Senior Bowl Practice Notes Through Day Two: Courtney Upshaw Rising

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There are a lot of notes to get to from the Senior Bowl this week already after just two days of practice.

  • Gil Brandt says that Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill could be a top 10 pick, via SI.com’s Peter King. This is not unexpected news since guys like Christian Ponder and Jake Locker unexpectedly went as high as they did last year. Tannehill could be a hot prospect after Senior Bowl week.
  • There are scouts and GMs out there who think that age won’t be a huge factor in the decision to draft Brandon Weeden high. I have thought all along that it would be a big factor, but Weeden has been extremely impressive at practices already and it’s only two days in. If we’re analyzing objectively, he looks like a 2nd round pick at worst. Guys like Ryan Lownes are really high on Weeden, and are giving him a first round grade.
  • East WR Marvin McNutt (Iowa) is showing me exactly what I want to see. He has good hands and can really snatch the ball out of the air. He is really effective on short, underneath routes and on deep balls. His ability to go up and get the ball will make him an effective NFL player regardless of his 40 time.
  • WalterFootball.com is reporting that Ohio State OT Mike Adams is drawing a lot of interest from the Cleveland Browns. It’s still very early, but I really think Adams could be a good pick with the Browns’ second first rounder which they got from Atlanta (22nd overall).

  • I love what I have seen out of Courtney Upshaw. Size, quickness, hand placement, burst, effort–he is truly a five-tool player. If he’s not a top ten pick it will be a joke. He is an elite talent and is a future NFL star. Right now, he looks like a man among boys regardless if it’s the second practice or not, and I think he was ready for the NFL last year and has really turned up his game. He could dominate this year like Von Miller did last year.
  • In case you wondered, in the last six years, no less than 10 players have been selected in the first round that played in the Senior Bowl. That streak should continue this year.
  • There is a lot of intrigue going around right now about Louisiana-Lafayette CB Dwight Bentley. He had a very good season and while he got off to a slow start to practice on Tuesday, he made some nice plays.
  • Bentley’s teammate, tight end Ladarius Green, looks like he’s solidly in the 2nd round mix after his senior season and displaying very nice skills, size, and athletic ability thus far at the Senior Bowl. He’s got a great frame and catches the ball away from it consistently. He adjusts really well to the ball and looks like he could have a really big impact as a receiver in the NFL.
  • Juron Criner made a sick one-handed catch in one-on-one drills today that drew the attention of, pretty much everyone. Criner has good size and if he can flash more of that kind of ability, he could really rise on our board.
  • Florida RB Chris Rainey took some reps at receiver on Tuesday and looked pretty good. I saw a comparison of Dexter McCluster thrown out there and that might be a pretty good one. Still early.
  • I still think Russell Wilson is going to flourish in the NFL. He has the “it” factor. He is short but has big hands and can really spin the ball. Some have questioned his deep ball accuracy but that will come with time and when Wilson gets outside the pocket, he is deadly. He would have a top 5 grade from me if he were three inches taller.
  • The South DL looks to be a big strength. Guys like Jaye Howard, Brandon Thompson, and Quinton Coples had good practices. Coples has long arms and definitely looks like a top 10 pick. He’s got good pass rush moves and could play any of the positions on the line in a given game.
  • South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram showed good quickness and ability to get to the quarterback. He had a very good session in 1 on 1’s and I think Mike Mayock made a good point that if he gets drafted into a system with a plan in place to use him in different slots on all three downs, he could be a very valuable first round selection.
  • There have been a lot of whispers that South CB Janoris Jenkins is quietly one of the best players at this event. He is showing dominance in man coverage and is looking like he’s really turned himself into a legit top 32 selection.
  • Mike Mayock says there are “at least” three first round picks on the South DL. Melvin Ingram (South Carolina), Courtney Upshaw (Alabama), and Quinton Coples (North Carolina). No surprises there.
  • Mike Mayock has Iowa State cornerback Leonard Johnson rated ahead of Alabama CB Dre’ Kirkpatrick. I have Johnson rated as a 2nd-3rd round pick.
  • There have been some concerns about Alfonzo Dennard’s recovery speed. He likes to take a lot of risks but is a very sound player fundamentally and should be a solid first or second round pick for any team.
  • Michigan DL Mike Martin and Ohio State C Michael Brewster went at it at practice and it got a little chippy. Both guys really play hard and it was a fun battle to see.
  • Nebraska LB Lavonte David has great speed and quickness, and hits like a ton of bricks. In my opinion, he should be a first round pick but size is a question.
  • I continue to hear only good things about Arizona State WR Gerrell Robinson, who is supplementing a breakout senior season with a good start to Senior Bowl week.
  • There have been concerns about dropped passes so far this week with Appalachian State WR Brian Quick. His body type really reminds me of Brandon Marshall and the drops won’t move my comparison anywhere.
  • Arkansas DE Jake Bequette is talking to a lot of 3-4 teams at the Senior Bowl. Very interesting.

I will be posting more on the Senior Bowl tomorrow. Follow us on Twitter @NFLMocks.

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Tags: 2012 Nfl Draft 2012 Senior Bowl NFL Draft Nfl News

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