As we enter Senior Bowl week, a number of big name prospects have gathered in Mobile, but what of the rest? The following is a list of players (with a short summary) that may not be as well known, but are worth keeping an eye on nonetheless.
Notes: Quarterbacks, running backs, and offensive linemen are not included in this. Everyone knows who the QBs are and I see no good in re-hashing arguments that are already stale. Also, I have not taken a close look at many RBs and OLinemen, as they are likely not a high priority for the Bills (pending re-signing Levitre).
Kyle Juszczyk (TE/FB, Harvard) 6'1 248lbs- A fluid mover that gets off the line and into his route quickly. Juszczyk is a good hands catcher and also a decent blocker. He shows some nasty in his blocks and could stick to an NFL team as a Swiss Army Knife TE/FB/H-back kind of player.
Marcus Hunt (DE, Southern Methodist) 6'8 277lbs- Has a freakish blend of length (82 inch wingspan), strength, and fluidity. As far as athletes are concerned, Hunt is a man amongst boys, even in the NFL. Whether or not this Estonian thrower (shotput, disc, hammer, etc.) makes it in the pros likely depends on how quickly he can develop as a football player once he gets there.
Markus Wheaton (WR, Oregon St.) 5'11 183lbs- Has the speed to burn a defense deep, but can also make tacklers miss in the open field. Wheaton runs nice routes and adjusts well to the ball when it's in the air, but is a bit thin and could have trouble blocking and beating press coverage in the NFL.
Jordan Hill (DT, Penn St.) 6'1 294lbs- Thick in his lower body, explosive off the ball, and makes life hard for whoever's trying to block him. Hill is a better player than his measurables will suggest.
Jonathan Cyprien (S, Florida Int.) 6'0 209lbs- I think Cyprien is an excellent football player. He plays physical around the line, tackles well, takes good angles, and breaks on the ball well in the deep half. Cyprien's an all around safety that is getting lost in the shuffle of a strong class.
Phillip Thomas (S, Fresno St.) 6'0 210lbs- What I just said about Cyprien also applies here, but I think there are more flaws in Thomas' game. He can lose in man-to-man coverage and seems like an inconsistent tackler, but he still has NFL movement skills and will lay the wood when he gets the chance.
Duke Williams (DB, Nevada) 5'11 201lbs- I am not sure whether Williams is best as a corner or safety, and I do not care. He is an outstanding talent with explosive athletic ability that is among the best defensive back prospects in this class.
Conner Vernon (WR, Duke) 6'0 193lbs- With incredible production at Duke, Vernon is likely a late round pick that might endear himself to a coaching staff and stick somewhere. He is a good athlete with solid hands, but will need to improve his playing strength significantly before he's really ready for Sundays.
Ezekiel Ansah (DE, Brigham Young) 6'5 270lbs- I have been on the Ansah bandwagon for some time, and was not going to leave him out of this thread. I find it extremely unlikely he is still on the board in the middle of the first round.
Zaviar Gooden (LB, Missouri) 6'1 233lbs- A very good athlete that was somewhat inconsistent for the Tigers, Gooden can be a quality starter in the NFL if he pieces it all together. He had 15 tackles this season against Syracuse, so you can bet Doug Marrone is well aware of who Gooden is. He projects as a Will in the pros, and is far from a bad candidate to develop behind Nick Barnett for that job.
Corey Grissom (DT, South Florida) 6'1 313lbs- A developmental DT, Grissom has NFL size and is a mean SOB on the field. He is not a great athlete (don't expect much pass rush), but he could be a load to move off the ball in the run game as his technique improves and his lower body gets stronger.
There is a number of good players at the Senior Bowl that I left off this list. I tried to keep it as short as possible.
Questions? Comments? Who do you have your eyes on, Rumblers?