Senior Bowl in Review: Stock is falling

As always, there are always some players that show up to the Senior Bowl, have a bad week of practice and right or wrong, hurt their draft stock a great deal.  It’s never fair to solely judge someone on one week of practice and one game with people they’ve never played with before, but that’s just the way it is.  These three guys could have done a lot better than they did, and will have to have a good Combine to get their draft stock back up.

John Simon, LB, Ohio State:

Simon played defensive end in college, so it’s expected that there will be a few growing pains with his transition, but his week couldn’t have gone any worse if he had tried.  He started off getting beat like an absolute drum in all of the coverage drills.  He went one-on-one with runningbacks and tight ends, and was not close in coverage with any of them.  He looked very stiff and very out of place, which is not totally unsurprising.  He is going to be a huge project if he is going to play linebacker in the NFL, and because he isn’t naturally athletic, moving to linebacker is going to be a tougher transition than Denard moving to wide receiver.  Plus, he’s going to be a 3-4 rush linebacker, and shouldn’t expect to see too much time in coverage, at least not if a team is going to use him right.  To make matters worse for him, Simon was hurt on the first day of practice and then went home.

“A shoulder injury forced John Simon out of the Senior Bowl, a source told FOXSportsOhio.com, and it will require a further inspection and an opinion from orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Whether that visit has taken place or what, if anything, was found remains unclear.

Simon participated in just one practice here this week before withdrawing from the game with that he said was a lingering injury from last season. He played hurt for his entire senior season at Ohio State, and still played well enough to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors. A knee injury kept him out of the season finale vs. Michigan.”

This comes from Waiting For Next Year, and if he really had to go see Dr. James Andrews, then it’s a lot worse than he would like.  So Simon has only one full-practice under his belt for scouts to see him at linebacker, which means he is going to be fighting an uphill battle to get his draft stock back to where it was before the Senior Bowl.  A bad practice and a potentially serious injury before the Combine spells serious trouble for Simon’s draft stock.

Mike Glennon, QB, NC State:

Mike Glennon is probably going to go in the first round.  It’s likely going to be a terrible decision and someone down the line is going to get fired.  Glennon has the potential to be a starting quarterback in the NFL and do a very good job of it, no one can deny that.  He has a cannon for an arm, he’s 6’7″ and he’s shown that he can make every throw that you need to make to be an NFL starter.  The problem for him is merely in his head.  If he starts playing poorly, he loses confidence and everything around him seems to unravel.  He starts to have erratic throws and his accuracy drops, he truly is a wildcard.  How is he going to adapt to having a poor game in the NFL?  How is he going to respond to playing on a bad team when they start losing often?  It’s not like NC State was a powerhouse, but had he been more consistent, maybe they get another 2 or 3 wins.  He’s got the look of an NFL quarterback, but is that enough?  He reminds me a lot of Brock Osweiler, who was drafted by Denver out of Arizona State last year.  If Glennon got picked in the 2nd round and sat behind an aging quarterback for a year and developed, I think he could be much better than if he is drafted in the 1st round and thrown right into the fire.  With him being such a head case, throwing him right into the fire could be an utter disaster.

You watch this tape and you see he can make a lot of great throws, but he also makes a lot of bad decisions and checks the ball down a lot.  Checking the ball down for 4 yards on 4th and 10 late in the 4th quarter isn’t gonna cut it.  He’s got all the physical tools, but he needs to be smarter in some of his decision making, and somehow needs to keep his confidence up.

Glennon ended up going 8/16 for 82 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions during the Senior Bowl; a pretty solid game, but it could have been better.  He missed on some very easy throws, one of which he threw right in the dirt to a receiver 10 yards away.  Then he came back on the very next pass and threw a frozen rope to the sideline, 25 yards down field, that literally only his receiver could have gotten.  If Glennon can learn to be consistent, he’s going to be just fine, but his inconsistency was on full-display in Mobile, and it has to worry some teams.

Justin Pugh, OL, Syracuse:

Pugh, along with Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker became the first two 4th year junior players to participate in the Senior Bowl because they already had their degrees in hand.  Unfortunately for Pugh, that’s about as good as it got for him during the Senior Bowl.  Pugh weighed in at 6’4 7/8″ 301 lbs, with 31.5 inch arms.  Normally I don’t judge a guy solely on measurables like that, because I think height and arm length is overrated, look at Riley Reiff, he’s got short arms and did just fine at tackle for the Detroit Lions when he started against the Houston Texans.

Pugh on the other hand, shows why short arms can be a concern.  He was slow off the ball, and had difficulty getting a good push on defenders in one-on-one drills.  His arms kept him from being able to force guys where he wanted them to go and he had trouble keeping his anchor.  He was forced backwards a lot and never seemed to be able to get comfortable and keep his balance.  When he wasn’t being forced backwards, the faster defensive ends were able to dip their shoulders and stay low and go right around him.  He couldn’t keep up with them, and he couldn’t use his arms to shove the player off line, like a bigger tackle could have.  I don’t see any way that he plays offensive tackle at the next level, but he is still a good blocker, just not enough to start at tackle.  Could he be a starting guard in the NFL one day?  Yes.  But he’s going to have to work on his technique, and get stronger to make that happen.

All videos courtesy of draftbreakdown.com, they do a fantastic job.

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