The Senior Bowl is a great opportunity for established collegiate players to show they can perform in a professional setting, stand out against other motivated amateur talent and prepare themselves for the 2012 NFL Draft process. NFL scouts and talent evaluators keep a very close eye on team practices to see which players fit NFL prototypes and which can't match the physical demands of the professional game. Wes Bunting of the National Football Post has watched all of the team practices very closely, and after the full three-day experience he has listed his top 10 prospects for the 2012 Senior Bowl.
The Chicago Bears have been looking for someone to make an impact opposite Julius Peppers in the defensive line, and Bunting has identified DE Quinton Coples of the North Carolina Tar Heels and DE Courtney Upshaw of the Alabama Crimson Tide as potential fits on draft day. Bunting named Coples the No. 1 prospect and called him a standout player and "top-five caliber talent" who can overpower offensive linemen on contact, so perhaps isn't really someone the Bears can get. However, Upshaw is listed at No. 3 and not only has the versatility to play a 4-3 scheme, but also has the power and speed to "overwhelm on contact" off the edge.
Bears fans would do well to keep an eye on both players during the 2012 Senior Bowl, because the next general manager of the team might just make a play for one of them in the 2012 NFL Draft.
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