MOBILE, Ala. -- One of the biggest weeks of pre-draft scouting kicked off Monday as the largest single collection of NFL coaches, scouts and general managers gathered for the 2011 Senior Bowl. For the next week the top seniors in the nation hope to showcase their skills for future employers during full-pads practice. Besides the action on the field, there's plenty of draft related news coming out of Mobile as NFL decision-makers look to the future.
The hopes that defensive end Cameron Heyward of Ohio State would participate in the Senior Bowl were dashed last week when the first-round prospect underwent surgery to repair a hyper-extended elbow suffered late in the season. Speculation is the recovery process could take as long as three months.
With so many NFL teams in desperate need of a starting quarterback and just a few expected to come from April's draft, talk in Mobile has centered on veteran signal callers likely to be dealt. The belief is the trade value for Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb will exceed his actual playing skills and some team will overpay for him. Word is the Seahawks could be in the bidding process for Carson Palmer if the Bengals deal the disgruntled veteran. Palmer was coached by Pete Carroll late in his college career, and most feel it is a natural fit.
Jake Locker stood in front of the media on Sunday night and answered a barrage of questions about his decision to stay at Washington for his senior season. He was steadfast, telling all who asked he feels he made the proper choice by pushing off his NFL dreams by a year. Locker pointed out he received his degree upon his return and feels he's now better prepared for the NFL.
A number of teams were relieved to hear Iowa receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos will only receive probation in conjunction with his arrest on drug charges from last December. Johnson-Koulianos pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana in a plea-bargain deal. He was initially charged with keeping a drug house, a misdemeanor that carried up to two years in prison. The latest development means Johnson-Koulianos will likely be selected in the late round and can participate in camp this summer.
Here's a look at the most notable performance, both good and bad, from Monday's practice: