Senior Bowl – Scouting Reports – South Squad
Once again, we delve deeper into several athletes who stood out as well as some who had issues during practice week of the 2015 Senior Bowl. Hopefully Ray Farmer can dissect these performances and determine who can fit on this roster and when best to acquire these athletes. Let’s continue with the process of analyzing former collegiate athletes for the South roster.
South Roster Stock Up:
Clive Walford – TE – University of Miami – Is he the successor to Jordan Cameron? The smooth route runner flashed some exceptional moves during his escape of coverage during one-on-one drills. Size and quickness are two tremendous traits that a tight end must possess. I look forward to seeing how the Browns would want to utilize him (i.e. blocking).
Kevin White – CB – Texas Christian University – He might not be the tallest guy on the field (usually the case for cornerbacks) – but the former collegiate had closing speed and physicality that NFL coaches salivate over. The defensive backfield could be a crowded area of the team – but who knows what the Browns’ front office is thinking.
Shaq Mason – OG – Georgia Tech – It was refreshing to see the interior lineman fight off defenders all the way through the whistle. He is a bit shorter (just over six-feet, one inch) than some of his counterparts – but could be a valuable selection if he slides in the draft. Perhaps the Browns are that team, one in need of a reliable guard.
Tyler Lockett – WR – Kansas State University – Another smaller receiving threat, the nephew of former returner Aaron Lockett impressed many onlookers. In addition to potentially returning kicks at the next level, he escaped bump coverage during red zone drills. Could he be the replacement for Travis Benjamin? That’s a possibility, provided the Browns want to go in that direction.
South Roster Stock Down:
Nick Marshall – CB – Auburn University – This might be low-hanging fruit, as the collegiate quarterback is making the tough transition to the defensive side of the ball. He had his issues with footwork and staying with wide outs down the field. Frankly, the Browns are close to set in their secondary – I hope they do not invest too much (or at all) in the project.
Blake Sims – QB – University of Alabama – He is not expected to go extremely high during the 2015 draft, however Sims did not help his chances of improving upon this during the week (via mishandling snaps and missing targets). The signal caller never displayed anything, which could cause him to stand out from his fellow quarterbacks; the Browns need to look for other signal callers this offseason.
Owamagbe Odighizuwa – DE – UCLA – I’ll concede his athleticism and speed, but at the Senior Bowl that was used to his disadvantage. Offensive linemen were able to drive him up the field on occasions; many suspect that professionals will do the same. Odighizuwa also displayed inconsistency in his performance – this could be a red flag for a general manager seeking an every-down pass rusher. The Browns are in the market for an edge rusher, but they should look elsewhere.
Austin Shepherd – OT – University of Alabama – The tackle lost a few times during one-on-one drills, and it was evident to see he still has room to grow. Perhaps Shepherd could be developed into a reliable professional down the road, but at this point he does not appear to be a starter. The Browns could still use a flyer on the guy, but it would have to be at the end of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Conclusion: Once again, if a guy looks great in Mobile – that does not guarantee any type of future success. The opposite is also true, but this week was the first time that NFL teams could watch the incoming rookie class in the NFL going against top competition. Taking notes, formulating an impression, and looking for trends in future events (NFL Combine and Pro Days) are three things that all scouts should do – let’s hope those working in Berea are head and shoulders above other franchises.