Senior Bowl Post-Script Part II
Tony PaulineDraft Analyst Writer
OJ Howard was the talk of Mobile last week yet a different tight end from the state of Alabama is drawing high praise from scouts. Also- how important are Senior Bowl interviews? Here’s part two of our Senior Bowl post-script.
The universal belief leaving the Senior Bowl had O.J. Howard as the big winner at the tight end position. But a number of teams rated Gerald Everett of South Alabama equal to Howard last week.
Everett was impressive both days he participated in practice and though he has a size deficiency compared to other tight ends, teams view him as the truest deep threat and downfield playmaker at the position. There’s a belief Everett could slide into the late part of round one if he performs well at the combine.
Right now I’m told he’s the tight end of choice for the New York Giants.
Shrine week star Eric Saubert arrived at the Senior Bowl on Friday and played about 8 snaps during the game the following day. Grades on Saubert presently range between rounds 3-to-5.
Another player who quietly had a big week in Mobile was San Diego State’s Damontae Kazee, who we described as the best cornerback from the South practice.
NFL decision makers were impressed with Kazee’s footwork, movement in reverse and secure tackling. While the corner has been stamped as a possible third round pick I’m told teams are concerned about his speed and don’t expect Kazee to run faster than the high 4.5’s at the combine.
Sources close to the cornerback tell me he’s been running times of 4.53 electronic and 4.45 hand held in training.
Kareem Hunt of Toledo was another scouts were buzzing about.
The ball carrier came in about 20-pounds lighter than his playing weight at 208-pounds. By combine time he expects to be around 213lbs-to-215lbs, the weight he feels is optimal.
Hunt met with 25 teams at the Senior Bowl including 10 full franchise interviews with general managers on hand, the New York Jets being one of those interviews.
This is an important fact to remember as teams are using the Senior Bowl for expanded interviews so they won’t have to expend one of their allotted interviews at the combine on certain players.
Better said; if Kareem Hunt leaves the combine completing just five interviews its due in large part to the ten expanded interviews he completed during Senior Bowl week.
How did Antonio Garcia fare last week?
I thought his technique was terrific and Garcia was very effective in full scrimmage as well as team drills. I also thought he looked a little unsure of himself during one-on-one drills and I mentioned this to Garcia when speaking with him after Wednesday’s practice.
Scouts wholeheartedly agreed with this assessment and one scout took it a step further commenting Garcia looked like a deer in headlights.
The big stage at the Senior Bowl may be the cause and it’s something teams will look for during combine interviews.
On the junior front talk at the Senior Bowl was the expectations of tackle Garrett Bolles being selected much earlier than presently projected.
While scouts are concerned about his lower body strength they’ve classified Bolles as the “superior athlete” in this year’s tackle class.