New England Patriots: Senior Bowl

Eye on Senior Bowl: Game-day wrap

January, 30, 2011

Eye on Senior Bowl: Day 5 wrap

January, 28, 2011

Eye on Senior Bowl: Day 4 wrap

January, 27, 2011
ESPN's Todd McShay and Scouts Inc. give us the full report on Day 4 of the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Here is our roundup:

Senior Bowl Day 4 buzz (Insider): Cleaning out the scouting notebook shows it was good to be an offensive lineman this week. The same can’t be said for being a DB. Notes from a busy week, plus a look at special teams, as well.

Senior Bowl spotlight (Insider): Baylor DT Phil Taylor and San Diego State WR Vincent Brown.

Video: McShay on under-the-radar players

Pats & Senior Bowl: Danny Watkins

January, 27, 2011
Every day from Senior Bowl practices this week, New England native Steve Muench of ESPN's Scouts Inc. will highlight one player who catches his eye from a Patriots perspective.

On Thursday, it's Baylor guard Danny Watkins:

"He has an interesting background. He grew up a hockey player, was a part-time firefighter in Canada, and he wanted to become a full-time firefighter. As part of that process, he was told it would benefit him to go to school, so he instead enrolled at Junior College and played two years of football there. He earned a scholarship to Baylor from there and has developed to the point that it looks like he will be one of the first guards off the board, possibly in the second round.

"One thing that is impressive about him is his balance. He is always under control, both as a run-blocker and pass-blocker. He plays with a good pad level and a consistent wide base. He doesn't have explosive power, but it's natural power. What I mean by that is that he's not necessarily going to jack you up, but he'll get in position and move you off the ball in that way.

"Watching him here, it stood out when he was going up against his Baylor teammate, Phil Taylor, who is one of the best nose tackles here. Watkins was one of the few offensive linemen to hold his own going against Taylor, who is 337 pounds. Watkins measured in at 312 pounds, so he showed he could handle that kind of surge, staying wide and balanced. He played left tackle at Baylor, but at 6-3, he's not long enough or at this point quick enough to project at that spot, so that's why he's viewed as a guard.

"When you look at him, he's the type of player who doesn't necessarily jump out at you because he's making it almost look too easy. He has a lot of experience and he was one guy, when we popped on the tape, that we were really excited to see."

Eye on the Senior Bowl: Day 3 wrap

January, 26, 2011
ESPN's Todd McShay and the rest of the Scouts Inc. crew report on the goings-on at Day 3 of the Senior Bowl practices:

Senior Bowl Day 3 buzz (Insider): Jake Locker cost himself millions by coming back to school, and it might have been the best thing for his career. A look at the Senior Bowl QBs, plus a six pack of notes and top performers.

Day 3 practice blog (Insider): Who improved their stock and who struggled in the last practice in full pads

Senior Bowl spotlight (Insider): Focusing in on Miami WR Leonard Hankerson and Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi

Podcast: McShay talks about Jake Locker on ESPN Radio with Scott Van Pelt

Video: McShay's "stock up-stock down" report

Pats & Senior Bowl: Cameron Jordan

January, 26, 2011
Every day from Senior Bowl practices this week, New England native Steve Muench of ESPN's Scouts Inc. will highlight one player who catches his eye from a Patriots perspective.

On Wednesday, it is California defensive end Cameron Jordan, who ranks 15th on the Scouts Inc. board:

"Some think he fits best at left defensive end in a four-man front. I also think he'd fit well as a defensive end in the 3-4. He has been very consistent over the first three days of practices.

"One of his greatest strengths is his hands. He has very active hands, very strong hands, and that makes it really hard for an offensive lineman to stick on the block. One of the things that separates the good defensive linemen from the great ones is the ability to counter when they don't win with their first move, and he does an excellent job countering when he doesn't win with his first move. He's relentless, too. You'll see him chasing running backs 40 yards down the field.

"Watching Jordan this week, one part that stood out was when he was going against Indiana offensive tackle James Brewer. At one point, he used not one swim move, but two swim moves, and ran right around Brewer before Brewer could get his hands on him.

"For the Patriots in their 3-4 defense, when you think of that 5-technique defensive end, you traditionally think of those players as mountains -- tough and stout -- which Jordan can be. But he also moves well for a guy with his size and build. So I see him as lining up at the 5-technique, stopping the run, and then staying on the field on third down and still getting to the quarterback from the tackle spot. The other part is that everything you hear about him is that he's a great, great kid in terms of character."

Eye on the Senior Bowl: Day 2 wrap

January, 26, 2011
ESPN’s Todd McShay and the folks from Scouts Inc. were out in force on Day 2 of the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Here is a roundup of our coverage:

* Senior Bowl Buzz, Day 2: Every year at the Senior Bowl, a player or two rise above the rest. This year, Texas A&M’s Von Miller and Colorado’s Nate Solder appear ready to join that club. That, plus a look at Cal’s Cameron Jordan and top performers from Day 2.

* Day 2 practice blog (Insider): A quick-hit look at who played well and who struggled during the second Senior Bowl practice.

* Senior Bowl spotlight (Insider): Each day,’s scouts put the spotlight on two players at the Senior Bowl. Today it’s Oregon LB Casey Matthews and West Virginia RB Noel Devine.

* Weigh-in top fives (Insider): A look at the top five in each category from Monday’s weigh-in.

* Video: McShay’s “stock up, stock down” so far in Mobile:

Pats & Senior Bowl: Gabe Carimi

January, 25, 2011
Every day from Senior Bowl practices this week, New England native Steve Muench of ESPN's Scouts Inc. will highlight one player who catches his eye from a Patriots perspective.

On Tuesday, it is Wisconsin offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, who ranks 19th on the Scouts Inc. board:

"One of the things that has been impressive watching him here is his power base, his ability to lock on defenders and drive them. He is an excellent run blocker. He's not necessarily an elite athlete -- so you're not looking at an Orlando Pace-type franchise left tackle -- but he is a cornerstone guy who is long enough and has good enough feet to be your right tackle for 10 years.

"One of the reasons to like him from a Patriots perspective is that he can line up at guard and tackle. So he gives you some options if they want to flip Sebastian Vollmer to left tackle, or he could line up at guard immediately. He plays with great power and also has a mean streak. All the things you like about Logan Mankins, he has that same type of style, so he's almost a perfect fit."

On Monday, Muench highlighed Purdue defensive end/outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.

"As a follow-up, you might hear that Kerrigan is not having as good of a week, or that he struggled today. But I think it's important to point out that he's going up against the top two offensive tackles here and he's holding his own. Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan has been standing out, but he's also going up against weaker competition."

Eye on the Senior Bowl: Day 1 wrap

January, 25, 2011
ESPN’s Todd McShay and the folks from Scouts Inc. were out in force on Day 1 of the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Here is a roundup of our coverage:

* Senior Bowl spotlight on Herzlich (Insider): Our crew had the following observations on BC linebacker Mark Herzich on Monday:

“Herzlich measured in at 6-3 and 250 pounds. He could have been better defined but he carried the weight well and didn't look soft. When he's on the field, he does things you love to see like being the first guy in line for a drill and his motor is always running. He is a big kid with long strides and can cover a lot of ground. He shows good range. During team period, he made a great read, shot the gap before an offensive lineman could put a body on him and wrapped up Maryland RB Da'Rel Scott in the backfield.

“But it's also clear why his stock has dropped. He doesn't have the closing burst he showed prior to his battle with bone cancer, he's not getting to as many balls as he used to and a glaring issue is his stiffness in space. He really struggled to open it up in zone coverage and it wasn't just one play; he was consistently struggling. He also struggled in man coverage, including one play where he tried to stay with Nebraska TE Mike McNeill but Herzlich stumbled coming out of his break and had to grab on to McNeill to keep him from being open. He obviously won't get away with that in the NFL.

“It's impossible not to root for Herzlich with all he's been through, but you can't ignore what you're seeing. Right now, he's a Day 3 pick, but he's also played like a first-rounder in the past. It's going to be a tough decision for any team and a lot will come down to the medical reports and a team's belief whether or not he will regain that first-round form.”

* The buzz on Day 1: McShay explains why the weigh-in can be such a valuable scouting tool, and picks Boston College offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo and Colorado O-lineman Nate Solder as two players that stood out at Monday’s weigh-in:

“Colorado's Nate Solder and Boston College's Anthony Castonzo both looked good and have similar builds. Castonzo came in at 6-7[ and 305 pounds while Solder was 6-8 and 314 pounds. Both had good builds, carried their weight well and were well-proportioned. They were very long and had very little fat for being over 300 pounds.”

In putting the spotlight on the offensive line position, McShay observes that Canstonzo started slow and has some ground to make up.

* Day 1 practice blog (Insider): A quick-hit look at who played well and who struggled on Day 1.

* McShay's Day 1 video wrapup:

Pats & Senior Bowl: Ryan Kerrigan

January, 24, 2011
Every day from Senior Bowl practices this week, New England native Steve Muench of ESPN's Scouts Inc. will highlight one player who catches his eye from a Patriots perspective.

From Monday, it's Purdue defensive end/outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who ranks 10th on the Scouts Inc. board:

"He was just under 6-foot-4 and weighed in at 255 pounds. There is definitely room on his frame to add some more weight. He could fit for a 4-3 team as an end or play outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme and be that pass rusher; for a 3-4 team like the Patriots he could fill a big need.

"Today, he went up against Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder. Already, Solder is making waves with how well he played and one of the highlights of practice was watching Kerrigan and Solder go at each other. Solder had the edge run-blocking, but what I love about Kerrigan is how he gets after the quarterback. He has a great blend of explosiveness and power. He's so quick. Even though he's 255 pounds, he plays with power to get under a 300- or 315-pound tackle and drive him back. Those two guys were really going at it. It was competitive. One thing you could tell is that Kerrigan really loves playing football."

An eye on the Senior Bowl

January, 24, 2011
One of things we’ll be keeping an eye on this week from a Patriots perspective will be the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., where the top seniors from the college ranks will be gathering to try to prove themselves in front of NFL scouts.

In the words of ESPN draft expert Todd McShay, “Senior Bowl week gives players a chance to receive NFL coaching and showcase their skills for all 32 NFL teams.” In his Insider piece previewing the week, he picks his players to watch. Here are some of his position- and player-spotlights that should be of interest to area fans:

* Offensive tackle: There is still plenty of wiggle room on top of our board. Colorado's Nate Solder, Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi and Boston College's Anthony Castonzo are the top three senior prospects (the only underclassman in the mix is USC's Tyron Smith, who is No. 11 overall).

* Defensive end: Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan and Miami's Allen Bailey can get after the quarterback. They will be players to watch this week in Mobile.

* Boston College OLB Mark Herzlich: Herzlich's story is well known at this point. He was one of the top outside linebacker prospects in the country when doctors discovered a tumor in his leg and he missed the entire 2009 season. The courage and resiliency he showed in coming back is remarkable. Unfortunately, teams can't afford to draft based on emotion and he hasn't been the same player since he's returned to the field. If he can show the same kind of range and athleticism he showed in 2008 this week, his stock will benefit.

* Texas A&M DE/OLB Von Miller: Miller played a hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end role at Texas A&M and he projects best at outside linebacker. He has some experience dropping into zone coverage, but teams will want to see how well he opens his hips and matches up in man coverage drills. Miller should also wow scouts with his first-step quickness, body control and closing speed during one-on-one pass-rushing drills this week.

* Oregon State DT Stephen Paea: We don't question Paea's ability to play the run. At 6-foot-1, he has the low center of gravity to get under offensive linemen and the strength to hold his ground once he establishes position. The key for Paea will be showing he can get to the quarterback this week.

* Defensive tackles: In addition to Paea, keep an eye on Baylor's Phil Taylor and Clemson's Jarvis Jenkins when watching defensive tackles this week.