Thursday, January 22, 2009

Any Exposure Is Good Exposure

Thursday is the last full practice day at the Senior Bowl and I have the Tivo set at home with the North practice (I watched the South on Monday and Tuesday, North on Wednesday) and the recap waiting for my viewing.

But I doubt today's practice in shells will show anything new. It's amazing every year how little a player's college career can factor into their draft prospect in the end. Sure it actually gets them invited to these all-star bowls and combines, but quite often the day after the draft, you look at your new players and after extensive googling find out that some of them had less than stellar college careers. Quite a few of them may not have played more than one season of football to begin with.

And that's because the performances during the NFL-style practices and game this week and the combine/pro-day showings in some ways outweigh the impact of the college ball statistics.

When I started following BJ Raji, he was rated as a 3rd round pick. Today after 3 days of Senior Bowl practice, he is ranked as the sixth best prospect in the country. It should be noted that Michael Crabtree is ranked numero uno. But he hasn't been in front of the scouts yet. What will happen when he gets to the combine? If he falters, will he drop down? It's unlikely he would be the first pick in the draft (though the Lions are a wacky bunch), but is it possible that the guy with the best stats (Crabtree) gets overlooked for the guy with the best pro showing so far (Raji)?

Here's some other guys who have jumped up at least a round in the scouts' eyes:

Peria Jerry, DT - a month ago he was rated second to third round. Currently sits at #18.
William Beatty, OT - jumped from 2nd to 1st round prospect thanks to Senior Bowl practices.
Clay Matthews, LB - the 'lesser known' USC LB. He is poised to be a 2nd round pick at the moment.
Brian Robiskie, WR - leapfrogged about 6 other WRs into the second round.
Cecil Newton, C - after his showing in the East West Shrine Game, he went from being rated as the 11th best Center in the draft to the 7th and from being a UFA to a 6th rd projection.
Don Carey, CB - I had him on my board with the Dolphins 3rd &th round pick, but he is now ranked as 6th round but based on who's in front of him I wouldn't be surprised if he went 5th round.


  1. I've read a lot of mock drafts and projections showing Clay Matthews going to the Dolphins but he doesn't look like a big quick pass rushing OLB to me. I think he would fit in more as a 4-3 SLB.

  2. Cecil Newton should break into the top 5 centers in this years draft. Has run an unofficial 4.84 40 yds. Very athletic kid.

  3. I saw him play in the Shrine game and was very impressed with his quickness. I believe he wasn't invited to the combine so we cant get an extra look. It's a shame.