The first major scouting event for the 2011 NFL Draft took place in Orlando Jan. 17-20 as scouts descended upon the Sunshine State to watch more than 100 seniors take part in Shrine Bowl practices. What follows is a list of players who helped themselves most during the week of practice, and a couple who didn't. The week was vitally important for Austin, who was suspended the entire 2010 season after violations of school and NCAA policy. He responded with a dominant week of practice, answering all questions scouts had about his ability on the field. Austin was virtually unstoppable from day one as he beat opponents off the snap or powerfully overran them when they tried to stop him. Blockers were reduced to double teaming and often holding Austin in an attempt to slow him down. He arrived in shape and ready to perform and leaves Orlando back in the conversation as a potential first-round pick.
2 of 16Patrick Green/Icon SMI
Barksdale quelled any doubt about his ability to hold down the all important left tackle position with his play this week. The senior displayed outstanding technique, strength and wherewithal from the first day of practice. He was never beaten in drills and kept his signal caller upright during full scrimmage. Barksdale improved his draft grade at least a full round with his play this week.
3 of 16Ric Tapia/Icon SMI
After a disappointing senior season Carter responded with an all-star type performance every practice. He's looked incredibly athletic, beating blockers off the snap then quickly changing direction to sack quarterbacks or catch ball carriers in backside pursuit. Opponents were forced to double team the Bruin lineman in an effort to stop him. Scouts are hoping the light has gone on for Carter and he continues to play at this high level in the NFL.
4 of 16Peter Read Miller/SI
Thompson was the best defensive back on the field during Shrine practices and displayed the ability to consistently shut down opponents. He displayed outstanding defensive back mechanics as well as top ball skills. Thompson helped himself greatly and a good forty time at the combine could push him into the draft's top 100 selections.
5 of 16Dave Stephenson/Icon SMI
Bair was another Pac-10 defensive lineman that impressed scouts all week. His monstrous 6-foot-6 frame stood out to everyone in attendance as did his play. Bair was unblockable during the week and displayed skill defending the run as well as rushing the passer. He has the body type which can add bulk and strength in the future and many scouts believe Bair has possibilities at a number of defensive line positions.
6 of 16Jeff Lack/Icon SMI
From the very first day Rogers made scouts take notice as he displayed outstanding skill and an all-around game. His footwork and hip movement was NFL-caliber as were Rogers' ball skills. He fought hard to break up passes all week, which he did with regularity in practice. Rogers is also a game impacting return specialist, which is something to look for once the contest kicks off.
7 of 16Jeff Lack/Icon SMI
Like his college teammate, Parker proved why he's a highly rated small school prospect. He was extremely quick and consistently beat opposing linemen off the snap, which gave him an advantage. Parker also flashed strength and the ability to defeat blocks once opponents got hold of him. Scouts left Orlando with the feeling Parker has the skills to start in the NFL.
8 of 16Cliff Welch/Icon SMI
Whalen continued the positive play he was known for at Stanford and wowed scouts every practice with the ability to make the acrobatic reception looked ordinary. He possesses hands of glue and fights hard to come away with the ball. Whalen's concentration is very impressive as he never gave up on plays and worked hard, even during the drills.
9 of 16Cliff Welch/Icon SMI
McClain was yet another defensive lineman who dominated the week. He looked explosive, athletic, powerful and for most of the time, impossible to block. With well-known names dominating the conversation at a deep defensive line class, McClain is one of the sleepers who will surprise in April's draft.
10 of 16Ric Tapia/Icon SMI
Cameron looks like a power forward moving about the field yet displayed all the skills to be a starting tight end in the NFL. He looked natural catching the ball and made a number of highlight reel receptions every day in scrimmage. Most impressive was the athleticism Cameron showcased all week.
11 of 16Simon Bruty/SI
Rarely does a fullback come out of an All Star game drawing rave reviews but two accomplished it this week, starting with DiMarco. His blocking skills were compared to many of the offensive linemen in attendance as DiMarco devastated opponents, opening large holes for the running game or protecting his quarterback on passing downs. He also displayed dependable hands as a receiver out of the backfield.
12 of 16Cliff Welch/Icon SMI
Lindsey accomplished what a small school cornerback must display against better competition -- a willingness to challenge opponents without intimidation. He showed a few flaws in his game the final day of full pads practice but overall it was a productive week for the SIU prospect.
13 of 16Rod Mar/SI
Maehl lacks classic NFL size and speed but proved himself to be a terrific football player this week. He beat defenders off the line, ran incredibly sharp routes and almost always came free for the quarterback. Maehl displayed dependable hands, catching everything thrown his direction.
14 of 16Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Sherman was the other dominant lead blocker who devastated opponents all week. He displayed a large degree of athleticism and surprised scouts with his ability to turn the corner on the occasions he carried the ball.
15 of 16Cliff Welch/Icon SMI
Cooper, the one time highly rated prospect who struggled this season recovering from a knee injury suffered during his junior campaign, displayed many of his former skills. He was incredibly elusive and made defenders miss with his ability to quickly sidestep them. Cooper also showed a nice burst of speed, and dashed away from opponents if there was any open space on the field. Medical exams at the combine on his surgically repaired knee loom large but at Shrine practices Cooper displayed many of the skills that made him so highly regarded.
16 of 16Steve Conner/Icon SMI
Williams had his moments during the week, yet in the end left practice with a lower draft grade then the one he arrived with. Williams struggled with the quarterback-center snap exchange several times and was overrun by defenders on more than one occasion.
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