MOBILE, Ala. - The 2015 edition of the Senior Bowl will be played this Saturday, but the heavy lifting is already done as all 32 NFL teams were represented in Mobile this week to evaluate prospects during daily practices. The game itself, scheduled for 4 p.m. eastern on NFL Network, carries some value, but the majority of scouts and executives have already left town, having seen what they needed to see.
Below are 10 Senior Bowl prospects who opened eyes this week and helped themselves in the minds of NFL evaluators.
CB Kevin White, TCU
During practice drills, White displayed the athleticism needed for the position with natural movement skills, swivel hips and explosive footwork to redirect his momentum in any direction. Measuring 5-9 and 180 pounds with arms under the 30-inch benchmark, White doesn't necessarily look the part, but he is a top-notch competitor who doesn't back down physically, attacking the catch point with a "my ball" attitude.
DT Carl Davis, Iowa
After playing mostly a one-technique role for the Hawkeyes, Davis didn't have too many splash plays on his college game film. But when put in one-on-one opportunities in Mobile, he was near unblockable, using his initial quickness, brute power and natural leverage to shine during drills. Davis was already considered a top-75 draft pick entering the week, but after this week, he might have cemented himself as a top-50 prospect.
WR Jamison Crowder, Duke
It can be tough for a 5-8, 174-pound wide receiver to stand tall in this type of all-star setting, but that's exactly what Crowder did this week, showing the best combination of explosion and polish at the position. He has a tiny catching radius and small hands (8 3/8"), but caught everything thrown his way during drills, showing the ballskills and separation skills that will appeal to teams in search of an impact slot target.
DE/OLB Nate Orchard, Utah
Despite a record-setting senior season at Utah, Orchard wasn't considered a first round pick entering the week and was far from being a top-100 lock. But he forced evaluators to take a second look after he routinely flashed during practices, winning with edge speed, long arms and active energy. Orchard has his limitations, but he also uses his bag of tricks to be effective, reinforcing that at times the end result is more important than the process.
DT Danny Shelton, Washington
Shelton entered the week with a good amount of hype and he lived up to the expectations, showing off rare movement skills for a 343-pound body. He also has the upper body power to match, but got away with bullying blockers in college and needs to develop his hand technique for the next level. As the week winds down, Shelton is the prevailing favorite to be the first player drafted from the Senior Bowl rosters.
CB Quinten Rollins, Miami (Ohio)
When small school and MAC prospects participate at the Senior Bowl, it's easy to tell right away whether or not they belong. And Rollins belongs, competing with the best seniors in the country and holding his own. With only one year of experience at the position, he had his hiccups, but also displayed the recovery speed and twitchiness that cornerbacks need to be effective at the next level.
RB David Johnson, Northern Iowa
Looking like a linebacker during the weigh-ins, Johnson was another small school player who immediately proved that he belonged, especially as pass catcher out of the backfield. He doesn't have the traditional frame for the position and might be best suited as a hybrid H-back role, utilizing his ability as a receiver and blocker in pass pro. But regardless, he's a versatile prospect teams would love to add to the depth chart.
OT La'el Collins, LSU
Just like his game tape, it didn't always look pretty for Collins in Mobile, but more often than not, he gets the job done. Seeing reps at tackle and guard, he showed the same grit and determination during drills that he does during games, extending and selling out on each snap. Collins will fall off balance and overextend himself at times, but he also showed that he can recover and finish his blocks. He reinforced the first round grades being thrown at him.
FB Jalston Fowler, Alabama
Although he's tagged with the "fullback" label, Fowler showed that he's much more than that. With only 12 carries as a senior for the Crimson Tide, he was an afterthought on that offense, but after seeing him during Senior Bowl practices, it was clear he was also underutilized. During drills, Fowler was quick through the hole with decisive quickness and the pop to brush off contact, keeping his feet and rumbling to the second level.
G/C Shaq Mason, Georgia Tech
It was easy to see Mason's body control and quickness in Georgia Tech's triple option offense, but it was near impossible to truly evaluate him until seeing him outside of that scheme. This week in Mobile provided scouts that opportunity to judge his talent in a pro-style look and Mason didn't disappoint. He made the easy transition and even took some snaps at center, which might be his best NFL position.
Images of some of the Senior Bowl prospects with rising stock after their performance in Mobile.
Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) is the Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, a property of The Sports Xchange distributed in partnership with CBSSports.com. Dane is also a regular member of "The Draft Show," which airs every Friday on DallasCowboys.com leading up to the NFL Draft.