Okay, I know this is a little late, but I like reading Wes Bunting's work over at NFP, and I just happened upon this article. What caused me to bring it over for our voracious fans to digest is that a couple of the players were already on my radar (and many others, I'm sure). Then there were a couple of revelations for me (Demario Davis). Plus, I wanted to write "I like Iloka alot."
I was a bit surprised to see Brandon Thompson on the "risers" side, as he did not impress me the couple of times I watched him this season. I'll let the Tiger faithful weigh in more on his upside.
Read more on these five players who's stock is on the rise... after the jump.
Our first entry could make a huge difference as a Panther. Tall and fast, he could be the new prototype cover guy against the bevy of great TEs in our division and throughout the league. He's also a strong tackler in the box, and would be excellent as a red zone defender. Iloka has played some CB and both Safety slots, so he's versatile. I actually am beginning to like Iloka in the 2nd, even if Barron's still available.
SS George Iloka: Boise State (6-3, 216)
He’s a gifted athlete who can play in the deep half, get early jumps on the football and close with authority. Now, at 6-3 he’s going to get a bit leggy out of his breaks at times, but he has the size and athleticism needed to cover the mismatch tight ends in the NFL.
All the talk of Zach Brown, Sean Spence, and Lavonte David has overshadowed some of the other WLB prospects in the draft. This guy could be a late-round steal as our TD backup/insurance pick.
He jumped out on tape at me this year and did the same all week in Mobile. He’s a tough backer with natural quickness, sees the action well and has a "plus" first step. He displays natural range/fluidity in coverage and if he can learn to quiet his feet a bit, he possesses the type of explosive element to his game to win in both the run and pass game.
I'm not advocating this next pick unless he slides past the 5th round (which I doubt) and/or we dump a couple of our current OGs.
OG Tony Bergstrom: Utah (6-6, 315)
I wasn’t a big fan of Bergstrom coming into the game. However, watching him at guard this week, I thought he did a nice job sinking his hips and extending his arms into contact, while displaying the anchor and fluidity to mirror. He was one of the best blockers on the North squad and looks like a potential starting caliber guard to me.
I know there are a lot of CSR members advocating Rainey, and I'm one of them. The "Sproles Effect" is a strong enticement here, especially if he can add some muscle to his diminutive frame.
WR Chris Rainey: Florida (5-9, 174)
He's a narrow framed athlete, but exhibits natural running ability and can consistently make defenders miss. Needs to add some girth, but he can catch the football underneath, create something out of nothing with the ball in his hands and was the most explosive straight-line athlete down here this week, outpacing even the fastest corners on the South squad at times.
As noted above, I haven't been a big Thompson fan this season, but my sample size is quite small (preemptive twss). I don't think he's the DT to put us over the top, so I'm doubtful he'll be a Panther next season ... but stranger things have happened.
DT Brandon Thompson: Clemson (6-2, 310)
Thompson didn’t receive quite the love of some of the other higher profile defensive linemen this week. However, he was explosive off the snap, was able to consistently gain leverage in both the run and pass game and overwhelm through contact. You know what you’re getting from him and he’s one of the safer defensive line prospects in the class.
Senior Bowl week has proven to be a decent predictor of NFL success, so there is good reason to be looking at these players. Some have already appeared in many mocks and articles. But I hope this gives you a fresh look from a respected talent evaluator's (Wes Bunting's) viewpoint based on top-level competition in Mobile.