Under-the-radar prospects rising
MOBILE, Ala. -- Senior Bowl week presents an opportunity for players from smaller programs and conferences to step up and show they belong with the big boys, and three 2012 prospects have taken full advantage of that chance at this year's game.
Senior Bowl Stock Up
Arkansas DE Jake Bequette
Bequette (6-4½, 264) lined up at end in college but has been primarily a linebacker during Senior Bowl week. He's shown some tightness when changing directions quickly in coverage and hasn't displayed great closing burst, but he's more fluid than I thought and can turn and run with tight ends if he has to. We saw that against Louisiana-Lafayette TE Ladarius Green, when Bequette flipped his hips and stayed with Green, and Bequette also has the size and strength to set the edge against the run. The versatility to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme or end in a 4-3 will certainly help his stock.
-- Steve Muench
Georgia CB Brandon Boykin
Boykin has displayed good speed all week, but today he showed the ability to open his hips fluidly and did a good job recognizing routes and breaking on the ball. He stayed with North Carolina WR Dwight Jones after getting a good jam at the line of scrimmage during one-on-one drills, and Boykin flashed excellent recovery speed to get back into position after being beaten by Jones on another play. He's undersized (5-9¼, 183), but Boykin has the leaping ability to climb the ladder and play the ball. He was also natural catching the ball as a kickoff returner, with the explosiveness to hit creases as soon as they open. Boykin might be a better athlete than football player at this point, but he turned in a solid day and is helping himself this week.
-- Kevin Weidl
Senior Bowl Stock Down
LSU TE Deangelo Peterson
Peterson's lack of size (6-2⅞, 230) showed up when he was run over during a blocking drill, and he does not separate from coverage as well as you would like from a player his size. He's too mechanical in his cuts and does not show great burst. It's easy to blame his lack of production on the run-heavy scheme he played in at LSU, but Peterson has not delivered on his chance to prove that was the case. His ball skills are inconsistent and his blocking is an issue, and Peterson's stock is taking a hit.
-- Steve Muench
North Carolina WR Dwight Jones
There's a lot to like about his frame (6-3⅛, 226), hands and ball skills, and Jones' long strides give him deceiving top-end speed. He's tight and stiff, though, and that showed today when he struggled to stay low against press coverage and allowed defenders into his chest. Jones also had a hard time dropping his weight and transitioning out of breaks on underneath routes. He is limited in the route tree, and while he flashed the ability to track the deep ball Jones has trouble adjusting on the move. Given all the issues we've seen today and over the rest of the week, Jones could end up dropping from a second-rounder entering the season all the way out of Day 2.
-- Kevin Weidl