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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Do postseason senior All-Star football games have an affect on players’ draft stock?

    PRO: Games have significant affect on draft placement

    You never get a second chance at making a first impression. And NFL scouts do their best to get that impression from college football prospects early.

    Starting with the first week of the college football season, there are NFL scouts who make their rounds around the country looking at college prospects in order to be properly prepared for April’s draft.

    Simply put, they know their players.

    But once the college football season concludes, players still have ample opportunity to prove themselves. The two biggest chances they have to show what they are capable of are the NFL Combine and the collection of postseason senior All-Star games.

    This Saturday’s Under Armour Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., is something that many already-established talents are taking place in, not to mention this year’s Jim Thorpe Award winner, former Wildcat Antoine Cason.

    Cason will be playing with a band of other notable college football stars, including Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson, USC quarterback John David Booty and tight end Fred Smith, Penn State linebacker Dan Conner and LSU linebacker Ali Highsmith – just to name a few.

    If these postseason bowls are meaningless, why on earth would these high profile players risk injury by playing in them?

    It is easy to say that many of these players already have their spot solidified in the draft, and there is no denying that. But if a player has a great performance in the game, their place in the draft could be positively affected. The other side to the spectrum is also there: if they do terrible in the game, they could slide down a round or two.

    Take a look at Charlie Frye a couple years back. We all know he isn’t very good in the pros now, but he did move up a round or two in the 2005 draft.

    Going into the senior bowl he was maybe a fourth-round pick, but after being named the game’s MVP, he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns early in the third round.

    It’s obvious that first impressions have a great deal to do with the opinion someone can develop toward another person (or prospect), but in college football’s case, it’s the last impression that can make all the difference.

    -Ari Wasserman,
    assistant sports writer


    CON: 4 years of game film enough info for pro scouts

    It would be ridiculous to say that the college football senior All-Star games have no impact whatsoever on a player’s draft stock, but if there is an affect, it’s minimal at best.

    After a 12- or 13-game season – maybe 14, depending on if the player participates in a conference title game and goes to a bowl game – pro scouts will have an information overload on the prospects they have their eye on.

    Pro scouts look for good technique and a player’s potential because bad habits are hard to break at this stage in a player’s career and the NFL is all about player development.

    Do you honestly think that if David Carr had a bad game in the Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine Game that the Texans wouldn’t have selected him No. 1 overall? Probably not.

    The players who get drafted in the early rounds usually go where they’re projected, regardless of their performance in those All-Star games. The only way these games could make a difference is for players on lesser-known schools where little game film is available. If scouts can’t see somebody play on TV all the time, then they might put more stock into that player’s performance.

    Players from big-name schools usually participate in these games to get practice with NFL coaches and so they aren’t rusty when the NFL Combine rolls around.

    Brady Quinn opted to skip the Senior Bowl last year, hoping to keep his draft stock high. He fell to the 22nd overall pick, and the main reason he didn’t go No. 1 and LSU quarterback Jamarcus Russell did is because Russell outplayed Quinn head-to-head in the Sugar Bowl. LSU was a much better team, but Quinn was still supposed to be Mr. Everything.

    A solid performance by Quinn in the Senior Bowl wouldn’t have done anything to change the Raiders’ mind on that one.

    NFL scouts should be more concerned with how prospects do in live, intense games rather than an exhibition contest where blitzing is frowned upon.

    -Brian Kimball.
    sports writer

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