2012 Senior Bowl: Game Review

Isaiah PeadWell, all the practices, film study, playbooks, walk-throughs, team meetings, and more is now complete for these prospects. It’s been a long week for myself, my fellow NFL and non-NFL scouts here in attendance for the week and the game along with these players.

For most of these prospects, this game was more than just the “last day” of this week. It was a chance to play through full contact, to show what they learned through the week, and got to execute an NFL gameplan. From the pressbox, here are my scouting notes from the 2012 Senior Bowl.

-Before I get to the scouting, I want to say how great it was seeing just about every player be so willing to give fans (mostly kids) autographs, pictures, and their compassion after the game. I noticed particularly (myself) that Bobby Wagner, William Vlachos, Matt McCants, Chris Rainey, and Marvin Jones were OUTSTANDING with the mad (and unexpected) rush of fans to the field. I did notice, however, that Zach Brown simply left the field, refused to sign many kids autographs, and seemed unwilling to have fan interaction. That doesn’t bode well for my scouting report, as how he act to common people (in my opinion) is as true of a testament of a persons’ character.

Scouting Notes from the North Roster
-It was really the first chance to see how these running backs would take what they learned this week and really show off their skills. Isaiah Pead was easily the most impressive runner, showing some outstanding vision and explosion in cuts in the open field on the two big punt returns. All game, he was sudden in his cuts, exploding through with great balance through tackles. At times, he looked A LOT like Arian Foster. OFFENSIVE MVP.

-Doug Martin had a few really nice blocks today, further increasing his value as a 3-down back while also showing great burst through the hole. Dan Herron showed balance, good pad level through contact, but didn’t seem as decisive as I hoped when picking a hole. Finally, Chris Polk showcased his great vision, power through contact, and overall ability to pick up solid chunks of yards in the game.

-Mike Adams made me eat my week-long words a little today. I thought he would get destroyed in the game by the dynamic first round rushers in Quinton Coples, Melvin Ingram, and Courtney Upshaw. But as far as I saw, he held them all throughout the game. Part of that, from what I saw, was really staying away from him in the roll-outs, but he really held his ground there, got some great initial hand placement and was balance, held his anchor well.

-Joe Adams could have easily been the player of the game and started off connecting with Brandon Weeden well, as expected. Likely finished the game with over 80-90 yards and showed why he was the most dynamic receiver on the North roster (though Marvin Jones still gets the “best receiver” title)

-Mitchell Schwartz also held the point of attack very well. He doesn’t get great depth in his kick slide, but he anchors well, doesn’t have a lot of wasted motion/steps when he gets lateral in pass protection, and seems to consistently be in god position to hold his block. Senie Kelemete was severely out of position when he played tackle today, and was abused to the point that any team who had any interest in him as a tackle likely complete did a 180.   

-Alameda Ta’Amu really showed raw power and some strong power rush moves today, ripping linemen aside and generating a lot of push one-on-one. He doesn’t eat up space and was held still a few times today when he was double teamed, but as a power rusher on the inside, he still looked impressive.

-Bobby Wagner was all over the field today, with 3-4 special teams tackles and even more in-game tackles. He still wasn’t outstanding shedding blocks in traffic today and many of his defensive tackles were past 5-7 yards. He looks like an ideal 4-3 weakside linebacker so he’s not in traffic as much. DEFENSIVE MVP

 Scouting Notes on the South Roster
-Nigel Bradham showed his decisiveness in coverage technique as well as came downhill quickly and used his length well to wrap up and make plays at or behind the line of scrimmage. He capped off a strong week of practice by showing his completeness in his game.

-Also at linebacker, Zach Brown slide well in coverage, keeping his hips open and turning and running as receivers crossed his line. He wrapped up well and was quick to get his hands on runners outside the tackle box. He did have a wheel route catch over him in which was in great position but didn’t flip his head around well.

-Safety Antonio Allen was closing well in the short area, wrapping up well across the field, but seems like more of liability in man or deeper zone coverage

-Brandon Thompson and Quinton Coples were consistently getting pressure with inside rushes, utilizing their quickness off the snap and explosive first step. Coples especially was outstanding to the ball and abused Senio Kelemete and Kelechi Osemele all game.  

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