Senior Bowl Diary: The Weigh-In

MOBILE, Ala. – When the prospect hears his name called, he makes the slow walk from behind the curtain to the middle of the stage.

There stands a black backdrop with a Senior Bowl official waiting. The prospect is dressed in nothing but black Under Armour spandex shorts. He faces a room of hundreds in attendance – scouts, GMs, coaches, personnel people, media, etc. The official makes sure the prospect stands up straight, but doesn’t tilt his head up.

“6-0-0-5,” he announces.


Measurements are taken to the eighth-of-an-inch. This particular prospect is 6-0 5/8.

Once the height is announced, the prospect heads over a few feet to a second official at the scale. He stands with his back to the crowd now, waits for the three beeps and then steps off.

"Two twenty-nine," announces the official. "That's two-two-nine."

Those in attendance scribble down the numbers as the prospect walks off the stage, and the next name is announced shortly thereafter.

Welcome to the Senior Bowl weigh-in.

The kickoff event to this week took place at the Mobile Convention Center Monday morning and lasted about 90 minutes as 110 prospects got up on stage. Here are some notes, along with what you can expect this week:

* I sat with Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com and Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz, two Senior Bowl veterans. We had trouble finding three seats together, but saw there were some openings up front and sat down. Shortly thereafter, we noticed everyone had yellow credentials while ours were orange. In other words, I'm pretty sure we were accidentally sitting in an area meant for NFL personnel people, not lowly bloggers. Luckily, no one noticed and we didn't get kicked out.

* In the next few days, we'll hopefully catch up with Howie Roseman, prospects and others down here. There are some specific guys I'm keeping an eye on. Outside linebacker/defensive end Trent Murphy passes a couple of Chip Kelly tests. Number one, he's a big person, measuring it at 6-5 3/8 and 252 pounds. Murphy also has massive hands (10 7/8 inches). And he played his college ball in the Pac-12 at Stanford. Murphy had 15 sacks in 2013 and 23.5 tackles for loss. He is expected to be a first- or second-round pick. This week, he is listed as a defensive end, but Murphy played outside linebacker in college.

* One of the biggest guys here is Minnesota defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman. He measured in at 6-6, 318 pounds. The Eagles will look to add depth and competition on the defensive line, and Hageman is considered one of the most explosive athletes at that spot. Overheard from a scout after Hageman weighed in: "He's huge, he's strong. We need one of them."

* There is only one Oregon player participating this week: wide receiver Josh Huff. He's not especially tall (5-11), but is solid at 201 pounds.

* I don't know why they make the kickers and punters participate in the weigh-ins. Those poor guys have to go up there in their skivvies in between jacked safeties and 300-pound linemen.

* Speaking of 300-pound linemen, overheard after Miami offensive tackle Seantrel  Henderson (6-6 7/8, 331) weighed in: "He don't buy his shirts off the rack."

* Chris Davis of Auburn is on the South roster. As soon as his name was announced, I of course thought of his return against Alabama. It's amazing how about 13 seconds can change someone's life like that. Hopefully Davis goes on to make great contributions to society, but it's likely that the general public will always remember him for that one return for the rest of his life.

* Here's what the chart looked like for the players on the North team:

weights

Let it never be said that my job lacks excitement.

Much more later and throughout the next few days.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

  • jabostick

    I bet ten years ago (maybe even less), if someone told you that you’d need a special pass and struggle to find a space to sit at a weigh-in for college seniors, you’d be committed.

  • Max Lightfoot

    Just remember, Sheil – slapping cold water on your face works almost as well as caffeine and won’t keep you up nights.

    Anyway, at least we don’t have Andy Reid here anymore swooning over Senior Bowl players and then apparently drafting them based on one game. Not that he did that or anything, just sayin’ …

    • SVPhilly

      No no Andy drafted them because they had a “high motor”

  • PaoliBulldog

    I’d hardly describe Sheil as a “lowly” blogger, but I don’t think he’s a “highly” one, either.

    • Michael Myers

      sheil is my fav, the best imo

  • Broadcasting Wisdom

    Kadeem Edwards, are you kidding me with that wing span, dude?

    • Michael Myers

      wow…could set the bar on low wonderlic at combine

      i take it back, he used complacent

      • Broadcasting Wisdom

        Whoa I only got through 25 seconds but that was painful and awkward. I’ll take him in the 7th for his wingspan alone.

    • theycallmerob

      I’m similarly impressed at the size of CJ Fiedorowicz’s hands (10 5/8″?!?!)
      man-child

      • cliff henny

        2 tennis racket heads hanging off end of his arms.

  • Tom w

    Think Murphy is too slow and average athletically to play olb … Atleast that’s what I read a lot over last 2 months. Read his sports illustrated article. Kid is a beast. Check out attouchi and van noy at olb sheil and the three tall corners

    • cliff henny

      should be a freak athlete at 22, safety wr or olb. Murphy seems like a solid player, but Eagles need to get someone with high ceiling, since kell and coaching staff seems to be able to develope talent.

      • GEAGLE

        Yes sir…just imagine if our coached,had,Margus hunt to coach up….yikes..

        Draft the exceptional Rare athletic talent, with the Charecter and work ethic that will allow the coaches to help reach his full potential

    • Will

      Attouchi 4.57 …4.64 40 time….good measurables…

      • GEAGLE

        Says who? Who says that’s how fast he is? When was the last time someone held a stop watch and clocked his 40?

        • cliff henny

          Me…at 7-45 tonight. and you dont want to know what i had to do. on an unrelated topic, anyone here a lawyer?

  • Kevin

    Can you imagine if they had a weigh-in for the bloggers and news people?
    SK – I think you should request to go through the process so you can gives us an in-depth report on what the process feels like for the prospective senior.

  • Michael Myers

    dennard would be nice if available at 22

    • Will

      5’11″ 196…meh we need OLB and Safety help before 3rd CB…

      • Michael Myers

        i think he’s a one or two cb…but then again, i also thought he was playing in the senior bowl, so what do i know…..

        • Token

          He probably is. But, for us, CB in the 1st isnt needed. And really, I dont like taking corners in the 1st anymore. I dont think the need for a shutdown corner is really that important.

          If they decide to let Cary go, Boykin can start and you just need to find a new nickel guy.

          I agree with Will, OLB and Safety are much more needed.

          Tho, Im hoping Safety is filled during FA. And maybe even OLB if Orakpo gets loose. Spend the money. Structure the deals to get out of them in a year or two if need be.

          Now is the time to try and compete IMO. They gotta go for it. The division is down. It wont stay down. We should be able to compete in the NFC if we can make the much needed improvements. Saints are in cap hell. SF and SEA will probably loose some guys. The time is now.

          Im hoping Howie isnt still emotionally scared from the Dream Team. He cant be afraid to go after top guys like Byrd.

          • Will

            And poach SF and Seattle’s rosters as they let players go….can’t sign all to big contracts…

        • GEAGLE

          A CB in round 1 is a HORRIBLE pick!

          • Will

            Especially if you need an OLB or Safety…Geagle which do they pick first? OLB over Safety? If the OLB position is picked over by time we get to our #22 with no Safeties off the Board then they should take there top rated Safety on there board…depends a lot on who they pick up in FA…

    • macadood

      he’s going to get killed trying those shoulder only ‘hit stick’ type tackles in the NFL

  • Will

    I wish they did 40 times on these players….

    • Maggie

      Have to wait for Combine.

      • Will

        yup…I know..but thanks..

  • Michael Myers

    another guy to watch…looks huge

    Stanley Jean-Baptiste, DB, Nebraska

    Jean-Baptiste has rare size (6-foot-2 3/8, 215); he looks like a clone of Richard Sherman. I’m sure theSeahawks, among most NFL teams, will be paying close attention to this player. He’s a junior-college transfer who only played cornerback for a season and a half at Nebraska after switching from wide receiver in 2011. Has very long arms (78 3/8 wingspan) and is a willing tackler. Looks fast in coverage and has quickness. If he looks like he can cover in man drills this week, he might move up into my top 100. Smart player who entered 2013 with his degree already in hand.

    story
    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000315663/article/brandt-5-undertheradar-prospects-at-the-senior-bowl

    • RIP illa

      We’ve been on him for awhile now :-) Kid has “it” for being so inexperienced . Most of the smart people on here like him.

      • mksp

        Starting to think he goes to high. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him go in the 2nd. Call it the Richard Sherman effect.

        • RIP illa

          He’s definitely got the numbers to make him shoot up the boards. And in my amateur opinion, got the tape too. A lot is going to come down to his performance at the combine. Definitely teams will want to confirm his speed and agility to see if it matches up to what they’ve been seeing this year.

  • Will

    Cary William and Fletcher are fine at CB they need help over the top with a pair of descent Safeties….

    • anon

      You know Cary wasn’t even a starter last year? Both teams let those guys walk. If eiher is your CB1 you have room to upgrade. I don’t think either is even rated top 50 CBs. I like both a lot but both get thrown at all the time.

  • cliff henny

    Campanaro was good player at WF, was thinking maybe 7th flyer, but under 70 inch wingspan probably takes a black magic marker to his name. serious t-rex arms.

    • RIP illa

      And he only has average speed and put up average numbers against average competition.

      Could be wrong about the average numbers thing, but it fit nicely ;-)

      • cliff henny

        he had no qb. he was a better player than stats. but his t-rex arms are an issue. had my fill of those guys for a lifetime, with evan turner. i want guys who can pull up socks without bending over

  • Will

    Hey Sheil can you give us a report on the Safeties Loston, Dixion, Bucannon and Brooks ….

  • Maggie

    Sounds like being paraded to the slave block.

    • Will

      You sound like Jimmy the Greek…

      • Maggie

        Huh? Hasn’t he been dead for years? Never paid him much attention.

        • Will

          Went off on a slave tangent on air broadcasting an NFL game pretty much got himself fired…was on Martin Luther King Day as well…

        • GEAGLE

    • theycallmerob

      let’s play, which one of these is not like the other?
      Question 1 (and only): name the group of people who go through this process voluntarily, so as to make $$$.

      • Will

        The top football Athletes in the country…

    • RIP illa

      I’m black…and even I think that was uncalled for!!! SMH Maggie…SMH!!

      • GEAGLE

        She’s an idiot who is consistently NOT funny,..what did you expect?

      • Maggie

        Just an opinion. Like any other here. I don’t sit here and call other people names when they fill their comments with stuff I consider to be nonsense. It’s all opinions on here and not one of them will influence any sports team in any way.

        • RIP illa

          Think you maybe mixing post from people. Didn’t call you a name. Just think your comparison/analogy is way over the line. There’s no need to go to those extremes when explaining the scouting process. Yes it’s not as “clean and polite as we would want/hope for in an ideal world…but over exaggerating much???

  • GEAGLE

    Hagemen would be an excellent pick for us, and I would be shocked if he weren’t high on our board. I think we will take a real close look at him as Logan’s backup NT since I think he is the type of backup NT I believe our FO would want, as opposed to those traditional 340lb NT that fans keep clamoring for..

    I’m sure we will have our eyes glued to Trent ‘Murphy at the combine. If his speed and explosion are acceptable then he will be place high up on our board..if he has a chase Thomas type of combine, then he will suffer a similar fate…
    ..
    Can’t wait til this game

    • Will

      Should be a good game…who’s coaching the North?

    • Will

      Geagle what position do they pick at #22?

      • GEAGLE

        No position…we take an athlete that’s most superior to the other athletes at his postion. I don’t think we care about College production, We will want an exceptional super athlete, the type of rare athletes you can’t find outside of round 1…draft the best athletes, with the best Charecter, and let the coaches worry shout turning them into elite football players. Guys like:
        ..
        Shede Hagemen. 6’7, who is so agile that he was playing TE two years ago

        Barr, OLB who was a running back two years ago
        ..
        Mike Evans/Benjamin..fast, high jumping WRs with a body of college OLBs
        ,..

        • Will

          I really like Calvin Pryor at #22….hope they do not pass over him…might fall to 2nd rd. doubt he’d be there by the time of our 2nd pick unless we trade up….Benjamin would be hard to pass at #22 as well….

          • GEAGLE

            I have a feeling Anthony Barr will fall into 16-20 range and I think it would be a big mistake to not go get him.. I think Pryor is the best safety in this draft, and everyone ranks Clinton Dix as the top dog, but I don’t think we will have played the offseason well if we draft Pryor in round 1. Attack strengths, stay away from weakness(cause you to reach or over pay)..
            Weakness of FA is OLB and WR..fortunately those are two of the strengths of this draft class…Safety happens to be one of the strengths of This FA market..so I think it would be a mistake to not take care of safety in FA, and take advantage of the rich OLB and WR draft class..

          • Tom w

            Don’t think eagles look at depth of free agency vs draft that way. They didn’t do it last year that way… No reason they change this year

          • Wilbert M.

            Pryor won’t fall to 2nd round. He might not even be there at 22. If either Pryor or HaHa are there that’s how we need to go.

    • cliff henny

      really dont want Murphy. some freak athlete WR or OLB has to be there at 22. get kelly as many athletes as possible, let him figure out how to use them later.
      .
      i doubt hagemen gets past Dallas, he seems perfect for them. and they have real need at d-line.

      • theycallmerob

        don’t you dare forget joyner.

        • Will

          which Joyner? position, school?

          • theycallmerob

            CB/FS from FSU. he declined his senior bowl invite

          • GEAGLE

            Unless we sign a Top FA safety, I doubt we will get him

          • RIP illa

            Really? Was there a reason to his decline. Find it odd that a kid in his position would refuse.

          • theycallmerob

            I honestly can’t say without making nothing more than an educated guess. Here’s the direct note, from Kempski:

            The Senior Bowl specifically notes the prospects who were invited, but declined to compete. Those players were as follows:
            • Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
            • Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
            • Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
            • Lamarcus Joyner, CB/S, Florida State
            • Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
            • Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
            • A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
            • C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama
            • Shayne Skov, ILB, Stanford.
            Several of the above players aren’t so highly regarded that they should be skipping the Senior Bowl, like McCarron, Hyde, Skov, and others. Selfishly, I would have loved to have seen Joyner, Gilbert, Dennard, Mack, and Mosley compete in person.
            There were 20 players who were invited, but cannot compete because they are injured.

            http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/red_zone/Senior-Bowl-weigh-in-notes-and-healthy-scratches.html

          • RIP illa

            Thanx. Hadn’t had time to check the usual list of sites today.

        • cliff henny

          never! but my true stalking 500 feet court order is Mike Evans

          • anon

            saw him mocked to detroit. that’d be unfair.

          • cliff henny

            that’s the old matt millen effect. see him mostly mocked to baltimore. that does make a ton of sense, so it annoys me

        • Will

          No one named Joyner in Senior Bowl……

        • Will

          Lamarcus Joyner CB Florida State 5′ 8″ 190 lbs surely you jest? Hope they address OLB, WR and Safety first…

      • Will

        Murphy might not have great speed which will hurt him come draft day…unless he does great in his 40 time at the Combine….4.8 isn’t gonna cut it which is the 40 time he is projected at….

        • cliff henny

          he doesnt have elite explosion, can see that live. hussles and never gives up, do like that. cant see his 40 or shuffle/cone drills coming in where kelly wants, either.

          • GEAGLE

            I view him as:
            best case, Bjoern Werner
            Worst case: Chase Thomas

            Doubt we have a first round grade on him

          • Tom s

            Not bad — 7 round difference … He is a d end not an olb. Second rd grade after combine

      • GEAGLE

        I don’t expect Murphy to be talked about as a first rounder by the time this process unfolds..like chase Thomas this time last year, think the mock community is over rating Murphy right now. I think his best case scenario for him would be to have a similar combine as Bjoern Werner and sneak into the end of round 1, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up falling into the 50-80 range…there are two types of prospects. Guys banking on their college production, and guys banking on their athletic potential. Murphy will be banking on his college production, and I expect that to hurt him on our board. I believe we trust our player development to where we don’t even care about college production..

        When you have the 4th overall pick in the draft, that’s a pick you can not afford to screw up, yet our top 2 targets were Lane and Dion, who were about as raw a prospects as it gets. we clearly placed a premium on drafting the most special athletes! and counted on our coaching staffs ability to coach them up and turn them into football players. If we cared about college production, then we probably would have left Todd at RT and drafted Chance Warmack..

        At 22,’we will compose a list of players who are rare exceptional athletes at their position, guys who dwarf the other prospects at their position athletically, and out of those exceptional athletes we will target the ones with the highest Charecter, work ethic, football IQ..a quote that sticks out about Chip: “it’s not always about what a player is willing to do for the team, sometimes it’s about what the player is willing to sacrifice for the team”….it’s going to be tough to predict who we draft since none of us are privy to the interviews and psychological testing results, which will really matter to this regime..
        ,,
        Personally I will be watching the combine closely and Chart players who athletically measure drastically higher then the other players at their position. basically I expect us to draft the combine warriors who have the highest Charecter, football IQ and commitment to football

        • Tom w

          God I hope you are wrong. Chip knew Jordan so that’s throws out your special athlete theory and lane was productive in college. Played both tackle positions for 2 yrs at a big time program. Fluker couldn’t pass block and was fat that is why he fell. Think your black line is a bit too geared towards combine. Ertz was productive. Logan was by no means a workout warrior. The reason we targeted two upside guys last year was because that draft freaking sucked. Chip has measurables he wants that is a lot different than taking combine warriors

    • RIP illa

      Here we go again…lol. I take sever exception to ‘Shede being Logan’s back up. He’s 10x the player Logan is on a bad day!!! But of course if we did get him, we wouldn’t expect him to be a day one starter…or would we???

    • Tom w

      Hageman doesn’t play hard and takes plays off and is very inconsistent. Doubt we are impressed w him or his work ethic. Bad for a big boy. And I see him much more like a Richard Seymour or campbell

    • Tom w

      Hageman is very inconsistent. Takes plays off. Up and down. Opposite of a Logan. Doubt chip wants to go there bc of that. And I would think he plays d end and ntackle in our defense … Possibly pushing Thornton or cox for time if he came

  • Will

    Depending on what the Eagles do in FA. I hope Calvin Pryor falls to #22….posses all the skills of a great Safety….

    • GEAGLE

      I love Calvin. But I would prefer HITner,Byrd,Ward so that we don’t have to draft Pryor in round 1. I think it’s a mistake to not play t strengths and weaknesses.
      ..
      One of the strengths of this years free agent market is SAFETY!
      Weaknesses of this FA class are OLB and WR (two of our needs)
      Strengths of this draft class OLB, WR, OT, CB

      A lot of OLB,OT and QBs will be drafted in round 1, the best talent at those positions will dry up quickly, so unless we are looking at Mike Evans sitting at the top of our board when we pick, we should be trying to get a stud OLB. I think we should try and draft two WRs in the first 5 rounds but I think it will be easier to find top quality WR talent in rounds 2′and 3 of this draft, then it will be to Find a game changing pass rusher after round 1
      ..
      If it were up to me, Id break the bank open for a top FA safety, get Cooper signed and draft:
      1) OLB
      2) WR
      3) WR
      4) S
      5) DL
      5) CB

      • Tom w

        Don’t get the two wr idea except it may be bpa … We don’t even go 5 wide that often and we would have coop and djax under contract for 3-5 yrs. where’s the second wr gonna play? Barr was top 5 two weeks ago and still is somewhat and always gone by 10 … Now u got him going 16-20? Combine will help not hurt him

        • Maggie

          Tate from Seattle in FA. He knows how to fight for a poorly thrown pass.

          • anon

            Lots of cheap potential talent in FA this offseason, it’s silly to disregard the guys that are there.

  • Will

    Is it March 11th yet? Someone wake me up on the morning of please…

  • jon h

    can’t wait for the articles. like the combine, this seems like the type of event where players are treated more like livestock than they are people.

    • RIP illa

      Maggie…is that you???

      • jon h

        no maggie here.

        • RIP illa

          Lol .

      • Maggie

        Not likely. I don’t feel it’s necessary to hide behind an alias. My opinions are just as valid as any other person’s. Or none of them are. Btw, did you ever see the movie “Mandingo”? I had to leave the theatre several times as the slaves were treated so horribly I couldn’t watch. It opened with a group of slaves being marched to a meeting between buyer and seller. Their teeth were checked for age, like horses, then checked for hemmorhoids (sp?)to see if they had been worked too hard, therefore worth less money. The description of young athletes being paraded across the stage in their underwear to be stared at and evaluated for their $$ worth reminded me of that scene. Never forgotten it in more than 30 years. Even if it is voluntary, Rob.

        • Maggie

          And maybe some athletes declined to attend just for this reason, too?

          • RIP illa

            Doubt it, seeing as how they go through the same scrutiny during the combine. And if they don’t participate in the combine, then it gets done at their pro-days!!!

        • RIP illa

          It was a joke Maggie. And a very appropriate one made before I was able to read your “slave block” comment!!!

  • Wilbert M.

    What is Tajh Boyd’s shoe size?

    • cliff henny

      good question cause rather taj be the kicker than play qb in philly.

  • EDK215

    I think Howie should try to get Kyle Von Noy over Murphy. He’s faster and more athletic and just as tall. At safety, I think Craig Loston from LSU is a baller with great size 6’2″. He’s always around the ball and he’s a big time hitter. also, Lamarcus Joyner from FSU is beast @ 5’8″. His speed and playmaking ability are one of the reasons FSU won the National Championship. When he gains more weight, I see him becoming a Earl Thomas or Brian Dawkins type. Tremendous instincts on the field. For where the Eagles are picking in the draft, I think they are obtainable and would improve the team immediately…. Just my opinion.

  • Giorgos Kassakos

    Sheil, keep an eye on Jean-Baptiste too. He has great size and he is projected as a mid-round pick. Howie should have him on his radar.