and is one of the few senior wideouts whom I gave a potential starting grade.


CB Trevard Lindley, Kentucky

Lindley again looked uncomfortable in off-coverage and simply gets too leggy when asked to change directions and get out of his breaks. He also struggled to get back up to speed out of his back-pedal and doesn’t look like a guy who can hold up in man at the next level.

OT Selvish Capers, West Virginia

For a guy who looks the part, Capers doesn’t play with any type of base on contact and consistently gets overextended with his footwork. He really struggles to stick to blocks on the edge and is a guy who will make every defensive end he goes against in the NFL look like a good pass rusher until he improves his anchor strength.

LB Darryl Sharpton, Miami

For someone who needs to make plays in pursuit in order to be effective, Sharpton takes too many bad angles toward the ball carrier to be considered a legitimate starter in a run-and-hit scheme.

CB Javier Arenas, Alabama

Arenas proved he’s not a guy who can turn and run with NFL-caliber receivers down the field. He doesn’t possess a second gear to his game and isn’t a cornerback who can make up for any kind of a false step in man-coverage.

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