Former Arizona Wildcats Nick Foles and Juron Criner are in Mobile, Ala. at the 2012 Senior Bowl taking part in what could be a make or break day for a pair of players hoping to hear their names called on draft day.
The premier showcase for college football’s best players looking to impress pro scouts, this year’s Senior Bowl is one last chance for the nation’s top talents to show what they can do on the field.
Over 100 players will be on display during today’s game…happening now on NFL Network.
Last year’s game did wonders for former Wildcats’ defensive end turned outside linebacker Brooks Reed, who showed up and showed off his freakish abilities all week in practice before registering three tackles on game day including two for a loss, one of which a sack.
The momentum Reed created for himself heading into the summer carried over during the NFL Scouting Combine where he had another stellar performance, guaranteeing himself a big contract and a spot in the first few rounds of the draft.
As part of team South today, Foles and Criner will look to duplicate Reed’s success as they too try and transition from college football players to career football players.
QB Nick Foles (6’5” 244)
- 2011 stats: 4334 yards, 28 TDs, 69% comp
According to some early reports from practice, Foles is starting 2012 the same way he finished 2011…underwhelming.
Similar to the start of his senior season at Arizona, Foles entered this week’s “all eyes on him” atmosphere with “sky’s the limit” expectations only to fail to reach his potential.
Yes…we are talking practice but the last thing a guy can do who has previous been knocked for not taking the “next step” in his maturation as an NFL-caliber quarterback, is show up two months after the season ended still not playing his best ball.
As of now he is still considered a top five or ten prospect at his position but with other stud QBs Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State), Kellen Moore (Boise State) and Russell Wilson (Wisconsin) also playing in today’s game, there is little room for error.
Last year’s game helped raise the draft stock of signal callers Jack Locker (Washington), Christian Ponder (Florida State), Andy Dalton (TCU) and Colin Kaepernick (Nevada).
All four were taken in the first two rounds of the draft.
Ricky Stanzi (Iowa) and Greg McElroy (Alabama) had less than impressive days and fell down to rounds five and seven.
WR Juron Criner (6’2” 220)
- 2011 stats: 75 catches, 956 yards, 11 TDs
Foles might be receiving a majority of the attention but today’s game is just as big of an opportunity for Criner to make his mark…even if he measured in two inches shorter than he was list in the media guide.
Once considered one of the nation’s top wide outs, injuries and a case of the dropsies saw Criner’s draft stock take a bit of a hit in 2011.
Anyone who has watched him play at full strength knows this guy is the real deal.
As possibly the most accomplished receiver on the South’s roster, Criner could be in for plenty of looks today…preferably thrown by someone not named Foles.
Just to show scouts it is possible for the two to have success apart.