Monday Musings: February 6th

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Now that the Super Bowl is complete, the football world will focus its attention on the NFL Draft, something we do year- round.

Today and every Monday through the draft, I’ll be posting observations based on film work and reports.  We’ll kick it off with the first half of SEC game film I’ve recently completed.

Over the three days of Senior Bowl practice, O.J. Howard was justifiably showered with praise.   The tight end looked like a big possession receiver moving his 249-pound frame around the field, catching everything thrown in his direction.  Howard was also dominant in blocking drills and looked every bit the part of a top- 15 selection.

Yet the O.J. Howard I watched on game film as a senior at Alabama was not the same guy I saw during Senior Bowl practices.

The Howard I saw on film often looked uninterested in finishing blocks, seemed lackadaisical when not directly involved in the play and was not a big part of the passing offense.  On film he grades as a late first- round pick with a lot of questions.

Where will it end for Howard, a prospect who has All- Pro potential in my opinion? I think combine interviews will have a big impact on where he falls in round 1.

The same can be said for fellow Alabamian, Montravius Adams of Auburn.

Adams looked like a one- man wrecking crew throughout Senior Bowl week and was unstoppable.  Yet during the season, Adams was streaky and disappeared for stretches.

Adams will also be peppered with questions during the combine on why he failed to produce every Saturday the way he did during Senior Bowl practice -- (or at the very least, the way he dominated against LSU).

As reported on Friday, I continue to be told several teams grade Utah’s Garett Bolles as the top left tackle in the draft.  After breaking down Cam Robinson of Alabama on film I would concur.

I’m not saying Robinson won’t be a good tackle in the NFL;, I just don’t think it will be on the left side.

Robinson looked dominant on film but he also looked stiff, displayed poor footwork and will have trouble protecting the edge on Sunday.  In my opinion, it adds up to a move to right tackle or possibly guard for Robinson.

And if it seems I’m being harsh on Alabama, here’s the thing:; they don’t recruit, they reload.

Besides grading draft- eligible players from the Crimson Tide last week, I added at least a half dozen ‘Bama players to my database and handed them top- 60 grades.  These are players who won’t be eligible for the NFL draft until next year.

The conversation around the Florida Gators secondary usually centers on corners Quincy Wilson and Jalen Tabor, but safety Marcus Maye is the hidden gem in my mind.

Likely to be selected somewhere in the middle of the second day, Maye is a complete defender effective stopping the run or covering the pass.  I love his explosion, burst and wherewithal and believe Maye will be a starter early into his NFL career.

The last time the Georgia Bulldogs did not have a player selected in the draft was 1992, but their twenty five25- year streak is in jeopardy.

Center Brandon Kublanow was the only Bulldog to enter the season with a draftable grade, and he has size limitations.  Tackle Greg Pyke was another lineman who had late- round potential, but he was inconsistent last year.  Quincy Mauger was the lone defender with any chance of moving into the late rounds, but he finished the season with 21 tackles after starting just two games.  Presently I don't believe any of them will be drafted.

Next week I’ll have thoughts after finishing the second half of the SEC film and starting on the Big 12.