Draft Nuggets 2013: Entry #5
By Jeff Bowers of www.thesportsnarrative.com
Senior Bowl Recap
As front offices across the league depart from “The Azalea City” of Mobile, AL and the Senior Bowl, the frantic NFL off-season passes a mile marker and grants a month respite until reconvening in Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine. Players get a chance to learn from the feedback they received and find answers to those questions posed. Scouts go back to the game tape to confirm what they saw in person. And GMs begin compiling lists of draftees and free agents to assemble a strategy to address their roster for the coming season. While the Cowboys front office (aka Jerry) seemingly spent most of their Senior Bowl time interviewing and hiring a new coaching staff, the scouts were showing an interest in a number of players on the field. Here are a few notes on players that help or hurt themselves and who drew the eye of Cowboys scouts:
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan – Interviewed by Dallas Perhaps no single player had a better week than this kid. Translation – Big Bucks! Fisher was dominate in pass and run blocking drills in practice and cemented his spot as the #2 tackle on the board. He almost assuredly won’t make it out of the top 15 of the draft now.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE/OLB, BYU – After just an ok week at practices, Ansah exploded in the game. He led his team with 7 tackles including an outstanding 3.5 for a loss and a forced fumble on Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib. While still raw, his natural athleticism is reminiscent of Jason Pierre Paul and he is quickly rising into the top 20 on some Big Boards.
Marquise Goodwin, WR/KR, Texas – Despite his diminutive stature (5’8 and 179 lbs), Goodwin’s speed and elusiveness have many teams seeing visions of Wes Welker in their minds. Goodwin could easily be a late 2nd – early 3rd round pick in April.
Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International - Interviewed by Dallas This product of The Sunbelt conference had a great week at the Senior Bowl and put himself on the map for several teams. This is the type of kid who sends scouts running for game tape. Showed nice coverage and ball hawking skills. Could be a target for the Cowboys in the 3rd or 4th round.
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma – This Sooner made a great accounting of himself in pass drills against a stout set of defensive ends and is now rated as a late 1st rounder for teams with needs at tackle like Chicago, Indianapolis and Dallas.
Other Players with Stock Up
Robert Alford, CB/KR, SE Louisiana
Jonathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Harvard
E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
David Quessenberry, OT/G/C, San Jose State
Brian Schwenke, C/G, California
Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary
Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern
Brandon Williams, NT, Missouri Southern
Michael Williams, TE, Alabama
Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma – Every QB, save for Manuel, had a poor showing at the Senior Bowl but none more than Jones. Seemingly uncomfortable in the pocket the whole day, Jones went 3 for 10 for 16 yards in the game itself and didn’t show much better in practice. Without a much better Combine and individual workout, Jones could slip into the 5th round or beyond.
Robert Lester, S, Alabama – Lester took a beating in pass coverage all week, and a safety that can’t cover is going the way of the Dodo bird in the pass-happy NFL these days.
Oday Aboushi, G/OT, Virginia – While some of the top tackles held up well against a strong stock of pass rushers, a few of the lesser guys really struggled. Aboushi looks destined to play inside after his lack of athleticism was exposed in Mobile.
Chase Thomas, DE/OLB, Stanford – After a pretty solid college career at Stanford, Thomas came in with a lot of hype around him. But a week of being a step slow and swallowed up could have pushed his draft projection into rounds 4 or 5.
Braxston Cave, C, Notre Dame – Cave really struggled in individual drill and was passed by a number of other center prospects. Looks like a late round pick at best.
Other Players reportedly interviewed by Dallas
Zac Dysert, QB, Miami of Ohio
Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State
Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky
Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
T.J. McDonald, S, USC
Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State