2010 Senior Bowl Future Studs and Sleepers
By Cecil Lammey
July 6th, 2010

Each year I travel to every major College All-Star Game during January to scout the incoming crop of rookies. This year I attended the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama and saw many players that could be starring on Sundays in the near future. Let's take a look at some potential studs and sleeper prospects to keep an eye on in dynasty leagues.

Tim Tebow - Denver Broncos

6'3" 235 lbs. - Florida - First-round pick (25th overall)

College Stats
Att
Comps
Yards
TDs
INTs
Rush
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
384
224
2800
27
13
44
-52
1

What he showed during practice

Tebow struggled during the week of practice, but did improve slightly as the week went on. Coaches were working with him on his footwork, but not his throwing motion at the time. Tebow has a strong arm, but too many of his passes flutter from lack of proper velocity. His dropback was sped up during the week of practice, and coaches put a cinder block in front of his foot when he was throwing so he wouldn't step into his passes too much. He struggled to hit targets in stride, but showed the ability to drop passes "in the bucket" on downfield throws.

Why the Broncos drafted him

The Broncos moved back into the first-round to select Tebow so he could be their QB of the future. He'll back up Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn this year, but should be considered the lead to win the starting job next year.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Love him or hate him it's hard to deny the fact that Tim Tebow could be a stud at the pro level. He was arguably the best college football player in the history of the game, and has always found a way to succeed and improve his game. One thing is certain, Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels has put his head coaching job into the hands of the young quarterback. McDaniels is not going anywhere until we find out if Tebow can star in this league or not.

Dan LeFevour - Chicago Bears

6'3" 230 lbs. - Central Michigan - Sixth-round draft pick (181st overall)

College Stats
Att
Comps
Yards
TDs
INTs
Rush
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
384
224
2800
27
13
44
-52
1

What he showed during practice

LeFevour has a ton of moxie, and is a very vocal, but a charismatic leader who knew how to get the most out of the players he worked with at the Senior Bowl. A former high school running back, LeFevour is an attacking scrambler that will take advantage of an unsuspecting defense with his feet. When running the football he is not only deceptively fast, but he has "make you miss" ability in the open field. When throwing the football he does a good job of looking off defenders, and can put passes in the right spot. LeFevour's mechanics are not textbook, and his arm strength is not the greatest (but it's strong enough).

Why the Bears drafted him

LeFevour is a developmental QB for the Bears, but he perfectly fits a Mike Martz system. Martz could make LeFevour into a great pro quarterback. If Cutler struggles under Martz then LeFevour is a potential replacement, but the Bears could also develop him and trade him in the future.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

LeFevour has the potential to be a future stud in the NFL. He fell in the draft over concerns about his arm strength and level of competition. I've watched a ton of film on LeFevour, and he's an impressive prospect with high upside. He needs to be more patient when waiting for his routes to develop, but knows how to "climb the ladder" in the pocket when he's in trouble. LeFevour is the pet project of Mike Martz, and the Bears offensive coordinator did wonders with another sixth-round QB (Marc Bulger) years ago.

Zac Robinson - New England Patriots

6'2" 210 lbs. - Oklahoma State - Seventh-round draft pick (250th overall)

College Stats
Att
Comps
Yards
TDs
INTs
Rush
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
384
224
2800
27
13
44
-52
1

What he showed during practice

After playing in a wide-open offense at Oklahoma State Robinson showed the ability to be a drop back quarterback at the Senior Bowl. Robinson threw with more zip than some had expected, and generally looked comfortable running the offense and dropping back instead of working out of the shotgun. He can move around well in the pocket, and will buy more time to throw with his footwork. He needs to develop better timing when throwing down field, but should develop into a quality backup at the next level.

Why the Patriots drafted him

The Patriots will take a chance on quarterbacks, and have a long history of giving all sorts of different players a chance to succeed at the position. Robinson is merely a developmental prospect, and if he makes the team he will be the third-string guy behind Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Robinson is a sleeper with decent upside. If the Patriots like what they see in Robinson he could one day develop into a quality backup.

Jarrett Brown - San Francisco 49ers

6'3" 220 lbs. - West Virginia - Undrafted Free Agent

College Stats
Att
Comps
Yards
TDs
INTs
Rush
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
384
224
2800
27
13
44
-52
1

What he showed during practice

Brown is very gifted athletically and has a rocket arm. He is a dangerous runner, but does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield when he breaks the pocket. Brown has a very strong arm, but is far from a polished passer. His accuracy is all over the place, and it suffers when he's on the run.

Why the 49ers picked him up

The 49ers could sneak Brown through to the practice squad if he impresses in training camp. They have Nate Davis as their developmental third-string QB, and are unlikely to carry four players at the position.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Brown is a sleeper with high upside. He is a big time project after starting only one season at West Virginia. He has the size, speed, athleticism, and arm strength to make it in the league but needs to make better decisions with the football and improve his accuracy.

Ben Tate - Houston Texans

5'11" 215 lbs. - Auburn - Second-round draft pick (58th overall)

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

Ben Tate is very fast - in a straight line. He loves to run between the tackles, and does not shy away from contact. Tate knows how to lower his shoulder pads and deliver a blow, but does not run with proper balance. He lacks the side to side agility that great runners need and is not creative or elusive in the open field.

Why the Texans drafted him

The Texans drafted him to help their depth at RB, and possibly to be their bell cow back.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Ben Tate is not a future stud, despite what some fantasy owners believe. Tate is a sleeper with average upside. He's in a zone blocking system, but runs like a young Mike Bell. His no nonsense running style could lead to more injuries, and he lacks the initial burst and cutback ability that great runners need. His greatest fantasy value could come from scoring touchdowns if Arian Foster is out of the lineup.

LeGarrette Blount - Tennessee Titans

6'1" 245 lbs. - Oregon - Undrafted Free Agent

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

Blount is big, swift, and not afraid to mix it up between the tackles. He did a good job of picking up his feet when running through trash at the line of scrimmage and looks like an instinctive runner on the football field. He gave great effort in pass protection, and was the best out of all the Senior Bowl RBs in that drill. Blount is not very fast and takes a lot of punishment. He's not a true power-back, but is difficult to bring down when he gets a head of steam.

Why the Titans picked him up

The Titans need a big back behind Chris Johnson and Javon Ringer.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Blount is a sleeper with limited upside. Some feel he could be a short yardage and goalline back for the Titans this year, but I have one question for those who think that. Why would the Titans take Chris Johnson off the field? Blount is not better than Johnson, and should only see the field if CJ2K needs a breather.

Lonyae Miller - Dallas Cowboys

5'11" 220 lbs. - Fresno State - Undrafted Free Agent

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

Miller has a good initial burst, and could take advantage of the defense when the hole was there. He did not create on his own (either through power or elusiveness). He has great speed in the open field, and kind of reminded me of a young Willie Parker (back when he was fast). Miller was horrible in pass protection drills, sometimes whiffing on a rusher completely.

Why the Cowboys picked him up

The Cowboys backfield is loaded, and now it's even more loaded. Miller could be a quality reserve player and fourth-string running back.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Miller is a sleeper with limited upside. He has been impressing everyone (including Jerry Jones) in minicamp, and will have to have a strong training camp to make the final roster. I would say he could make it in the league as a change of pace guy if his pass protection improved.

Joique Bell - Buffalo Bills

5'11" 225 lbs. - Wayne State - Undrafted Free Agent

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

Bell proved that he could play with the big boys in Mobile. He put up monster stats at Wayne State, but looked strong enough when playing against the best seniors in the country. Bell is a very instinctive runner who does all the little things well, and understands the intricacies of the position.

Why the Bills picked him up

The Bills love to take a chance on super productive small school backs (remember Xavier Omon?).

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Bell is a sleeper with low upside. The NFL is a whole different level, and I'm afraid Bell may have a hard time making the final roster. Like Omon, Bell is a natural at the position but may not have enough burst to stick around in the NFL.

Anthony Dixon - San Francisco 49ers

6'1" 245 lbs. - Mississippi State - Undrafted Free Agent

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

Dixon is a big back who can play either running back or fullback. Dixon has a good stutter step to catch defenders off guard and open up rushing lanes. Dixon can be used to run the Wildcat, but doesn't have the elite burst to make him a special back at the next level. He also has build up speed in the open field and can be caught from behind.

Why the 49ers picked him up

The 49ers don't know if Glenn Coffee is a good enough backup or not. Dixon will compete with Coffee to be the primary backup to Frank Gore.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Dixon is a sleeper with decent upside. He's not been impressing in 49ers minicamp, and 49ers RB coach Tom Rathman commented that Dixon must stop dancing in the backfield too much. Dixon is going through what a lot of young runners must go through. If he can be more disciplined and decisive then he should start turning heads in camp. The 49ers aren't going to run the counter play non-stop like Mississippi State seemingly did when Dixon was there.

Mardy Gilyard - St. Louis Rams

6'0" 180 lbs. - Cincinnati - Fourth-round draft pick (99th overall)

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

Gilyard is a very hard worker. Gilyard is not refined as a receiver, but I loved seeing his passion for the game and ability to make big plays at just the right time. He has quickness, speed, and elusiveness that are off the charts, but he struggles with concentration and will drop too many passes. Gilyard did not have a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl, but during the game he was a standout player.

Why the Rams drafted him

The Rams have one of the most unproven WR corps in the entire league. They love Gilyard's ability to make big plays.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Gilyard is a sleeper with good upside. He must polish his game in order to get the most out of his skill set, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him move into the starting slot receiver position for the Rams sometime this year.

Taylor Price - New England Patriots

6'0" 200 lbs. - Ohio - Third-round draft pick (90th overall)

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

He's very fast and looked like a potential deep threat. Price can beat the jam at the line of scrimmage because of his quickness, and it doesn't take him long to get to top speed. He's a somewhat raw prospect who needs to become a better route runner.

Why the Patriots drafted him

The Patriots need playmakers at the wide receiver position, and Price gives them that. Price could also contribute as a return man, but has little experience on special teams.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Price has the potential to be a future stud with the Patriots. His college numbers won't wow anyone because he played in a run heavy offense at Ohio, but he's got the raw ability to be very dangerous at this level. He's behind guys like Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate currently, but has just as much (if not more) upside than those two guys.

Dexter McCluster - Kansas City Chiefs

5'8" 165 lbs. - Ole Miss - Second-round draft pick (36th overall)

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

McCluster worked with the receivers in practice and not the running backs. He is very raw at the position but was soaking up knowledge like a sponge. McCluster proved to be a fast learner and he showed improvement over the first three days of practice. At the weigh in McCluster looked well built even though he's not the biggest guy. He's surprisingly strong for a player his size and has the ability to run through arm tackles.

Why the Chiefs drafted him

He could end up playing a Wes Welker-type role for the Chiefs this year. The Chiefs need players who are dangerous with the football in their hands, and McCluster is exactly that.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

McCluster is a future stud if he fully develops on his potential. He can help the Chiefs as a slot receiver, running back, kick/punt returner, and Wildcat QB. He's a big play waiting to happen and it will be edge-of-your-seat football every time McCluster has the ball.

Jacoby Ford - Oakland Raiders

5'9" 180 lbs. - Clemson - Fourth-round draft pick (108th overall)

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

Speed is the name of his game, but he's more than a track guy that plays football. He can run deep patterns because of his speed, but Ford is known to slip a few tackles on underneath routes as well. He's not quick off the line of scrimmage, and needs to become a better route runner.

Why the Raiders drafted him

The Raiders need quality deep targets, and Ford could be just that. Ford also has added value as an experienced return man.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Ford is a sleeper with limited upside, but could develop into a deep threat because of his speed.

Joe Webb - Minnesota Vikings

6'3" 225 lbs. - UAB - Sixth-round draft pick (199th overall)

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

The converted quarterback lined up with the wide receivers, as many expected him to make the switch once he reached the pro level. He was very raw at that position, but has all the tools to succeed. He's big, knows how to use his frame to shield defenders away from the ball, and knows how to find the soft spot in a zone and come back to the football. Oh yeah, Webb is also crazy athletic for such a big man.

Why the Vikings drafted him

Many thought the Vikings added him to the wide receiver corps as a developmental guy with great upside. However, during minicamps Webb has been playing - and impressing - as a quarterback.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Webb is a sleeper with decent upside. He's got a lot of work to do as a receiver and a quarterback. Webb has a strong arm, and is dangerous in the open field. However, he needs to throw more catchable passes and work on his timing and rhythm as a quarterback.

Andre Roberts - Arizona Cardinals

5'11" 190 lbs. - Citadel - Third-round draft pick (88th overall)

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

Because of his lack of elite measurables, plenty of people in the scouting community weren't that high on Roberts, especially after his disappointing senior season. He started proving doubters wrong at the Senior Bowl, where he wowed everyone in attendance with his knack for making the difficult catch.

Why the Cardinals drafted him

Anquan Boldin was traded to the Ravens, so that means Steve Breaston is now the #2 and Early Doucet is the #3 receiver for the Cardinals. Arizona knew they needed quality depth at the position, and a guy who could play slot receiver if Doucet is hurt (again).

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Roberts is a sleeper with high upside if he gets more consistency to his game.

Ed Dickson - Baltimore Ravens

6'4" 245 lbs. - Oregon - Third-round draft pick (70th overall)

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

Dickson is a silky smooth athlete who has the speed to get on top of a defense in a hurry. He's not the greatest blocker, but gave great effort in pass protection drills. I liked his hands and concentration when going over the middle, and he has the athleticism to be dangerous with his run after the catch ability.

Why the Ravens drafted him

Baltimore selected Dickson and Dennis Pitta to be their two tight end set of the future.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Because of his big play ability Dickson has the potential to be a future stud. Joe Flacco is not afraid to air it out deep, and there could be enough targets to go around for both Pitta and Dickson.

Jimmy Graham - New Orleans Saints

6'6" 260 lbs. - Miami - Third-round draft pick (95th overall)

College Stats
Rush
Yards
TDs
Rec
Yards
TDs
2009 Season
240
1694
18
17
212
1

What he showed during practice

Graham is extremely athletic, and he proved that once again in Mobile. He's great in space, and knows how to box out defenders in the red zone. He needs to improve his strength and blocking ability, but showed me a few little things that most inexperienced players don't know.

Why the Saints drafted him

He's the replacement for Jeremy Shockey. Both of them are former Hurricane tight ends, but Shockey had more experience coming out of college.

Future Stud or Sleeper?

Jimmy Graham is a future stud if he can continue to develop his game. He's already ahead of the curve because of his crazy athleticism, and knows more intricacies of the game than most players with 17 career receptions do. Drew Brees + Saints pass happy offense + crazy athleticism = great things for the future of Jimmy Graham.

Please feel free to email me at lammey@footballguys.com with any questions or comments.