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.