With the Senior Bowl barely 48 hours in the books what’s the word trickling out from NFL teams and scouts as they finally reach home? Edition one focuses on broken rules and one of the fastest receivers in the draft. Jan 29th: Super Sleeper at Receiver getting a lot of attention!
– The name making the rounds in the scouting community as one of the biggest sleepers at the receiver position is Courtney Gardner of Sierra College. The 6-foot, 3-inch/220lb pass catcher was expected to play for Oklahoma in 2013 but opted for the NFL draft after academic “difficulties”. We hear scouts have been raving about the physical skills Gardner brings to the field. Besides his large frame the big pass catcher also has the speed (10.7 sec in the 100 meters) to match. Even college coaches in the area are awed by his ability on the field but focusing at the task at hand seems to be an issue.
– Rule of thumb has always been Senior Bowl practices are more important than the Senior Bowl game. Its something I bought into since attending my first Senior Bowl practice in 2000. But to quote an old adage, rules are made to be broken. Such is the case with Ezikial Ansah, who had his moments during three days of practice but wowed scouts with his performance in the game. Several sources say teams were blown away by Ansah’s game and there are now lots of comparisons being made between the BYU product and New York Giants All-Pro Jason Pierre Paul. Like Pierre-Paul teams feel Ansah has the ability to develop into an impact player on the defensive line. We are now hearing Ansah is a definite mid-first round choice and should be selected anywhere between picks 14-to-18.
– Wide out Marquise Goodwin of Texas continues receiving rave reviews after his performance last week and has flown up draft boards. As one insider said this evening “he has never seen anyone gobble up ground as fast as Goodwin.” The Longhorn wide out looks like a second day lock.
– On the flip side the draft stock of Oregon lineman Kyle Long seems to be headed in the other direction. Despite a solid senior campaign scouts we spoke with feel it may take a while before Long is NFL ready. Not surprising since he just moved to the offensive line, yet many thought it would be a quick process for Long coming into the week. Right now we hear most teams project him as a third round pick.