The most critical component of the Senior Bowl (and all other postseason all-star games) from a scouting perspective is how a player performs in practice but the first impressions made during the weigh-ins is also important.
A year ago, Alabama's D.J. Fluker created buzz by sporting an NFL-ready frame. Despite his not being able to perform during the practices, he was viewed as a Senior Bowl winner just because of his incredible weight distribution and long arms.
On the other end of the spectrum were players who measured in shorter than expected, including quarterbacks Ryan Nassib and Tyler Wilson. Their less-than-ideal height contributed to each "slipping" to the fourth round.
Along with hundreds of NFL personnel, NFLDraftScout.com was on hand for Monday morning's weigh-ins. Below are five prospects whose impressive physiques created an early positive buzz among scouts. Following that is a list of five players who had better hope their play through the week of practice helps scouts forget about less-than-ideal measurements.
Players are listed alphabetically within each group.
Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State: At a shade under 6-feet-1 and 216 pounds, Bucannon certainly passed the eyeball test, sporting a muscled-up frame that stood out in comparison to the other safeties in this game. With a 78-inch wingspan, Bucannon also had the widest of any of the safeties measured.
Kadeem Edwards, OL, Tennessee State: Scouts love linemen with long arms and Edwards has the longest of any of the athletes measured Monday at the Senior Bowl, measuring in at 34½ inches. The 6-4 1/8, Edwards also showed good weight distribution with a relatively trim middle at 308 pounds.
Ra'Shede Hagemen, DT, Minnesota: Another highly regarded lineman who showed impressive weight distribution, measuring in at exactly 6-6 and 318 pounds. His arms (33¾ inches) were also among the longest of any of the defensive tackles measured Monday.
Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt: Considering his success in the SEC, perhaps it isn't surprising that Matthews looked the part of a future high NFL pick. Some of the conference's biggest names weren't nearly as well-built as the Commodores' star receiver, who sported a chiseled 6-2 (and 5/8-inch), 209-pound frame, long arms (32 5/8 inches) and big hands (10½ inches).
Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton: One could quickly tell that Reid spent more than his share of time in the weight room rather than just in the library as the Ivy Leaguer showed off a surprisingly well-built frame at 6-2 (and 1/8 inch) and 301 pounds. While perhaps a bit shorter than scouts would like, Reid's impressive frame and adequate arm length (32 5/8 inches) helped the small-schooler stand out amongst FBS stars.
Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin: Borland has been compared to former Miami Dolphins stud linebacker Zach Thomas for much of his career and his instincts and open-field tackling ability warrant the mention. He looked smaller on stage than his official height (5-11 3/8 inches) and weight (245), however, and tied with former teammate, running back James White, with the shortest arms of any player measured Monday (28 5/8 inches).
Adrian Hubbard, OLB/DE, Alabama: Scouts will be intrigued with Hubbard's length at nearly 6-6 but there was surprisingly little muscular development on his 255-pound frame. For a player coming off a disappointing junior season and yet elected to enter the NFL Draft with a year of collegiate eligibility remaining, it wasn't the best impression to make.
Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma: It is a big man's game and to the surprise of no one, Saunders came in the smallest of any player at this year's Senior Bowl. Saunders came in just under 5-9 (officially 5-8¾) and 164 pounds. He also has small hands (8¾ inches) and short arms (28 7/8 inches).
Telvin Smith, ILB, Florida State: Smith's speed is certain to get him drafted but teams may have to move him outside or perhaps drop him back to safety with a frame that looks packed out at 218 pounds.
Will Sutton, DT, Arizona State: Though he was listed at 265 pounds for much of his career with the Sun Devils, scouts knew that Sutton was in fact much bigger. He gained more weight for his senior season and wasn't as effective in 2013, despite the fact that he was rewarded with the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award. Some of that extra weight was clearly around his middle as Sutton weighed in at 315 pounds at just under 6-1. Worse, his 30 5/8-inch arms were the shortest of any of the defensive tackles measured Monday.