2011 Senior Bowl: Game Preview


While the Shrine Game may be the first college All-Star game, the Senior Bowl coming up this weekend ends up getting some of the bigger name talent.  This year's Senior Bowl kicks off Saturday Jan. 29 at 4 EST.  If you watched any of the Shire game or read Collin's impressions of the game, you realized that the Defensive Lines DOMINATED the Offensive Lines on both sides.  I think that may change a bit going into this game.

If you want to see the best Tackles and Guards in the Draft this year, check out this game.  Big name tackles like Derrick Sherrod (Miss. St.), Gabe Carimi (Wisconsin), Anthony Castonzo (Boston College) and Nate Solder (Colorado) and guards Rodney Hudson (Florida State), Danny Watkins (Baylor) and John Moffitt (Wisconsin) will all be on the field this weekend.  And those are just the O-Linemen!  In a game with all this talent, who should the Colts have extra eyes on during practice and the game?

While I don't claim to have the time or evaluation skills that the Colts and their staff do, I am a fan and there are some guys that I will certainly be watching.  Some are specifically for the Colts and others are just because I want to see them in a closer to level talent pool.

COLTS NEEDS:

  • Gabe Carimi (OT) - Outland Trophy Winner and Big Ten Lineman of the year, Carimi is a big body (6-7 315) that was a 3 year starter at Wisconsin.  Scouts are saying this big guy has a few problems with his feet, but he has made strides since the Bowl game earlier this month.  mgrex touched on this in an update article.  He is likely to be available at pick 22 and the Colts should be taking notice.
  • James Brewer (OT) - One of the more under the radar prospects at this game, Brewer is projected as a RT in the Pros but could play guard as well.  His career at Indiana that saw him develop into the best pass protector on the team, while fighting through numerous injuries.  Updates from the Senior Bowl show that he is performing well so far.  Another late round line pick for the Colts? 
  • Anthony Castonzo (OT) - A converted TE, Castonzo won the starting RT job at Boston College as a true freshman.  He moved to LT the next year and has started every game there since.  He is a better pass protector than run blocker and could use to add a little bit of bulk to his frame, but his intelligence is at the high end of the scale.  A good all around fit for the Colts.
  • Derrick Sherrod (OT) - A versatile lineman that can work at both tackle and guard.  He is again a better pass blocker than run blocker.  He was a very successful student in college as a business major at Mississippi State and was one of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Award.  He will be one of the first few tackles of the board.
  • John Moffitt (OG) - Moffitt was the guard on the left side of the Wisconsin line beside Carimi.  He moved over to center for almost half his college career and could play center as well in the Pros.  His strength and balance are the best part of his game, but he can lose leverage from time to time and get pushed into the pocket.  He is a mid-round pick that could add some great depth to o0ur line.
  • Danny Watkins (OG) - A left tackle at Baylor, Watkins projects as a guard in the Pros.  He is Canadian by birth and has only played football for three seasons (hockey before that).  Toughness and leadership are easily found here.  His move to the inside for the Senior Bowl shows he is willing to do the work to be successful, but it also means he may need some time to develop and learn.  a strong showing could be an omen of great things to come.
  • Austin Pettis (WR) - As a bigger WR, Pettis was able to dominate the WAC.  He still runs well (4,5 to 4,6) and has the hands and ball skills to be a playmaker in the Pros.  He is coming off a leg injury that caused him to miss the last regular season game, but did allow him to play in Boise State's bowl game.  I will be interested to see how he performs against some top-tier talent against him.   
  • Sione Fua (DT) -While Fua (6-2 307) spent his time last year as NT in the 3-4 that Stanford switched to, he has experience in a 4 down setting.  He was more effective in the NT role and doesn't have the "quick get-off" the Colts normally seek in DTs.  He won't add much in Pass rushing, but his ability to hold up against double teams would be something the Colts have been lacking.
  • Greg Jones (LB) - Undersized LB that led Michigan State in tackles.  His sideline to sideline speed allows him to chase and tackle.  While he may not come in and start right away, he should be a valuable special teams guy.  Good instincts, pass coverage and blitz ability make him intriguing, he may be off the board too early for the Colts.
  • Johnny Patrick (CB) - While Patrick Peterson get the attention as the top CB in the class, Patrick has the zone skill to excel in the Pros.  His ability to support the run and funnel rushers back into the middle seems to fit the Colts defensive schemes.  He was arrested once after a girlfriend had scrapes to knee and elbow after the fell while wrestling over his cell phone.  The charges were eventually dropped.  That may slide him down the Colts' board. 
  • Joe Lefeged (SS) - Lefeged is a Rutgers safety that has the ability to return kicks and play on special teams (2 kicks blocked in one game last year).  His ability to switch from SS to FS fits the Colts mold as well.  3 years as a starter in the secondary and 2 years as a returner shows he can stay healthy and knows his role. 
  • Eric Hagg (SS) - Another late-round prospect that can play both FS and SS, Hagg has been a 3 year starter for the Cornhusker's Blackshirt defense.  A nose for the ball and ability to play nickel as well may add some more value for him.  He could be a late round steal that adds depth to a secondary and special teams value.

OTHER INTERESTS:

  • D. J. Williams (TE) - Receiving TE that causes matchup problems all over the field.  Sound familiar?
  • Andy Dalton (QB) - Accurate/running QB.  Not a skill set you see all the time.
  • Jake Locker (QB) -Talked about as a 1st rounder last year.  Did he hurt his stock staying in school?
  • Von Miller (LB) - 3-4 OLB that is a FREAK of an athlete.  Butkus Award Winner.
  • Owen Marecic (FB) - Incredibly smart kid played FB and LB.  Will he actually play football?

You can tell what I think the biggest needs for the Colts are this off-season.  Plus, the D-Line talent in this game is not quite as good with Paea going out.  As Collin stated before the last game, we have no clue who will be the stars of this game.  These are the folks I will be watching (from the DVR as I will be unavailable come game time).  Who are you most interested in seeing?

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