Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson took part in Senior Bowl week, and hopes he improved his Draft stock.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is part of HoustonTexans.com's 2010 Path to the Draft presented by FOX Sports Houston.
A week after the practices wrapped at the 2010 Senior Bowl, it's time to review some of what went down in Mobile, with regards to the offensive side of the ball.
Biggest surprise: LeGarrette Blount, RB, OregonThat Blount played well and attacked holes quickly during Senior Bowl week doesn't really surprise fans of college football. After all, he rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored 17 touchdowns as a junior in 2008.
But the casual observer only knows Blount for punching out a Boise State player after the Ducks lost to the Broncos at the start of the 2009 season. Blount was suspended and missed the bulk of the year, but said he used the time off to his advantage.
"I stayed healthy," Blount said. "Trained, did everything with my team. Only thing I didn't do was play on Saturdays, so as far as that goes I did extra running after practice."
Blount (6-0, 240) is a bigger back and played well Saturday, and doesn't have much doubt about what type of NFL running back he'll be.
"A great one," Blount said after the Thursday practice. "I feel like it's my destiny to go into the NFL and make a major impact as soon as I get there."
Blount tempered that enthusiasm, however, with a dash of realism.
"As soon as anybody will take me on their team, I'm going to come in and probably not take (the spot of) anybody that's established themselves in the league, but I'm definitely going to go in there and try and compete, and try to take some playing time away," Blount said.
Best small-school player: Joique Bell, RB, Wayne State
Bell was the only player from a non-FBS or FCS school invited to Mobile, but it didn't stop him from making an impact.
The 5-10, 223-pound ball carrier started at running back for the North squad, and on his first carry he went 11 yards for a touchdown. In limited opportunities, Bell picked up 17 yards on eight carries.
That followed an impressive week in which he showed above-average speed (he says he's capable of running a 4.32 in the 40-yard dasy at the Combine) and that he was capable of gaining yardage after hitting the pile.
Bell won the Harlon Hill Trophy, which goes to the Division II Player of the Year, averaging 189 rushing yards per game in 2009, and finishing a brilliant career with 6,728 rushing yards.
"Wherever the coach needs to put me, I'll play it," Bell said, when asked what type of running back he'll be in the NFL. "I'll be a great running back if he wants to put me there, a return specialist, whatever he needs me to do, I'm on it."
Close to home…J.D. Walton, C, Baylor:
A year after his former teammate Jason Smith was tabbed by the Rams second overall in the 2009 Draft, Baylor center J.D. Walton is hoping to crack into the league as well. During Senior Bowl practices, he routinely snapped the ball and tangled with the likes of 370-pound defensive tackle Terrence Cody, amongst others. Walton more than held his own at times, and also played well when lined up against former Texas Longhorn Lamarr Houston.
Walton (6-2, 330) appeared nimble on his feet and didn't back down in pass protection or the run game, and certainly didn't lack for optimism when asked about the type of NFL player he'll be.
"I'll be a starter in the NFL at center for as long as I can go," Walton said, adding that he believes he's capable of achieving that goal as a rookie.
Walton also was one of the most improved players through the week, getting better each day following the opening Monday practice.
Mister Robinson's neighborhood:
The Texans are set at quarterback with Pro Bowl MVP and 2009 Passing King Matt Schaub manning the offense. Behind Schaub, however, is backup and unrestricted free agent Rex Grossman, and third-stringer Dan Orlovsky.
One signal-caller at the Senior Bowl who was looking to move up in the minds of scouts and front office types was Oklahoma State quarterback Zac Robinson. Whether or not he did remains to be seen, but he earned the bulk of the playing time in Saturday's game by virtue of his practice performances during the week in Mobile.
Robinson finished with 176 yards on 12-of-21 passing, and engineered a scoring drive at the end of the first half that culminated with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Colin Peek of Alabama.
South teammate Tim Tebow of Florida got the lion's share of the headlines during Senior Bowl week, but Robinson acquitted himself well.
In his 2009 as a Cowboy, he passed for 2,084 yards and 15 touchdowns and finished his career as Oklahoma State's all-time leader in total yards, passing yards and touchdown passes.