Eight things we learned from the 2015 Senior Bowl

MOBILE, Ala. -- So how many first-round picks were on display at the Reese's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., Saturday?

NFL Media analysts provided a list of eight with that kind of potential: Washington DL Danny Shelton, LSU OL La'el Collins, Pittsburgh OL T.J. Clemmings, Iowa DL Carl Davis, Miami LB Denzel Perryman, Miami WR Phillip Dorsett, Utah DE Nate Orchard and Auburn WR Sammie Coates. But one, in particular, will need to solidify that status with a strong 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis next month.

"Perryman, I think is a first-round inside linebacker if he runs well at the combine," NFL Media's Mike Mayock said.

Perryman returned to action for the final practice on Thursday after missing some practice time with an abdominal injury earlier in the week, but did not play Saturday.

Here are seven other things we learned from Saturday's Senior Bowl:

2. Husker makes an impact. Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah entered Senior Bowl week looking to prove that he's big enough for the NFL at 198 pounds, and shed questions about ball security. He was explosive during the game with some impressive running, including a 19-yarder early in the game. As for his draft stock, NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah provided an early projection of late-second round or early third-round on the former Cornhuskers star.

3. Making an impression. There was no position deeper with talent than wide receiver in Mobile this week, even without late withdrawal Kevin White of West Virginia. But the best route-runner of the bunch, according to Jeremiah, was one less heard of: East Carolina's Justin Hardy.

4. Progress shown. Georgia Tech guard Shaq Mason operated from the triple-option offense in college and therefore didn't exactly get much in the way of experience as a pass protector. Mayock saw significant strides during the practice week, however. "His first day of pass protection was poor as you might expect," Mayock said during the game. "But the next two days ... I think he might be a center in the NFL, but he competed his tail off on Wednesday and Thursday and I thought he showed everyone something. He learned quickly and adjusted on the fly."

5. Still in search of a position. Mayock's review of a few off-the-radar prospects included this remark on Norfolk State's Lynden Trail: "I don't know if he's an outside linebacker, a defensive end, or even a tight end, but I know everybody is intrigued by his size." Trail measured 6-foot-6 1/4 and 262 pounds at the Tuesday weigh-in.

6. Several players make preferred position known. One of the big things scouts were interested in this week was how various players took to certain positions they maybe didn't play in college. While nearly all of the players said they were open to lining up wherever in order to make it at the next level, a few of the players did note they would prefer one spot over another. Michigan State receiver Tony Lippett is an intriguing guy a lot of teams talked to about playing as a defensive back, but he told College Football 24/7 after the game his preference is to stick at wideout. Stanford defensive linemen Henry Anderson lined up just about everywhere during his time on the Farm but noted he was most comfortable as a 3-4 defensive end. They won't be the only ones who will get quizzed about a position change in Indianapolis, either.

7. Petty still focused on nailing fundamentals. Quarterback play during the week of the Senior Bowl was not the sharpest and that rang true on Saturday evening when the lights came on for the game. Nobody really stood out as head and shoulders above their peers. Baylor's Bryce Petty did lead the victorious North squad in passing yardage but confirmed he still missed a few timing passes that hampered the offense early on. "We had a couple of plays where the timing was off but at the end of the day, the ball was in my hands. It was still an unbelievable experience coming from Baylor to here and getting thrown into this system," he said. "It was great for me to understand concepts and protections and what it's going to be like at the next level. I had an absolute blast." The signal-caller is gunning to be at least the third player at the position taken in the draft and will head back to train with QB guru George Whitfield and dial down on his fundamentals as somebody taking snaps from under center in a pro-style offense.

8. Orchard finishes week with a bang. He didn't show up all over the box score, but Utah defensive end Nate Orchard showed up all over the field when the game action got going. The defensive MVP off of the North squad, the versatile prospect certainly made himself some money this week and was able to flash potential at both defensive end and outside linebacker. He mixed in special-teams snaps as well and might have been the player who saw the most action on the field as he ran from position-to-position to become somebody that every coach seemed to know about. Members of the Titans' coaching staff were quite high on the guy who led the FBS in sacks per game, and he rewarded them with a stellar outing on Saturday to send his draft stock soaring.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

*Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter **@BryanDFischer.*

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