What we learned from Senior Bowl weigh-in: Top CB passes test

MOBILE, Ala. -- The annual Reese's Senior Bowl weigh-in is more important for some prospects than others, particularly those whose size was already a concern for NFL scouts. One prospect whose size is a concern for scouts, Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis, measured 5-foot-10 and 188 pounds at Tuesday's weigh-in. That's an inch shorter than his 5-11 listing on Michigan's official roster, but Lewis, the No. 49 prospect in the draft according to NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah, nevertheless came away from the weigh-in in good shape with NFL scouts.

"Scouts had him at 5-9 and change when they got him measured back in the spring," said NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein. "I think they had him at 5-9 7/8. So for him, a 5-10 measurement here is a good thing, and weighing 188 helps him, too. If he can maintain that weight and run really well at the (NFL Scouting) Combine (in March), he'll be fine."

Another factor in Lewis' favor where his size is concerned was an arm measurement of 31 inches Tuesday, which is considered above average for a player of his height. Zierlein wrote more extensively about Lewis' size in August.

For Donnel Pumphrey, the question is whether he's big enough for the pro game. For Zach Banner, it's whether he's too big.

Pumphrey, San Diego State's record-breaking running back, measured 5-8 1/4 and 169 pounds Tuesday, making him the second-shortest and second-lightest of the 110 Senior Bowl prospects. Banner, USC's massive right tackle, stood 6-8 3/8 and tipped the Senior Bowl scale at 361 pounds. The son of former Atlanta Falcons first-round pick Lincoln Kennedy, who also was an offensive lineman, Banner is well aware that scouts are interested in his conditioning.

"I think his goal is to drop even more weight before the combine. I think that's headed in the right direction for him," said Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage.

Banner has a little more than four weeks before arriving at the combine in Indianapolis, where he'll be measured and weighed once again. The outcome there won't be, shall we say, taken lightly.

"I think he was in the 340s at one point. It's another indicator that his weight is concern, and he's been close to 400 in the past," Zierlein said. "I don't think he'll get (docked by scouts) for being 360, but he needs to get under 350 at the combine. He's not meant to be 330, but you don't want to be that big."

As for Pumphrey, Zierlein said the former Aztecs star would benefit from a chance to play slot receiver or return kickoffs and punts during practice this week.

"Scouts already knew he was small, but when you're confronted with how small he is in person at a weigh-in, it's a little different. You have to start asking exactly what he can do for a team, and you have to wonder who is going to bang the table for him," Zierlein said.

Here are four other things we learned from the Senior Bowl's Tuesday weigh-in:

*2. Biggest mitts. *Colorado QB Sefo Liufau wasn't the biggest quarterback at the Senior Bowl -- that distinction went to Cal's Davis Webb (6-4 5/8, 229). But Liufau came away with the biggest hands at the position by far with a measurement of 10 7/8 inches. The importance of hand size varies from club to club, but large hands are considered a plus for quarterbacks for ball-security purposes, particularly by teams in cold-weather cities.**


*3. Kelly misses weigh-in.Quarterbacks *Seth Russell of Baylor and Chad Kelly of Ole Miss accepted Senior Bowl invitations but can't play due to injuries. Interestingly, however, only one of the two participated in the weigh-in. Russell measured 6-2 7/8 and just 203 pounds -- 17 pounds lighter than his Baylor roster listing. Kelly was not at the weigh-in, and Savage said it was his initial understanding that the nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly would be there.

4. Jones comes in big. When the Senior Bowl weigh-in announces a prospect's height, it's typically shorter than the listing on his school's official roster. Sometimes, in fact, the disparity can be significant. In the case of East Carolina WR Zay Jones, the reverse was true. Jones was listed at 6-1, 197 pounds by the Pirates, but scouts must have been pleased to learn that he is actually much closer to 6-2 (he measured 6-1 7/8), and weighed 202. Jones posted dizzying production at ECU last year, amassing 158 catches for 1,746 yards.

5. Quotable: "He was listed at 227, and he was 236 at the weigh-in and looked like he carried that pretty well. Scouts will like that, and he can probably get even bigger." - Savage on Ole Miss TE Evan Engram.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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