Sunday, January 31, 2010

Senior Bowl 2010 Recap

At senior bowl prac­tice this year the 6 foot 5, 325 pound guard pan­caked Louisiana Tech’s D’Anthony Smith dur­ing a pass rush drill.  That changed every­thing for Iupati who instantly became some­one to keep an eye on. Iupati was arguably the best offensive lineman on the field throughout the week. Whether working outside at tackle or inside at guard, Iupati was dominant. He now appears to be a lock to go inside the first 20 picks. He is fast, strong, and smart.  A great com­bi­na­tion for a man try­ing to make his mark in one of the most impor­tant posi­tions in football.

Seems as though Koa Misi, a defensive end moving to linebacker, has impressed throughout the week including the weigh-in.
Misi who was listed at 6' 2", 263 came in an inch taller and twenty pounds lighter. He was fluid in coverage and in drills all week. And the Senior Bowl he continued his excellent performance, and was one of the standout players. Misi is projected as a second to third round pick, but after his performance, I wouldn't be shocked to see a team grab him high in the 2nd round.

NFL scouts and personnel are getting to see it for themselves just how good Tyson Alualu the defensive end / defensive tackle for Cal really is. Alualu may have increased his stock too. Several times during the telecast, NFL Network's draft guru Mike Mayock mentioned big-motored defensive end as a player he'd want on his team. "Well, you know, he's multi-dimensional, he could play tackle, he can play end," said Schwartz before interrupting himself to talk about a fumble the North Team had just recovered for a touchdown. "Well anyway, number one, he is a hard-working kid. He's tough. He had probably the best work week of anybody we have. Great motor, great kid, played inside and outside. I think he really helped himself this week down here at the Senior Bowl." Throughout the week, reports continued to talk of the 'terror' that Alualu was causing against offensive linemen on the practice field, and Saturday he showed he could translate that terror to the playing field. Besides providing pressure on nearly every play he was on the field, he created some havoc with a sack, a fumble forced, and a fumble recovered.

Illinois tight end Michael Hoomanawanui also is looking good during practices. He was recognized as one of the North team's stars on Tuesday. As Scouts Inc. writes: "He is a crisp, physical route-runner who does not get pushed around and catches the ball well in traffic. We'd like to see a more violent punch as a run-blocker but he showed good leg drive on Day 2 and is by far the best inline blocker among the North tight ends."

It was an underwhelming day for Shawn Lauvao, who was slow out of his stance and lacks core strength at the point of attack. He catches defenders and needs to be more aggressive because he lacks the upper-body strength to be effective. Arkansas State DL Alex Carrington absolutely ran Lauvao over on a twist during drills. Lauvao looks like a late-round pick at this point. That's an interesting take. Lauvao is probably one of the strongest guys on the field but weight room work sometimes doesn't translate to the field.

One question I kept hearing about, especially from scouts who covered the Big Ten, was: “Where is your other client, TE Tony Moeaki?” Many, including myself, were baffled why Tony was overlooked for an invite. Not taking anything away from the guys who were there, especially Ed Dickson of Oregon, who is clearly the best of the North squad, Tony is rated higher by scouts and is the full package when it comes to an every-down TE skill set. It kills me to see his name 7 or 8 down on the TE draft depth charts. He's in the top 3 for sure. Some NFL GM is going to be made to look brilliant by picking him up.

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