MOBILE, Ala.—The postseason evaluation process for the 2012 NFL draft kicks off on Monday when the North and South rosters for Saturday’s Senior Bowl game begin a week of practice. Players and coaches arrived in Mobile, Ala., on Sunday, and scouts immediately began conducting player interviews.
One of the players making the interview rounds is Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson, one of the most productive players in college football last season. Wilson will be attempting to impress scouts this week and dispel concerns that at 5-11 Wilson might not be tall enough to play in the NFL.
“It’s not a factor. I play tall and I have a high and quick release,” Wilson told packers.com on Sunday.
The Senior Bowl is one of the two most prominent postseason scouting events. The other, of course, is the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. Unlike the scouting combine, the Senior Bowl exposes players to one-on-one contact work that gives coaches and scouts an up-close look at prospects in NFL-like drills.
Wilson is also a professional baseball prospect but he said: “I am fully focused on football.
“I want to show my leadership and competitive nature and play great football; show the scouts I’m all about football,” Wilson said.
Joining Wilson on the North roster are quarterbacks Kellen Moore of Boise State and Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins. Moore is listed at 6-0 and will similarly have to prove to scouts that a lack of height will not hinder his career.
Wisconsin will also be represented this week by offensive tackle Kevin Zeitler, running back Bradie Ewing and punter Brad Nortman.
The Packers will no doubt spend considerable attention scouting this week’s crop of pass-rushers, and there are several intriguing ones. One of those prospects is North Carolina’s Quintin Coples, 6-6, 285, who’s thought to be big enough to play end in a 4-3 and athletic enough to be a rush-backer in a 3-4 scheme. Coples is one of the top pass-rush prospects in this year’s draft class.
“A lot of people compare me to Julius Peppers,” Coples said.
Coples said he’ll use this week’s practices to “see what NFL coaches want out of defensive linemen. It shows you the ins and outs of the business and how to become a professional.”
He added that he was used as a linebacker in about 25 percent of North Carolina’s defensive plays last season. There are several other pass-rush prospects in this week’s Senior Bowl that offer potential to play linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, which the Packers employ.
Stay tuned to packers.com for daily reports from the Senior Bowl.