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 Senior Bowl 
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Joined: April 12th, 2005, 12:35 am
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Post Senior Bowl
I watched the Senior Bowl this afternoon. Here are some random thoughts.

Von Miller looked really great. Showed great instincts and discipline as a 4-3 OLB, which he played all game due to Senior Bowl scheme rules. He had to make some tough open field tackles against some pretty athletic players like Kaepernick and he made every one. And his strength is supposed to be his pass rush skills! He could certainly play 4-3 OLB, but I think his best position is in a 3-4, where he can rush the passer and drop into coverage. I'm very high on him.

Ryan Kerrigan was good, but not dominant like Brandon Graham was last year. He had a nice sack where he slid off of a block to go inside and get the QB. He did a good job of getting some push and collapsing the pocket on some other plays too. Cameron Jordan was very hyped coming in, but he really didn't do much in the game. Jeremy Beal had a really cheap sack where he was plainly offsides but there was no call!

Jake Locker is not a first-day quarterback--he looks like a late round QB to me. He missed on half of his passes, even where he had a clean pocket and open receivers. Drives screeched to a halt when he came into the game. Mike Mayock made a great point about how Locker's footwork leads to his bad accuracy. There have been a lot of Locker apologists saying that his completion percentage is bad because of his poor offensive line and his receivers. But really, after Senior Bowl week, how much more evidence do we need that this guy just doesn't have the accuracy to play the position at a high level in the NFL?

I can see where the hype is on Colin Kaepernick, but I think that's mostly what it is: hype. He throws a very, very nice ball, but again, the accuracy isn't there. He wasn't bad, but he wasn't great. Reminds me a lot of Jake Plummer--good mobility and arm strength, and can have hot streaks, but not consistent.

Christian Ponder looked good. He had his arm strength exposed a bit early on a pass into the wind that was very underthrown, but he really moved the team down the field. Had some really pretty throws, including one in the middle for the touchdown where he looked off the defensive back and threaded two defenders. He was the MVP and he deserved it. Wouldn't be shocked if he doesn't translate to the next level, but I think his upside is Matt Schaub. Stanzi and Dalton did not stand out for me either way.

The North offensive linemen, specifically Solder and Costanzo, played poorly. They gave up at least three sacks and tons of pressure. Solder got schooled on a nice move from Sam Acho, who isn't exactly Brian Orakpo. They might have just had a bad day, but I would not feel great about the Lions taking these guys in the first round after this game.

I liked North Carolina cornerback Kendric Burney coming into this game, and I thought that he looked good today. Burney showed good ball skills with at least two pass break-ups that I counted. Unlike a lot of cornerbacks, he showed that he was a solid tackler, snuffing out one or two screens. He did get beat for the North's first touchdown, but it was a perfect throw by Ponder and route by the receiver and Burney really didn't have any chance to make a play.

Noel Devine looked good in space, but not so much otherwise. Looked electric on a screen, but fumbled when he was asked to run inside. Could be Darren Sproles 2.0. Derrick Locke looked pretty good too early in the game. Casey Matthews had a nice instinctive play where he broke up a pass. There's no way he'll be as good as his brother, but he could be a good role player. The Miami receiver looked good, and Titus Young was targeted a lot, which suggests that he was getting open.

Anyway, those were my observations. Nobody else really stood out to me.

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January 30th, 2011, 12:21 am
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Post Re: Senior Bowl
Great stuff S&C!

I didn't get to watch the game and I had been looking for some insight.

I watched some film on Von Miller and while I agree that initially he is a 3-4 LB, the kid is so atheletic that I think he could easily make it as an OLB in a 4-3.

When I look at this draft, I only see about 7 - 8 elite players, after that, to me the talent level really levels off. Von Miller is one of those guys that I think makes a difference for some team lucky enough to draft him.

I'm definitely not high on any of the O-line talent this year, they all look like projects.

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January 30th, 2011, 8:55 am
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Post Re: Senior Bowl
Von Miller has proven in today's Senior bowl that the transition to a 4-3 OLB would be seamless. Has no problem playing in space, and has had several standout plays on ball carriers. Size, strength, speed, smarts and disciplined. He looks like the total package to me and I can see why he's rated as the #1 LB. Bad news is he's so good, he will probably be gone by 13. The only other LB I thought stood out was Colin McCarthy.


January 30th, 2011, 10:37 am
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Post Re: Senior Bowl
Some team is going to take Kaepernick in round 2 but I think he needs to go a little later. He has some good tools (mobility, arm strength etc) but he's not from a pro style offense so he needs work there and his release needs some work. Everything I read all week said his accuracy was good in practice but to me he was somewhat inconsistent in the game. Could end up being a solid QB but could also bust. I'm kinda rooting for the kid though after everything I've been hearing this week.

Jake Locker looked pretty terrible to me. The best example was when he tried to throw a seam route I believe between the corner and the safety. He was way off with the throw and the WR had no shot. They compared that throw to one one of the other QBs made on that route (I forget which QB) where he threaded it in there perfectly. You can't teach accuracy but maybe working on his footwork and release will help? Depending on the combine he'll probably still go in the first round but he hasn't looked like a franchise QB.

Titus Young has looked impressive. Mayock kept comparing him to DeSean Jackson both in terms of speed/playmaking ability, but also in terms of his small frame and lack of discipline. I think being around CJ might help his work ethic/discipline. I wouldn't hate taking him in round 2 if we can address LB and CB in FA/round one. I know we have other needs but if he turns into DeSean light, he'll be a good compliment to CJ and Burleson.


January 30th, 2011, 10:53 am
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Post Re: Senior Bowl
Titus Young did look impressive. He'd be a pretty good slot WR for us

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January 30th, 2011, 8:05 pm
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Post Re: Senior Bowl
Sanz from OSU looked good too, leading the receiving category for the South (WHA? OSU IS IN THE SOUTH? SEC SPEED BABY!!!)

I'm wondering where he goes, he seems to just get it done like Gonzo did.

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January 31st, 2011, 4:33 pm
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Post Re: Senior Bowl
Hopefully he actually does something in the pros, unlike Gonzo. He's been a bum outside of 2008, which was a nice year for him.

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January 31st, 2011, 4:49 pm
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Post Re: Senior Bowl
conversion02 wrote:
Hopefully he actually does something in the pros, unlike Gonzo. He's been a bum outside of 2008, which was a nice year for him.


All Sanz has to do is stay healthy... that has been Gonzo's gig after his first year.

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January 31st, 2011, 5:10 pm
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Post Re: Senior Bowl
Wasn't Gonzalez being praised for his hyperbolic chamber that he sleeps in as a testament to his commitment to the game? Maybe he should stop doing that. It seemed like every time I saw Sanz he was beating some schmo for a 60 yard TD. I don't know how good he really is, but he does have some upside. I just don't know how crisp his routes are, as he ran a lot of fly's it seemed like.

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January 31st, 2011, 5:51 pm
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Post Re: Senior Bowl
He was a low rated recruit, wasn't supposed to do much that seemed to just make it happen. He won't be a high draft pick but I can tell you whoever gets him will get a guy that seems to just get it done. He's not gonna go to the probowl, but he is going to overachieve.

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January 31st, 2011, 6:49 pm
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Post Re: Senior Bowl
I would love to see the Lions draft Sanzenbacher in the 5th or 6th. If it's thrown his way he catches it, unlike Bryant Johnson.


February 4th, 2011, 9:13 am
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