Phil Savage, the new director of the Senior Bowl, has done a nice job of bringing a wide variety of talent to the 2013 Senior Bowl. What hit home for me today was the brilliant selection of small-college players brought in to compete with the "big boys."
Four of the 10 small-college players here really grabbed my attention this week and leave little doubt they can play in the NFL.
Kyle Juszczyk from Harvard is an ideal H-back/fullback candidate. He has been impressive as a lead blocker on the inside run game and has decleated a number of linebackers in the run drills. He is a fine receiver out of the backfield or as a wing has been excellent all week. He has soft hands, runs good routes and is physical after the catch. The 49ers run a lot of two- and three-tight sets and a number of teams are studying that offense. Juszczyk would be a great fit for that type of offense.
Garrett Gilkey is an offensive guard from Chadron State and he is one physical player that loves to battle in the trenches. Any team interested in a power guard that can move a defensive tackle will be interested in Gilkey. How this guy didn't play for a team like Nebraska or Wisconsin coming out of Chicago is a mystery to me.
Aaron Mellette, a wide receiver from Elon, is a big athletic type that can make a catch over his head and down around his ankles. He demonstrated the ability to go up and get a ball. I don't think he's a true No. 1 wide receiver, but he will be a solid third or fourth.
B.W. Webb is a cornerback from William and Mary that has playing traits like Asante Samuel. He looks like a solid cover two corner with 48 college starts. He holds up well in the man-to-man drills and has good anticipation in his zone drops.
Anytime a game like this can bring small-college players in and they look like they belong it's a major bonus. This is one of the best years in my 23 years at the Senior Bowl.