Senior Bowl Notebook: The Weigh-In

January 21st, 2013

North:
Oregon RB Kenjon Barner led things off in style, rocking a high-top fade Mohawk that echoes of the Fab Five at Michigan in 1991. He hit the scales at 188, a little lower than expected.

Datone Jones won the body building competition with a thoroughly rocked up 280 pounds at 6’4”. The UCLA defensive end carries himself with obvious pride in his hard work in the weight room.

Giving Jones some competition was Florida International DB Jonathan Cyprien, who is a shredded 6’ and 209. His thigh and calf definition stood out, and he looks like a guy who could carry a few more pounds comfortably if asked. I’m really looking forward to seeing him in action.

There was much consternation for SMU DE Margus Hunt, and he did not really disappoint. He came in at 6’8” and 277, which is a bit lighter and taller than expected. He doesn’t really look all that impressive except for his massive deltoids. He’s also the only player who didn’t shave his back, much to my disgust.

Fresno State RB Robbie Rouse is very short at 5’5” though well put together at 186 pounds. He took the stage right after Denard Robinson, who looked impressive at 5’10.5” and 196 pounds with cut arms and big upper legs. Rouse has an interesting skill set but at 5’5” that’s a real tough sell.

North Carolina LB Kevin Reddick looked real solid at 6’1.4” and 246 pounds. He’s naturally thick and has broad shoulders and a wide waist.

Speaking of naturally big, I give you Missouri Southern DT Brandon Williams. He stands 6’1.7” and 341 pounds, which sounds fat but isn’t. Some athletes are built like greyhounds, some like pit bulls, others sheepdogs. Williams is a Newfoundland crossed with a St. Bernard. I’m very intrigued to see him in person.

Purdue DT Kawann Short elicited audible groans when he took the stage. He is a very sloppily built 308 with almost no muscle definition and massive sagging love handles. He looks very much like the “before” pictures on The Biggest Loser.

West Virginia DT Joe Madson has a very naturally stocky build that he wears well. At 301 pounds and with a thick torso and legs, he has a great build for a gap-clogging lineman.

Kent State T Brian Winters won the bad tattoo honors for the North. Unlike Rivera, Winters probably should have asked for his money back on a couple of the 50 or so that mark his upper body and backbone.

One of the guys I’m most interested in this week is UConn CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, and he measured in a bit shorter than expected at just 6’0.5”. His legs were quite skinny, not what I expected. Fresno State safety Philip Thomas is the exact same height but hits the scales at 210 and looks very good in Under Armour.

I’m not sure NC State QB Mike Glennon has ever seen the sun. He was a ghastly pale 6’6” and a fairly un-athletic looking 220. He looked better than Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib, who just hit 6’2” but appears to not have a neck.

Marshall WR Aaron Dobson looks good all-around except for one very prominent issue: he’s got tiny hands for a man his size. At just 8.5”, that’s a legit concern for someone who makes a living with his hands. For someone who is 6’2.5” tall I would expect hands at least 9”. Oregon State WR Markus Wheaton also has small hands but they look more proportional to his body. Dobson’s hands look like they were grafted onto his arms from a 12-year old.

Several players pulled out with injuries, notably Kansas State LB Arthur Brown, West Virginia WR Tavon Austin, Ohio State OL Reid Fragel, and South Carolina S DJ Swearinger. They are forgiven. But Senior Bowl executive Phil Savage listed seven players who chose not to come on their own free will:
Montee Ball, Jonathan Cooper, Star Lotulelei, Geno Smith, Manti Te’o, Kenny Vaccaro, and Chance Warmack
These men refused to show their wares against higher levels of competition, for whatever reason. I can give Te’o a break for perfectly valid personal reasons, but it always bothers me when players duck out. It also bothers a lot of NFL personnel evaluators, something the agents of these men should be more cognizant of when advising them to hide away.

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