The 2013 Senior Bowl is a mini-holiday in the down period following the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. NFL teams send their representatives and roll out the red carpet to those players they anticipate making a successful jump into the NFL. For some on the Senior Bowl rosters playing well will mean a jump up on teams’ big boards. Others look to continue showing off after their college careers are over.
The Jacksonville Jaguars need fresh bodies at a number of positions and the Senior Bowl offers an opportunity to look at players who could immediately contribute. Many fans think that the Jaguars could use a fresh rotation at defensive tackle. With Tyson Alualu, Terrance Knighton, and C.J. Mosley not cutting it for many fans, here are some potential players to keep an eye on at the Senior Bowl.
Cory Grissom, DT, South Florida
- A mid round draft prospect, Grissom is a big guy who can clog up the middle for the defense. His 2.5 sacks, seven tackles for a loss, and 38 tackles are second on USF for the 2012 season and don’t represent the handful that he is for interior offensive linemen to block. Grissom is one of the better regarded Big East defensive tackles and has an explosive first step and ability to push through defenders consistently. He isn’t the biggest guy in the mix (6’2″ 316 lbs) but he comes into games with a plan and punishes the interior offensive linemen until they are worn down and open for plays by the defense. To top this off, his nickname is “Porkchop.” If the Jags keep Knighton around, they could keep Porkchop and Potroast in the middle of the defensive line.
Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State
- Hill can take over a game. During his last game of the season against Wisconsin, Hill had 12 tackles, three tackles for a loss, and two sacks…from the defensive tackle position. Listed at 6’1″ 291 pounds on the Senior Bowl roster, Hill may not be the biggest guy in the room, but he gets the job done. Hill has the ability to play on the outside as well as the inside and can be effective at both positions. He has a big motor and won’t be stopped by average interior linemen. A mid round prospect, the Jaguars could easily pick him up if they wanted to give an undersized guy a shot.
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
- Purdue struggled to stop the run early in the season but pulled it together in the end. A large part of that was Short in the middle of the defensive line. The 6’3″ 315 pound man was able to gain penetration consistently to stop plays before they could get going. Short finished the 2012 season with 43 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, and seven sacks. When Short missed a month with an ankle injury, the Purdue defense took a decisive step in the wrong direction. Upon his return they got back to form. That’s not coincidence. Short could be a game changer at DT. He is projected as a second round pick.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims