I'm a big proponent of using the Senior Bowl to identify future NFL starters and even Pro Bowlers. I figure if they can shine in a game of some of the best seniors in the country then their chances of making it in the NFL have to be better than average. I wish I could say I watched the whole game (my recording didn't execute for some reason) but I only saw the second half. But based on what I saw, the box score and the highlights, here are the players I would love to see in Electric Blue in 2011:
QB Christian Ponder - 7 for 13 for 132 yards, 2 TDs Ponder's injury history scares me a bit but otherwise the guy is a great prospect.
QB Colin Kaepernick - He didn't have a great game statistically (4 of 9 for 53 yards, INT) but he displayed great athleticism and a strong arm. I can see why some are really high on this kid.
LT Nate Solder - This guy is huge but moves around like he's a TE.
WR Leonard Hankerson - 5 catches for 100 yds and one TD; This guy has great size, speed and knows how to run routes. He might be there in the 3rd.
DE Ryan Kerrigan - 5 tackles, 3 TFL and a sack rounded out a nice week for the Purdue kid. He may not have the size teams look (255 lbs) for but he has everything else.
And now a look at the DTs in the game as we are focused on that position:
DT Jarvis Jenkins - Jenkins only had one tackle, which was for a loss, but he was a big reason the North ended up a total ZERO yards rushing this game. He's a huge beast up front I really like him.
DT Phil Taylor - Just a massive guy who does have some off the field issues and weight issues (337 lbs) he showed some serious power and strength on a push/pull move late in the game.
NT Chris Nield - This late round prospect at NT could easily play the 4-3 under tackle spot as he and Jenkins were just way too much for the North's offensive line.
NT - Sione Fua - (3 tackles, 1 TFL) Again, another 3-4 NT who could play the 4-3 under tackle. Fua has a mid round grade on him.
As I've said before this draft is deep in defensive tackles and defensive ends. Consequently I think the Panthers can get a good one in the mid rounds or even later.