The Senior Bowl 2011 may not have every NFL prospect. In fact, the Senior Bowl 2011 may be a rare thing nowadays, since fewer college athletes stick around for four years anymore. Yet those that do often make it to this big event in Mobile, Alabama, to improve their draft stock. With a big performance in this game, and in the practices beforehand, prospects can make a big run up or down the draft board. Therefore, the Senior Bowl 2011 will be watched very closely by many NFL franchises.
Teams like the Panthers, Broncos, Bengals and others may have their draft picks already set. Most of the big guns are juniors or sophomores, so today’s game might not alter the top of the order. However, the biggest steals are often below the top, and from the most experienced players.
Today’s Senior Bowl 2011 in Mobile will show how four years of waiting has paid off for prospects – or was not quite enough. Still, with the constant threat of a lockout, all potential draft picks aren’t sure that they’ll get to play in 2011, even if they get drafted. At the moment, they’re still proceeding as if they will, however.
Yet the largest impact may have been made before the game. Three days of practice have helped several players rise up, while others have had their stock go down. California defensive lineman Cameron Jordan has been cited as the one to watch, and a potential top 10 pick.
Meanwhile, the Senior Bowl 2011 practices have been less kind to fellow Pac-10 prospect Jake Locker. A year ago, the Washington quarterback was projected to be a top pick. But he stayed in school and struggled during his final year – which may be a cautionary tale for Stanford’s Andrew Luck.
For those who have underwhelmed so far this week, today still offers them a chance to rebound. An impressive performance in this game won’t guarantee a high place in the draft, but neither will a subpar performance. Doing well would certainly build momentum for the final rush to April, although they still must prove it isn’t a mirage.
The results of the Senior Bowl 2011, and all other draft warm-ups, remain a turkey shoot. Players that look like sure things often collapse, while those who look worse may actually thrive in the pros. As always, NFL teams have to carefully choose who might fall under these categories.
There’s still a long way before the teams make their decisions, yet the Senior Bowl 2011 stands to be one of the key pieces of evidence. The prospects will make their case starting at 4 pm est on the NFL Network.
SI.com- “Senior Bowl report: Players who helped, hurt themselves at practice”
ESPN- “NFL Draft 2011”