2014 SENIOR ALL-STAR GAME CIRCUIT RECAP

Senior all-star games are a great opportunity for players to display their talents in front of NFL scouts, coaches and general managers. These games allow NFL teams to crosscheck and evaluate prospects up close by weigh-ins, practices and player interviews. The NFL teams send their personnel department to attend these events arriving in town on Sunday staying through Wednesday/Thursday just to scout practices.

When I was Director of Player Personnel for the HBCU Bowl All-Star Game, each year I had to mail a film copy of our game to John Griffin from National Football Scouting. He would then send it to all 32 NFL teams for their scouting department to watch it together as a staff. After each all-star game is watched and graded their attention then shifts to the NFL Combine. Postseason senior all-star games are a very important piece of the NFL Draft process because it can really help a prospect elevate his current draft status.

SENIOR BOWL

Auburn DE/LB Dee Ford dominated at the Senior Bowl and is now projected as a first round draft pick. He's a physically gifted pass rusher with an explosive first step, exceptional speed and upper body strength to get around tackles. NFL scouts still have concerns regarding him holding up against the run with his 240-pound frame. But the value for pass rushers is very high and I don't see him getting out of the first round. NFL Projection: Top 15

Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald is undersized but was very disruptive all week against every offensive lineman that he faced. He uses his quickness and speed to beat lineman while also displaying good pad level and technique. His size at 6-foot-0, 288-pounds is still an issue but his performance during the week has lessoned some of those concerns. Donald is an ideal 3-technique prospect in a 4-3 NFL defensive scheme. NFL Projection: Top 20

Fresno State QB Derek Carr was the best and most efficient quarterback at the Senior Bowl. He impressed scouts with his reads, accuracy and command in the pocket. Carr has the arm strength, size and mobility to be a starter at the next level. NFL Projection: 1ST-2ND Round

Minnesota DT Ra'Shede Hageman impressed scouts all week with his combination of power, speed and quickness. Scouts love Hageman athleticism, size at (6-6 311) and ability to dominate his opponent. His consistency is still a concern for scouts because there are periods were he doesn't always give great effort on certain plays. But scouts are excited about Hageman's potential and his rare talent that makes him such an intriguing prospect. NFL Projection: Top 25

Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo participated in the Senior Bowl and East West Shrine game and impressed in both. He has the quickest release of any quarterback coming out for this year's draft. His accuracy, size at (6-3/222) and play in all-star games has really helped him rise up draft boards. NFL Projection: 2nd-3rd Round

Tennessee State OL Kadeem Edwards a small school interior offensive lineman definitely stood out at the Senior Bowl and was a pleasant surprise for scouts. Edwards has good size at (6-4/320) and the athleticism to pull on screens, traps and power plays. He shows good technique and awareness in both aspects of his game. Edwards was a late round prospect entering the Senior Bowl but his status is on the rise because of his good showing during the week. NFL Projection: 4th-5th Round

Florida State LB Christian Jones is an exceptionally quick and physical player who plays with great range on the field. Jones showcased his athleticism, speed and ability to play in space during the week. Scouts love his motor and his versatility to drop back in coverage. They were also impressed with the skills he showed in blitz periods displaying the ability to rush from a three-point stance. He is rated as an inside linebacker but I believe he is better suited as a standup outside linebacker prospect in a 3-4 NFL defense. NFL Projection: 2nd-3rd Round

Princeton DT Caraun Reid is an athletic and explosive lineman who plays with a relentless motor. He impressed scouts with his quickness and instincts. He recorded two sacks in the game and performed well during the week. Reid solidified himself as a middle round prospect and has the potential to be a NFL starter. NFL Projection: 3rd- 4th Round

Alabama WR Kevin Norwood is an underrated receiver with good size, hands and speed. Norwood possesses the skills to be a better pro than college player and is projected to be a quality 3rd or 4th receiver in the NFL. He's a fluid and quick athlete who runs precise routes with good body control. Norwood knows how to get open and is a sure handed receiver. He impressed in the game with two touchdowns and has caused scouts to go back and watch some more film on him. NFL Projection: 5th - 6th Round

Virginia DT Brent Urban is a defensive lineman prospect that I am very high on and believe will go higher than projected. He has a rare combination of size at (6-7/295), athleticism and power that NFL scouts heavily covet for the interior defensive tackle position. He is a well-built player that is extremely athletic and explosive off the snap. Urban impressed scouts all week with his upper body strength at the point of attack and ability to uses his length effectively to get off blocks. I was also impressed with his lateral quickness that he displays down the line of scrimmage as well as his instincts to beat offensive lineman to the spot causing penetration in the backfield. NFL Projection: 2ND-3RD Round

Western Kentucky RB Antonio Andrews is a versatile running back with NFL size at (5-11/225) while having a very productive career. He impressed scouts with his running, receiving and blocking skills during the week. Andrews proved that he could play well against big time competition. He was the 2013 Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for 1,730 yards and 16 TDs. Some scouts believe Andrews could be a potential starter at the next level. NFL Projection: 4th -5th Round

Northern Illinois S Jimmie Ward made a strong case as the best overall safety at the Senior Bowl. His awareness, range and instincts set him apart from the other safeties. Ward is extremely fluid showing the coverage skills to open his hips and turn and run with receivers. He is also physical for his size and an aggressive tackler in run support. Ward is a bit on the small side for the safety position but his versatility caught the eye of more teams during the week. NFL Projection: 2ND-3RD Round

Notre Dame OT Zack Martin was the most impressive offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl and really cemented his status as a first round pick. He's an athletic lineman who displays good change of direction, knee bend and balance. Martin is strong at the point of attack using his hands and strength to slow down pass rushers. He also stood out in run blocking sessions. NFL Projection: Top 20 pick

EAST-WEST SHRINE GAME

Texas A&M DE Ethan Westbrooks is a disruptive small school defensive end with good size at (6-4/265). He's explosive off the edge and plays with good pad level. Westbrooks caught the attention of scouts with his athleticism and motor playing to the whistle. He recorded two sacks in the game that added to an impressive week. Projection: 7th-Round to PFA

Tennessee RB Rajion Neal is a 5-foot-11, 212-pound runner that impressed all week at the Shrine Game. He's instinctive and runs hard between the tackles displaying a quick burst of speed. Neal has decent size while possessing the natural skills to be a productive player at the next level. Projection: 5th- 6th Round

Miami WR Allen Hurns is a quick, explosive receiver who can make people miss and is dangerous after the catch. Hurns impressed scouts during the week with his fluidity and ability to find open spots in the defense. He's a sure handed receiver that recognizes zone coverage and knows how to sit down in space. Hurns uses his body well against corners and is physical for a receiver his size at (6-3/195). Projection: 6th- 7th Round

Cornell QB Jeff Matthews is pocket passer with good size at (6-3/225) while having good arm strength. Matthews had an inconsistent senior year but he flashed the passing skills during the week's practices. Matthews is still a raw prospect that needs improvement on his footwork, accuracy and decision-making. But the talent is there for him to be a quality quarterback at the next level. Projection: 7th-Round to PFA

UCLA DE Cassius Marsh has caught the eye of scouts because of his explosiveness, athleticism and size (6-4/268). He stood out during at the Shrine game and proved impossible to block at times in one-on-one drills. Marsh displays explosive upper body strength and quickness. He's always been a player that shows flashes on film but needs to become more consistent as a football player. Marsh is a late round prospect whose stock has increased since the game and this could continue during further workouts. Projection: 6th- 7th Round

NFLPA COLLEGIATE BOWL

West Texas A&M QB Dustin Vaughn is a tall, underrated small school quarterback prospect with a thin frame at (6-5/220). Vaughn led D-II in both passing yards 5,401 yards and TDs with 53. He opened the eyes of scouts with the arm strength and zip he puts on passes. Vaughn is a free-agent QB prospect that could make a big climb up draft boards if he impresses at his pro day. Projection: PFA

Morgan State OG Karim Barton was an unknown prospect coming into the season and intrigued scouts at the NFLPA game with his quickness, upper body strength and hand placement. He is an ideal fit as a center or guard. Barton is a sleeper prospect to watch as he raised his level of play against better competition during the week. Projection: PFA

Maine CB Kendall James is a small CB at (5-10/176) with great athleticism, ball skills and speed. He has intrigued scouts with his man coverage skills and instincts. James would be a perfect fit as a nickel corner because of his ability cover quick and fast receivers out of the slot. Projection: PFA

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