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The Rookie Report – 2008 Senior Bowl Edition

Welcome everyone to the fourth
post-season installment to the Rookie Report.In case you missed the report earlier this season, the report will cover
topics, trends and a game by game analysis of notable performances by the NFL’s
2007 Rookie Class to assist in your pursuit of dynasty championship gold. With no NFL action this past weekend, we will
take a glance at the prospective 2008 NFL rookie class participating in the
Senior Bowl.

So sit back, but don’t get
too comfortable because here we go with our fourth post-season week’s installment
of this report.…

QB Colt Brennan – University of Hawaii

Do you hear that sound
crying out in the background? That is
Colt Brennan’s draft stock falling off a cliff.
After struggling with accuracy on throws, his weak arm, his unorthodox
sidearm release, and his small frame during the practice week leading up to
Saturday, Brennan ended the week at the Senior Bowl by showcasing all of those
short-comings along with poor decision making and locking onto receivers in the
game. He finished Saturday’s game
completing 33.3% of his passes for a putrid 29 yards and an interception. Before the Senior Bowl week, there were some
that thought Brennan may be a second or third round pick, after this week he
might be lucky to even be drafted on the second day.

DT Sedrick Ellis – University Southern California

Sedrick Ellis turned in a
very impressive week at the Senior Bowl, both in practices and the game on
Saturday. Ellis showcased his power,
speed, and the ability to both rush the passer and stuff the middle on
runs. In the game on Saturday, Ellis
registered a safety and was constantly putting pressure on the quarterback as
most of the week he appeared unblockable.
He will likely be the second defensive tackle taken behind Dorsey, but
Ellis will make one heck of a consolation prize as he is a beast.

LB Dan Connor – Penn. State

Dan Connor had a solid
week in practices this week in Mobile. He is a big physical linebacker that can
cover the pass as well. Connor looked
inconsistent in the first half on run defense in Saturday’s game; however, he
improved in the second half. Connor
finished the Senior Bowl with 5 solo tackles, 4 assists, and an interception.

LB Keith Rivers – University of Southern
California

In Senior Bowl practices
this week, Keith Rivers displayed his athleticism, speed, and strength. Rivers continued his strong showing this past
week in Saturday’s game. He has
excellent field presence and good closing speed when pursuing the outside. He only finished the game with 2 tackles, but
also registered a forced fumble.

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie – Tennessee State
University

Cromartie is a tall
athletic corner that has excellent ball skills.
Headed into the Senior Bowl week, there were concerns involving whether
he could be physical enough to make the transition from the Ohio Valley
Conference to the NFL level competition.
Cromartie put a lot of those concerns to rest with a strong Senior Bowl
practice week and an excellent performance on Saturday. Cromartie helped his draft stock immensely
with his 4 solo tackles, 1 pass defended and 1 interception in the Senior
Bowl. He is someone to keep an eye on in
the next couple of months in individual workouts and the Combine as his draft
stock could improve dramatically with additional strong performances like the
ones this week.

WR Limas Sweed – University of Texas

Prior to the Senior Bowl
week, Limas Sweed was projected to be a late first round pick; however, his
performances in Senior Bowl practices did nothing to help his draft stock. He struggled with a wrist injury that has not
fully healed early in the week and eventually pulled out. In limited workouts this week, Sweed looked awful with his route running and was
unable to hold onto passes and struggled with a multitude of drops. Sweed has plenty of time to improve his draft
stock provided he can get his wrist 100% and start holding onto balls in
individual workouts and the Combine.

CB Leodis McKelvin – Troy

Leodis McKelvin looked
phenomenal in practices throughout the week; however, was not able to play in
the game on Saturday due to a hamstring injury.
McKelvin is a strong, physical, athletic cornerback who has the speed to
cover just about anyone and the burst to close in on passes and make
plays.His performance this week did
nothing but improve his draft stock, and it is likely he will be chosen some
time in the second half of the first half.

QB Chad Henne – University of Michigan

Chad Henne was the most
impressive quarterback during the 2008 Senior Bowl week. Henne displayed his arm strength, pocket
presence and accuracy in this week’s practices.
On Saturday, Henne turned in a strong performance under bad weather
conditions by completing 5 of 9 passes for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns.

QB Joe Flacco – University of Delaware

Joe Flacco had a good week
despite inconsistent play in practices and Saturday’s game. His biggest positive is his arm strength as
he has a canon for an arm; however, he struggled with locking in on receivers
and some accuracy problems. Flacco is
likely to be a prospect that teams will develop for a couple years to groom
into a starters job and depending on the remaining workouts leading up to the
NFL draft, Flacco is likely to be drafted somewhere between the 2nd
and 4th rounds.

QB Andre Woodson- University
of Kentucky

After observing Andre
Woodson closely in both practices and the game action during the Senior Bowl
week, he definitely will need to work on his mechanics before experiencing
success at the NFL level. Woodson has
excellent size, mobility, a strong arm, and good touch; however, during Senior
Bowl week his mechanics looked very inconsistent as he struggled at times with
accuracy and throwing behind his receivers.
Woodson is still likely to be drafted very high based on his potential;
but from his performance this week he is looking a lot more like a long-term
project than someone who can make an instant impact at quarterback.

WR Donnie Avery – University of Houston

WR Donnie Avery had a good
Senior Bowl week showing the scouts his speed and ability to flat out-run
defenders. He also has great hands and
adjusts well to the ball. Avery still needs
work on his route running and refine his skills as a receiver, but after
watching him a week in practices and the game Saturday, Avery is likely to make
some team very happy in the middle rounds as he can contribute right away on
special teams and develop into a solid NFL receiver.

WR Andre Caldwell – University of Florida

Andre Caldwell had a good
week in Mobile. In practices, he displayed great hands and
got good separation from defenders off the line of scrimmage.Caldwell
only caught 1 pass for 18 yards in the Senior Bowl game on Saturday; however,
he did score the winning touchdown on a reverse as time expired.

WR Lavelle Hawkins – California

Hawkins had a solid week
in practice, but he really turned it on during Saturday’s game. He made a great 36 yard touchdown reception
coming back to the ball after Henne underthrew him in the end zone. Hawkins caught two more passes to finish the
day with 63 yards and the leading receiver in the game.

There were plenty of other
players this week who took part in the Senior Bowl; however, these are the
players that stood out to me for one reason or another. Stay tuned for more coverage of the 2008 NFL
Draft as we get closer to the Combine.

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