By Rob Staton
The Senior Bowl is officially underway with those prospects who are attending being measured this morning. Seattle-born Taylor Mays has come in at 230lbs, 6'3" - what he was listed at USC. Nobody can deny Mays physical qualities, it's up to him between now and the draft to show he can show football smarts and instinct to match the unique size and speed he owns.
Of course, there's always the issue of who actually attends this event. Last year, a cluster of withdrawals hit the Senior Bowl - none of the seniors taken in the top ten were present. Michael Oher, who did show up, ended up plummeting into the late 20's having originally been considered a top ten pick. Here's what we know - there's no Ndamukong Suh or Russell Okung. You can now follow Seahawks Draft Blog via my twitter account - updates appear on the right hand side bar too. Some of you already following may have noticed that we discovered today there'll be no Brandon LaFell, Trent Williams or Jerry Hughes in attendance either.
Here is the North and South rosters in full.
So who is worth looking out for?
Mike Iupati (OG, Idaho) is part of the North team and despite his excellent size and agility, there are concerns about the level of competition he faced with Idaho. This is a chance to see him against much stronger opposition.
Sean Canfield (QB, Oregon State) will be looking to perform well enough to further enhance his draft stock. He had a solid year for the Beevers in 2009 and many consider him to be the next best quarterback available after Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen.
LaGarrette Blount (RB, Oregon) is an interesting storyline throughout this draft process. Suspended and then reinstated for striking an opponent after a week one defeat to Boise State, there's no doubt the powerful Blount has some skills. Can his talent put that incident to the back of scouts minds?
Brandon Ghee (CB, Wake Forest) keep an eye out for this guy. He's getting rave reviews from scouts apparently and a good work out here could solidify a first round grading. This is a great chance to show off his talents with a lack of elite cornerback's at the top of round one.
Terrance Cody (DT, Alabama) - he weighed in at 370lbs today. That's big, scouts will ask if it's too big. Mount Cody struggles to play three downs and that will affect his stock. Hype sometimes overcame effectiveness on all round dominant Alabama defense in 2009. Teams looking for a 3-4 nose tackle will show interest, but they need to know that Cody can keep his weight in check.
Montario Hardesty (RB, Tennessee) a strong runner who's shifty quick, he isn't unlike Tim Hightower in that sense. Bursts through a hole with a no-nonsense style and he has a chance to cement his place in scouts' minds with a good performance.
Myron Rolle (S, Florida State) having spent a year at Oxford, can he transition back into the thick of the action and maintain a mid/late round grade? I think he'll find it harder than some expect, but he should do enough to land on a roster for training camp.
But alas, the biggest story will no doubt be how Tim Tebow (QB, Florida) performs for scouts working strictly as a quarterback. There will be no snaps at tight end. He won't be working out as a fullback. I'm not sure he'll run much at all, at least not until game day. This is essentially what we've been waiting for. If Tebow's long release, not ideal mechanics and accuracy as a passer don't match up, it might be safe to say any talk of him being a first or even second round pick will fade. It helps that he'll be working with the Miami Dolphins coaching staff - he could get the chance to take some wildcat snaps and you know they'll show interest after drafting Pat White last year.
Alternatively, this is a chance for Tebow to prove a few critics wrong and show he can be a signal caller at the next level. All eyes will be on the Gators quarterback (and fair play for showing up at all - it's a credit to Tebow's character that he's here).