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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

The 2018 Senior Bowl gets started bright and early Tuesday morning with weighins that commence at 7:30 a.m. Before the first player steps on a scale, here is the buzz swirling around as more than 100 seniors and a few select juniors prepare to impress future employers.

Mason Rudolph, who was ruled out of the Senior Bowl with a foot injury, will be on hand for weighins Tuesday morning and will interview with teams through Wednesday.

Rudolph hurt his foot during the third quarter of Oklahoma State’s bowl game yet finished all four quarters of the contest. It’s classified as a foot sprain, and though he has been throwing during training, Rudolph is wearing a boot to stabilize his foot based on the advice of doctors.

Expectations are that he will be ready to go for the combine.

From the ranks of the underclassmen, people say highly rated junior Roquan Smith has the body type of a safety more than a linebacker. Physical comparisons are being made to Shaq Thompson, the Panthers’ 2015 first-round selection.

The more people I speak with, the more likely it seems Arden Key falls out of the first round. I’m told the pass rusher looks like a very ordinary athlete during combine training and there’s nothing that stands out about him. Then there are potential off-field issues, something I initially eluded to in August.

Two quarterbacks who could gain traction this week are Luke Falk of Washington State and Western Kentucky’s Mike White.

The question surrounding both quarterbacks revolves around arm strength.

Many believe the system at Washington State, which relied on quick passes and was similar to a run-and-shoot offense, turned Falk into an arm passer rather than using his hips and legs to deliver the ball and get speed on throws. I was told people will be surprised about Falk’s true arm strength this week. If that’s the case, I expect Falk to leave the Senior Bowl as an early second-round choice.

White was also a quarterback who threw a lot of short and intermediate passes in college.

After breaking down the WKU film this past weekend, I was incredibly impressed by White’s poise, patience, accuracy and overall awareness. I’m told he’s a favorite of Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey.