Senior Bowl: Ups and Downs

Senior Bowl practices are over, all that's left is the game itself. Scouts and team front office personnel have left Mobile with notes in hand. What do they think? Here's a look at some players who made a positive impression and some who didn't.

MOBILE, Ala. -- Prospects have the potential to gain dozens of spots in the NFL Draft and potentially earn millions of dollars in the practices leading up to the Senior Bowl, which are considered far more important to scouts than the game itself.

While prospects harbor dreams of improving their stock entering the week, the reality is most only confirm what scouts had previous seen on film. For example, scouts entered the week knowing Jared Odrick, Brandon Graham and Mike Iupati could play. Their strong performances in Mobile only reinforced their high grades.

However, these prospects did manage to either significantly improve their status - or hurt it.


RB LaGarrette Blount, Oregon: Blount still has a long way to go to guarantee being drafted after his well-documented cheap shot of a Boise State player in the season opener. Scouts have been impressed with his contrition in interviews and utter lack of contrition on the field. Quicker than he looks, Blount's raw power makes him an intriguing option for a team needing a big back to run out of the I-formation.

DE Alex Carrington, Arkansas State: He may have entered the week of practice among the least hyped defensive players on the entire Senior Bowl roster, but after this week every NFL team knows his name. Carrington's rare combination of size (6-feet-5, 284 pounds) and strength make him an intriguing prospect at end for the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. That versatility could result in a second round grade.

TE Jimmy Graham, Miami: The Hurricanes' established history of churning out tight ends is in good hands with Graham, the ex-basketball player who only returned to the gridiron for his senior season. Graham won't wow you with his pop as a blocker, but he's remarkably smooth running routes and adjusting to poorly thrown passes for a man of his size (6-6, 260) and experience (one year with the Hurricanes).


QB Sean Canfield, Oregon State: Canfield rode a breakout senior campaign to Mobile, but once there the first-team all-Pac-10 passer was unable to drive the ball consistently outside the hashes. Canfield's timing and touch could make him successful in a West Coast passing attack, but he may have eliminated his chances at being a top five quarterback with his weak-armed effort.

WR Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati: The first-team all-Big East performer may have been the week's most disappointing prospect. Scouts anticipated that the 6-foot, 179-pounder might struggle with press coverage, but the sticky hands that had helped him emerge as one of the country's most dependable playmakers over the past two seasons abandoned him this week. Gilyard dropped multiple passes each day.

OT Sam Young, Notre Dame: The highly touted prep athlete served as an effective pass blocker in Charlie Weis' pro-style offense. Despite operating exclusively at right tackle, his lack of foot quickness and flexibility was quickly exposed by the speed of Senior Bowl defensive ends this week. Even worse, at 6-8 he's too tall to move inside to guard.

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