5 Senior Bowl players with the most to prove today

Posted: January 26, 2013 in 2013 Senior Bowl

Today marks the day when all the week’s hard work comes to a conclusion and it is time for the players and coaches to go out and try to win a football game. Hard to believe that this, in some eyes, is the least evaluated factor in a player’s week but as you hear around the league and through the media, coaches want to see practice. Some players, however, need to either solidify a good week or go out and show that they are “gamers” and to evaluate them off of their film. Listed below are five players from each squad who need to cap off the week with a solid performance.

North Team

1. QB Mike Glennon, NC State– I am more critical of Glennon then some people and I think he really has to show today he can command a huddle and make the right reads and checks. He has to shake of a horrible Music City Bowl performance and show that he is deserving of his first round grades.

Michigan's Denard Robinson

Michigan’s Denard Robinson

2. WR/Ret. Denard Robinson, Michigan– Robinson shed his “yellow” jersey on Wednesday and practiced full go to finish his week out strong. He needs to show scouts that he can play the slot and show special teams contributions in order to be deserving of a higher draft pick. Watch his route running and blocking and see if the improvement is there.

3. RB Johnathan Franklin, UCLA– Watch very closely how Franklin finishes his runs and the way he carries himself through his reps. Running backs in all star games don’t get tackled all week so to see how he handles playing against elite competition all game, full contact,will be worth scouts time to review.

4. DL Margus Hunt, SMU– Here is a guy that just needs to get his momentum back after a lackluster week. He isn’t the only guy to under perform in the all star week practices, but he is the one in my eyes with the most to prove in order to slip into the top 2 rounds. Hunt needs to play behind his enormous strength and leverage he possess.

5. DB’s Johnathan Cyprien and Desmond Trufant, FIU and Washington, respectively– I know I said top 5 but these guys have me watching for the same reason. Here are two guys who play with a physicality that was unmatched in the group and who possess that swagger that draws you into watching them more and more. What I want to see the most? What happens to that physical play when the men in striped shirts are calling the shots? Both players were very much teetering the pass interference line all week.

South Team

Robert Lester of Alabama

Robert Lester of Alabama

1. DB Robert Lester, Alabama– Perhaps no player that went through the entire week of practice had a more criticized performance then Lester. He was over matched by tight ends and wide receivers the majority of the time in one on one drills. Lester is a highly productive collegiate player that needs to put a happy ending on this week by showing people that he is a someone who plays better then practices. Otherwise, draft stock will slide far down.

2. TE Vance McDonald, Rice- McDonald had a good week, but he needs to cap it off with the game performance to back it up. This is not a deep senior tight end class, far from it in fact. But he has a chance to solidify himself as the top senior and a top 3-5 player in the entire tight end draft class when it is all said and done.

3. DL Ezekial Ansah, BYU– The rawest player at this all star game, and perhaps in the draft. Ansah needs a great game to show that flash ans spark that got him here in the first place. He did not do great in the practice drills but flashed enough to keep you coming back. Ansah will show today, or wont for that matter, if a player with his skill set can thrive in a well coached defense that gives him limited responsibility at first and turns him loose on the QB.

4. The quarterback group– Again, I am sorry, I know I said top 5 guys. However, with such an unknown on how many teams will really be coveting a signal caller in the first round, this group has the most money to earn in the draft preparation process. Manual of FSU, Wilson of Arkansas, and Jones of Oklahoma all flash that first round pedigree. However, I don’t think more then one of them will see that happen. My money is on Jones but I would not be surprised to fall in love with Manuel’s skill set. Either way, all have a lot to prove today in leading their huddles.

5. LB Chase Thomas, Stanford– Thomas is another Stanford player who coaches, scouts, and personnel people will fall in love with as they see him practice and talk to him. He is always carrying out his assignments and rarely makes mental mistakes. He makes a ton of tackles and is always around the ball. He wont “test” well I imagine as he has looked a little stiff and upright in the one on ones this week. But again, he is another guy that when you watch him play a game you fall in love with the effort and what he brings to your team.

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