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2017 Senior Bowl OLB Prospect Preview (North and South teams)

January 28, 2017

‘Preview’ scouting reports are when I take a look at a small amount of tape and overall output data we have on a non-QB prospect before the NFL Combine and complete a preview report on what I’m seeing before I do a larger scouting study after the NFL Combine or Pro Days. Our computer scouting models cannot function properly without the NFL Combine and/or Pro Day data, so I’m not committing to these scouting reports being my definitive word on the prospect. Using what we have, I wanted to take a glimpse at some of the bigger names to share what I see initially.

This is my quick-take on players from watching 20-30+ minutes of game film on each and looking over their college production numbers in our computer scouting models. I don’t have the measurables and I’m not watching several of their games and getting in-depth. This is just quick hit scouting to provide some context for watching the college all-star bowls.


Senior Bowl OLB prospects (in no particular order)…

North and South Team:


NORTH  OLB Vince Biegel, Wisconsin (6’3.1″/242, 9.1″ hands, 78.1″ wing)

Best Season: (2014) 33 tackles, 12.0 TFLs, 5.5 sacks (8 games)

— Quick Tape: Not my cup of tea at all. Was an edge rushed in a 4-3 on tape I saw…constantly pushed back by blockers with ease. Didn’t rush effectively, basically came upright off the snap and was playing the run/not rushing a bunch. I didn’t see NFL speed or athleticism. I tap out on this one. One of the worst tapes I’ve seen of the Senior Bowl group.


NORTH  OLB Carroll Phillips, Illinois (6’3.2″/237, 9.5″ hands, 78.3″ wing)

Best Season: (2016) 58 tackles, 19.0 TFLs, 9.0 sacks (12 games)

— Quick Tape: Another problem tape for me. Tentative pass rusher. No burst off the snap. Good college athlete, but below average for the NFL. He’s better served as a 3-4 OLB, maybe. He doesn’t play with a fire or energy you want to see from a prospect. Maybe I have his worst games to sample/watch, but I just did not see much from him.


SOUTH  OLB Derek Rivers, Youngstown St. (6’4.1″/250, 9.5″ hands, 77.5″ wing)

Best Season: (2016) 58 tackles, 19.5 TFLs, 15.0 sacks (16 games)

— Quick Tape: Could not be any more unimpressed…and quite frankly, disappointed. I saw all this press on how great he was and obviously, he has great numbers – I was excited…but he has done nothing every time I’ve watched him.

I know Rivers is athletic and I know he looks the part at a quick glance. All I know is, whether at Senior Bowl practices or on tape I don’t see Rivers dominating…I don’t even see him succeeding. He is held up easily by blockers. When he does try to penetrate the backfield it’s the same tired move that gets him pushed away from the action. Every once in a while Rivers breaks through or chases…and he gets numbers because he’s a far superior athlete than most everyone at his FCS level. Unless he learns some better technique he’s going to be forgotten quickly in the NFL.


SOUTH  OLB Ryan Anderson, Alabama (6’2.1″/258, 9.4″ hands, 75.0″ wing)

Best Season: (2016) 61 tackles, 18.5 TFLs, 8.5 sacks, 1 INT, 4 FF (15 games)

— Quick Tape: Played a lot of 4-3 DE, and did well but is a 4-3 or 3-4 OLB…3-4 OLB may be a better fit. Might could be an ILB. He has NFL speed and agility. He’s aggressive and persistent. He’s a good player who might be better in the pros when at a more traditional linebacker spot.


SOUTH  OLB Tyus Bowser, Houston (6’2.4″/244, 10.1″ hands, 78.1″ wing)

Best Season: (2016) 47 tackles, 12.0 TFLs, 8.5 sacks, 4 PDs (8 games)

— Quick Tape: Gives a good effort and has an NFL body and athleticism. He plays more like a 3-4 OLB. He loves to drop back into coverage. Didn’t show me anything rushing the passer. He’s fast enough to chase sacks down, but I didn’t see him creating much havoc on his own.

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics. 

Learn more about RC and the College Football Metrics system >>