Senior Bowl: Player interest

It is Senior Bowl week and the activities surrounding this event are pressure filled, as well as enlightening to the players, coaches, and scouts. This is the time where players truly take center stage on a personal level. Forget the salad, the entrée is what the Senior Bowl is really about.

With players looking to make the best of an impression on the numerous teams, scouts, and representatives in attendance, finding that common bond with these important personnel evaluators can be a difficult challenge.

Not every team has a presence in Mobile, Alabama. For those which are on the spot, the New York Giants, New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers have been the most active and diligent organizations.

In the attempt to secure data and open the lines of communication, the Saints and Packers were nabbing players to fill out their tailor made datasheets. Quantity in numbers was the theme of the day in Mobile, as most organizations spent very little time with the players.

New Orleans Saints showed a significant interest in UCLA running back Manuel White. On two separate occasions scouts for the Saints brought the projected fullback in for discussions. New Orleans has a need for a fullback, with White being the first collegiate player they have spoken with.

The Packers were very interested in San Diego State linebacker prospect Kirk Morrison. The charismatic Morrison spent more than the normal allotted time sitting with Packers' scouts. After he completed the requested info, a scout came in and reviewed the answers with him for clarity.

Fully staffed and prepared for a solid week of observation and discussion, the Giants spent a significant amount of time with each player they interviewed. A note of interest would be in the kicking game for the Giants, as scouts for the team held discussions with Ohio State kicker Mike Nugent and punter Dustin Colquitt of Tennessee. Both Nugent and Colquitt met with the Giants in a private room on Sunday. As the day wore on, representatives for the Giants also targeted various offensive linemen.

Scouts and other representatives for the Seattle Seahawks appeared enamored with Texas A&M receiver Terrence Murphy. Seattle stayed close to the vest and identified players they truly wanted rather than wasting time. Murphy could fill a need for the team, as wide receiver Koren Robinson may not be with the team in the 2005 season. Additionally, the Seahawks met at length with USC defensive tackle Shaun Cody.

The New England Patriots have targeted Cody as a potential fit in their 3-4 defense. The standout tackle admitted he has had discussions with teams about moving outside and said he felt comfortable playing either position.

The Atlanta Falcons were hot on the tail of hometown prospect Fred Gibson, the Georgia wide receiver. Having a solid running game in place, Atlanta spent time with almost every wide receiver, though there may be a comfort level in the works with the team and the home-grown talent Gibson.

The Pittsburgh Steelers wasted little time in corralling offensive tackle Adam Terry of Syracuse. Not only did the Steelers talk with Terry, they pulled him back in for a second round of private discussions with the talented offensive line prospect, which lasted close to an hour.

Marcus Lawrence, a middle linebacker out of South Carolina, drew significant interest from the Kansas City Chiefs. One question he was asked that measured his honesty was, "what round value do you see yourself as." The Chiefs spent a lot of time with defensive prospects, a change from previous philosophies. The one exception was Craphonso Thorpe, a wide receiver out of Florida State. Scouts for the Chiefs were close to Thorpe throughout the day.

Citadel running back Nehemiah Broughton had a long sit down with the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins, in obvious need of a running back, were quiet on the day despite a heavy presence of scouts. It seemed they were a little bit shy to even approach players early in the day and seemed to heat up as the competition to talk to a players increased.

Ronald Fields, a defensive tackle from Mississippi State, was also a target of Miami. Although needs on the offensive side of the ball appear to take precedence for the Dolphins, a stout Miami defense has lost some of its luster, as depth and youth becoming a necessity for the future.

The Chicago Bears made Michigan offensive guard David Baas a priority early on Sunday and weren't eager to let the Michigan prospect make his rounds. While other teams and scouts held brief discussions with Baas, the Bears held a lengthy interview with the talented lineman.

Bill Swancut, a defensive end hailing from Oregon State, received a lot of interest on Sunday. In a bit of a surprise, a lot of teams took time out to speak with Swancut and he was handed around like a hot potato with teams making reservations for his services as he sat with another team.

The missing Cadillac:

Carnell Williams made one appearance on the floor and minutes later – with a huge contingence of scouts surrounding him – disappeared midway through the afternoon and was never heard from again.


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