Putting The Senior Bowl In Proper Perspective

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 24, 2013 – 4:54 am

A busy few days of covering the Senior Bowl concludes on Thursday and I’ll make the trek from Alabama back home to Minnesota. Heading into Senior Bowl week we put together a list of 10 players to watch during the week. It’s only appropriate, then, that when the festivities subside in Mobile after Saturday night’s game we craft a list of 10 players who indeed impressed during the week. Look for that on Sunday.

But I also wanted to take a moment to put the Senior Bowl and the days of practices leading up to the game on Saturday night into perspective. It’s important to remember – for coaches and scouts, observers such as myself and fans – that this week is one part of the process. It’s tempting to write final judgments and draw conclusions on some of these players after having a laser focus on them for a few straight days. But the more prudent course of action in evaluating these players is to weight what’s happened over the past few days appropriately compared to the body of work these players have put together over their college careers.

Did Sylvester Williams dominate at times this week? Absolutely. But does that mean he’ll dominate in a similar way each week in the NFL? Not necessarily. Coaches and scouts must add what’s happened down here in Mobile to their catalogue of information on this year’s draft prospects, and that catalogue is large at this stage in the game.

The Senior Bowl almost serves as a kickoff to the pre-draft season for many of us who’ve concentrated on the NFL over the past 6+ months. But to the dedicated scouts who’ve been analyzing and studying these players for years, the Senior Bowl is just one piece to the puzzle, and it’s closer to the end of the process than the beginning.

My point is not to diminish what happens at the Senior Bowl – not at all. This is an important part of the process of evaluating players, especially given the record number of underclassmen set to come out in this year’s draft. But it’s also important to keep things in perspective and not hyper-analyze what we’ve seen over the last 4+ days and let it out weight what these players have done and the hard-working scouts have seen over the last several years.

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