2013 Senior Bowl: Mike Glennon rises, Denard Robinson falling
A pair of talented receivers on the North squad are shining bright among the clouds in Mobile
|Denard Robinson's inexperience at wide receiver is showing. (US Presswire)|
WR Markus Wheaton , Oregon State (North Team)
If a prospect is drawing comparisons to Steelers' speedy wide receiver Mike Wallace , then he had better be fast. And Wheaton is, running around and past defensive backs throughout practices this week. The Beavers’ leading receiver had a productive senior season and is carrying that momentum over to Mobile where he has looked like the top wideout on the North team. Wheaton tends to play too fast at times in his routes, but when controlled, he has the sudden moves and athleticism to create and make smooth adjustments to the ball.
WR Marquise Goodwin , Texas (North Team)
An Olympic athlete will always be an intriguing NFL prospect, but Goodwin's senior season on the football field was average at best. However, through three days of practice at the Senior Bowl, Goodwin has looked much more natural and polished in his routes and catching the ball. His world-class speed translates well to the football field and he looks much more flexible in his patterns and breaks, catching just about everything thrown his way. A prospect who looks much different from the tape, Goodwin is forcing scouts to go back and study more on the former Longhorn, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Goodwin vaults into the early rounds, similar to Buffalo Bills wide receiver T.J. Graham a year ago.
OT Terron Armstead , Arkansas-Pine Bluff (South Team)
A standout at the Shrine Game in St. Petersburg last week, Armstead was an injury replacement for Dallas Thomas and didn’t look out of place in Mobile. He had a tough start on Wednesday with some ugly reps in one-on-one drills, but he recovered and improved throughout practice, finishing strong and earning some praise from coaches. Lining up at left tackle, Armstead doesn’t have ideal length or power to hold up on the edge, but he showed good feet to mirror and stay aggressive with rushers. With his momentum the last two weeks, Armstead looks like one of this year’s top small-school prospects.
DE Alex Okafor , Texas (North Team)
While UCLA’s Datone Jones is the pass rusher who has created the most buzz, Okafor isn’t too far behind, getting the best of Central Michigan left tackle Eric Fisher on several occasions this week. Okafor lacks quick-twitch burst and isn’t a speed rusher, but he understands how to use his hands and limbs to grip and rip past blockers. On Wednesday, he got into the body of Fisher, who is arguably the best prospect in Mobile, several times and drove him backward, using his natural strength and hand placement to jolt the left tackle.
QB Mike Glennon , NC State (North Team)
This quarterback class is going to give NFL teams headaches as they try to sift through the talent, yet there is inconsistency among the top prospects. And Glennon might be the most talented, but streaky prospect at the Senior Bowl, although he has looked strong at times this week, having his best practice on Wednesday. He has the strongest arm in Mobile to effortlessly deliver strikes downfield, making concise NFL throws to all levels of the field. Glennon’s highlight reel looks like video of a sure-fire top pick, but he needs to continue to eliminate the mistakes in order to make those highlights a consistent part of his game.
CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson , Connecticut (North Team)
For the cornerback position, Wreh-Wilson looks the part at 6 feet 1 and 192 pounds with 32.5” arms, but his lack of speed has showed up on several occasions during practice this week. He has lined up in both press and off-coverage, but struggles in his transition to quickly flip his hips and blanket his man downfield. Not every cornerback can play man coverage and I’m not sure I would trust Wreh-Wilson outside of zone coverage.
WR Denard Robinson , Michigan (North Team)
For the first time all week, the yellow jersey was off and Robinson was ready for some contact drills on Wednesday. However, it was more of the same for the former Michigan quarterback as he battles the tough transition to receiver. Robinson appeared to fight the ball most of the day and lacked sharpness in his routes, two areas that need improving before he is ready for the NFL. He also needed help on where to line up pre-snap on several occasions, indicating just how raw he is at the position. Although he doesn’t have ideal running back size, Robinson appears best suited as an all-around weapon in the backfield and elsewhere, not necessarily limited to receiver.
- While the top wideout in Mobile is on the South squad ( Quinton Patton ), the North group of receivers has been very intriguing as a unit. I talked about Wheaton and Goodwin in the section above as risers, but Kansas State’s Chris Harper and Marshall’s Aaron Dobson have also stood out. Harper probably won’t have a great 40-yard dash time, but he is a natural hands-catcher who uses his body well in coverage. Dobson has displayed explosive athleticism and fluid ankles in his routes, showing burst in-and-out of his breaks to create separation. Harper and Dobson are different types of receivers, but both could sneak into the late second day.
- The North team’s cornerbacks looked like a strong group coming into the week, but Washington’s Desmond Trufant has continued to stand out among the talented unit. His athleticism and awareness have been superb, playing tight coverage at the line of scrimmage and downfield. Trufant has shown very good route anticipation to stay balanced and attack the ball when it’s in the air, breaking up several passes this week in one-on-one drills. An excellent senior season coupled with his performance in Mobile makes Trufant a hot name among scouting circles.
- Several players were late additions to the roster, here are their updated measurements:
OT Terron Armstread, Arkansas-Pine Bluff (6-5, 306)
DT Josh Boyd , Mississippi State (6-3, 312)
RB Mike James, Miami (5-11, 222)
DE Travis Johnson , San Jose State (6-2, 244)
WR Alec Lemon, Syracuse (6-1, 200)
OLB Sio Moore , Connecticut (6-1, 240)
OLB Ty Powell, Harding (6-2, 245)
WR Russell Shepard, LSU (6-0, 194)
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