Senior Bowl can help ... or hurt

Updated: February 9, 2004, 2:01 PM ET
By Nolan Nawrocki | Pro Football Weekly
Most players participating in the Senior Bowl had not competed in the weeks prior to arriving in Mobile, and for those who did not compete in bowl games, the layoff was nearly two months. Because some players are asked to do things they have never done in college, the general rule in NFL scouting departments is that all-star games should never hurt a player, only help them.

For example, Montana State CB Joey Thomas played press coverage almost exclusively at Montana State, but he was asked to play man-off and zone coverage in Mobile. While it gives scouts a chance to assess how well Thomas could adapt quickly, they also are understanding of the difficult circumstances players are facing while trying to assimilate to new coaches, schemes, terminology and teammates. However, those players who rise to the occasion really can help themselves, while others can descend (just a bit) in the eyes of coaches and scouts if they struggle. What follows is a breakdown of players who consistently impressed scouts the most, who flashed ability and who was exposed: