The Reese's Senior Bowl participants now have two full practices under their belts, but their Wednesday sessions were moved indoors due to inclement weather.
While the indoor practice didn't allow for much media access, NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah **highlighted five standouts from the day**, starting with Temple cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. Jeremiah wrote:
He's very fluid. He's had some really good battles with WR Deebo Samuel (more on him in a bit) in each of the first two days of practice. Ya-Sin has a nice mix of size, speed and competitiveness. He looks like a top-50 pick.
Next on the list was South Carolina's wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who "stacked two really good days together" to start out the week in Mobile, Alabama.
He probably had the catch of the day on Wednesday on a double move – it was a back-shoulder throw, and he adjusted for it to make a really athletic catch. He reminds me a lot of the Panthers D.J. Moore, who was selected 24thoverall last year. Samuel might not go in the first round like Moore did, but I think he's a second-round pick who'll be a really good asset with his ability to run routes, catch the ball and also run the ball.
Another player who had back-to-back impressive performances was Wyoming defensive end Carl Granderson. Jeremiah said that Granderson was "really effective with his hands" and was able to bend better than expected.
He was ultra-productive at Wyoming (35.5 career tackles for loss), but I thought he was stiff on tape – he hasn't looked stiff during practice this week, though. I came into the week thinking he was in the Rounds 4-5 range, but he's helped himself.
Terrill Hanks, a linebacker from New Mexico State, demonstrated speed that "jumped out in both of his practices" in Mobile. Jeremiah said he saw "some similarities" to Colts All-Pro rookie Darius Leonard "in terms of production and body type."
Leonard's rise began at the Senior Bowl last year, and Hanks is picking up where Leonard left off here in Mobile.
Lastly, Jeremiah pointed to Georgia State receiver Penny Hart, whom he said has "outplayed" his North squad teammate Andy Isabella, who generated a lot of hype heading into the week.
Hart's been really explosive at the top of his route. He's very undersized (5-foot-8, 180 pounds), but he's going to have a role at the next level as a fly-sweep guy who can produce out of the slot. He's been tough to cover this week. Shawn Elliott, his head coach at Georgia State, told me Hart's the most competitive player he's ever coached, which speaks well for him.
Tarkenton ranked among top 15 all-time QBs to start a Super Bowl
A week from Sunday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will start his ninth Super Bowl.
It's a number that far surpasses any other NFL quarterback to date, which got NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal thinking … how would he **rank all 61 QBs who have started a Super Bowl**?
Rosenthal delved into the group and listed them "based on career achievements, with regular-season excellence, All-Pro/Pro Bowl appearances and seasons as top-five and top-10 players at the position carrying more weight than just Super Bowl success."
Coming in at No. 13 on Rosenthal's list was Fran Tarkenton, who started for the Vikings in Super Bowls VIII, IX and XI. Tarkenton led a group of passers on Rosenthal's list that he termed "In (or should be in) the Hall of Fame." Also included in the list were the following:
Ben Roethlisberger (2-1 with the Steelers)
Troy Aikman (3-0 with the Cowboys)
Terry Bradshaw (4-0 with the Steelers)
Joe Namath (1-0 with the Jets)
Bob Griese (2-1 with the Dolphins)
Len Dawson (1-1 with the Chiefs)
Jim Kelly (0-4 with the Bills)
Kurt Warner (1-1 with the Rams; 0-1 with the Cardinals)
Ken Anderson (0-1 with the Bengals)
Ken Stabler (1-0 with the Raiders)
Like Brees, Tarkenton was an undersized, undervalued but consistent star with an incredibly long run of statistical dominance. Roethlisberger has been a top-five quarterback for the better part of his career, especially after his second Super Bowl triumph (following the 2008 season). Aikman's peak (1991-96) was impressive, but unfortunately too short. Bradshaw wasn't great in the seasons preceding his first two Super Bowl triumphs (1975 and '76), but he wound up being a league MVP and finishing in the top five in yards per attempt five times. Namath gets extra credit for his impact on the game, although it's worth noting Griese had three more Pro Bowl appearances (eight to Namath's five), one more All-Pro nod (two to one) and far more seasons in the top five in yards per attempt. The offensive line and running game help, but Griese deserves some legacy love!
Vikings quarterback Joe Kapp, who started in Super Bowl IV for Minnesota, was 54th on the list.
And who were Rosenthal's top six, you ask? He topped his rankings with Brady, followed by Johnny Unitas (1-0 with the Colts), Joe Montana (4-0 with the 49ers), Peyton Manning (1-1 with the Colts; 1-1 with the Broncos), Dan Marino (0-1 with the Dolphins) and Brett Favre (1-1 with the Packers).