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2011 Senior Bowl: Five South Players To Watch

The 2011 Senior Bowl will take place this afternoon in Mobile, Alabama. We've already discussed which players you should watch from the North team coached by Marvin Lewis and the Cincinnati Bengals; now we'll move on to five South players that have been coached all week by Chan Gailey and the Buffalo Bills' coaching staff.

Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M (6'3", 237). Miller's name has become something of a dirty word amongst the Bills fan base because of ridiculous comparisons to a former No. 11 overall pick that has been a major disappointment in Buffalo. Folks, Miller does things that Aaron Maybin couldn't dream of doing, most prominently drop back into coverage. Keep an open mind. Miller will be playing this game as a 4-3 outside linebacker, so forget about his pass rush ability for the day, and instead focus on how he handles blockers at the point of attack, how he fares in coverage, and whether or not the motor is always running.

Four more guys for your perusal after the jump - and then feel free to leave your short list of players to watch.

Luke Stocker, TE, Tennessee (6'5", 255). He was never a major producer in college, but scouts could see the untapped potential in Stocker, and most felt that with a good week in Mobile, he'd emerge as a solid second-round pick. That's exactly what he did, holding up extremely well in blocking drills and displaying good hands and the ability to hurt defenses at the second level despite moderate speed. Stocker's headed toward a very bright future.

Kelvin Sheppard, ILB, LSU (6'2", 250). If Bills GM Buddy Nix is looking for a big, physical, NFL-ready inside linebacker, Sheppard might just be the first name on his list. He comes from a college that is an NFL talent factory on the defensive side of the football, is extremely experienced, and has the size and athleticism requirements that Nix is looking for at inside linebacker. This guy would be a perfect second-round pick for the Bills if he's available, and has had a very good week in Mobile.

Phil Taylor, NT, Baylor (6'4", 337). Buffalo seems to be happy with Torell Troup as its zero-technique player of choice, but keep an eye on Taylor, anyway - the Bills still need to get bigger up front, and Troup could play a little end in super-sized fronts with an even bigger guy inside at nose tackle. Taylor has had a very strong week at the Senior Bowl, as the interior linemen present have struggled to deal with his overwhelming power.

Nate Irving, ILB, North Carolina State (6'1", 242). Irving was a good playmaker in college, finishing his career with nine sacks, four interceptions and a defensive touchdown. He, too, has had a solid week at the Senior Bowl, but has not been as impressive as some other guys, mostly because he has not fared well taking on blockers. He's got the size to play inside in a 3-4, but may be more of a weak-side defender, a la Paul Posluszny.