Ten Players to Watch at Senior Bowl Practices


MOBILE, Ala. — Senior Bowl practices kick off here on Tuesday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson and coach Mike Mularkey will be among a large contingent of team officials at practices for the North and South teams.

Robinson is keeping his cards close to his Titans pullover. He'll be eyeing players all over the field during the course of the week, but will keep most of his opinions quiet.

Here's a look at 10 players I'll be watching:


Alabama tight end O.J. Howard**

Howard is a physical specimen at 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, and he's one of the top players here this week. He can run, and he catches the ball well. He's arguably the top tight end in this year's draft class, and he's ranked as a top 20 prospect by many draft analysts. Howard registered 595 yards on 45 catches and three touchdowns last season at Alabama, a year after he posted over 200 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns in the title game vs. Clemson. The Titans are sure to be eyeing tight ends in this year's draft. I'm betting Howard will catch a lot of passes, and some eyes.

Eastern Washington receiver Cooper Kupp

Top receiver prospects like Clemson's Mike Williams, Washington's John Ross and Western Michigan's Corey Davis won't be running routes on the field here this week, but that's a good thing for guys like Kupp, Western Kentucky's Taywan Taylor and Michigan's Amara Darboh. They'll have a chance to stand out. A 6-2, 205-pounder, Kupp has great size and all-around ability. He holds the Division 1 records for receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. After playing against some lesser-known prospects during his college career, Kupp will show he's legit this week. I'm looking forward to watching him.

Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs

Dobbs is one of several quarterbacks who will take part in practices week. Iowa's C.J. Beathard and Pittsburgh's Nate Peterman are two more QBs with local/Tennessee ties who will be here. Beathard played in high school at Battle Ground Academy, and Peterman began his career at UT. Dobbs is intriguing, and has plenty to prove to scouts. There's no question he's a talented player with potential. Some have compared him to former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, who took part in last year's Senior Bowl practices. He turned out pretty good in his rookie year with the Cowboys.


Iowa cornerback Desmond King**

King is just a tad under 6-foot, but he's regarded as an all-around defensive back, and one to watch leading up to this year's draft. The biggest question about King centers on his speed, and his 40 time won't be tested until the NFL Combine or at his pro day. But King's playmaking skills and ability to defend will be on display in front of NFL scouts.

Western Kentucky OL Forrest Lamp

Lamp has consistently been listed as a top 25 prospect in many of the draft rankings I've seen. While he played tackle in college, he's projected by many as an NFL guard. It's a position the Titans could be looking to solidify, but I'm not sure how early. I'm also not going to sit here and type that I'll be watching the offensive linemen's technique closely all week. The skill players usually catch my eye at these practices. But you can be sure NFL scouts will be checking out Lamp. Will he light it up? (Sorry, couldn't resist).

Tennessee cornerback Cam Sutton

Following his junior season, Sutton was ranked as a top 20 prospect by a number of draft analysts. Mel Kiper listed him at No.19 at one point a year ago. Sutton returned for his senior season, and while he's still regarded as one of the draft's top corners, he's going to need to prove himself further in the process. Sutton is a good-looking prospect. He missed a good chunk of last season with an ankle injury, but he'll be ready to go after finishing the year.


Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson**

Alabama is loaded with draft prospects. I mentioned Howard earlier, but some of the other top prospects won't be in Mobile -- they're underclassmen.  Anderson got overshadowed by some of those players during his career, but he's a talented player and pass rusher who most likely projects as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme in the NFL. Kiper has him as second-round pick, but I've seen him ranked as a third-round prospect by others, so he has a chance to improve his stock.

Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware

Boulware was a productive player for the national champions, and an emotional leader. He made headlines with comments leading up to the title game, and he continued to entertain when he posted a picture of a the national title trophy on his Achilles (Remember, Desmond Howard said Clemson's LBs would be the Achilles heel of the Tigers' defense). Boulware isn't regarded as a top draft prospect – some have him projected as an undrafted free agent. He walked by me on Monday, and the guy just isn't real big (6-0, 235). Still, he should keep things interesting this week.


LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White**

White was a four-year starter at LSU. While some of the underclassmen currently rank ahead of him in the eyes of draft analysts, he's one of the top seniors and he'll have a chance to impress before scouts this week. Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has White listed as the draft's 19th best player, and NFLDraftScout.com's Dane Brugler ranks him 46th. White is big (6-1, 197) and physical enough to match up with big receivers/tight ends, and he'll get a chance to prove it.

Clemson defensive tackle Carlos Watkins

Watkins set Clemson's single-season record for sacks by a defensive tackle with 10.5 sacks. He's expected to continue the school's trend of sending defensive linemen to the NFL. Watkins is currently listed as the third-best defensive tackle in the draft, and a second rounder by NFLDraftScout.com. With a good showing this week, he'll have a chance to solidify his stock as an early-round pick.

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