Jan. 21, 2014
MOBILE, Ala. – For the players here for Saturday’s Senior Bowl, it’s really the days leading up to the game that matter most. Taught by NFL coaches and watched by dozens of NFL scouts and coaches, every practice is an opportunity to impress the people who will decide where or if they will be drafted.
One scout, who I have known for quite some time, agreed to talk about Auburn’s prospects - those who are here and those who aren't - on the condition his name not be used. Here’s what he had to say:
On the four Auburn players in the Senior Bowl:
* “Dee Ford has been the best player on the field the past two days, for sure the best defensive player. He’s knocking on the door of the first round, I think.”
* “I don’t know how high Chris Davis will be drafted, but I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t have a good career in the NFL.”
* “Same with Jay Prosch. He has turned a lot of heads. You just don’t see guys like him that often. He just needs to get on the right team, one that utilizes what he does.”
* “It’s hard for kickers to get drafted, but Cody Parkey will certainly have an opportunity to make a team next season.”
On other Auburn seniors:
* “(Punter) Steven Clark has really gotten a lot of attention. Too bad he’s not here. Probably should be.”
* “Several of their guys – (Ryan) White, (Ryan) Smith, (Nosa) Eguae, (Jake) Holland - can play their way into at least getting looks. You never know when a guy will get the attention of one team. It only takes one. There are guys in the NFL now that only one team liked.”
On juniors Greg Robinson and Tre Mason:
* “Robinson is a mortal lock to go in the top 10, maybe even higher. You don’t see that kind of strength, athleticism and drive. I hear he is a really high character kid, too. He has everything you are looking for except experience. He probably could have used another year at Auburn, but that wasn’t going to happen. It won’t hurt him in the draft.”
* “Mason isn’t the biggest and isn’t the fastest, but he’s big enough and fast enough and nobody runs harder. You don’t gain almost 2000 yards in the SEC by accident. A lot of people say third round. I won’t be surprised if he goes in the second.”
Like ranking high school recruits, ranking potential NFL players is an inexact science even for those who make their livings doing it. Even after this week, much will remain to be decided. The NFL Combine, for those invited, is always a big thing. Auburn’s NFL prospects – seniors and the two juniors who left early – will perform for the scouts again on their own pro day on campus.
They have started down the road to living the dream of almost every college football player.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: