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2011 NFL Senior Bowl: Prospect Watch

Our first preview of the 2011 NFL Draft Class: Starting with the Seniors

Armed with early draft grades and plenty of scouting information, NFL Head Coaches head to Mobile Alabama in late January to get (in most cases) their first glance of this years aspiring rookie talent.  The Senior Bowl is an invite only event, where those  graduating Seniors considered "NFL Ready" have a chance to display their talent.  The Senior Bowl is the first time that early draft grade perceptions begin to change.  The chosen talent pool provides a unique parity among prospects to separate themselves from the competition.

Quarterbacks


Colin Kaepernick (Nevada) - At 6'5" Kaepernick has drawn comparisons to a more athletic version of Joe Flacco.  Stock has risen as much as anyone during Senior Bowl week. He very well could find himself drafted in the 1st round this April.

Jake Locker (Washington) - A hyped talent that had a generally unimpressive week of Senior Bowl workouts, especially with issues in the pocket.  Locker has Aaron Rodgers type rushing ability, but his accuracy and velocity need to improve.  Still likely a 1st day selection.

Ricky Stanzi (Iowa) - Under-rated prospect that does a lot of things right, Stanzi possesses ideal size. Might top out as a back-up, but he has potential.

Andy Dalton (TCU) - Not an elusive athlete, but an effective rusher when is forced to leave the pocket.  Played in a pro-set offense and is likely the most comfortable playing from the pocket of all the Senior signal callers.  Smart player and solid leader.  

Greg McElroy (Alabama) - He cracked a bone in his right hand during the game and won't throw for at least two weeks. Solid prospect that could've used this game as a stepping stone after a solid week of stock boosting. Will need to heal up by the combine and impress in workouts. 

Christian Ponder (Florida State) - Conflicting reports surrounding Ponder's skill set.  Shoulder injuries are a major concern.  His two TD passes in the Senior Bowl game earned him MVP honors. 

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Running Backs

Roy Helu Jr. (Nebraska) - Strong Junior and Senior seasons could have Helu as an intriguing late round prospect. He didn't open any eyes this week, but he still has time. 

Daniel Thomas (Kansas State) - Rising prospect pulled out of the Senior Bowl with a hamstring injury. Could end up one of the first 3 RB's selected. 

Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma St.) - A 5'9" bowling ball type, Hunter had an impressive week of practice and might have boosted his stock into the 2nd day. 

Owen Marecic (Stanford) - A dual threat full back and linebacker in college, Marecic may end up as the top FB off the board this April. Not much fantasy value. 

DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma) - Could've really boosted his stock, but ended up with negative rushing yards. He's likely a change of pace back at the next level and will look to impress at the Combine.

Da'Rel Scott (Maryland) - The North's leading rusher with 15 yards scored a TD as well, and has potential. 

Anthony Allen (Georgia Tech) - Solid prospect, solid week of practice and solid game performance. 

Charles Clay (Tulsa) - This big sized RB (6'3" - 240 lbs) is an accomplished receiver with over 2,500 receiving yards finding the end zone 28 times through the air.  An interesting prospect who may not get pigeon-holed as a FB.

Noel Devine (West Virginia) - Smallish type RB in the mold of Dexter McCluster.  Lots of collegiate receptions with high yard per carry average.  Not particularly powerful but very elusive.  Niche type RB that did not improve his stock with 1.1 YPC.

Derrick Locke (Kentucky) - Compact and undersized, but runs very hard and looked solid during the Senior Bowl. Solid third down back potential here.

Bilal Powell (Louisville) - The games leading rusher, Powell is a tough inside runner that could be a touchdown machine in the NFL. 

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Wide Receivers


Vincent Brown (San Diego State) - Upside is not huge because of just solid speed and average size, but Brown could surprise. 

Dwayne Harris (East Carolina) - Shaky week of practice, Harris is going to need to step it up this offseason to resurrect his stock.

Niles Paul (Nebraska) - A hands catcher that, early on, looks to fill the role as an outside or slot receiver.  

Austin Pettis (Boise State) - At 6'3" and 200 lbs fits the mold of an NFL X receiver exemplified by great hands and nice speed.  We expect Pettis to be a draft season riser as one of the more intriguing prospects.

Dane Sanzenbacher (Ohio State) - Improved each season at Ohio State and showed up well at the Senior Bowl. He led the North team with 5 catches and 62 yards. A solid prospect. 

Titus Young (Boise State) - One of the biggest risers during Senior Bowl week.  The explosive, deep threat player in the mold of Mike Wallace or DeSean Jackson is said to be able to stop on a dime and beat triple coverage with ease.  A true hands catcher has a nice move off the line of scrimmage and a burst of speed to beat DB's deep.

Leonard Hankerson (Miami) - An interesting prospect out of Miami, where we tend to be leery of the talent coming out of Hurricane country.  Statistically falls into class of Michael Irvin and Andre Johnson, where he actually broke Irvin's record of 11 receiving TD's in a season with 13 and matched Johnson's record of back to back 800+ receiving yard seasons.  Hankerson's had 100 receving yards in the game on 5 catches to take the South Team's MVP honors.  This is a player we will be watching closely through Draft Season.

Ronald Johnson (USC) - Did not impress or disappoint this past week which pretty much sums up Johnson's game...he has enough skills to be a deep sleeper this summer, but does not have any standout assets. 

Jeremy Kerley (TCU) - Slot receiver that had an excellent week of practice and showed off his versatility. Helping his stock.

Greg Salas (Hawaii) - Solid size and speed, but not elite, Salas did not have a great week of practice. He is typically a sure-handed threat and could still be a 3rd day selection.

Jock Sanders (West Virginia) - Late add to the squad, he has a great name, great speed but may be held back by his size. 

Courtney Smith (South Alabama) - Small school prospect with ideal size and the athletic ability to be a game changer. He'll need seasoning at the next level.

Edmund Gates (Abilene Christian) - Extremely raw prospect with blazing speed, Gates is going to need a few years to acclimate to the speed of the NFL.

Tight Ends
Luke Stocker (Tennessee) - A big, powerful tight end that can block well and also catch the ball enough to be a possible fantasy threat. 

Lee Smith (Marshall) - Stock on the rise, but more of a blocker than a pass catcher. 

Lance Kendricks (Wisconsin) - Could be a tweener, but runs solid routes and can catch

D.J. Williams - An H-back prospect, Williams is very undersized at only 6'1" and 236 lbs. Could he be in for a Dorin Dickerson-like Combine performance?

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UPCOMING 2011 NFL DRAFT CONTENT

This time of year is very important for a Dynasty Fantasy Football Player.  The Dynasty Rookie Draft is an important way to bring your team to contender status or maintain the Dynasty you have worked so hard to build.  The NFL Draft Season, which will extend from now through the 2011 NFL Draft in April is filled with numerous events including the Senior Bowl, the Scouting Combine, personal and private Pro-Days/Workout Sessions and a large collection of radio/tv interviews/coverage - all of which will give us insight into the prospects neccessary to maintain Dynasty Dominance.  BeastOrBust.com will be covering every Draft Event closely and look forward to providing our yearly Player Profiles.  We will also be releasing an upcoming article which looks atDynasty Rookie Draft Strategy, specifically, drafting for Team Needs or Best Available Player.  

We hope you enjoy our NFL Draft Content.  Thanks for visiting BeastOrBust.com.