The 2011 Senior Bowl is this week, and all scouting eyes will be in Mobile, AL this week, checking out a great number of prospects. The Senior Bowl is usually the "premiere" scouting game, as you'll see close to half of the eventual first round playing in the game. Several "draftniks" were in attendence, and here's some of their observations:
Indiana OT James Brewer
Brewer pulled off a dominant performance on the first day of Senior Bowl practice and quickly established himself as the best blocker at the event. He looked big and powerful during morning weigh-ins then played that way in the afternoon. Brewer moves well on his feet and also annihilates opponents once he got his hands on them. He was never beat today and drew praise from coaches on a number of occasions.
Remember when Colts GM Bill Polian said he regretted not picking another IU Tackle? Put Brewer on your radar.
Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi:
Carimi was better than advertised and looked effective as a run blocker and in pass protection. He played with good fundamentals and worked his blocks hard all afternoon. Carimi was stronger than most expected and also displayed solid footwork. He constantly showed the ability to knock pass rushers away from the action.
He's being projected as a first round pick, and has a very good chance of being around at pick #22. I love the big bruising Tackles from cold weather colleges.
National Football Post's Wes Bunting talked about tackles as well:
Colorado OT Nate Solder:
I’m still not nearly as impressed with Colorado OT Nate Solder as most. Despite his long, athletic looking frame I don’t think he’s nearly as rangy as many make him out to be when asked to reach speed off the edge. Often times, he’s consistently forced to lunge into his target and push him past the pocket. And in order to overcome his lack of initial range he will get overextended on his initial kick-step. I also believe he struggles to re-direct and mirror his man inside. In my view would be better suited to play on the right side and reminds me of Patriots RT Sebastian Vollmer.
Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi seems to have taken to some additional coaching since he last played on January 1st. He appeared more compact sitting into his stance off the snap, allowing him to be more balanced initially in pass protection and really delivered a powerful punch into contact. He isn’t the most athletic of left tackles, but he understands angles, has improved his balance/change of direction skills and has the kind of length to certainly hold up on the blindside at the next level.
Sign me up for this Badger.
If you see any other reports from the Senior Bowl, let me know, so I can round them all up into a "best of" post each day this week.