Monday, January 31, 2011

Senior Bowl Wrap-Up.

Meatloaf once said that two out of three ain't bad, but I'm not sure how he feels about one out of three. Sadly, that's all we were able to manage in the Senior Bowl Saturday, and that one is questionable. But let's start with Dalton and work our way down.

First off, I completely misread the order of participation in practices as far as the QB pecking order was concerned because while Dalton always looked to be the first one to take reps during the week, he was tabbed the third string QB in the game. And a third string performance is what occurred. Statistically, he was 3-7 for 22 yards passing and had 4 carries for 3 yards. He didn't get in the game until late in the second quarter, and in the second half he only took snaps on the opening drive out of the break. Of his three passes, one was a dump off to a running back, another to a tight end, and the last to Miami's Leonard Hankerson who has a definite breakout performance in Mobile during the week.

Dalton's first drive had promise, but was derailed by a sack and a holding penalty. He also under threw a pass to Hankerson on third and long that was nearly picked off but could have potentially been completed with a little more touch. His second drive was a little unexpected as it came directly before the half after the North's Colin Kapernick threw a pick on his first play, but it had game changing potential. Dalton had Hankerson streaking down the sideline all alone as the DB that was covering him jumped the route, but Andy put too much loft under the ball giving the safety enough time to come over the top and break up the pass. After being sacked on a CLEARLY blown offsides call on his first drive in the third quarter, Dalton's day was done.

If you missed the game, you're better off for it because this if you're picking between this and the Rose Bowl, it's a no brainer which one you want as your last college memory of the Rooster. However, I think Dalton made progress during the week and turned some heads of NFL execs and should be on everyone's radar come combine time. That said, any hopes he had of going in the second round were hurt after watching his play Saturday in comparison to Christian Ponder, another mid rounder.

Jeremy Kerley, on the other hand, probably helped his case with the big wigs, despite having only 2 catches for 29 yards. It's the second of those catches that made the difference though and demonstrated what we've all come to know and love about 85, or in this case 84. With just under five minutes left in the game and the south leading by a TD, Ponder had the offense facing a 3rd and 5 at the North's 23. Rather than running it up the middle and settling for a Josh Jasper likely game clinching field goal, the coaching staff decided to unleash Kerley from the slot where he split the secondary and was hit perfectly by Ponder about 3 yards from the end zone and in the air. Rather than simply make the catch and go to the ground though, Kerley spun out of a tackle, lurched towards the end zone and dragged two DBs over the goal line with him. TD. Ball game. 85 even earned a little sideline reporter interview for his efforts. I'm not sure where Kerley fits as far as the draft is concerned, but watching him make that play definitely moved him up some draft boards. At best, he's probably a third rounder.

As for Jake Kirkpatrick, he started the game and then disappeared. After Dalton's day was complete, I was flipping back and forth between the Senior Bowl and the TCU BBall game so I didn't catch every series, but I feel like I saw at least 3/4 of the South's offensive drives for the day, but no Kirkpatrick. Regardless, Saturday wasn't all bad for Jake as he and the wife welcomed their first child into the world. And who says twitter is good for nothin'?!?!?

That's all I have on the topic, but if anyone else caught the game and noticed some other things, please fill us in in the comments.


Carson said...

I watched some of the game and thought Kirkpatrick played well. He cleared a hole several times for some big running plays, and held his block on every pass play that I saw.

Lyle Lanley said...

Maybe he disappeared because he was flying back to be with his wife?

THEFINCH said...

i can see why the scouts were saying kirkpatrick was coming out of his stance too high all week, but he got the job done every time whether it be run or pass block in the game. the technique freaks need to back off and focus more on results

BuckNasty said...

I watched most of the game. Jake started the game and I did witness him take some more snaps after the 1st string came out. He seemed to do pretty well considering they scored on their 2 first drives and he was the center. Also, most scouts said that the stock for the south's running back from Louisville moved up, which in large part has to be due to good blocking, right? Also, Dalton would have been much better had he had his starting O-line from TCU. I mean shit. They did not give him any favors in this game. He got sacked once, had a good throw to Hankerson on the far hash negated by a terrible hold and then had a pretty nice zone read up the middle for about 15 yards on his first series. Speaking of the hold, the right tackle from Arkansas clearly won't be playing that in the NFL. Most of what I've read about the game said that guy will most likely play guard in the NFL and that he is too slow to play tackle. He had to grab the ends face mask just to slow him down, and Dalton still got rid of the ball in time to complete the pass. And fuck Jeremy Beal for that hit also. I mean clearly he had to have known that he was offsides and he still hit Dalton as if it was a real game. I would have been furious if I was Dalton and the coaches for pulling that shit in basically an All Star game. I understand most kids are trying to show their best efforts, but to put a hit on a QB like that was uncalled for under the circumstances. No offsides, then go for the hit. Probably one of the top 5 hardest hits I've ever seen Dalton take. So, even though his numbers were pretty terrible, I don't think he hurt his stock too much on gameday, he just didn't help it either. Kerley's catch and dive was amazing and the announcers kept saying it was the play of the game. Best QB/WR hookup of the day and looked the most fluid. Definitely moved up on some boards after that play. All in all, I would say the TCU guys made good impressions this week and all improved their draft status.

Cro-magnon Frog said...

Dalton didn't look great, but to be fair, he didn't get much help from his team. I remember most of the snaps he did play involved drive killing penalties and he was sacked more than once.

When you get sacked a couple of times with some hurries during your 5-10 min. of playing time that is pretty messed up. youre not going to be able to establish a rhythm.

That said, It was disheartening to see Andy short a deep ball when that has been one of the key criticisms all week.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

Yeah, I agree the Kirkpatrick absence may have been him getting his reps and then flying back to be the wife and new babe.

Also, one of the articles from yesterday's dump quoted Dalton as saying his back tightened up after the Beal sack and he held himself out. Probably a wise idea.