Senior Bowl, South Players Review

For those Kansas City Chiefs fans who are able to watch the NFL Network, last week offered you an opportunity to watch the first important milestone leading up to the NFL Draft.  The event I’m referring to is the Senior Bowl.  Representatives from every NFL team and press from all over come to watch senior college players practice for the game.  Earlier, Arrowhead Addict’s Draft Guru Merlin gave some information on some players for the North team.  I’m here to discuss some of the players from the South team that stood out to me.

Von Miller     Texas A & M     Outside Linebacker     6’2”     237 lbs.

Miller was a sack machine when he played for the Aggies.  He was recovering from an ankle injury early in his 2010 season and so was held to only 10.5 sacks (which was down from 2009’s 17 sacks).  His play has been compared to a player some of you may have heard of before, former Kansas City Chief Derrick Thomas.  While Miller is a tremendous pass rusher, he is very raw in pass coverage.  Also, there are questions about his ability to play against the run.  His Senior Bowl performance was a showcase for his pass rushing ability and athleticism, which is how he earned Defensive MVP.

Chiefs Draft Possibility: Not likely.  He’ll be drafted before our first pick.  Projects to Top 15 pick.

Leonard Hankerson     Miami (FL)     Wide Receiver     6’1”     205 lbs.

The go to guy for the Hurricanes, Hankerson has struggled with drops in his college career.  He has made the effort to get better at catching the ball and has succeeded.  At the Senior Bowl, Hankerson improved his draft stock by demonstrating fairly consistent hands as well as good use of his body to block out the defender.  No one is going to question his ability after making 5 catches for 100 yards and 1 touchdown in the Senior Bowl.

Chiefs Draft Possibility: Possible.  A good enough talent that I can’t rule him out, but doesn’t have the speed to be the type of receiver I think the Chiefs’ are looking for in this draft.  Projects to the 2nd round.

Phil Taylor     Baylor     Defensive Tackle     6’3”     337 lbs.

To be honest, going into this season, I had removed Taylor  from my list of possible Chiefs players due to character issues.  For that reason I had never gotten a good look at his talent level.  The Senior Bowl allowed me to get a good look at him and what I saw impressed me as well as anyone else who was watching.  One of the first things I heard about Taylor in the bowl coverage was that he wore his 337 lbs. well.  That’s a more important comment than some may think.  You want an athlete to wear his weight well because if he wears it like a burden that will hinder his play.

Chiefs Draft Possibility: Likely.  He fills a need and is probably the best nose tackle in the draft.  However, there are character questions.  (Check Merlin’s Draft Forum for more info on this.)  He projects to round 2 or 3.

Greg McElroy     Alabama     Quarterback     6’1”     222 lbs.

It’s true that other quarterbacks had better showings than McElroy.  However, NFL Network’s Draft Guru Mike Mayock could not stop raving about McElroy’s intangibles.  And with other QBs garnering more attention because they had questions that needed answering, McElroy quietly had a Senior Bowl week that one would expect from him; a week that wasn’t flashy but was efficient.  Although, it should be noted, that his play in the actual bowl was limited due to sustaining an injury to his throwing hand in the game.  McElroy has smarts, leadership, and accuracy.  The only thing holding him back is his limited arm strength.

Chiefs Draft Possibility: Likely.  Chiefs could use a new backup and McElroy fits the high intangible guys they like.  He projects to the 5th round.

Kristofer O’Dowd     USC     Center     6’4”     303 lbs.

I felt it necessary to take a moment and discuss a player like O’Dowd.  While an event like the Senior Bowl can help players, it can also hurt them.  Such is the case of Kristofer O’Dowd.  Let me begin by saying that I have no problem with him as a person.  I certainly don’t hold it against him that he went to an overrated school, with a corrupt program, and that his coach is a liar, coward, and formerly coached the Oakland Raiders.  (Sorry, that last comment seemed a bit harsh.  But it’s true; his coach formerly coached the Raiders.)  That being said, O’Dowd spent all week getting manhandled at the line of scrimmage.  He looks no better than a backup in the NFL.

Chiefs Draft Possibility: Unlikely.  The Chiefs are looking for a center who can or will start for them, not a backup.  He projects to round 5 or 6.

Other players affected their draft stock during Senior Bowl week.  However, these are the ones that stood out to me.  Let me know of any South team players that stood out to you in the comments section below as well as your thoughts on the players I mentioned.  Also, as we start to discuss the 2011 NFL Draft and the events leading up to it; make sure to check out With The First Pick and NFL Mocks for detailed draft information.  However, if you want your Chiefs-oriented draft information check Arrowhead Addict, especially on Draft Talk Thursdays.

Topics: Alabama, Arrowhead Addict, Baylor, Center, Defensive Tackle, Derrick Thomas, Greg Mcelroy, Kansas City Chiefs, Kristofer O'dowd, Leonard Hankerson, Miami, Mike Mayock, NFL Draft, Nfl Mocks, Nfl Network, Outside Linebacker, Phil Taylor, Quarterback, Senior Bowl, Texas A & M, Von Miller, Wide Receiver, With The First Pick

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