FAIRHOPE, Ala. – Georgia defensive tackle Jeff Owens arrived at the 60th annual Senior Bowl early and has been busy interviewing with several NFL teams.
He's already talked with Minnesota, Green Bay, New Orleans and Jacksonville.
"The interviews have been going great," said Owens, a 6-foot-3, 300-pounder, after Monday's practice at Fairhope Municipal Stadium.
Owens also did well in some one-on-one drills.
"There is a lot of talent here, a lot of great athletes," Owens said. "I'm just happy that I got an opportunity to be down here, play and showcase my ability."
Owens started all 13 games for the Bulldogs last season and finished with 32 tackles and 13 quarterback hurries. He earned the school's David Jacob Award, which goes to the player that portrays courage, spirit, character and determination.
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow drew several groans from the scouts lined along with the field with each errant pass. He sailed his third pass about five feet over a receiver's head on a 10-yard out route.
"It took some getting use to," Tebow said. "It's obviously all new guys out there and I'm throwing to new receivers. There was a lot of stuff to get adjusted to, but it was fun."
Tebow has been working on his mechanics with former NFL offensive coordinator Marc Trestman and Zeke Bratkowski, the former Georgia star who played 14 NFL seasons and spent 26 more as a quarterbacks coach/offensive coordinator.
Rock and Rolle
Florida State safety Myron Rolle passed up his senior season to study in England on a Rhodes scholarship. He is playing on the South team.
"The Rolle kid is really interesting," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said. "Obviously, his intangibles are off the chart. He was good. He didn’t' get his hands on a lot of footballs. He was a three-year starter and I think he only had one interception."
Rolle has speed and flexibility issues. Some NFL personnel people feel that he has enough speed to play linebacker, but at 6-3 and 218-pounds, he'll need to add weight.
"He's got to show speed, footwork and the ability to transition from a back-pedal to cover in a dome [deep coverage] or cover in man," Mayock said. "That's going to be important for him."
NFL teams like to get accurate measurements on the players available for the draft and the first scheduled activity for the players was to get measured and weighed.
They can find out little facts, like Tebow’s left arm (30 3/4 inches) is shorter than his right arm (30 7/8). His left hand — his throwing hand — is a size 10.
“It’s a little weird actually,” said Auburn running back Ben Tate, who was measured right before Tebow. “When I first got here, that’s when I realized that this is a business.”
Tennessee tackle Chris Scott, who played at Lovejoy High, was added to the South roster.
When Alabama coach Nick Saban arrived at the stadium, he was cheered wildly by the locals, who packed the stands.
He signed more than 100 autographs after practice and even had his picture taken with a little kid wearing a Tebow jersey.
Champs well represented
Alabama running back Roy Upchurch was added to the South's roster to replace LSU running back Charles Scott, who is still recovering from a collarbone injury.
With Upchurch's addition, the Crimson Tide will have six players in the game.
Cornerback Javier Arenas, defensive tackle Terrence Cody, offensive lineman Mike Johnson, tight end Colin Peek and placekicker Leigh Tiffin were already slated to play.
Mays makes big mistake
The South practiced in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.
Southern California safety Taylor Mays drew the ire of one general manager and a team's top pro personnel man when he leveled wide receiver Andre Roberts (The Citadel) on a deep route. Mays was covering over the top to help the cornerback on the play.
In that drill, the NFL types just want to see Mays make a play on the ball. They can see how he hits on film or when everybody is in full pads.
Falcons' flow plan
The Falcons sent their scouts down early. General manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith arrive on Tuesday.
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