clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Coaching in the Senior Bowl vs. appearing at the NFL Combine

I was poking around Google News this evening and came across an interesting article at The Sporting News.  Dennis Dillon put together an interesting piece about the fact that more can be gained from coaching in the Senior Bowl than what you'll find at the NFL Combine.

"There's no better evaluation of a player than actually coaching him," says 49ers coach Mike Nolan, who headed up the South squad in the Senior Bowl for the third straight year. "As we all know, a large majority of Senior Bowl players are on NFL rosters the next year. It gives us an opportunity to pick out the ones we think can help us. If he can play, we want him."

"I think they have a huge advantage over any of the other staffs, more so off the field than the physical stuff," says Russ Lande, lead scout for Sporting News' War Room. "Getting to meet with the kids, see how they learn, see how they work, getting a feel for the real character and personality. That's where they gain a real advantage over all the other teams."

I think we can all see the value in being able to coach the Senior Bowl.  You combine the practices during the week with the game situations and you can get more useful information than how fast a guy can run around three cones.

As we make our way up to the draft, people will be throwing out names left and right as guys the 49ers might end up taking.  Dillon mentioned some specific players from the Senior Bowl and I'm curious to see if there's any accuracy to what he says:

The top priority is a wide receiver, or two. Houston's Donnie Avery and Florida's Andre Caldwell are two of the players the 49ers coached on the South team. USC's Sedrick Ellis, who played on the North, could fill a spot at defensive end. UNLV linebacker Beau Bell, another North player, could be a candidate to play strongside linebacker.

In all honesty, I think it's pretty easy to spit some names out of players who Nolan coached in the Senior Bowl and apply them to the 49ers needs.  Beau Bell is one guy who I've been intrigued and would like to learn more about (and not just because he's a UNLV guy).  I'll do my own research, but if anybody has some insight on him I'd love to hear more.