|Bilal Powell RB Louisville|
|Impressive size; very well built. Has a sturdy frame capable of taking hits and bouncing off tackles. Strong legs allow him to push the pile. Only a one-year starter, so plenty of tread left on the tires. Some experience as a receiver out of the backfield. Shows potential as a pass protector. Experienced as a return specialist and on special teams coverage.|
|Didn’t make much of an impact until senior year; is he a one-year wonder? Not an elusive runner; lacks the quick feet to make guys miss.|
|Powell is a tough player to fully evaluate because of his lack of starting experience. At times in his senior year he flashed the skills necessary to be an impact player at the next level, however, he is still inconsistent. He clearly has NFL size and strength, which should land him a job as backup somewhere. While his limited experience raises some questions it also means there could be room to grow, giving him enough upside to warrant a mid-round selection.|
According to various reports, the Dolphins are meeting with (or already have met with) Mario Fanin, Mark Ingram, Mikel Leshoure, Bilal Powell and Ryan Williams.
Ingram has been a popular pick for the Dolphins in mock drafts through the offseason (including my own) but LeShoure could be an option in the 1st round as well.
Personally, I like Leshoure more than Ingram. Leshoure is a better all-around athlete and I think he’s better suited to carry the load in the NFL. Ingram can be successful but he’ll be better off in a two-back system, which the Dolphins may not have in 2011.
The other three running backs getting a look from the Dolphins – Williams, Fanin and Powell – will likely be considered in the later rounds.
The Dolphins don’t own a 2nd-round pick, which means they’ll probably need to trade up to land Williams, who is likely to come off the board within the first 50 picks.
Fanin and Powell, however, should fall to the 3rd round or beyond and could be late-round options. It’s possible that the Dolphins would draft Ingram or Leshoure in the 1st round and still select a player like Fanin or Powell later in the draft.
Andy Dalton - QB – TCU
Opinions of Dalton vary greatly. Some feel as though he is a fringe 1st-rounder, others believe he is a late-round prospect. How he performs this week could sway a lot of scouts one way or the other. He wasn’t always consistent at TCU, and the fact that he wasn’t being tested against elite defenses on a weekly basis raises some concerns. Going head-to-head with the top prospects in the nation will help us get a better idea of how he really stacks up.
Gabe Carimi – OT – Wisconsin
I’m not convinced that Carimi can play left tackle. He held his own against players such as Adrian Clayborn and Cameron Heyward, but neither of those guys is an elite pass rusher. I need to see him match up against faster edge rushers before I would be willing to consider him a left tackle.
Casey Matthews – ILB – Oregon
Like his older brother, Casey is never the best athlete on the field, but what he lacks in talent he makes up for in effort. Just as Clay rose up the draft boards in 2009, I expect Casey to do the same this offseason. This week will be his best opportunity to separate himself from some of the others in a relatively week class for inside linebackers.
Jake Locker – QB – Washington
Locker’s senior year was a letdown, and this is his best chance to prove his doubters wrong. Locker’s apologists point to his supporting cast as an excuse for his performance. Well, no such excuse can be made this week. He is the most talented of the senior quarterbacks and if he can’t outperform guys like Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, be prepared for his stock to plummet.
Greg Salas – WR – Hawaii
I like Salas a lot; he has good size and great hands and was tremendously productive at Hawaii. However, everyone is always skeptical of someone who puts up big numbers in Hawaii’s offense. This is a very weak class of senior receivers, and Salas has a chance to make a name for himself this week.
Bilal Powell – RB – Louisville
Scouts have very little film on which to grade Powell. He saw limited playing time until his senior year. However, he is a bruising downhill runner and could be a standout this week in Mobile. If he emerges as one of the top senior running backs, he could raise his stock to the 2nd or 3rd round range. However, if he struggles his stock will fall fast.
Not much to watch in this one, but there’s a few fringe prospects for the die-hard draftniks to watch.
* The top prospect for Southern Miss is defensive tackle Anthony Gray. He’s not much of an athlete, but has the size to play nose tackle. He could come off the board late in the draft, and could be a serviceable backup in a 3-4 system.
* Louisville’s top prospect is cornerback Johnny Patrick. He’s slightly undersized but has the speed to stick with anyone. He emerged as arguably the top cornerback in the Big East this year.
* The top offensive prospect to watch is Louisville running back Bilal Powell. He came from nowhere to take the starting job away from Victor Anderson and has posted one of the best seasons in Cardinals history. His size (6’0″, 215 lbs) and speed makes him an intriguing prospect. He looks like a mid-round pick right now, but could certainly climb with an impressive showing tonight and in offseason workouts.