I would rather have been watching the Senior PBA Tournament qualifiers than the Senior Bowl yesterday evening, but stuck with it. (and here you all thought I was slacking) I know the PBA players would have had much more drive, technique, and fire than I saw out of all but a handful of now former-college football players at best in that silly game yesterday. I watched copious amounts of bowling on TV as child, as well as hitting the lanes with my parents and grandparents. Still like to get out when I can -- no idea what my average is these days -- don't think the sample size is large enough to make a determination. Still, bowling is fun and if you ever have the chance to watch a close-fought PBA tournament, it is as thrilling as any sports event gets.
I expected to see more guys just laying it all out there! After all, it is a HUGE job interview -- where performance marks the difference between a low-round draft pick, to not getting a shot at all. That is not what I saw. I saw a lot of guys just going through the motions...
There were a few that stood out to me as I watched. This article has a pretty good basic summary of players who stood out to them as well. SI.com's Tony Pauline also has a run down of the senior bowl, plus scouting reports from all week.
My thoughts? I missed the first quarter, but saw the rest of the game. There were a few good performances, but most were up and down.
Somewhere, Tom Lewand is sitting there crying into his Jack-and-Coke as Mayhew keeps try to console him by saying "don't worry Tom...there's still a chance I can trade it and you don't have to find a way to spend $50 million on a roll of the dice...really. Here, have another. Look at the bright side -- at least I'm not going anywhere near Joey... I mean a QB at 1. That's a sure step up from Matt, don't you think? What's that Tom? Sure... I'll just leave you alone with that checkbook for now...things will look better after the combine. I promise..."
That's my way of saying I didn't see any of the prospective defensive talent come anywhere close to playing like I would want to see number one overall play. Not one. BJ Rajji disappeared entirely, the LB's looked mediocre all across the board -- a good play here or there, but no one really stood out to become the highest paid LB in the league #1 overall money. Plenty of defensive guys I would take anywhere at 10 or lower, including DE English, Raji, Magulaua. None worthy of #1 overall.
That thought as I saw the defenses out there had me focusing on the Lines for both sides. I saw a lot of O-linemen I liked a lot out there, which may have something to do with the defenses not looking the best at times. Eric Wood at C/OG really stood out to me as he could be plugged in at G for now, and slide to C to backup/replace Raiola. Herm Johnson, a college RT looked like a low end RT, but was a beast when he was moved into OG, and at LG was paving monstrous holes. He is also a guy that should be there with pick 65, and could be there at pick 83.
On the D-Line I liked the play of Peria Jerry -- not the biggest overall, but was still one hell of a run stuffer, freeing up those around him to make plays which is exactly the kind of DT the Lions need. Not sure where he is rated, and that stuff will change a lot between now and the combine.
Don't worry fellows, this is that last I'll get into specific College players until after the combine and FA when the draft gets closer. The Senior Bowl is usually my first look at guys, and then as the areas the Lions are looking at for needs narrows down, I begin to hone in on who will be available at areas of need around where the Lions are picking to do analysis.
The coordinators are now set, and yet we still don't really know what schemes the Lions will be using -- on offense or defense. Definitely makes it harder than past seasons to look at needs, as well as who to keep/cut from the current roster.
That won't stop me though. NetRat has a great site I will be delving into once again tomorrow night to look at the current roster, cap issues, as well as the cap space available to other teams around the league. This will kick-off the beginning looks at FA as it fast approaches in just 4 short weeks. The contract extensions that are signed, as well as FA re-signed in the next month will shape the moves the Lions will be making for the rest of the Ifseason.
Your thoughts if you watched the Senior Bowl? Anyone stand out to you?