Senior Bowl: Who Looked Good, Who Didn't?

NFL hopefuls who attend the Senior Bowl can help themselves or hurt their status with their performances during practices in the week preceding the game, as well as when the lights finally go on. AFI's Scott Eklund breaks it down as he saw it and gives you his winners and losers from Saturday night's 35-18 South victory...

Players who helped themselves

1) Oregon RB Jeremiah Johnson Looked great catching the ball out of the backfield. Has good speed and can cut on a dime. Would have liked to have seen Johnson get some more carries, but he had a solid game all the way around.

2) North Carolina State RB Andre Brown Tough runner who showed the ability to break tackles and get into open space where he showed good speed too. I liked the way he ran the ball all night and he even had a nifty catch on a check down that resulted in a first down. His stock will definitely rise with this performance.

3) Liberty RB Rashad Jennings This kid is going to be special at the next level. Has good speed and is big already going 6-1, 234 and he showed deceptive speed when running away from his pursuers.

4) Purdue RB Kory Sheets He made several plays when he got the chance and he was really aggressive when he got the ball in his hands. He's not going to be an every-down back, but his speed and elusiveness will make him a dangerous situational back.

5) Ole Miss WR Mike Wallace He showed outstanding speed running right by CB DeAngelo Smith who has decent speed. Wallace adjusted his body well to make the catch and kept both feet in as well. Wallace also ran crisp routes and even blocked well down the field.

6) Pitt LB Scott McKillop I've always like McKillop's game. He's tough and he's a good tackler. When the play is between the tackles, McKillop consistently wrapped the ball-carrier up, but if the play is to the outside he's going to struggle. He will be a great backup MIK linebacker at the next level, but I don't see him as anything more than a stop-gap starter.

7) Illinois OT Xavier Fulton He pulled well and tracked down players in space. He had a holding call go against him that nullified a touchdown run by Sheets, but he still showed excellent athleticism and good footwork on pass plays.

8) West Virginia QB Pat White – I thought he looked great with the ball in his hands, but I think it would be a waste of his talents to put him at QB where he will never be more than a backup. If he plays in the slot at receiver, watch out, you could be looking at a Pro Bowler with his skills.

9) Ole Miss LB Ashlee Palmer I scouted Palmer out of junior college at Compton and he was a beast at safety. However, he lacked the flexibility to be much of a factor there so the Rebel coaches moved him to linebacker where he thrived. In Mobile he was all over the place on defense pressuring the quarterback and tracking down ballcarriers. He isn't very big, but he could be a solid nickel linebacker at the next level.

10) Tennessee DE Robert Ayers Consistently got pressure on the quarterback, but was stonewalled when he faced off against Michael Oher. Ayers showed a quick first step that is very quick and he showed he could make plays when they are away from him as well.

Honorable mention: LSU LB Darry Beckwith; Auburn OL Tyronne Green; Ole Miss DT Peria Jerry; Virginia RB Cedric Peerman; Arizona WR Mike Thomas; Hawaii DE David Veikune; Oklahoma WR Juaquin Iglesias.


Players who weren't up to snuff

1) Ohio State LB James Laurinitas – According to some, the talented Buckeye linebacker raised some eyebrows by not coming to Mobile to compete. Will that drop him? Who knows, but it didn't help his cause, that's for sure.

2) USC LB Brian Cushing Cush looked good at times, but he definitely didn't play his best game. In one sequence he overran a running play and on the next play he didn't wrap up Peerman. However, there were two other plays where he showed perfect coverage technique. Overall a so-so outing for one of the top athletes at the OLB position.

3) Notre Dame S David Bruton Bruton is a great athlete, but he struggled in coverage when he was singled up on a receiver getting beat deep on a play that was barely overthrown. He also had a chance to pull down an errant John Parker Wilson throw and dropped it.

4) Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell Boy did Harrell struggle. He consistently under-threw receivers, showed below-average arm-strength and just never looked comfortable playing under center. On his first pass he stumbled and fell. Not a good night for such a prolific passer. I never expect him to be that good, but I also never thought he could look that bad.

5) USC LB Rey Maualuga Anyone who has watched Maualuga knows he's a gamer, but he definitely didn't have a good game. At times he looked like the menacing defender we've all come to know, knocking the ball out of Peerman's hands on a second quarter running play, but at other times he looked way too aggressive not breaking down and using good technique. He'll still be a first-round choice, but he may have dropped a bit in some people's eyes.

Others who struggled: Sam Houston St. QB Rhett Bomar; Connecticut CB Darius Butler; California OL Alex Mack; Alabama QB John Parker Wilson; Troy CB Sherrod Martin.


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