Getting geared up for the Senior Bowl, already a few players are starting to hit the radar as players to watch over the coming week. Here are some quick profiles on three names to watch, as well as one to avoid.
CB Ras-I Dowling, Virginia
Dowling missed the whole season and is now being discounted by many. But before the year started, he was considered in the same breath with Prince Amukamara as the top senior cornerbacks in the nation.-- Mocking The Draft
Only an average cornerback crew here in Mobile... Marcus Gilchrist and Ras-I Dowling have been two ACC cornerbacks that I've liked alot, and while both have the size and length to be starters, they'll need to show more consistency and more fluid hips.-- Optimum Scouting
I know what you're going to say: "Drafting another cornerback? Really?" Third round picks spent on Bradley Fletcher in 2009 and Jerome Murphy in 2010 have yielded one talented starter and one pysical but enigmatic player currently stuck on special teams. Hopefully Murphy can improve his coverage skills and get into the rotation, but the Rams could still use more young talent in the pipeline at the position.
CB depth, a real problem for St. Louis last year, stands out as one of the biggest positives on Green Bay's defense over the past two weeks, as Tramon Williams and Sam Shields -- their 2nd and 3rd CBs -- made game-changing plays to preserve a Super Bowl bid. When you blitz as much as the Packers (and Spagnuolo's defenses do), having a deep stable of lock-down playmakers in the defensive backfield is essential. Accoding to these draft profiles, Dowling could be one of those players, and could be gotten relatively cheaply.
Scott Porter at New Era Scouting and Erik Galko at Optimum Scouting both currently have Dowling rated 6th among CBs, with Galko calling the 6'0" 200-lber "Very physical and experienced," adding that "a good combine will help."
Allen Bailey: DE/DT - Miami (FL)
Allen Bailey plays as though he could fit at DE in a 4-3, 3-4, or a DT in a 4-3. That versatility likely will be shown this week, and if he can maintain production in practice, he could shoot up boards.-- Optimum Scouting
His ability to play in the offensive backfield is something that all NFL teams love.... He has experience at defensive tackle playing both the run and pass but has the skills to rush the passer. If he added some bulk he could be an excellent defensive tackle in the 4-3 scheme, he compares to Tommie Harris.-- NFL Mocks
Bailey was a player mentioned by Galko in yesterday's pre-Senior Bowl interview as a potential target for the Rams. You'd have to think that his versatility would be a huge plus in Spagnuolo's pressure-based scheme, which doesn't typically rely on having a monster DT lining up over center. The Rams' D-line rotation deserves closer inspection, which we will tackle this week.
RB Da'Rel Scott - Maryland
Willing pass blocker... Displays above-average hands out of the backfield... Does a good job of always moving forward, doesn't dance too much through the hole... Should be a good change of pace back in the NFL in the same mold as Mike Goodson when he came out of college...-- Sideline Scouting
Very excited to see how Maryland RB Da'Rel Scott stacks up to the rest of the Senior Bowl RBs. Scott played well all week at the Shrine Game
Scott is one of a group of players at a stacked RB position that will have to impress. As Erik pointed out in yesterday's talk, only 12 running backs were drafted last season; this year, 12 underclassman RBs declared for the draft. Moreover, the lack of a CBA will delay the signing of undrafted free agents, which has been a gold mine of talent for Billy Devaney, who found RB Keith Toston and S Darian Stewart in this past year's undrafted crop.
One to avoid: C/G Mike Pouncey (Fla)
Mike Pouncey. RT @PFF_Akshay: @ShanePHallam Which early-round OG/C(s) do you think will bust?
Really lacks concentration, strength mediocre, not great at anything... RT @PFF_Akshay: @ShanePHallam How come re: Pouncey bust?
The elder of the Pouncey twins struggled badly with the Gators this year, even as younger-by-minutes Maurkice Pouncey racked up accolades (including Peter King's offensive rookie of the midseason honor) with the Steelers. Mike could have used the Senior Bowl to restore some luster to his tarnished reputation, but will be sitting out with an injury.
Mike could coast on his brother's reputation and be drafted relatively highly at his natural position, G, which is coincidentally a position of need for the Rams. However, unless and until he shows something special at the Combine, this Pouncey should be avoided.