Senior Bowl week is geared towards quarterbacks improving their draft stock more than any other position. Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, David Carr and Carson Palmer are just a few of the recent names who made a big charge up draft boards after a big week in Mobile.
And starting with the first practice on Monday afternoon all eyes will be on Irish passer Brady Quinn. A bit of a surprise entry to this game, Quinn made the right choice coming to Mobile. After an inconsistent and somewhat disappointing senior campaign, Quinn is watching his draft stock drop. There is no better way for the big pocket passer to put his name back in contention as a top three pick than to put in a top performance in front of scouts next week. His accuracy, timing and decision making in full scrimmage will be closely monitored.
Unlike Quinn, the Heisman Trophy winner performed beyond expectations answering many of the criticisms of his game last year. Yet scouts still have questions about Smith, especially after his poor performance in the title game against Florida. The conventional wisdom is Smith presently sits as an early second round pick and will move up or down based on his showing next week.
It is quite possibly no player has more to gain than hometown favorite Kenneth Darby of Alabama. Grading out as a third round pick coming into the season, the running backs senior season did not come close to meeting expectations. And while the terrible play of the Tides offensive line was a large part of the reason, Darby's draft stock has slipped mightily.
Several receivers who have moved up draft boards with terrific senior campaigns can continue the momentum next week, starting with the pair from LSU.
After undergoing lassix surgery to correct a problem with his vision, Dwayne Bowe turned in a career season in '06. A large pass catcher who takes over games, Bowe could solidify himself as the first round pick many think he is with a big Senior Bowl week.
Teammate Craig Davis also comes off a productive campaign. Sized well with field stretching speed, Davis jumped into the drafts initial 50 selections by most accounts and has the potential to move higher.
Offensive linemen have a good history at the Senior Bowl. The "pit", where the offensive and defensive linemen battle all week, is one of the most heavily attended areas every practice.
It could well be as many feel Kallil, coming off a great senior campaign, is the nation's top center and could sneak into the draft's top 32 picks with a Senior Bowl performance similar to Kallil's.
There is plenty of debate and opinion about Arkansas blocker Tony Ugoh. Some feel he is a dynamite athlete with great upside while others think he is an underachiever. Many feel he can handle to duties at left tackle in the NFL while some think he is best at guard.
Ugoh will have a chance to silence critics and show his ability at the Senior Bowl. If tradition holds true Ugoh will be tried at a variety of positions on the offensive line and has a real chance to improve his draft stock.
There's a good chance the 6-foot-3-inch prospect, who was graded as a non-prospect coming into the season, will be tried at guard for much of the week.