Alex Carrington, DE, Arkansas State
When the topic of under the radar prospects comes up, Carrington tops the list. He’s a player who should get more recognition for what he does on the defensive line, as he combines a great burst, strength and pass rushing skills that allowed him to generate 14.5 tackles for a loss and nine sacks this past season. At 6-foot-5, 284 pounds, Carrington has played very well for the North Team all week in Mobile and really stood out on Wednesday. During one-on-one drills, Carrington went up against Arizona State guard Shawn Lauvao and used his initial burst to generate a devastating bull rush that jolted Lauvao backwards and flat on his back. Carrington has been exceptional all week and is skyrocketing up draft boards.
Cook has the size and speed to be a playmaker at the next level.
Chris Cook, CB, Virginia
Cook didn’t play during the 2008 season, because he was academically ineligible. But, he bounced back and had a solid showing in 2009. He played in all 12 games and recorded 40 tackles and four interceptions. At 6-foot-2, 212 pounds, Cook has the size and quickness scouts desire on the outside, and there’s even been talk that he could move to free safety. The North Team cornerbacks are all solid, but Cook was the best of the bunch on Wednesday. He was smooth in his backpedal, displayed awareness and quick feet and was able to jump a route and pick off the struggling Tony Pike during 11-on-11 drills. The versatility and athleticism that Cook possesses in the secondary will be very attractive to teams in the fourth round.
Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson
At 5-foot-8, 181 pounds, Ford plays much bigger than his listed size and possesses the best pair of hands on the North squad. It’s amazing how sure handed Ford actually is, considering that he has the smallest hands of anyone on the field in Mobile. Not only does Ford catch the ball away from his body and run crisp routes, he’s able to gain separation instantly after the catch. Ford has surpassed Cincinnati’s Mardy Gilyard as the best wide receiver on the North roster.
LeGarrette Blount, RB, Oregon
Blount has been the best running back participating in the Senior Bowl and has surprised everyone in attendance with his attitude and work ethic. Every time he has the ball in his hands, he displays patience, vision, burst and runs with purpose in the open field; he doesn’t stop running until the whistle is blown. During 11-on-11 drills on Wednesday, Blount ran well between the tackles and showed deceptive speed on the edge. He has to work on his hands and become a weapon in the receiving game, but his overall play is encouraging.
J.D. Walton, C, Baylor
A tough, durable blocker that controls the line of scrimmage, Walton has played tough in the trenches the last two days and did a great job of keeping defenders at bay on Wednesday. At 6-foot-2, 300 pounds, Walton is strong at the point of attack and plays with a wide base and a high motor. During one-on-one drills, Walton stoned Texas’ LaMarr Houston at the line and didn’t allow him to get underneath him. Walton used his hands well and stood his ground. Currently, Walton is my No. 2 rated center in the draft, and if it weren’t for the presence of Florida junior Maurkice Pouncey, he would be the top center this year.
Cameron Sheffield, DE, Troy
This decade, Troy University has produced some elite defenders at the NFL level: DeMarcus Ware, Osi Umenyiora and Leodis McKelvin. And this year Cameron Sheffield and Brandon Lang look to extend the Trojans’ legacy. But so far in Mobile, Sheffield has been the one scouts are intrigued with. At 6-foot-3, 256 pounds, Sheffield is quick of the snap, possesses a strong punch and plays with leverage. Sheffield finished the 2009 season with 66 tackles, 10.5 for a loss and seven sacks. With that production and the pass rushing skills he’s shown all week at the Senior Bowl, Sheffield will be moving up in my draft rankings.
Antonio Coleman, DE/OLB, Auburn
A tweener who has great pass rushing skills, Coleman had his strongest performance of the week on Wednesday. At 6-foot-2, 255 pounds, Coleman had a three-play sequence where he blew up the opposition during 11-on-11 drills. He showed great recognition by breaking up a pass, stuffing an attempted reverse and used his burst to collect a sack. Coleman played well this past season recording 16.5 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks in 12 games. Coleman has had durability issues in the past, but when he’s healthy, he can be disruptive in the backfield.
Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati
For the third consecutive day, Pike appears in the falling region. He’s been the most frustrating quarterback to observe in Mobile, because it’s obvious that he has talent, but he’s having a hard time getting on track. Pike is playing with no confidence right now and his footwork is all over the place. At this point, the only shot at redemption Pike has is if he lives up to his gamer label and performs so well on Saturday that all is forgotten. Even though he’s struggled this week, scouts still love his arm strength, size and upside.
McCoy has been a major disappointment in Mobile.
Anthony McCoy, TE, USC
It’s easy to see why the USC coaching staff got tired of McCoy’s inconsistent ways. He has everything you want in a tight end; size, speed and toughness. But the problem is he has hands of stone and lumbers throughout his routes. McCoy’s hand/eye coordination is the worst I’ve seen from a skill player in recent years. He’s the ultimate flirt, because at 6-foot-5, 249 pounds and the athleticism he possesses, he should be a legitimate threat down field. In just three days, McCoy has severely damaged his stock and has gone from a third round prospect to a fifth – sixth round selection.
Chris Scott, OT/OG, Tennessee
At 6-foot-5, 332 pounds, Scott has an imposing figure, but lacks technique and the ability to control speedy pass rushers. During Wednesday’s practice, South Florida defensive end George Selvie, who has gained the reputation of being soft, blew up Scott on a straight bull rush. Selvie was able to get under Scott, and used his leg drive to get him off his feet and on his back. Scott can play inside or outside on the offensive line and primarily played left tackle at Tennessee. It’s safe to say that Scott doesn’t have the footwork needed to play LT at the next level. It’s likely that he will move to guard.
Ted Larsen, C, NC State
Larsen hasn’t done anything all week and when he finally gets noticed on Wednesday, it’s for all the wrong reasons. During 11-on-11 drills, Larsen had a difficult time snapping the ball to the quarterbacks, and on three consecutive plays the ball hit the ground rather than the quarterbacks hands. At 6-foot-2, 302 pounds, Larsen has tools, but has been extremely disappointing in Mobile.
Zac Robinson, QB, Oklahoma State
Robinson has been average thus far during practice sessions and hasn’t stood out in any category. On Wednesday, Robinson forced two throws in the redzone that were picked off by his former Oklahoma State teammate Perrish Cox. The interceptions occurred during 11-on-11 drills, and the first one was forced by pressure up the middle and the second was a bad read. Robinson should be considered a marginal prospect and will likely be a late round selection or an undrafted free agent.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.