What to watch in Senior Bowl game
January, 25, 2013
By Todd McShay | ESPN.com
MOBILE, Ala. -- Premier talent rises to the top at college all-star games. It can take two or three days, but by the end of a long week of scouting-friendly practices -- full of one-on-one drills and other situations that highlight NFL prospects' strengths and weaknesses -- the top players are easy to identify.
The 2013 Senior Bowl is no exception. Plenty of players have had good weeks, and these five have been the best in Mobile this week.
1. North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams
2. Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher
3. Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson
4. Connecticut CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson
5. Georgia DT Johnathan Jenkins
What should fans be looking for when the Senior Bowl game itself kicks off? Here's a look at some of the top scouting points to consider as the game approaches:
Momentum on their side
Florida State ILB Vince Williams and California CB Marc Anthony were better than expected this week and are looking to capitalize on strong practice performances.
AP Photo/Ben Liebenberg Vince Williams stood out from the crowd thanks to his speed and closing burst.
Williams' range -- particularly his straight-line speed and closing burst -- have been impressive, and Anthony showed good playmaking instincts while getting his hands on more passes than any other defensive back here.
Others who flashed this week: UCLA DE Datone Jones, Rutgers LB Khaseem Greene, Florida RB Mike Gillislee, Kentucky G Larry Warford, Missouri Southern DL Brandon Williams, Southeast Louisiana DB Robert Alford, Connecticut LB Sio Moore and Wake Forest FB Tommy Bohanon.
Two who need to show up
The practice week was underwhelming for defensive ends Ezekiel Ansah and Margus Hunt, both of whom lack ideal experience and are still raw talents.
We knew there would be some bumps in the road for Ansah, but he simply failed to flash as often as we expected given his rare combination of size, power and speed.
Hunt looks the part with his massive (6-foot-8¼, 277 pounds), well-proportioned frame and exceptional wingspan (82¼ inches). He continues to improve his hand usage and was disruptive at times throughout the week, but Hunt's lack of suddenness really stood out when studying him during one-on-one drills and team reps.
Others who need to step up: Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, Kent State G Brian Winters and Virginia OT Oday Aboushi.
Five things to watch
After a week spent gathering scouting notes on practice situations, there are a few things we'll be studying closely once the game actually kicks off. Here are five of the most intriguing:
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider