Crockett Gillmore wasn't even supposed to be there, but it did not stop him from leading the Senior Bowl in receiving yards and hauling in a touchdown pass. After an injury to a player earlier in the week, Gillmore was invited to fill his spot. He made the most of it. In Thursday's practice, Gillmore really started to generate interest when he fully extended his 6' 6" frame to haul in a touchdown pass.
The skepticism coming into the week was that his lack of speed would prevent him from being a true receiving threat in the NFL. Everyone knew his blocking was where it needed to be, but he had yet to show his receiving talent. He certainly took advantage of the extra practices at the Senior Bowl and proved why he was first team All-Mountain West.
All of the week's work accumulated in a five catch, 61 yard performance including a touchdown catch from Mountain West quarterback Derek Carr. Gillmore, who came into the draft evaluation season as a late pick, has already increased his stock up to fourth round talk with his Pro Day and NFL Combine still to come.
Gillmore was not the only Ram who made big impressions at the Senior Bowl.
Weston Richburg was originally the only Ram on the Senior Bowl roster and benefitted from an entire week of practice time. He came into the week with doubts whether or not he could hold his own against NFL sized defensive tackles and quickly showed he is more than capable. In individual drills throughout the week, Richburg continuously impressed scouts with his football IQ and blocking ability.
When it came time for game day, he did not make much noise since the actual Senior Bowl is built mostly for skill players. The simplified blocking schemes and lack of true pass rush meant there were not many opportunities for linemen to display their talent. For them, it is all about the practices leading up to the game, and Richburg did what he needed to do. His performance likely moved him up to a solid second or third rounder and put him ahead of a couple centers that were previously ranked higher than him.
Even with the great week, Richburg and Gillmore still have a long way to go with both heading to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine on February 22nd and the Colorado State pro day in March. If they continue performing like they have so far, they could easily find themselves at the top of their positions going into the draft. And don't forget, Mountain West Defensive POY Shaq Barrett is still in the hunt as well as record breaking running back Kapri Bibbs. At this rate, it is going to be a good draft weekend for Colorado State fans.