Senior Bowl Winners & Losers
By Adam Carlson
Jan 20, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; A general view of an endzone pylon for the Reese
The Senior Bowl is one of the last steps that players go through before the NFL draft. For those involved, it is one of the last chances they have to improve their positioning headed into the NFL Draft.
Here are a list of players that helped and hurt their stock over the course of the Senior Bowl Festivities:
Biggest Winner: Dee Ford, DE/OLB Auburn
Jan 25, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad defensive end Dee Ford of Auburn (30) sacks North squad quarterback Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech (3) during the first half of a game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Ford definitely put on a show at the Senior Bowl. He had excellent practices and carried that over to the actual game. While there, he showed great explosiveness with his first step. In limited playing time, he got two sacks, a pass breakup, and constant pressure on quarterbacks while on his way to earning MVP honors for the game. Prior to playing in this game, he was a longshot to be a first round selection, but now he just might find his name called that early.
Biggest Loser: Logan Thomas, QB Virginia Tech
Jan 25, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad quarterback Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech (3) throws against the South squad during the first half of a game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
The quarterback only attempted five passes in the game, but found himself sacked just as many times. Although he was willing to stand in there and take the sack, his pocket presence has to be questioned going forward. Good quarterbacks are able to sense pressure while looking downfield for open receivers. Moving with the pocket seems to be a big issue for him as well. Although he still has upside, he would be a project quarterback for any team selecting him.
Big Winner: Caraun Reid, DT Princeton
Reid is one of the players that you may not have known a lot about headed into the draft, but he sure made his presence known at the Senior Bowl. After a very strong week of practice, he shined in the big game. He accounted for two sacks and consistent pressure from the middle of the defensive line. He is making a strong case to be a selection on day two of the NFL draft.
Big Loser: Seantrel Henderson, OT Miami
Dec 28, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes offensive linesman Seantrel Henderson (77) before the Russell Athletic Bowl against the Louisville Cardinals at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
If any player can regret his performance at the Senior Bowl, it should be Miami offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson. Not only did Henderson face off against very touch competition like MVP Dee Ford, but he seemed to struggle with several of the pass rushers in the game. His coach for the game, Mike Smith, had this to say about the play of Henderson: “This film is going to be scrutinized more than any tape they put out there.”
Honorable Mention: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB Nebraska
Oct 6, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste (16) against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
This is a guy to keep your eyes on. He is drawing comparisons to Richard Sherman from experts around the league and impressed again during Senior Bowl practices and game. He jumped a slant route during the game that nearly resulted in an easy pick 6, but found himself unable to hold onto the ball. “I jumped a slant route, and I should have had it,” said Jean-Baptiste. “That’s a play I would normally make.”