This is now my ninth year of coming down to the Senior Bowl and I’m looking forward to once again providing the best coverage out there, all 100% free. My goal is to not only relay information and observations but also make you feel as if you're watching the action and experiencing everything right alongside me all week long. I am once again joined by Draft Countdown Analyst Shane P. Hallam, who will be helping to cover all of the events and also contributing to this blog. There is a new addition to the crew this year as well. Ryan Allessio, better known as "Bored of Education" on the DC Forums, has also made the trek to Mobile and will be lending a helping hand throughout most of the week.
In addition to the extensive coverage on this site we will also be relaying plenty of interesting nuggets via Twitter so be sure to follow us all if you aren't already.
I actually arrived in Mobile yesterday after a long day of travel. My flight didn't leave until 9:05am CST but I live about an hour and a half away from the Minneapolis / St. Paul Airport. That meant I had to leave the house at 5:30am. I met up with Shane in Atlanta, GA for our connecting flight to Mobile. While waiting at the gate in Atlanta I spoke briefly with Western Kentucky TE Jack Doyle, who was just recently added to the roster. In fact, Doyle said he received the phone call that he had been waiting for less than twenty-four hours earlier. I asked Doyle if he knew who he was replacing on the roster and he said he didn't know and didn't care, he was just glad to have the opportunity. It turns out Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib was also on our plane, which we didn't even become conscious of until disembarking. Perhaps it was because he is relatively unassuming physically. All in all it was about nine hours of travel in total but pretty uneventful with no significant delays, lost luggage, etc. After grabbing our bags we picked up the rental car (2013 Ford Explorer with 16,000 Miles!) and headed to Baumhower’s Wings for some grub and to watch the East / West Shrine Game. I also enjoyed a Yuengling beer, which unfortunately they don't sell in Minnesota. Like Grapico, it has now become an official once-per-year Mobile treat! Afterwards we checked into the hotel and did prep work for the week.
The weather during Senior Bowl week has been dicey at times over the years, especially when it comes to rain, but this time around the forecast looks terrific with temperatures in the high-50's to low-60's. Meanwhile back in Minnesota there is a cold front coming through with highs in the single digits many days and lows of as much as -20º (Fahrenheit). Gee, too bad I am going to miss that!
The plan for today is to head over to the Riverview Plaza Hotel, which is basically the main Senior Bowl hub and where all of the players stay, around 9:00am CST. We will work the lobby and attempt to gather some tidbits then at 12:00pm CST we'll be recording the first of our daily podcasts. It should be fun to record from right in the thick of the action and perhaps we'll even be able to flag down a guest or two. You can listen live at Blog Talk Radio or get it later at that same address or on iTunes. Then it will be time to enjoy 49ers vs. Falcons and Ravens vs. Patriots in the lounge, with the first press conference of the week sandwiched in between. I will check in with another blog entry from Riverview after we've had time to scope out the scene so stop back often for all the latest.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 11:30am CST - Spent the morning in the lobby of Riverview Plaza.
In addition to all of the NFL personnel and media checking in and picking up their credentials there were also dozens of players interviewing with teams and filling out questionnaires. The most popular guy this morning seemed to be Michigan’s Denard Robinson, who said that he expects to see action at wide receiver, running back, as a return man specialist or anywhere else that they want to see him play. Robinson said he was looking forward to getting on the field and competing. I also spoke with Oregon’s Kyle Long, who said he will likely play both offensive tackle and offensive guard this week. I asked Long if he had a positional preference and he said that he just considers himself an offensive lineman. Long definitely looks the part with a huge frame and plenty of growth potential. Another guy who passed the “Lobby Test" was Missouri Southern DT Brandon Williams, who was a bit squatty but built like a fire hydrant with a barrel chest and thick trunk. I was also surprised by how stout Kansas State LB Arthur Brown looked as I was expecting the speedy athlete to be a little leaner. Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher and Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson both looked every bit the part of top blindside protectors while Tennessee OT / OG Dallas Thomas carries his weight very well. Massive Georgia NT John Jenkins is an easy guy to spot and I’ll be interested to see what he weighs in at tomorrow after being listed at 358 pounds on the official roster. At one point Jenkins was joking around with Packers GM Ted Thompson and an unidentified Bears employee and the table of Krispy Kreme doughnuts were mentioned followed by a round of laughs.
Most teams will eventually talk to every player throughout the week but the most active today appeared to be the Packers, Chiefs, Texans, Bears, Jaguars, Cowboys, Saints and Dolphins. Take these with a grain of salt but we saw the Saints talking with Colorado TE Nick Kasa, Notre Dame C Braxston Cave and Georgia Southern S J.J. Wilcox, the Dolphins with Marshall WR Aaron Dobson and Michigan RB / WR / RS Denard Robinson, the Chiefs and Packers with Kentucky OG Larry Warford and the Cowboys with Oregon OL Kyle Long. I just can't express how impressed I've been with the work ethic of Packers GM Ted Thompson over the years. The guy is just an absolute grinder who is willing to do all of the little things and dirty work which is why he is one of the best in the business. There will be a blog post later today with plenty of news on roster additions and subtractions but just wanted to let everyone know the latest on Cornell OG J.C. Tretter. As of last night it didn’t look like Tretter would be able to participate this week due to a broken nose suffered during pre-draft training but the athletic small school blocker is going to try and tough it out so we will see how it goes.
At 12:00pm CST we are going to be recording our first podcast of the week from right here at Riverview. You can stream it live or download it later at Blog Talk Radio and it will also be available on iTunes. Then afterwards we'll settle in to watch the conference championship games in the Riverview lounge, which is always kind of a cool atmosphere because you are surrounded by media, players, scouts, coaches, agents, etc. We'll check in with another update this afternoon.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 3:00pm CST - I am sure by now most of the people who are big enough fans of the NFL Draft to read this blog have probably noticed that a number of high-profile prospects have opted out of the 2013 Senior Bowl. Now this happens every year yet there always seems to be an average of about ten players from the game selected in round one. However, this year it seems as though the top seniors at just about every position are taking a pass for various reasons. Geno Smith. Matt Barkley. Montee Ball. Chance Warmack. Jonathan Cooper. Dion Jones. Manti Te’o. Johnthan Banks. Kenny Vaccaro. Barrett Jones. Travis Kelce. On one hand it’s disappointing that we won’t have an opportunity to evaluate those guys, but it’s not all doom and gloom. After all, how much more do we really need to know about guys like Barkley, Ball and Te’o? I think the book is pretty much out on them. I prefer to look at it as a positive. This gives some lesser-known prospects the opportunity to shine. For example, I’d rather see Cornell OG J.C. Tretter than Warmack. I already know Warmack is a stud who can dominate top competition but how will Tretter fare against the best of the best? That is just one example but there are many others. In fact, there were more small school stars invited to the game this year than I can ever remember. Nine in total, which is almost 10% of the roster! Now the casual fan may be disappointed in the lack of star power, but I think die-hard draftniks will appreciate the chance to evaluate the guys who are here rather than obsess about those who aren’t.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 7:00pm CST - Just got done with the first press conference of the week. The participants were Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage, Syracuse OT Justin Pugh, Alabama OT D.J. Fluker and North Carolina St. QB Mike Glennon. Look for a full report on what each said later tonight. Fluker truly is a mountain of a man but carries his weight well and came off as mature. Speaking of maturity, Pugh was absolutely outstanding and will impress in interviews with teams. Pugh graduated with a degree in finance and offered to help everyone in the room manage their money, which drew a round of laughs. Glennon was also extremely polished and already carries himself like a professional quarterback.
With all of that said, the highlight for me was Savage. I would love nothing more than to have a two hour conversation with that guy!!! Savage spoke about some of the changes to the Senior Bowl that he has helped institute, the most intriguing of which is structured interviews with NFL teams. In the past it was basically a free-for-all and Savage said that while working with the Eagles last year he was only able to talk to two players in two hours. Now it will be what Savage compared to speed dating, where groups of players rotate between rooms and will have the opportunity to meet with every team. I asked Savage if there were any players at this game that were personal favorites or that he had good gut feelings about. Savage mentioned Glennon and also said he was facinated by B.Y.U. DE Ezekiel “Ziggy" Ansah and S.M.U. DE Margus Hunt. However, the guy who Savage spoke most glowingly about was Utah St. CB Will Davis. Savage said Davis was off the radar at the beginning of the season as a junior college transfer who didn’t play in 2011. Early in the season Savage began getting recommendations on Davis and made the trip out West to check him out. Savage said he knew within just five or ten minutes that Davis was Senior Bowl material, which is really saying something because Savage is widely regarded as an outstanding evaluator of talent. Savage also highlighted Rice TE Vance McDonald as a sleeper to watch this week. I might start a petition to have Savage at every press conference this week because I definitely have more questions!
This will probably be the last blog entry for the day. We're going to watch the rest of the Patriots / Ravens game, grab something to eat then go pick up the third member of our team Ryan Allessio at the airport at 11:30pm. Tomorrow's weigh-in is a couple hours earlier than usual (8:30am) so we're recording the podcast at 6:30am CST. I'm not expecting many live listeners but make sure to download / stream it at Blog Talk Radio or get it on iTunes afterward. Be sure to check back early and often tomorrow as the coverage really starts in earnest!
Monday - January 21st, 2013
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 6:15am CST - It’s officially Day 1 of the 2013 Senior Bowl week but while most are just getting started we have already provided a full day of coverage.
Here’s todays schedule:
6:30am CST – Podcast
This morning we'll be taping a podcast in which we recap what happened on Sunday and preview the weigh-in. If you are awake it can be heard live on the net. Otherwise you can listen to the archive online or get it off iTunes later. Ryan, the third member of our crew, got into town late last night and will be joining Shane and I as well.
8:30am CST – Weigh-In
One of the highlights of the week. In many cases this is the first chance to get verified measurements on a lot of these top prospects. Each player will be brought on stage in front of hundreds of scouts, coaches and personnel men wearing only his shorts to be measured and weighed. As usual we will get over to the Mobile Convention Center, where it takes place, about an hour early to see if there is any buzz emanating from the massive crowd hanging around outside the ballroom. Then as soon as it is finished we'll find a quiet spot and begin feverishly inputting all of the data for the site. You'll be able to check out the results and the updated roster on our Weigh-In page.
1:30pm CST – Practice
The first practices actually take place almost simultaneously. The South will practice at 1:30pm CST about 30 minutes away in Fairhope and the North at 2:30pm CST in town at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Why they don’t space them so that everyone can attend both is beyond me but that’s the way it’s been for the nine years that I’ve been coming to Mobile. Each session will last an hour and a half. Shane, Ryan and I will be covering one of the practices while Charlie Campbell of WalterFootball.com will be handling the other then we’ll exchange reports to run on each others sites. That way our readers get the low- down on what happened with both of the teams rather than just one or the other. Can't wait to watch some live football!
6:30pm – Media Night
This is a dinner / meet and greet where the media is able to talk one-on-one with the players. We're hoping to conduct about ten interviews with some of the top prospects in total tonight, which will all eventually run on DraftCountdown.com in the upcoming weeks.
We probably won't arrive back at the hotel until around 9:30pm CST, at which time we will put the finishing touches on the day’s practice reports and get them up on the site as soon as possible. We'll also be updating this blog throughout the day as many times as the schedule allows. Make sure you are following @DraftCountdown, @ShanePHallam and @JinxAllessio on Twitter too because we’ll be dropping news, notes and tidbits directly from all of the events! Need some more incentive? We will try and tweet notable results live from the ballroom almost immediately after the numbers are announced so our followers will get the information long before it's on any site.
I will check in again following the weigh-in with a quick recap and look at some of the guys who either stood out or disappointed.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 10:00am CST - Just got out of the weigh-in!
As expected the star was Alabama OT D.J. Fluker, who is just massive at 6-4⅞ and 355 pounds with freakishly long 36⅜-inch, 10¼-inch hands and an 87-inch wingspan. I did notice that Fluker kind of lumbers when he walks and is a bit pigeon-toed, but there is no denying the guy is a rare physical specimen. On the other end of the spectrum this year’s bad body award goes to Kent St. OT / OG Brian Winters, who looked soft with a thin lower body and short arms. Winters is a pretty good football player but he won’t be winning any contests at the beach. Georgia DT John Jenkins was the heaviest prospect this year at 359 pounds while the lightest was Auburn RB / RS Onterio McCalebb at 164 pounds. Georgia DE / OLB Cornelius Washington was very impressive and exactly the type of rangy pass rusher that teams look for, checking in at 6-4 and 264 pounds with a rocked up physique. Texas A&M OLB Sean Porter and Connecticut OLB Trevardo Williams were also very muscular while Ohio St. DE / LB John Simon looked surprisingly athletic with a thick, developed body. Yesterday I mentioned how Missouri Southern DT Brandon Williams passed the lobby test and he was even more impressive at the weigh-in than I anticipated, coming in at 6-1⅞ and 341 pounds with a stout build and even some definition. Illinois DE Michael Buchanon was jacked with a rangy frame while UCLA DE Datone Jones is big (6-4⅛, 280) but carries it extremely well. B.Y.U. DE Ezekiel Ansah was at a doctor’s appointment so we don’t have a height or weight yet, but his 34⅝-inch arms and 10-inch hands were eye-opening. Among the defensive backs, the guys who stood out with athletic, muscular builds were Washington CB Desmond Trufant, Southeastern Louisiana CB Robert Alford and USC S T.J. McDonald. Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher and Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson both looked like the potential top blindside protectors that they are. On the other hand Kyle Long or Oregon may indeed wind up inside at guard due to those short 32 ⅛-inch arms. Everyone knows that Michigan WR / RB / RS Denard Robinson is a big-time athlete and the former Wolverine definitely looked the part. At running back the standouts were Stepfan Taylor of Stanford, who is compact and well developed, and Kenjon Barner of Oregon, who looked athletic and relatively muscular. One player who was slightly disappointing was S.M.U. DE Margus Hunt, who was 6-8¼ and 277 pounds but underdeveloped physically, although there is plenty of room on that large frame to bulk up. For those who were wondering about the quarterbacks, both Tyler Wilson of Arkansas (6-2⅛) and Ryan Nassib of Syracuse (6-2) were able to avoid the dreaded sub-6-2 measurement. Those are just some general thoughts but look for all of the results with comments on each player at the weigh-in page later this morning.
Before the weigh-in began they actually announced the 24 players who were invited to the game but declined. Those who opted out by choice were Wisconsin RB Montee Ball, North Carolina OG Jonathan Cooper, Utah DT Star Lotulelei, West Virginia QB Geno Smith, Notre Dame ILB Manti Te'o, Texas S Kenny Vaccaro and Alabama OG Chance Warmack. Players who were unable to participate due to injuries were Michigan St. CB Johnny Adams, Oregon LB Kiko Alonso, Mississippi St. CB Johnthan Banks, USC QB Matt Barkley, Florida St. DE Tank Carradine, Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert, Houston CB D.J. Hayden, Florida St. OLB Brandon Jenkins, Oregon DE Dion Jordan, Cincinnati TE Travis Kelce, North Carolina OT Brennan Williams and Alabama DT Jesse Williams.
After we get all of the weigh-in results posted on the site we will be heading over to Fairhope for the South practice this afternoon then the media night this evening. I should be able to check in with another blog entry in between.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 5:00pm CST - The first practice of the week is in the books! Just returned from watching the South squad at Fairhope Municipal Stadium, which is always star-studded. In Alabama there is no bigger star than Crimson Tide Head Coach Nick Saban, who made his annual visit to the South’s first session. As you can tell by the picture above, Saban definitely draws a crowd. New Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly and New York Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan were among the other notable names in attendance.
The standout of the day was B.Y.U. DE Ezekiel Ansah, who is clearly raw but as smooth of an athlete as you will see at defensive end. Needless to say "Ziggy" looked every bit the part of a first round pick. Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson also excelled and if he continues to play well it will be a huge step towards solidifying himself as a potential first rounder in April. Louisiana Tech WR Quinton Patton isn't a blazer but he caught just about everything thrown his way. Patton also emerged as a leader amongst the wideouts very early on. As far as the quarterbacks go, it was an uneven day for all three but there will be more on that in the full practice report later this evening. UT-Martin DT Montori Hughes did not participate today and was wearing a walking boot. Hughes said that he was hurt in the final game of his college career then agrivated the injury at the Raycom Classic. Hughes hopes to return to practice on Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. After practice I noticed Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave speaking extensively with Virginia OT Oday Aboushi. Normally seeing a player talking to a team may not mean much because ultimately every team talks to every player. However, when such a high-level figure in an organization takes on the duty it might be worth reading into.
I am typing this from an airplane hangar right next to the Battleship Alabama where the meet and greet with the players will be held tonight. There are a lot of big names on our interview hit list so hopefully we’ll be able to get them all. I will check in with another blog entry after we get back to the hotel this evening.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 10:00pm CST - The media night is always one of the most popular events during Senior Bowl week and they do a fantastic job organizing and running it. As usual the media night was a lot of fun but it was also extremely productive. In fact, between Shane, Ryan and I we conducted eleven interviews! I personally spoke with B.Y.U. DE Ezekiel Ansah, Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher, North Carolina St. QB Mike Glennon, Kansas St. LB Arthur Brown and Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson. Meanwhile Shane talked with Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, Baylor WR Terrence Williams and Purdue DT Kawann Short while Ryan had Georgia DT John Jenkins, Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson and USC S T.J. McDonald.
Here are a few notes and highlights:
* My favorite interview was Lane Johnson, who gave very genuine answers and didn’t duck any questions. Johnson even named a celebrity crush, which many others seemed reluctant to do for some odd reason. I mean come on, who doesn’t have a celebrity crush? Johnson almost seems to be in awe that he’s come so far so fast and is now considered to be such a highly-regarded pro prospect.
* Mike Glennon is just very polished and comfortable answering questions. Glennon definitely says all of the right things and while some of his answers may come off as a bit clichéd at times I didn’t really get that sense while chatting. Glennon will have no trouble handling the intense media scrutiny that comes with being a starting quarterbacks at the next level. Now if he'd only stop throwing off his back foot so much he would really be cooking with fire.
* Don’t want to knock the guy because I appreciate his time, but Arthur Brown failed to answer almost half of the questions that I asked. In the end I guess Brown would rather hit people on the field than talk to interviewers off of it.
* While talking with Eric Fisher I kept thinking about how it reminded me of when I interviewed Anthony Castonzo at the same event a couple of years ago. Fisher was personable, engaged and gave a lot of good answers but he is clearly a focused and a no-nonsense type of guy which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
* I had a tough time finding Ziggy Ansah because he had a jacket on over his jersey and was wearing a cap. Perhaps others did as well and that is how I was fortunate to catch one of the top prospects in this game alone for a one-on-one. Ansah is quiet and reserved and it seemed as though he is still trying to grasp what has been happening to him over the past few months and what's to come.
* Kawann Short was very straight forward and talked a lot about consistency and how to improve that at the Senior Bowl. When asked about facing mobile quarterbacks in the Big Ten he laughed and said he knew he’d be ready for any mobile quarterbacks in the NFL. After football Short said that he wants to open up a Fitness Center / Laundromat, which sounds like a pretty good idea!
* Terrence Williams seemed to have good self-awareness and wasn’t afraid to talk about his deficiencies on short comeback routes. He also spoke glowingly about former Baylor teammate Kendall Wright and seemed very focused on his career. You could see Williams truly has a passion for the game of football.
* Ryan Nassib seemed to be a tad worn down from the days practices and interviews, which is understandable, but his charisma still shined through in the interview. He also discussed his preparation and what he needed to work on fairly candidly. Nassib even said that he hopes to be like Drew Brees one day. Who wouldn't! Nassib seems like the type of player teammates will rally around.
* T.J. McDonald had a very quiet demeanor about him yet exuded confidence with each sentence he spoke. He told a lot about himself when I asked who's game his paralleled, he explained to me he is not an Earl Thomas type of safety because their games are much different. How often do you get someone to first tell you they are not like "X" player then explains who he resembles the most? McDonald said he is most similar to Dashon Goldson, an interesting comparison being that Dashon isn't a household name and his performances declined greatly near the end of the season. T.J. could be the type of guy who replaces him.
* John Jenkins let me know that he sees himself as a Vince Wilfork type of player at the next level and has also been compared to Kris Jenkins. I asked him how adversity in life has effected him as a player and a man and he told me that things happen in the past and you must accept it, learn from those experiences and move on. He was soft spoken and seemed quiet humble about where he is at in his life. Jenkins mentioned that if needed he could play in the 4-3 yet what he learned from Coach Grantham that he would be best utilized in a 3-4.
* Tyler Wilson is a very terrific speaker with a Senatorial feel to him and a magnetic smile. Wilson was very open and honest about dealing with a lot of turnover on the roster and coaching staff during his final season with the Razorbacks. Wilson definitely likes to talk yet rarely used the words "I" or "Me".
Look for those interviews on DraftCountdown.com in the coming weeks!
Now it's time to finish up the practice reports and call it a night!
Tuesday - January 22nd, 2013
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 8:00am CST - The Senior Bowl week is always super fun but it is also exhausting, with long days and short nights. The day is basically just half over when all of the events end because then it’s time to type up all of the reports, which takes hours and hours. It's not back-breaking work by any stretch of the imagination, but it does begin to take a toll throughout the week. It’s tough to complain about a day spent watching, talking and writing about football though!
Today is the start of what I guess you'd call the "normal" schedule. There will be two practices, with the North team taking the field at 9:30am CST and the South squad starting their session at 1:30pm CST. Then at 5:00pm CST there will be a press conference as well. Of course we will have in-depth coverage of all of it. The weather yesterday was awesome and the forecast calls for more of the same today. Meanwhile back home in Minnesota it is currently -19º Fahrenheit.
Former L.S.U. CB Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu is supposedly in Mobile to meet with NFL teams and I will definitely be looking for him along the sidelines. I would love the chance to chat with Mathieu for a few minutes. Much like with Janoris Jenkins a year ago, I'd like to look Mathieu in the eye and get a read on the kid. With Jenkins I was satisfied enough with his answers to ultimately rank him as a first round pick and while Mathieu isn't on nearly the same level as a prospect I'll have a similar decision to make with him in regards to the Top 100.
In case you missed it we are taping short, thirty minute podcasts every morning recapping the previous days happenings and previewing the next. All of the archived shows can be found at either Blog Talk Radio or on iTunes. We heard the audio was a bit choppy yesterday and we are having issues with the WiFi at our hotel but hopefully they will have it fixed today. They better at least...
Finally, allow me to pimp Monday's coverage in case you missed something.
Time to record the podcast, grab breakfast then head over to Ladd-Peebles Stadium for the first practice. I will check in with another blog entry afterwards.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 1:00pm CST - I'm sitting at Starbucks having a coffee and getting some work done in between practices. The North session this morning was awesome. There really is nothing like a full pads practice. The star of the day was Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher, who the buzz is may not make it outside of the Top 10 overall. Mike Glennon of North Carolina St. is clearly the best quarterback at the game this year in my opinion, at least so far. Now Glennon wasn’t perfect but the positives far outweighed the negatives and he’s an easy guy to fall in love with. I think Ryan Nassib of Syracuse was better than any of the quarterbacks that I saw from the South team yesterday too. Another guy who caught my eye was Marshall WR Aaron Dobson, who is big and very smooth with natural hands. I was also awfully impressed with Washington CB Desmond Trufant, who is fast, athletic and made it look easy at times. Trufant also has a friendly (?) rivalry going with former Pac-12 foe Markus Wheaton. In fact, at one point Jamar Taylor was supposed to be matched up against Wheaton in one-on-one’s but Trufant wanted the rep and jumped in. Things actually got a little heated. I have never seen anything like that in all my years of covering the Senior Bowl. It was another rough day for Michigan’s Denard Robinson, who struggled as both a wideout and a return man. UConn OLB Trevardo Williams didn’t participate today and after practice he told me it was due to a high ankle sprain and that the doctors advised him to shut it down for the week. Oregon OL Kyle Long and Ohio St. LB John Simon were also absent and we will try to get some more information on their situations at the press conference this evening.
It’s almost time to head out for the South practice and I cannot wait to get a second look at that squad, this time in full pads. This is always the showcase practice of the week too, with just about everybody who is coming to the Senior Bowl in attendance. Ex-LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu was reportedly at the field this morning so I will be keeping an eye out for the "Honey Badger" this afternoon.
I’ll check in with another update before the press conference.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 7:00pm CST - Remember how I mentioned that there are usually surprise visitors at the South practice on Tuesday’s? Well, I didn’t find Tyrann Mathieu but South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore was on hand to meet with scouts and press the flesh. Lattimore, who is recovering from a gruesome knee injury, talked about how his rehabilitation is ahead of schedule and we will run some audio clips on the podcast tomorrow morning. I asked Lattimore if his goal was to be ready for Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season and if his doctors thought that was realistic. Lattimore replied “That is my goal and it is realistic", emphatically I might add. Lattimore seems like a nice kid and I certainly hope he is able to make a complete recovery.
As for the afternoon practice, some of the standouts were Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor, San Diego St. CB Leon McFadden, Louisiana Tech WR Quinton Patton, UT-Martin DT Montori Hughes, Georgia DT John Jenkins and Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson. Look for full reports on both the North and South sessions later this evening. We also have a bunch of injury and roster news to relay. Ohio St. OLB John Simon is done for the week with a shoulder ailment, which I learned is what took down Kansas St. LB Arthur Brown as well. Oregon OL Kyle Long was absent from practice today due to flu-like symptoms. Texas A&M WR Ryan Swope suffered an Achilles injury and it sounds like his week is over. Tennessee OT / OG Dallas Thomas will miss the rest of the week with an unspecified injury, Southern Miss OLB Jamie Collins’ status is unclear after sitting out practice today and it looks like that broken nose has finally gotten the best of Cornell OG J.C. Tretter. Still waiting for word on replacements but I know UConn OLB Sio Moore and South Alabama ILB Jake Johnson have been added and we also spotted someone from Miami (FL) at Riverview after the press conference. Could it be East / West Shrine Game standout Brandon McGee or perhaps Mike James since Andre Ellington was missing from practice today? We shall see so stay tuned! One of the players that was recently added made a strong first impression, with Louisiana Tech OT Jordan Mills drawing positive reviews in his initial appearance. We also got our hands on the measurements that were missing from the weigh-in, most notably those of B.Y.U. DE Ziggy Ansah. We already had Ansah’s hand size (10-inches), arm length (34⅝-inches) and wingspan (82 ¼-inches) but we now know he is 6-5¼ and 274 pounds. Check out the weigh-in page for all of those vital statistics, including new additions such as Harding OLB Ty Powell, Syracuse WR Alec Lemon, Florida St. K Dustin Hopkins, L.S.U. DE Lavar Edwards, UT-Martin DT Montori Hughes and the aforementioned Mills. After practice we learned that Cincinnati DE Walter Stewart, who was believed to have suffered a career-ending spinal injury, will indeed pursue a professional football career. If healthy the 6-3⅞ and 249 pound Stewart, who racked up 34.5 tackles and 17.5 sacks during his college career, could be a pretty intriguing late round prospect.
As far as the press conference goes there weren’t any players made available tonight but it was our first shot at South Head Coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions and North Head Coach Dennis Allen of the Oakland Raiders. Both spoke on a number of different players and there will be a full recap of what each said posted tonight. There was a funny moment when Schwartz was speaking and somebody’s cell phone went off. In a classic sarcastic coach tone Schwartz scolded the attendee with “Might be a good idea to check those before we start the meeting,". I honestly didn’t know what to expect from Allen and a lot of time all you get is coach-speak but I was pleasantly surprised with his Candidness.
How is that for a jam-packed blog entry?!?
It’s time to go to work on the practice reports so this will be the last update for today. Check back tomorrow though because we will be doing it all over again!
Wednesday - January 23rd, 2013
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 6:00am CST - Rise & Grind!
It's the final day of full pad practices and the last opportunity for prospects to really make an impression on scouts and decisions makers. Other than the actual game of course. In fact, come Thursday the vast majority of NFL personnel will already have left town. Don't think for a second that the players aren't aware of that and it usually leads to some spirited, physical sessions.
In case you missed any of yesterday's reports, here are some quick links:
We found out last night that Miami (FL) RB Mike James was added to the roster and to the best of our knowledge it's Clemson's Andre Ellington that he is replacing. L.S.U. WR Russell Sheppard is coming in as well. Some might wonder why fringy prospects like James and Sheppard were invited to this prestigious game but there are actually a lot of factors involved. Perhaps the biggest is that it's difficult for players to come in this late in the week and try to catch up so many just pass at this point. Then there are regional factors to consider and it's always better for the game from a ticket sales standpoint to add guys from the SEC and / or South. Don't overlook the whole travel aspect either because it's important that whoever receives the nod will be able get to Mobile in a hurry.
Also, just want to remind everyone that Shane, Ryan and I have been taping thirty minute long podcasts every morning in which we review what happened the day before and preview what’s on tap. The archived shows can be found on Blog Talk Radio and iTunes so if you need to catch up that's a great way to do it.
Time to finish getting ready, tape the pod then head out for the North practice but I will check in with a new blog entry before the South session this afternoon.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 4:45pm CST - Just got back from the South practice. I wasn’t able to post a new entry earlier this afternoon between sessions because there just wasn’t enough time. However, I will try to make up for it with a couple of big updates.
After the North practice this morning I spoke with Texas WR Marquise Goodwin, who might be the fastest prospect in this class. I asked Goodwin what type of forty time he expects to run and he said “faster than anyone else – point blank". Gotta love that confidence but just last year at the Senior Bowl Joe Adams told me he was going to run a 4.2 at the Scouting Combine and he ran a 4.55 so I guess you have to take those things with a grain of salt. With that said Goodwin is making a positive impression this week so regardless of how fast he runs in pre-draft workouts teams will be clamoring to add his rare speed to their roster. Last year T.J. Graham had a great week in Mobile and wound up being selected in the third round and Goodwin could follow a similar path on Draft Day '13.
Another player that I was impressed with today was Ty Powell of Harding. A JUCO transfer who played defensive back in 2011 and defensive end in 2012, Powell is now making the transition to outside linebacker. Despite still being in the process of learning a new position Powell (6-2⅜, 245) did not look out of place at all. An explosive athlete who is a dynamic pass rusher off the edge, Powell is a small school sleeper who could shoot up draft boards in the coming months. I also ran into the agents for one of my prospect crushes, Azusa Pacific OT Luke Marquardt. The big issue with Marquardt is that he didn’t play at all this past season due to a foot injury but he is supposedly healthy now and if that’s the case I think the former basketball player is a very intriguing sleeper. In fact, even though Marquardt is still extremely raw he may be as physically talented (6-8⅞, 322) as any offensive tackle in this class. Marquardt will also get a strong recommendation from his college o-line coach, none other than Hall of Famer Jackie Slater. Look for Marquardt to appear as a guest on the podcast soon.
Time for the press conference but I'll post another entry with interesting tidbits from the South practice after we get back to the hotel this evening so stay tuned.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 8:00pm CST - On the way into the South practice this afternoon I ran into Arkansas RB Knile Davis, who was on the sidelines networking. Davis was considered to be a potential first round pick by scouts at one point early in his college career. However, after missing the 2011 season with a knee injury Davis rushed for just 377 yards as a junior while sharing the workload with a deep group of runners that included a couple of other pro prospects in Dennis Johnson and Ronnie Wingo. Needless to say Davis’ stock has taken a significant hit the past couple of years but if healthy he could be a mid-to-late round steal. Especially if his triangle numbers (6-0 | 220 | 4.50) are anything close to what has been reported. I also saw Barkevious Mingo and Chris Faulk of L.S.U. walking around but didn’t get a chance to talk to them, which is disappointing because I'm actually a very big fan of “Key Key".
We almost had our first fight of the week today too. During the one-on-one’s Louisiana Tech OT Jordan Mills was getting extremely aggressive and L.S.U. DE Lavar Edwards got fed up. After some pushing and shoving it looked like they would come to blows but the confrontation ended before things were taken to the next level. It’s been two or three years since there has been a good fight at the Senior Bowl and it looks like that streak will continue. On a sad note South Alabama ILB Jake Johnson, who was just added to the roster, went down with an injury fifteen minutes into his first practice and rumor is it was an Achilles. You just hate to see something like that and hopefully it won’t turn out to be too serious. Oregon OL Kyle Long is still battling flu-like symptoms and has missed the last two practices but they are optimistic that he will be able to return soon.
As far as the press conference goes, Lions / South Head Coach Jim Schwartz had some interesting thoughts on B.Y.U. DE Ziggy Ansah, who he compared to Jason Pierre-Paul. Schwartz noted that Ansah isn’t necessarily raw but rather new to the game because he feels as though the instincts are there, as evidenced by his knack for batting down passes. Our very own Ryan “Jinx" Allessio asked Raiders / North Head Coach Dennis Allen if any of his players were emerging as leaders. Allen said there are a handful but learning who they are was one of the benefits of coaching in this game and he wasn’t going to share the names. Denard Robinson of Michigan also took questions at the presser and when asked if any of his former teammates were giving him advice as he is making the difficult transition from quarterback to wide receiver he said Roy Roundtree, Devin Gardner and J.T. Floyd have all been in contact to offer advice and tips.
This will be the final blog entry for the day but I am going right to work on the practice recaps so look for those and all of the other reports later on tonight.
Thursday - January 24th, 2013
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 6:45am CST - Well, it’s already time for things to start winding down.
Today is technically the final practices, if you don’t count tomorrrow’s walk-through, but the full pads sessions are in the books. Both squads will be in shells (helmets and shoulder pads) with an emphasis on special teams this morning so if you have been waiting all week to hear about the kickers, punters and long-snappers you are in luck! If that doesn’t float your boat, go check out all of the reports from earlier this week. Yesterday’s recaps alone consist of 4,000 words of analysis and that doesn’t even count all the Player / Team Observations, Press Conferences and Blog. I doubt there is anyone else out there putting out in-depth coverage like that! The vast majority of NFL personnel has already left town and the media has begun their mass exodus as well but DraftCountdown.com will be in town for three more days bringing you all of the latest from Mobile. I'm not in any hurry to get back to Minnesota and its sub-zero temperatures anyway!
The North and South will practice simultaneously from 9:30am to 11:00am CST so I will be riding with Joe Everett over to Fairhope to watch the North while Shane and Ryan will be with the South at Ladd-Peebles. After hearing tales of Joe driving 110 MPH on his way to Mobile from the East / West Shrine Game I have to admit that I am slightly worried about the thirty minute trek. After all, that Battleship Parkway (causeway) is already kind of freaky to drive across without Speed Racer at the wheel. Afterwards we are all going to meet up at one of our favorite restraunts in Mobile, Mellow Mushroom, for some lunch.
The press conference isn’t until 5:00pm so we’ll have all afternoon to knock out a blog entry or two and at the very least get a good start on the practice reports. It'll definitely be nice not having to be up typing into the wee hours of the night!
I will check in again after lunch.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 3:00pm CST - The emphasis of today’s practices was supposed to be special teams but both teams actually did a lot more, especially the North. Full recaps of those sessions will be available later on but I wanted to check in and post a blog entry with some quick thoughts and tidbits.
For my money the clear-cut highlight of the day was the North putting a number of their defensive ends though linebacker drills. The hybrid pass rushers that participated were Alex Okafor of Texas, Datone Jones of UCLA, Michael Buchanan of Illinois, Margus Hunt of S.M.U., Ty Powell of Harding, Sio Moore of Connecticut and Travis Johnson of San Jose St. Most of those guys fared pretty well but I was particularly surprised by Jones, who most seem to view as more of a base end or five technique. On the other hand Hunt continued to struggle just like he has all week long, looking stiff and awkward with shaky hands. I am also going to go out on a limb and predict that North Carolina ILB Kevin Reddick will be selected by the Raiders. Reddick really looked like a leader today, barking out instructions and getting the defense lined up properly. Oakland definitely needs a linebacker and Riddick seems to meet the criteria of what Head Coach Dennis Allen said the organization is looking for in a player which is someone who loves the game, is willing to work and puts the team first. After practice as players were coming out of the locker room there was a funny moment. Missouri Southern DT Brandon Williams was wearing a tank top that showed off his freakishly thick and yoked up 341 pound physique. I was just shaking my head, which UConn’s Sio Moore saw and said “Can you believe that’s a human?". After I sent that quote out on Twitter I received a reply from @smorton101368 who said “Dude looks like Bane on Venom", which is funny and not too far from the truth. While getting ready to leave I was snapping some pics of players for the practice report and Boise St. CB Jamar Taylor asked where they would be posted. After I told him he grabbed Florida International S Jonathan Cyprien to pose for the photo you see above. Both Taylor and Cyprien had excellent weeks in Mobile so I was happy to oblige and throw a little love their way. One fun aspect of this week is getting to see the players personalities.
Next stop was Riverview where the plan was to get some work done before the press conference. However, upon arrival we learned the presser was canceled because the coaches couldn’t make it. We opted to hang around anyway and type up reports in the media workroom since the WiFi is much more reliable than at our hotel. Plus there's free Powerade and ice cream! So that’s where we are now.
The players have a banquet this evening so our day is basically done and there probably won’t be much else to report until tomorrow. However, I will check in one more time tonight after typing up the practice reports. Time to get to work!
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 9:00pm CST - While at Riverview I ran into Louisiana Tech OT Jordan Mills and chatted a bit, most notably about that near-fight with L.S.U. DE Lavar Edwards yesterday. Mills said it was just a matter of there being no whistle so he didn’t know the rep was over. I was also told that Mills’ nickname is “Big Sexy Nasty", which I told them is quite a coincidence because that is what I go by too!
There are a couple of late additions to the roster. South Alabama S B.J. Scott was brought in to replace Georgia’s Bacarri Rambo and Houston LB Phillip Steward is taking the place of South Florida’s Jake Johnson. You can find their measurements as well as all of the others from this week at our weigh-in page.
Forgot to mention that earlier today Shane spoke with William & Mary CB B.W. Webb at the South practice and found out what the “B.W." stands for. His first name is actually “William" but he went by “Bill" so they combined it and voila.
Now that I've cleared out the notebook I am going to call it a night and catch up on some of the sleep that I have been missing. Be sure to stop back tomorrow though starting bright and early for yet another day of Senior Bowl coverage!
Friday - January 25th, 2013
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 7:30am CST - Today should be relatively laid back.
The big event on the schedule is the walk-through, which is a little different this year. Instead of two separate hour long sessions at the field the North and South teams will hold them simultaneously at the convention center from 10:30am to 11:30am CST. We will file a report afterwards but there usually isn't much to take away from these things. The plan is to hopefully get a look at the starting lineups, ask the players some questions, perhaps cultivate new sources, etc.
Be sure to stop by the site at 3:00pm CST for the annual Senior Bowl Q&A, where the Team DC will answer questions about the week for a couple of hours.
For the first time all week we are actually going to have some free time tonight. A bunch of us draftniks are going to get together and have a little party in the lounge of our hotel. We actually did it last year as well and it was a blast. It's always a treat to be able to talk and debate with other die-hard fans of the NFL Draft. If by some chance you are in the area please feel free to drop by the Ashbury Hotel and Suites. There will be plenty of ice cold Grapico for everyone!
I will check in with another new blog entry before the chat this afternoon with news, thoughts and some photos from the walk-through plus any other updates.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 6:00pm CST - The walk-through was even more uneventful than expected, which I would have thought impossible. For some strange reason the media wasn’t allowed access to the walk-through, which had not been the case in my previous eight trips. At least we got up early, drove all the way across town and paid for parking before finding out! Nothing usually happens at these things so I really don’t mind missing it, but they should have at least had the courtesy to let us know in advance. Especially since it was on all of everyone's schedules and itineraries. Needless to say I wasn’t too happy. Plus the press conference was canceled last night too so basically there has been nothing to cover since Noon on Thursday! From now on I may have to start going home on Thursday’s because it really doesn’t make sense to pay for hotels and rentals cars, etc. just to hang out for two full days waiting for the game on Saturday. That is exactly why NFL personnel goes home early.
After we left the convention center I made my annual stop at Best Buy, where I added to my extensive movie collection. It's kind of a little reward for busting tail all week. I won’t go into them all, but a couple that I am particularly excited about that were on my wish list for a while are “Tree of Life" and “Rushmore". When I get home I intend to take Monday off to catch up on sleep, watch some flicks and clear my head after a busy week in Mobile. Then for lunch we went to The Brick Pit, a pretty famous bar-b-que joint in Mobile, AL. It’s a really cool hole-in-the-wall type of place and if you aren’t paying attention it’s easy to miss. It is basically the size of a small house and after pulling in you drive to a dirt parking lot in the back. Once inside you see the walls are absolutely covered with signatures and drawings of past customers. Yes, I did add my own so if you’re ever there try to see if you can find it! Everyone raved about how good it was.
This evening a bunch of fellow draftniks are coming over to our hotel to enjoy some sweet, sweet Grapico and, of course, talk NFL Draft. Should be a blast!!!
This is the last blog entry for today but we will be back at it again tomorrow.
In case you missed yesterday’s 2013 Senior Bowl Q&A the transcript can be found via the Senior Bowl Headquarters page. We have a little time this morning so it won’t be such a rush, which will be nice. We are going to grab some breakfast then record a Senior Bowl Game Preview Podcast at 10:00am CST. I'll check in with another blog entry before we head out the door for the stadium.
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 10:30am CST - Just getting ready to head out for the game.
The plan is to arrive at Ladd-Peebles Stadium around 11:00pm CST. The game doesn’t start until 3:00pm CST but I have an on-site radio interview with WNSP at 11:30pm CST. It will take place on one of those mobile studio buses, with a big window out front so everybody outside can watch. It’s outfitted with hardwood floors, leather couches, multiple flat-screen televisions, etc. I’ve done the show a number of times and one of the guests who was on the air and sitting next to me on the bus a few years ago was a then largely unknown Alabama quarterback by the name of A.J. McCarron. As we all know now, McCarron would go on the win the Crimson Tide starting job and help lead the program to a couple of National Championships and counting. I like to think that I was at least partially responsible! Perhaps Auburn should send their quarterback my way… Afterwards we will probably roam the parking lot a bit to check out the tailgating action and soak up the atmosphere, which is insane. When the gates open we will head in, watch warm-ups, etc. The weather is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous today, with a high of 71 degrees. If that holds true this will be one of the nicest gamedays since I started coming to Mobile in 2005. Shane and I have seats reserved in the press box and that is where I plan to watch the first half while also live tweeting my thoughts. Then for the second half I will move down to the sidelines to get an up close and personal view of the action. You can never truly appreciate just how big, fast and talented all of these players really are until you see them from that perspective.
There will be a full report with all of our notes and thoughts from the game posted on the site either late tonight or early tomorrow morning. Shane and I also recorded a podcast previewing the game this morning and will tape a review episode this evening at 10:30pm CST. If you haven't been following our coverage this week or missed the game these shows would be a fantastic way to catch up.
Finally, a few predictions:
I am going to pick the North to win the game this year. I just think they’ve had much better practices throughout the entire week and superior talent as well since the South squad seems to be down a bit this year. As for the MVP’s, I will go with North / Marshall WR Aaron Dobson on offense and South / Missouri OLB Zavier Gooden on defense. You might as well take those to the bank. Not!
There won’t be another blog entry until tonight when I get back to the hotel. However, I will be posting plenty of thoughts and observations on Twitter throughout the day, so if you aren't following me already this is the time to start.
Enjoy the game, I know I will!
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 10:00pm CST - As usual the actual game was one of the highlights of the week for me. The weather was BEAUTIFUL. Anyone who has followed this Senior Bowl Blog over the years knows it’s often cold, windy and rainy in Mobile, especially on game day. This year it was the opposite, with temperatures in the low-70’s, blue skies and plenty of sun. Needless to say it made for a great day. As I mentioned this morning, I was asked to do an on-site interview with local radio station WNSP on their mobile bus. The show went great and I was on the air for about 30 minutes. Shane was even able to join in too! Afterwards we got access to their V.I.P. tent for some free grub and beverages.
I spent the initial three quarters up in the press box and the fourth quarter down on the sidelines in order to view the game from a couple of different perspectives. It's much more difficult to evaluate from field level, but I can always watch it again at home. I wanted to take advantage of this chance to see all of these guys up close and personal because it does provide some insights that you just can't always see on film. I was seated between buddies Doug Farrar and Pigskin Paul and it was fun to talk football with them while watching all of the action.
I will be posting a more in-depth game review article late tonight / early tomorrow with a bunch of thoughts and initial reactions, but a handful of players who really stood out to me were Brigham Young DE Ezekiel Ansah, Southeastern Louisiana CB Robert Alford, Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson and Florida St. QB E.J. Manuel, Oregon St. CB Jordan Poyer, Purdue DT Kawann Short, Oregon OL Kyle Long and Florida Mike Gillislee. Of course I could easily list a couple dozen more names... Alford in particular played outstanding. Now I already liked Alford a lot prior to the Senior Bowl but his performance this week in both the practices and the game have elevevated the small school cover guy to official “Prospect Crush Status”. I see you @RockoRocky! I was also very impressed with Raiders / North Head Coach Dennis Allen all week long. I think Oakland has a rising star in Allen, who's smart, organized and was in control of the game.
There were also some star sightings at the game, including New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram and both Oakland Raiders Hall of Famer Howie Long and St. Louis Rams DE Chris Long who were there to support Kyle. I wanted to ask Chris how he plans to beat Kyle when they face each other in the NFL but I think they wanted to keep the attention on Kyle tonight and not steal the spotlight. After the game I did speak with Missouri Southern DT Brandon Williams and asked him about that body everyone, including his teammates, were buzzing about this week. Brandon told me that he likes to call himself a weight room freak but that good genes don’t hurt either. Believe me, the picture to the left doesn’t do the guy justice. Williams also said he is hearing from teams that run both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes and that playing nose tackle in an odd front is a possibility. Michael Buchanan of Illinois said he has met with teams about playing both defensive end (4-3) and outside linebacker (3-4) at the next level but hasn't noticed more interest for one over the other yet. Buchanan has talked with former teammate Whitney Mercilus who made that transition to a new position in the pros and while it's a big learning curve he doesn't expect to have an issue with it. I am still on the Buchanan bandwagon.
On the way home from the game we knocked off one last Senior Bowl tradition by stopping at Steak 'n Shake to eat. I know that doesn't sound very glamorous, but we don't have them in Minnesota so it's a special treat that I usually only get to enjoy once a year. The new Red Velvet Shake is absolutely incredible! Wow!!!
Will do one more blog entry before we check out of the hotel.
Sunday - January 27th, 2013
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 1:00am CST - Even though it seems like we just arrived, it's actually time to hop on a plane and head back Minnesota. We were in Mobile, AL for over a week and the time just flew by, partly because we were having fun and partly because we were working so hard. As much as I love coming down to the Senior Bowl I am ready to go home (even if it is freezing) and catch up on sleep in my own bed.
Right now I'm working on a recap with initial impressions from the game. I will obviously watch the tape more thoroughly later this week, but this report will highlight the guys who jumped out in person. Then it will be time to pack. Our plane leaves at 7:10am CST so the plan is to get up at 4:00am to get ready, check out of the hotel, return the rental car and do the whole airport rigmarole. I’m leaning towards pulling an all-nighter and knocking out the article rather than sleeping for an hour or two. After all the trip home will include three hours in a plane and a two hour car ride so I will have plenty of time to take a nap (or two).
I want to take a quick second to thank the Senior Bowl, specifically their Public Relations Director Rob Lehocky, for not only putting on a first-class event but also giving us such amazing access to it. Sometimes people who run websites don’t get the same respect as other media outlets but that has never been the case at the Senior Bowl. By approving Draft Countdown's credential request and treating us as a full-fledged member of the media, the Senior Bowl enables us to provide in-depth coverage of the week to tens of thousands of draftniks. I can't say enough about how well they treat us. We'll be back for the 2014 Senior Bowl!
The trip home is often eventful, especially the first leg. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the Mobile Regional Airport is very small and with all of the players also catching flights out of town today the place is usually packed with prospects. I don't know if that will be the case this year since we are leaving so early but if there is anything significant to report I'll do one last blog entry when I get home.
Check the Senior Bowl Headquarters page here at DraftCountdown.com later in the week for a Stock Watch feature that takes a look at who is moving up and down draft boards as well as a mega Recap Podcast on Tuesday (2/1) that will feature a couple of super exciting guests that we'll announce as soon as they are officially booked. Gotta give a big shout out to Shane P. Hallam for all his hard work this week too, I am sure you will agree he did a fantastic job. Thank you all for your continued support, I hope you enjoyed this year’s coverage as much as we enjoyed providing it. Just think, in less than a year it'll be time to do it again!
With that I am going to sign off from Mobile, AL!
Posted By: Scott Wright
• 9:30am CST - I didn’t think there would be many players at the Mobile, AL airport this year since we were leaving so early but boy was I wrong. The place was filthy with them! Among those that I saw were Oklahoma QB Landry Jones, Kent St. OL Brian Winters, Colorado TE Nick Kasa, Mississippi St. DT Josh Boyd and Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz along with a number of Oakland Raiders staffers including General Manager Reggie McKenzie. I thought I saw Oregon OL Kyle Long and tweeted it but he set me straight. Must have been the lack of sleep. I saved the best for last though. Mike Mayock, Charles Davis and Paul Burmeister of the NFL Network were on our flight too. Mayock and Davis were in first class while Burmeister was in coach. Poor Paul.
I am typing this at my gate in Atlanta where I just parted ways with Shane and have a two-hour layover. I still have another two hour flight then a two hour drive ahead of me when once I get back to Minnesota but I'll be home very soon.
This marks the official end of the 2013 Senior Bowl Blog. Until next year!
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