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Players that Popped at the 2013 Senior Bowl and Senior Bowl Practices

by Jay Goldberg

What follows are the players that popped from watching the Senior Bowl and the Senior Bowl practices on the NFL Network. In the coming weeks I will review the game and practices in more detail to get a better feel for all the players. So consider this my "top level" analysis. As I study the game and practices in more detail, some of these players could be removed from my list and others could find themselves on my list.

QB, E.J. Manuel, Florida State- None of the quarterbacks, in practice, or the game jumped out as a "must have" quarterback prospect. However, Manuel had the best game showing an NFL arm and making some nice throws. Of the rest of the group, Glennon and Dysert had their moments showing a good arm, but inconsistent accuracy; Landry looked the part of a good NFL quarterback in practice, but had a poor game when the pressure was the greatest and that is his supposed weakness heading into the draft; Wilson looks like a fit for a West Coast offense, but didn't demonstrate good arm strength; and Nassib didn't jump out for me at all either in practice or during the game.

RB, Kenjon Barner, Oregon Barner caught my eye during practice and followed that up with a solid game. While he only got three carries, he showed excellent receiving ability in the game. During practice he competed well in one-on-one blocking drills. Barner has the look of a solid change-of-pace, third down back.

RB, Mike Gillislee, Florida Much of the talk during the week of practice was that Gillislee was a change-of-pace back. After getting a look at him in the game, I believe he could, at worst, be part of a two-back system. Gillislee had a solid game, showing quickness , speed and the ability to run between the tackles.

RB, Stephan Taylor, Stanford Taylor was touted as the sole three-down back at the Senior Bowl and he didn't disappoint. He had some nice in the game runs showing toughness and enough speed to get to the corner. I will be watching him closely at the Combine to get a better feel for his speed and quickness.

RB, Jonathan Franklin, UCLA Franklin showed quickness and the ability to make sharp cuts during the game. He has the look of a solid change-of-pace back at the next level.

RB, Mike James, Miami A late add to the game, James makes this list, not because of great stats in the game, but because he has the look of a player that a team will covet as a bottom of the roster type. Don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean he isn't that good of a player. It's just that he does a lot of things well. He excelled in special teams coverage, caught the ball, and ran hard.

WR, Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech Patton was shut out in the game, but had an excellent week during practice. He consistently beat coverage and showed good hand. Most had him as the top receiver during the week of practice. I had him second on my list.

WR, Markus Wheaton, Oregon State I had Wheaton, not only as the best receiver during Senior Bowl practice, but one of the top players period. How Charles Davis didn't have him on his receiver list in the pregame show, I'll never know. Wheaton followed up his superb week of practice with a solid game. If I were an NFL team, I would target this kid. He is going to be a very good NFL player.

WR, Marquise Goodwin, Texas Goodwin, who appears to have tremendous speed, had a nice week of practice, and followed that up showing good hands, catching 5 balls in the game. While I heard whispers of Mike Wallace comparisons during the week-long coverage, I'm not ready to go there yet. Wallace is a bigger receiver than Goodwin. I remember players in the past, such as David Clowney, who showed speed and who I thought would be solid NFL players. Goodwin did impress enough, however, to make doing more research on him a priority.

WR, Conner Vernon, Duke Every year I find a receiver or two who have great hands, can get open, and can be solid NFL players if they land in a situation where they can be given the opportunity to succeed. These players aren't stars, but are valuable sub-package receivers who help offenses move the chains. Based on his college game and what I saw in the game, Vernon could be one of those guys this year.

TE, Jack Doyle, Western Kentucky Doyle Was the only tight end I noticed at all during my live watching of practice. In the game he caught one ball for 22 yards.

TE, Michael Williams, Alabama Williams had a couple of down-the-field catches, including a 20 yard touchdown catch.

OT, Eric Fisher, Central Michigan Fisher showed up, big time, during the one-on-ones in practice, although, on first glance he didn't pop in the game.

OT, Lane Johnson, Oklahoma Johnson also dominated in the one-on-one drills in practice. He also had some excellent blocks in both the run game and pass protection during the game.

OT, David Quessenberry, San Jose State Quessenberry was the surprise (at least to me) star on the one-on-one blocking drills during practice. He could be a steal later in the draft.

OT, Xavier Nixon, Florida While he didn't get mentioned as often as many of the other offensive lineman during the televised practice sessions, I made a mental note that Nixon was performing well in the one-on-one drills.

OG, Larry Warford, Kentucky Warford had a good week of practice and also was highlighted making some nice blocks in the game.

OG, Justin Pugh, Syracuse While was as consistently dominating in one-on-one's in practice and in the game; he had enough positive moments to make my list.

OC, Brain Schwenke, California A Mike Mayock favorite during the game and practice telecasts, watching him, you could understand why. He had an excellent week and game.

DE, Datone Jones, UCLA Jones had an excellent week in the one-on-one drills and followed up his excellent week of practice by showing good pass rushing skills in the game.

DE, Ekekial Ansah, BYU Ansah was very inconsistent in practice, but got better as the week wore on and finished with a terrific game. He showed both speed and power pass rushing moves and made a nice play or two that I noticed on first glance against the run.

DE, Cornelius Washington, Georgia Washington was just off this list based on practice (he flashed, but just not quite enough), but then also flashed a couple of times showing good pass rush skills in the game, so thew flashes added up to a player to watch going forward who could be a good get later in the draft.

DT, Kawaan Short, Purdue Short caught my eye during practice and then followed it up with a nice game. He not only stuffed the run, but got good push and penetration against the pass.

DT, John Jenkins, Georgia A big kid, Jenkins looked very athletic for a 350-plus pound nose tackle. Jenkins showed up more in practice than in the game on first watch.

DT, Brandon Williams, Missouri Southern Williams played the run well I the game and alternated between winning and losing one-on-one's in practice; which was to be expected since he appears to a run-stuffer, not a pass rusher.

OLB, Sio Moore, Connecticut Moore was a late add from the East West Shrine Game, where he made my top 15 list from that game. Therefore, he got to practice later in the week, but still popped on a couple of occasions. He followed that up with an impressive game. I like this kid; he is going to be one of those players who perform better in the NFL than many drafted higher than him.

ILB, Steve Beauhamais, Rutgers Based on the nature of the coverage of Senior Bowl practice, it is difficult to get a read on linebackers. However, Beauchamais did catch my eye on a couple of occasions, and then I noticed a nice play on a run in the game.

ILB, Kevin Reddick, North Carolina Reddick was the another linebacker who caught my attention a bit during practice. He then made a couple of nice plays against both the run and pass in the game.

ILB, Vince Williams, Florida State Williams was very active in the game. He is a big-hitter.

CB, Desmond Trufant, Washington Outside special teams, I did not notice Trufant that much during the game, which could be a good thing; I need to watch the game again to study how Trufant did in coverage. However, he was an absolute star during practice playing both tight and off coverage. He had the look of a potential NFL lock-down corner.

CB, Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisiana Alford looked very good in the one-on-one's in practice and followed that up with an excellent game. Out of all the talented corners in the game Alford stood out the most.

CB, Jordan Poyer, Oregon State Poyer had a solid week of practice, showing a nose for the ball and followed that up with a solid game. Poyer has the look of an "Asante Samuel" type of corner who covers well, gets and causes turnovers, but gets beat on occasion.

CB, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Connecticut While Weh-Wilson had his good moments during practice, he is on this list because he followed that up with a nice game. I noticed him doing a good job in coverage a couple times (which probably will mean more after I review the game tape).

CB, Marc Anthony, California I didn't notice Anthony in the game, but he did stand out in a few of the one-on-one drills during practice.

S, Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International Cyprien looked very good playing the run during the game. The kid can hit and makes up ground in a hurry. He also competed well in one-on-one drills, covering tight ends well, but did struggle, as expected, against receivers.

S, J.J. Wilcox, Georgia Southern Wilcox is on this list because he looked good in coverage during the one-on-one drills during practice, even against receivers. A safety who can cover is a valuable commodity.

S, Shawn Williams, Georgia Shawn Williams had a nice week of practice, I didn't notice him while watching the game live.

S, Duke Williams, Nevada Duke Williams also popped a bit during practice and he also had a big hit in the game.