When asked about who was the best player at Senior Bowl, my initial response is either Courtney Upshaw or Melvin Ingram. In my opinion, those two guys are top ten picks, and I mocked them as such in my latest first round projection. I think both guys have excellent pass rush ability in a draft that overall lacks guys with that specific skill. Right now, I have Upshaw going to the Dolphins, and Ingram to the Bills.
But, that doesn’t mean that those guys were the ones who stood out the most from Senior Bowl week. By many and almost all accounts, Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins had a huge week at the Senior Bowl, and I really liked what I saw as well.
Cousins is a great leader, has a good arm, and is a really smart kid who will win over every team he interviews with. Here is what NFLDraftScout.com and CBS Sports draft analyst had to say about Cousins’ week in Alabama:
Just as he was throughout the week of practice, Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins, for the North, was the most impressive quarterback in the game.
He completed only five of 11 passes overall, with a touchdown and an interception. However, that one touchdown pass, a 41-yarder to Arizona State’s Gerrell Robinson with 11:44 left in the third quarter, gave the North a 23-13 lead and enough cushion to hold on for a victory.
Last year, the “most impressive” QB at the Senior Bowl by a consensus was Florida State’s Christian Ponder, who was expected to be a late first or second round pick wound up getting picked 12th overall by the Minnesota Vikings. I’m not sure Cousins is in for that kind of rise, but perhaps he has entrenched himself firmly in the second round.
One team rumored today to be looking into adding competition to the quarterback position is the Denver Broncos, who could take a quarterback anywhere from the second round to the fifth. Maybe they would look at Cousins in the second round, and give him a chance to compete with Tim Tebow for the quarterback position in Denver with another veteran.
Either way, I was really lukewarm on Cousins, thinking maybe he was a sixth round pick earlier this year. Now, I think he could be a second or third round pick, no later than the third though. After his week at the Senior Bowl and listening to him speak, you just really learn to appreciate a guy for who he is on and off the field, guys at the most important position on the field who influence the players around them who have a positive impact.