Senior Bowl 2013: Breaking Down Which Players Improved Draft Position

Ryan DavenportContributor IJanuary 26, 2013

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 26:  E.J. Manuel #3 of the South squad waits for the snap against the North squad during the Senior Bowl at Ladd Peebles Stadium on January 26, 2013 in Mobile, Alabama.  The South won the game 21-16. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

For graduating seniors across the country, the 2013 Senior Bowl represented a final chance for those selected to demonstrate why they should be coveted by teams at April's NFL Draft.

Obviously, players still have their respective combines to show their stuff, but as far as actual in-game situations go, this is their last shot, and a standout performance at the Senior Bowl can help boost any draft stock. In fact, all three quarterbacks who threw touchdowns at last year's edition of the game, Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson and Nick Foles, ended up seeing action in the NFL the following season. 

This year, there were a number of draft-hopefuls who were impressive, and a handful who appear to have improved their draft positions, at least heading into the offseason. 

Here's a look at some of the seniors who saw their draft stocks rise as a result of their Senior Bowl performances.


E.J. Manuel

The Florida State standout had a solid senior season, but E.J. Manuel entered the Senior Bowl as CBS Sports' eighth-best prospect at quarterback.

That may have changed on Saturday, as Manuel played a leading role in the South's winning effort over the North, and made a difference with both his legs and his arm.

With a stat line of 7-for-10 passing with 76 yards and a touchdown, Manuel was efficient in moving the offense down the field and also managed to rush for a two-yard score as well.

He's not nearly as dynamic with his feet as some of the stars that emerged from the college ranks at the NFL level this year, but he's a steady presence under center and will be taken in the first four rounds.


Kenjon Barner

As arguably the nation's most dominant running back in 2012, Kenjon Barner hasn't been overlooked by scouts, but he's still not widely considered to be a top-three round pick in the NFL Draft.

At the Senior Bowl, the former Oregon Duck may not have done much damage on the run, with just 13 yards on three carries, but he still made an impact, racking up 59 yards and a touchdown through the air.

If he doesn't make it as a pure running back, Barner will garner attention from teams to be a dual-threat option, capable of rushing or catching short passes in the backfield.


Michael Williams

As usual, tight ends will go overlooked in the early stages of the 2013 NFL Draft, but that doesn't mean that one can't improve their stock with a strong Senior Bowl showing.

Though Alabama's Michael Williams didn't put up overly impressive numbers with the Crimson Tide, as he posted three touchdowns and just over 160 yards as a senior, he's valuable for his athleticism and blocking ability, and his performance at the Senior Bowl will raise his profile.

That's because with 39 yards on two catches, including a touchdown, Williams showed that he's capable of doing more than block, even against the nation's best.