Earlier today my counterpart Andy Miley shared his Senior Bowl thoughts.
I’ve always loved the Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl has been the unofficial kick-off to the next fantasy season for as far back as I have done dynasty fantasy football. As the NFL Network provides more access, it is easier for us arm-chair dynasty scouts to get a first good look at the next class of potential rookie draft selections.
I will leave the full analysis and scouting reports to the professional scouts and draftniks, but here are a few players that caught my eye that could be productive fantasy football options in the right situation. (Please note that I will not cover every player)
Christian Ponder – I fully intended to lead this post off with Jake Locker, but it was Christian Ponder who impressed me the most instead. Ponder looked like a potential starting quarterback at the next level as he displayed good pocket presence side-stepping defenders and held the football high that will lead to a quick release in a west coast offense. On several occasions he was able to look off coverage and his arm strength appears to be returning after suffering an injury-plagued senior campaign.
Greg McElroy – Greg McElroy is likely a mid-round selection and a perfect candidate to be a solid backup early in his career. McElroy has all the traits you look for and is a proven winner at the college level and showed surprisingly good arm strength in his limited duty.
Bilal Powell – I didn’t know much about Bilal Powell going in to this game and I’ll need to study some more on him. Powell led all rushers with 50 yards and showed good burst and the ability to break tackles down field. Mentioning Powell over some of the other highly touted running back speaks to the volume of how little running production occurred in the game.
Kendall Hunter/DeMarco Murray – Kendall Hunter and DeMarco Murray were held back by the North squad struggles on offense. While neither got much of an opportunity in the game (Murray had a nice run called back due to penalty), both showed one of the most important skill in practice any rookie running back can have: pass protection. Murray looks like he can add even more weight to his frame, and while Hunter measured in at only 5’7-he weighed in at a solid 200 lbs.
Vincent Brown – Full disclaimer: I’m a huge Vincent Brown fan. In fact, I’ve compared him previously to Greg Jennings on Twitter. Brown will never be a #1 WR in the NFL, but he could have a nice solid career as a #2 in most any offense. While Brown doesn’t have blazing speed, he has great hands and gets separation in his routes. Brown attacked the football in the air all week, and continued it during the game.
Leonard Hankerson – I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention by friend Shane P. Hallam asking Leonard Hankerson about his problem with drops in a press conference this week in Mobile, AL. I won’t do the exchange any justice, so read it on his blog here. Needless to say, the entire room had a good laugh. Just glancing at the box score, Hankerson was the real star of the day with 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. Hankerson showed me what I had the biggest questions about, his route running. Although he did show some inconsistency with his hands (lack of concentration, looking to turn up field too soon), Hankerson showed the ability to get in and out of his breaks. He solidified himself a second round selection, but could move into the first if he shows better than expected speed at the Combine.
Dane Sanzenbacher – Dane Sanzenbacher (say that five times fast) was a late addition to the roster and made the most of his opportunity. Following in the footsteps of fellow Ohio State alumni Anthony Gonzalez, Sanzenbacher is a good bet to become a starting slot wide receiver in the NFL. He isn’t the tallest or the fastest player on the field, but he looked very fluid in his routes and caught the ball well. My fellow fantasy football analyst Jim Day has already compared Sanzenbacher to Austin Collie, and I couldn’t agree more.