Senior Bowl: Players to watch (South team)

Von Miller, rising star LB Von Miller looks to continue his impressive rise up draft boards.

South Team: Defense

  • DT – 98 Phil Taylor (Baylor): Taylor has been impressive all week as the consensus best pure Nose Tackle among the bunch, and could play the “zero technique” next to Fred Robbins, lining up over Center, or between Center and Guard if the Rams chose to use a high pick on him. More likely, he will be picked up by a team like the Redskins, who need to build up their

  • DT – 57 Allen Bailey (Miami): Bailey is considered more of a raw prospect, and started the week of practices slowly. However, he picked up momentum on Wednesday and Thursday, and could be playing his way back into the spotlight. Fellow DT Jarvis Jenkins (Clemson), a teammate of Rams DT Darell Scott, is another player to watch.

  • OLB – 40 Von Miller (Texas A&M): Miller has separated himself from a strong group of linebackers with transcendent play, and is considered a strong first rounder and potentially a target of a team like the Patriots. If he’s there at #14 and both top WRs are off the board, though, Miller would have to be considered as a “best available” talent for the Rams.

  • DE/OLB – 81 Sam Acho (Texas): Acho has been wowing in interviews just as much as on the field, and has shown admirable ability to play upfield and in coverage. Projected as a 4-3 DE or as a linebacker in a 3-4, it’s questionable whether he could fill a full time weakside linebacker need out of the gate, but is considered a high-character and coachable player.

  • FS/CB – 35 Ahmad Black (Florida): Already profiled as a player for Rams fans to watch, Black’s instinctive play should shine in today’s exhibition.

  • CB – 24 Shareece Wright (USC): Wright has been the best cornerback on the South team roster, and will have his hands full battling with the likes of Boise State’s Titus Young. Win enough battles, and Wright’s stock could rise nicely.

Leonard Hankerson, breakout star? Miami’s Leonard Hankerson could be today’s breakout offensive player

South Team: Offense

  • WR – 86 Leonard Hankerson (Miami): May be the best receiver here, and has already drawn tons of attention from multiple teams, notably the Seahawks who would love to line him up as a complement to Big Mike Williams. VanRam at TurfShowTimes wrote a nice profile on Hankerson earlier this week.

  • WR – 6 Courtney Smith (South Alabama): Smith has flashed incredible potential, but has also frustrated with multiple drops and lapses in concentration. A project player, but with work, one who “could be the next Marques Colston.

  • TE – 88 Luke Stocker (Tennessee): Stocker has been strong all week, and while Notre Dame’s Kyle Rudolph may be the most enticing TE prospect in the draft, Stocker’s all-around game should have him ready to play from day one. While it’s questionable what role TEs will play in McDaniels’ vertical offense, having a young every-down player would certainly help. (Arkansas’ DJ Williams is another TE on the South roster playing well this week.)

  • RB – 20 Derrick Locke (Kentucky): Along with 160lb Noel Devine, the South roster features undersized but explosive backs who should be enticing as change-of-pace backs for many NFL teams, though I prefer a player with more physicality and versatility for the Rams, personally.

  • G – 59 Danny Watkins (Baylor): I may be developing a full-on predraft crush on Watkins, who has impressed as much as anyone at guard this week. A raw talent who we profiled earlier this week, Watkins is considered extremely coachable and ready to play. With his rising stock and the Rams’ need, Watkins may go as early as the second round.