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2017 Senior Bowl: Top Prospects to Watch and Why It’s Important

2017 Senior Bowl: Top Prospects to Watch and Why It’s Important
S/R Staff
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Eric Fisher had a phenomenal Senior Bowl week, which was important for him coming out of Central Michigan.


Eric Fisher at the Senior Bowl

Three years ago, Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson had a phenomenal week in Mobile coming out of Northern Iowa, and that’s obviously carried over to the field for him.

This year, Miller is excited to watch these small-school guys.

“I think the small-school guys stand out the most,” Miller said. “On the offensive line, I want to see Forrest Lamp (OG, 6’4”, 305 pounds) from Western Kentucky. What’s cool about him is that I saw him play Alabama, and he shut those boys down, so it’s like you’ve already seen him do it against big competition, but just this week, he’s got to do it again and watching him work out there is going to be important.”

Miller went on to say that Lamp’s performance against Alabama was one of the best games he saw from anyone all year.

“Antonio Garcia from Troy is another small-school guy, a left tackle—didn’t give up a sack all year and had 70 knockdowns—he is 6 feet 7, 302 pounds,” Miller added. “I just want to see him against bigger and better competition that’s not the Sun Belt.”

When it comes to small-school skill position players, there are plenty to choose from, but Miller said receiver Cooper Kupp from Eastern Washington intrigues him.

“I love watching that kid play,” Miller said. “It’s going to be a cliché, but he is such a good route runner, and he is so much more explosive than he’s probably getting credit for. He can probably make some money and move up this week.

TE O.J. Howard

“The big school kids—Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson and tight end O.J. Howard—will be fun to watch, but the small-school guys and just seeing how they do against this competition will be fun this week.”

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper recently put out his top 15 prospects at this year’s Senior Bowl, and it included Kansas State edge rusher Jordan Willis, who came in at No. 2.

Here’s what Kiper had to say about Willis:

“In a class loaded with pass-rushers, don’t count Willis out as a potential first-round pick. He’s really good. Willis (6 feet 5, 250 pounds) had 21 sacks for the Wildcats the past two seasons and was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2016.

“Consistency is what stands out – you know what you’ll get from Willis every play. He also holds up well against the run, which is important in the NFL. He’s my No. 7 defensive end, but he could move up with a standout week of practices.”

Kiper also mentioned Howard (No. 1), Lamp (No. 3), Anderson (No. 4) and a trio of cornerbacks in LSU’s Tre’Davious White (No. 5), Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis (No. 9) and Iowa’s Desmond King (No. 10) as some of his top prospects to watch this week in Mobile.

For a full breakdown, check out (2014) with first-round picks, and both were standouts during their respective Senior Bowl weeks, Dorsey and the Chiefs’ personnel staff obviously put a lot of stock into the information they continue to gather on these players leading up to the draft.

So while there’s a lot of pressure on these players to perform well this week, there’s also a lot of pressure on these staffs to get the evaluations right as well.
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Author: BJ Kissel

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