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Senior Bowl: Weigh-In Observations

Senior Bowl: Weigh-In Observations

Jan 21, 2014


Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas was the most impressive quarterback at the 2014 Senior Bowl weigh-in. He stands 6’5 3/4” tall and is 250 lbs. Although the most impressive thing about Thomas may be his hand size. At 10 ¾ inches, he has the largest hands of the quarterbacks in attendance, by far. This should help his draft stock, especially with cold weather franchises looking for a signal caller to develop.

Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo may have been the brightest star at the East West Shrine Game, but at an average 6’2 1/4” 219, his 9 inch hands will raise questions about his ability to grip the football in less than ideal conditions. He will have to show teams that he is the best senior in Mobile, in order to continue his rise up draft boards.

Fresno State’s Derek Carr has nearly the same measurables as Garoppolo, at 6’2 1/8” 215. He will also have to answer the same questions because his hands are also only 9 1/8 inches. Carr had an incredible season for the Bulldog’s and is considered a first round pick in May’s draft. He must be confident that he will show the skills to translate to the NFL, but his biggest obstacle will be to convince teams to forget that his brother was one of the biggest busts in history.

Running Back

It is hard to say that any one running back really stood out at the weigh-in. They will have to separate themselves in drills this week. The good news for these backs is that none of them stood out, because all of them had a solid build. The running backs are basically on equal footing and should set the stage for some interesting battles.

Wide Receivers

Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews caught the attention of many evaluators even before stepping foot in Mobile, Alabama, by requesting game tape of the cornerbacks he would be facing. The Senior Bowl weigh-in will bring him one step closer to the first round of the draft. He is 6’2 5/8” 209 lbs. with an 80 1/8” wingspan and 10½ inch hands. If he can use his impressive size and length to haul in everything thrown his way, he will cement himself as a second round pick at the latest.

BYU’s Cody Hoffman is the tallest receiver at this year’s Senior Bowl at 6’3 7/8”. He also has the longest arms of the group at 33 inches. Though a player’s measurables may not always translate to the NFL, it can certainly help a player get the attention of the decision makers that will give them the opportunity. Hoffman will certainly get a fair chance at showing what he has to offer this week, and he could soar up draft boards if his skill matches his size.

Wyoming’s Robert Herron weighed in at a solid 193 lbs., even though he was only 5’8 7/8” inches. He may not have the height but it should not hurt his draft stock after the week is over with, and that is because he will show that he has the speed and ability to hang with the big boys.

Northwestern’s Kain Colter will have all eyes on him this week, because he will be switching from quarterback to receiver. He is 5’10 3/4” 199 lbs with 10 inch hands. His size may have been a negative as a quarterback prospect, but it will be a plus if he can use his athleticism to successfully make the transition. He will have to learn the position quickly, but there are bound to be at least a few teams intrigued by his weigh-in numbers.

Tight End

Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz was the standout among the senior tight ends in attendance. He is 6’5 5/8” 262 lbs. with 10 5/8 inch hands. His arm length and wingspan are not overly impressive at 32 ¼ and 79 ¼ inches respectively. He has the frame to create matchup problems for defenses at the next level, and the hand size to become a quarterback’s most reliable target. If he can show soft hands and solid blocking ability, he will hear his named called early in the draft.

Marshall’s Gator Hoskins will be fighting an uphill battle leading up to the draft. He is on the shorter side of the tight end height chart at only 6’1 1/8”. He is also a little light at 244 lbs., but his size should not stop him from getting a shot to show what he can offer an offense. Tight ends have in many cases become smaller over the years, Hoskins will just need to show he can help a team put points on the board.

Offensive Line

Miami’s Seantrel Henderson is one of the largest players at the Senior Bowl. At 6’6 7/8” 331, with 34 ¼ inch arms, an 84 inch wingspan, and 10 ¾ inch hands, Henderson will be an attractive addition to many team’s offensive lines. He projects to the right side of the line but will still need to show that he can consistently protect the quarterback as well as open holes for running backs.

Baylor’s Cyril Richardson is an enormous linemen. He is 6’4 1/2” 343 lbs. and carries it well. Richardson could find his way into the first round if he can show the potential as an all-pro mauling interior linemen in the NFL. He has the size, just needs to consistently dominate at the line of scrimmage.

Notre Dame’s Zack Martin is an example of the importance of inches to NFL personnel. He is average across the board, at 6’4 1/8” 305 lbs. 32 ¼ inch arms, 9 ¾ inch hands, and 76 7/8 inch wingspan. If he had an inch added to each of those categories, he is likely in the conversation to be a top 5-10 pick in May’s draft. He has that type of ability, and it will probably keep him as a first round pick. The real question surrounding Martin, is where will he wind up on the offensive line in the pros? He could play tackle for many teams, but guard may be where teams see him 5 years from now.

Defensive Line

Tennessee’s Daniel McCullers is the largest player in Mobile. He is 6’6 7/8” 348 lbs. 35 5/8 inch arms, 10 5/8 inch hands, and 85 ½ inch wingspan. His size is definitely intriguing, but could be the reason that teams overlook him. He will need to keep his pad level down this week, and show that he can move and not be moved.

Louisiana Tech’s Justin Ellis is a player that showed promise at the East West Shrine Game. He carries 342 lbs. on a 6’1 7/8” frame very well. He is much more athletic than his size would indicate. If he plays as well this week as he did last week, he will hear his name called much earlier than many of the linemen currently ranked above him.

Stanford’s Trent Murphy played a lot of outside linebacker in college, but will be playing defensive end at the Senior Bowl. He has the size at 6’5 3/8” 252 lbs. 33 1/8 inch arms, 10 7/8 inch hands, and 80 3/8 inch wingspan. Probably would have been better suited as a linebacker this week, but if he can show the pass rush moves at defensive end, he could still find a team willing to take a chance on him in the first round.

Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman looks larger than most on the football field, but 6’6 318 lbs., is still shocking because of his athleticism. He carries 318 lbs. as well as anyone at any level of football. Hageman probably did not need to attend the Senior Bowl, because there is a good chance he is already locked into the first round. There is no doubt that NFL teams will appreciate a closer look at his skill set before using their first draft choice on this physical specimen.

Pittsburgh’s Aaron Donald was one of the nation’s best defensive linemen this past season. He will also likely be one of the best at the Senior Bowl. The only question he will be answering this week is whether or not 288 lbs. will be enough to keep him from being beat up by the NFL’s pass protectors.

Arizona State’s Will Sutton was supposed to be answering the same questions as Aaron Donald, but he weighed in at a surprising 315 lbs. Now his question will be: Is the unexpected 25 lbs. of new weight going to negatively affect his game?


Wisconsin’s Chris Borland will likely be one of the first five inside linebackers taken in the 2014 NFL Draft when this is all over. However, if there is something that can prevent that from happening, it would be that he is only 5’11 3/8” with 28 7/8 inch arms. At 245 lbs. he should be able to hold his own, but he needs to prove he can do more than that to make everyone forget he is under six feet tall.

Missouri’s Michael Sam is also on the shorter side for an outside linebacker. He is 6’1 5/8” 260 lbs. Sam will need to get to the quarterback quick, and more importantly contain the edge all week long. There have been many recent examples of players with his size and skill-set that do not excel in the pros. He must separate himself from comparisons.

Alabama’s Adrian Hubbard has been one of the quieter Crimson Tide prospects recently. Seems like no one is talking about the 6’5 7/8” 255 lbs. pass rusher. His size should have some circles mentioning his name as a sleeper, at the very least. Now he just has to use it to impress his future employers.

Defensive Backs

Lindenwood’s Pierre Desir is continuing his climb from unknown to mid-round draft pick after impressing at the East West Shrine Game. He has great size for an NFL cornerback at 6’1 1/8” 195 lbs. If he can show the ball skills that earned him an invite to the Senior Bowl, he could go as high as the second round this May.

Utah’s Keith McGill will draw a lot of attention as a cornerback in the next few months. Big, physical corners are en vogue at the moment and any player that fits that mold will be drafted higher than he would if he was not 6’3” 214, but he is, so he will get every opportunity to show his skill set in the next few months.

Liberty’s Walt Aikens is another sleeper that has the size and coverage ability to impress teams this week. He is 6’0 5/8” 205 lbs. which is more than ideal. Seems like every year, defensive backs with a profile like Aikens comes to the Senior Bowl and winds up as a third round selection months later. He has a lot riding on his performance here.

Nebraska’s Stanley Jean-Baptiste and North Carolina State’s Dontae Johnson both had excellent measurables. Jean-Baptiste is 6’2 3/8” 215, and Johnson is 6’2” 199. They could vault up draft boards if they can show the fluid hips and recovery speed to stick at cornerback in the pros. They are going to be evaluated heavily on their coverage skills and physicality, and could be attractive mid-round targets.

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