Every year there is a group of players that watch their stock take a hit during Senior Bowl week. It’s unfortunate, but guys get put into new schemes and get surrounded with players they aren’t comfortable with and they struggle. They also get exposed in the individual drills, which is where the biggest knocks on them occur. It’s important to note that the Senior Bowl is very subjective, as is the rest of the scouting process, and there were also plenty of guys who saw their stock rise. An example of that subjectivity?
Personally, I think Tajh Boyd had a terrible week, as well as the other North QBs, but that doesn’t make him “undraftable.” Here’s my rundown of players who watched their stock fall during the Senior Bowl.
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson:
Tajh Boyd struggled throughout the week, like the rest of the North Team quarterbacks, and when it came to the game it didn’t get much better. Boyd finished the game 7 of 16 for 1 INT and it was pretty much a microcosm of his week in Mobile. His throwing was erratic, with a lot of passes sailing on him and going over the receiver. He doesn’t have a strong arm like Russell Wilson or Drew Brees to make up for his lack of height, and he doesn’t have Michael Vick-esque speed either. At the end of the day, Tajh showed up and was an erratic passer with an arm that lacks elite velocity.
Stephen Morris, QB, Miami:
At one point during his collegiate career, Morris was thought of as a potential high draft pick because he has an absolute cannon for an arm. He has the arm strength to make every throw that a quarterback would need in his arsenal, but unfortunately for Morris, his accuracy is terrible. Morris showed off some great passes and would hit the receiver in a perfect spot, and then follow it up with a string of passes that were widely off-target. Not only was his timing off with receivers, but he would throw passes over their heads and in the dirt. He finished the game going 10 of 18 with 2 INTs, which like Boyd, was right in line with his week of practices.
Additionally, here is a passing chart breakdown for Miami vs. Florida State:
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech:
After his Sophomore year and Sugar Bowl game against Michigan, many pundits including Mel Kiper, thought that Thomas would be a Top 5 pick. Two years later and I’m not sure he will be a Top 100 pick. Probably because of his potential once-upon-a-time, someone will jump the gun and take him in the third round, but it will be a mistake. Thomas looks like a big-time quarterback at 6’5″ 260 lbs and like Morris, has an NFL arm. But, Thomas makes poor decisions and like Morris and Boyd, has an erratic arm. At one point on Tuesday, I watched him throw three incomplete passes in a row, two over the receivers head and then he skipped the ball to another one. When it came time for the game, Thomas went 4 of 5 for 17 yards and took 5 sacks; not exactly what you want out of your quarterback. If Thomas gets taken by a team with an established quarterback and can sit and learn for 3-4 years, you might be able to get something out of him and to watch him develop.
Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor:
A fourth player from the North Team has made this list and this one was the most surprising. Everywhere I look I see Richardson pegged as a first round pick, but after watching him in practice and in the game, I don’t see how he could go that high. Richardson is very slow and was beat early and often by interior defensive lineman. He struggled moving laterally and Aaron Donald ate his lunch in practice. Richardson is strong and excelled at Baylor, so it could very well be he just had a bad week, but it looks like his lack of athleticism and poor footwork was exposed. He is still a very good run blocker, but when it came to pass blocking situations, he was a total liability.
Interestingly enough, everyone I have on here is from the North Team, probably explains why they lost to the South Team. On another note, there were nine healthy scratches from the Senior Bowl that I wouldn’t say hurt their stock, but people definitely noticed their decision: Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde, Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews and Stanford inside linebacker Shayne Skov.
Mosley, Gilbert, Mack, Matthews and Dennard will all be first round picks regardless but they still could have improved their draft stock had they shown up. It’s clearly not the end of the world for them, but the others should have shown up, especially AJ McCarron. McCarron had a chance to prove he was the best Senior quarterback, or at least second best behind Carr, but he passed up on that opportunity, which I’m sure raises more questions for teams.
On another note, here’s an interesting take on Draft Stock that I found on Twitter and what it means:
Food for thought.
[All videos courtesy of Draft Breakdown]
[Photo via: CBS Sports]