MOBILE, Ala. -- The Senior Bowl has always ranked as the pinnacle of the All-Star game season in the minds of scouts, as hundreds of evaluators descend here to check out the top college seniors in action.
With high-ranking officials and coaches from each respective team on hand to cast their eyes on the surplus of talent on both rosters, this week serves as a quasi-interview for NFL hopefuls.
From their one-on-one "meet and greet" session with scouts to their ability to perform during practices as general managers and coaches scrutinizing their every move, these players are under immense pressure to put forth their best effort in this one-week evaluation.
Given the importance that teams place on their impressions from the Senior Bowl, we will spend all week discussing which players are helping or hurting their draft status.
Here's a look at the players who earned notoriety for their performance on Monday, Day 1 of four planned practice sessions this week:
Kyle Wilson, Boise State, CB
The diminutive cover man showed outstanding footwork and movement skills during drills. Wilson's ability to flip, turn and close was impressive, and his natural ball skills stood out in coverage. Although he lacks the prototypical height (five-foot-10) that some teams covet, his cover skills have scouts buzzing about his potential as a future starter.
Ed Dickson, Oregon, TE
The athletic pass catcher lived up to his big-play reputation on Day 1. Dickson displayed soft hands catching the ball during individual drills, and has an uncanny knack for creating separation from defenders in routes. Though his blocking will ultimately determine how high he goes in the draft, the former Duck showed some promise during team drills and could further enhance his draft status with a solid week of work against top competition.
Tony Pike, Cincinnati, QB
It's way too early to judge Pike's ability to grasp a pro offense, but based on his performance during his initial practice, it is apparent that he has the arm strength to make all of the throws on the next level. He showed good touch on his intermediate and deep balls, but still needs to improve his consistency and accuracy from the pocket. While some of his struggles can be attributed to him adjusting to take snaps from under center, Pike's upside has to be encouraging for teams hoping that he can make a quick transition from a spread offensive system to a conventional pro-style scheme.
Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss, RB/WR
He stood out among his peers due to his outstanding speed and explosiveness. While his tiny frame (5-8,165 pounds) raises serious concerns about his durability, McCluster's playmaking ability is making it tough for evaluators to dismiss his potential as a multi-purpose threat.
Dekoda Watson, Florida State, LB
The ultra-athletic linebacker dazzled scouts with his quickness in drills. Watson flows to the ball fast, and has the explosiveness to match running backs and receivers in space. Although he must continue to show that he has the grit to take on blockers in the hole, Watson is the dynamic headhunter that many teams covet at the Will linebacker spot.
Tim Tebow, Florida, QB
The most scrutinized prospect at the Senior Bowl struggled throughout his first day. Tebow repeatedly dropped snaps, and had a tough time hitting open receivers. While it is apparent that he has been attempting to work on his unorthodox delivery, his elongated wind up and tendency to pat the ball before releasing, clearly impact his accuracy. Given the huge disparity of opinions regarding his draft status, Tebow must quickly rectify his issues to prevent his stock from plummeting this week.
Terrence Cody, Alabama, DT
The disappointment surrounding Cody has little to do with his on-field play. The mammoth defensive tackle weighed in at 370 pounds, and looked woefully out of shape. Although few prospects can rival his ability to control the middle of the line, concerns about his weight have raised red flags in some draft rooms.
Mardy Gilyard, Cincinnati, WR
The "do-it-all" playmaker earned rave reviews throughout the season due to his dependable hands and game-changing ability. However, he had his struggles holding onto the ball during his first practice, and didn't look like a prototypical No.1 receiver. To his credit, Gilyard did flash some explosiveness with the ball in his hands, but he has to show more consistency as a pass catcher to remain among the elite receivers in this year's draft class.
George Selvie, South Florida, DE
The South Florida standout was unimpressive during his first practice. Selvie lacks the athleticism of some of his counterparts at the position, and his lack of explosiveness off the ball limits his effectiveness as a rusher. Although he entered the season regarded as a top-notch edge player, his struggles in practice suggest that he will not be a major threat to get to the quarterback on the next level.