Panther Insider's Senior Bowl Blog, p. III

The Senior Bowl rolls on in Mobile, Ala., as Thursday brings the final practices before Saturday's game. Find out what Panthers scouts are up to in our latest blog entry. Also, hear from a scout who weighs in on what the Panthers should do with the No. 1 overall pick and check out our latest player Q&A.

To read all of's coverage of the Senior Bowl, click here.

Also check out's blogs for Monday and Tuesday.

Panthers Pursue Productive Pass Catcher (Jan. 27, 10:45 a.m.)

WR Vincent Brown
Tom Hauck/Getty
The Panthers met with SDSU WR Vincent Brown. One of the week's most productive players, Brown has shown incredible hands and athleticism while catching everything thrown his way.

"I have big-play ability and a good understanding of offensive and defensive schemes," Brown said. "Every time I step on the field I have to make plays. I'm not the biggest or strongest or fastest guy, so I do whatever it takes to do my job."

Brown finished his four-year Aztecs career with 209 catches, 3,110 yards and 23 touchdowns. He can also contribute as a kick returner, something he did until his junior season.

The Panthers already have plenty of youth at receiver but may need more help if Steve Smith is moved this offseason. New coach Ron Rivera is familiar with what Brown can do, given that Brown played in Rivera's backyard.

Q&A with DT Chris Neild (Jan. 27, 9:29 a.m.)

DT Nick Chris Neild
Charles LeClaire/Getty
West Virginia's Chris Neild (6-foot-2, 313 pounds) is the classic zero-technique lineman. He can anchor the middle of the defense and absorb blockers at the point of attack. A three-year starter at nose tackle, he has proven capable of clogging run lanes and shutting down the middle of the field.

He talks with us about his Senior Bowl experience.

Michael Lombardo: You are done with full-pads practices in front of NFL scouts. What did you get accomplished?

Chris Neild: We got a lot done. A lot of us defensive linemen did not know each other, but we really came together. As far as my goals that I set before I came [to the Senior Bowl], I am really working on the things I know I need to improve on.

ML: What are some of those things you are working on and how have the Cincinnati Bengals coaches been helping you with those things?

CN; The coaches are helping a whole lot. I knew I had to work on my pass rushing, which is something I did not excel at much at West Virginia. I am more of a run stopper. But I am taking the things they are teaching me and trying to succeed.

ML: Is it a challenge to learn on the fly when competing against all-star competition?

CN: This is a great showcase. In the one-on-ones and run-fit drills, you get to show that you can hold your ground, escape that rush and get to the passer. It is something we are trying to work on and so far it has been working out.

ML: What are you doing with your time between the Senior Bowl and the NFL Draft?

CN: I've been training for the last three weeks. After the Senior Bowl I'll be going to Phoenix and training at Fisher Sports. It has been going really well and hopefully that will continue until the NFL Combine. We are working on the different techniques I will need for all the Combine drills, so hopefully it will work out in the end. The Combine and the Senior Bowl are two great places to show your talents and the Combine has specific drills that let you really show what you are made of.

ML: Give us the same sales pitch you are giving to NFL teams. Why draft you?

CN: I am just trying to showcase my talents and toughness. Hopefully, that will be enough to get me a roster spot.

Sobo Says (Jan. 26, 8:52 p.m.)

DT Nick Fairley
Dave Martin/AP
I spoke today with Brent Sobleski, a scout who has spent time as an assistant coach at the University of Akron and Walsh University. Currently the head scout for TFY's, I wanted his opinion on what the Panthers should do with the No. 1 overall pick.

So, Sobo, is it Nick Fairly or Da'Quan Bowers?

"Fairley is the obvious choice," he said. "He can come in, play the three-technique and be dominant and still give you a pass-rushing presence because he has the most explosive first step in the country. If you give him the two-way go -- which means he has the A gap and B gap in the pass rush -- he can be a real terror a la Warren Sapp in the Tampa 2.

"Bowers is a tremendous talent. Questions have been raised about his attitude, particularly the previous two years. This year, he matured greatly after his father passed away and he was forced to grow up. My issue after watching him on film is that he can be completely dominant or he can just disappear. But he is an edge rusher with prototype size, athleticism and talent.

"You're looking at two guys who did it mainly this year, which is a big concern."

Rocking the Otah Jersey (Jan. 26, 12:54 p.m.)

OT Jason Pinkston
George Gojkovich/Getty confirms Carolina has met with three more prospects: OT Jason Pinkston, WR Dwayne Harris and CB Jalil Brown. The meetings with Harris and Brown took place right after Wednesday's North Team practice.

Pinkston, who shares the Pittsburgh connection with RT Jeff Otah, would love to join his fellow Panther.

"I would definitely wear an Otah jersey," Pinkson said.

He also added: "I'm athletic and versatile. I can play on the right side or the left side. I'm trying to turn heads."

Harris, who played at East Carolina, is having an up-and-down Senior Bowl week, leaving Panthers fans wary about reaching for a local receiver prospect for the second consecutive year.

Brown is a day-three corner who will play in sub packages and on special teams.

Talk all about the Panthers and their draft needs in the Insiders Draft Talk Forum.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and also a long-time contributor to the network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. You can see more of his updates by following him on Twitter.

Panther Insider Top Stories