Redskins coaches and personnel officials traveled to Mobile, Ala., on Sunday to coach NFL Draft prospects at the 2012 Senior Bowl.
The Redskins were selected to coach the South squad in the annual college football showcase of the nation’s top seniors.
It’s a rare opportunity for the Redskins’ coaching staff to get a close-up look at prospects and see how they interact with coaches and teammates on the practice field and during games.
Players arrived in Mobile on Sunday to undergo physicals and meet with coaches. They also were measured in height and weight, the first of many times during the NFL Draft process.
Starting Monday, players will be scrutinized by every NFL team in practices.
How do they compete in drills? How hard do they work? How do they conduct themselves during practice and in interviews with team officials?
Redskins director of player personnel Scott Campbell, now in his 11th year with the franchise, calls the Senior Bowl a great opportunity to see which prospects are most NFL-ready.
“The Senior Bowl tends to tell a little more about a player because it’s coached by NFL coaching staffs and is run in a way [coaches] are familiar with, with one-on-one drills run by NFL coaches,” Campbell told Redskins.com. “It’s catered to our needs.”
Redskins coaches will be monitoring each prospect, zeroing in on the “little things” in scouting a player.
“At practice, you see who the competitors are,” Campbell said. “They’re in an environment where they know they’re being watched, they know they’re playing against other good players and you like to see the real competitors stand up.
“You find out who the leaders are, the natural leaders the kids are gravitating to. You see who the coaches are getting on, who can’t learn the plays.
“All of that shows up and it’s what you can’t see in the game. It’s all the little things you can pick up watching a practice.”
Campbell calls the Senior Bowl interviews, conducted in the evening in the privacy of team hotel room, the most important part of the week.
“It will be our first chance to interview and start to get to know the kids, in addition to watching them at practice,” he said. “
The Redskins have placed a priority on drafting high-character players and leaders in recent years – several of their 12 draft picks in 2011 were team captains, including top pick
Coaches and scouts typically collaborate on reports detailing the attributes of each prospect from the Senior Bowl, as well as the East-West Shrine Game, the NFL Scouting Combine and various Pro Days.
This year, the Redskins’ reports from the Senior Bowl may be more detailed than ever, since the coaches will get an up close and personal look at prospects all week.