Senior Bowl West Coast Standouts

Here are some evaluations of four players from the Senior Bowl practices last week in Mobile, Ala. Johnathan Franklin, Datone Jones and Desmond Trufant all played in the Pac 12 while Mychal Rivera played his high school football in California and his college ball in Knoxville at Tennessee.

(RB) Johnathan Franklin - UCLA
Franklin emerged as the top back on the North squad. He proved over the week that he can run between the tackles, catch the football out of the backfield and pass protect.

Franklin, 5-foot-10 and 205-pounds, has some deception to his game because he plays a little bigger than his size. Franklin will surprise you with some power. He has good vision and sees and sets up blocks nicely. Franklin has good speed not great speed. What helps is that he has very good balance and feet and shows the ability to stay on his feet after first contact, picking up extra yards.

During the Senior Bowl practices he consistently caught the ball well and did an excellent job of pass pro in the one on one drills against the linebackers and defensive backs.

Datone Jones (DE) UCLA
Clearly the top prospect at the Senior Bowl was Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher. The guy that gave Fisher the most problems was UCLA defensive end Datone Jones.

Jones has good size at 6-foot-4 and 280-pounds. He has good length with long arms and knows how to use his hands. Jones battled all week and didn't take plays off. He gets off the ball and shows good athleticism and strength. Jones also showed versatility against the run and ability to get to the quarterback, using power and speed on the edge.

Jones showed he can play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme and was every bit as impressive as Alex Okafor from Texas.

Mychal Rivera (TE) Tennessee
Rivera is small by NFL standards at 6-foot-3 and 237-pounds. He's not going to be the in-line guy that is an extension of the offensive tackle. Rivera is an adequate blocker on the edge and will clearly have to get bigger and better at this part of his game.

Rivera does excel in the passing game. He easily had the best hands and most consistent hands of all the tight ends in Mobile. He made an array of catches during the entire week. Rivera has good speed and ball skills as well. To me, he's a poor man's version of Aaron Hernandez.

Desmond Trufant - (CB) Washington
You can make a case that Trufant was the top cornerback in Mobile. If not, he's is the discussion, as there were a handful of quality cover guys.

Trufant possesses good size at 5-foot-11 and 190-pounds. He has good speed not elite speed. Trufant is good in run support and not afraid to set the edge.

Overall, Trufant is a versatile cornerback that can play in zone and man-to-man. He's can flip his hips and turn and run with the receivers. He also has good feet and closes on ball and receiver well.

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