The Reese's Senior Bowl annually provides a chance for recognized and lesser-known NFL prospects alike to begin to forge their names into the minds of general managers, personnel directors and team scouts.
In 2016, the Arizona State Sun Devils have two representatives down in Mobile, Ala. for Saturday's game: offensive lineman Christian Westerman (South) and tailback/receiver D.J. Foster (North).
Where: Mobile, Alabama
TV: NFL Network
Tickets: $30, $20, $10
Christian Westerman, OG -- No. 65, South Team
Christian Westerman OG Arizona State 6032 296 1078 hands 3338 arm 78 wingspan Very good muscularity throughout. Looks like a LB guy— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) January 26, 2016
It's been long known that Westerman possesses brute strength (he was even named to Bruce Feldman's Freaks list during this past offseason). He finished the year having allowed just two sacks and 18 pressures in over 1,000 snaps, according to College Football Focus.
Originally an Auburn Tiger, Westerman was a consensus top-five offensive line prospect entering college. He finished the 2015 season as a member of the All-Pac-12 second team.
What they're saying:
Westerman has been drawing very strong reviews from the online scouting community.
Westerman has held his own nicely— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 26, 2016
Westerman really looks good to me. Just does things the right way.— Pete Smith (@_PeteSmith_) January 26, 2016
AZ State OG Westerman has showed great balance and technique— Mike Margittai NFL (@DraftMaverick) January 26, 2016
I spoke with @OLineWorld65 protege, Christian Westerman. I like what I see from him and he's VERY focused on his craft, improving it.— Pete Smith (@_PeteSmith_) January 27, 2016
What to watch for:
Defensive line is one of the deepest groups in this year's draft class, and Westerman should find himself in a matchup(s) with Sheldon Day, Adolphus Washington, Carl Nassib or Austin Johnson. How he holds up will be interesting to watch, considering the week he's had so far.
In team Westerman has been taking dudes for rides in the run game both in man & doubles. Tapper and Hargrave victims already.— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) January 28, 2016
His stock has ranged from the third-round to the fifth-round in recent months, however it is hard to imagine him slipping past the third should he perform well during the contest on Saturday.
D.J. Foster, RB -- No. 18, North Team
Measurements for additions: DJ Foster Ht: 5102 Wt: 193 Hand: 918 Arm: 30 Wing: 7418 Griswold Ht 6034 Wt: 249 Hand: 912 Arm: 3312 Wing: 8234— Patrick Woo (@P_Woo) January 28, 2016
Foster was a last-minute addition to the event, as he is hoping to improve his stock while in Mobile.
It appears as though the former Sun Devil will be re-transitioning back to running back in the NFL after practicing exclusively out of the backfield on Thursday.
@kaelenjones watched the north practice today. Didn’t see him line up at WR one time— Ryan Bafaloukos (@RyanBafo) January 29, 2016
After making the move full-time to receiver, Foster produced a career-low 9.9 yards per catch, while only rushing the ball 55 times for 280 yards. There was much debate as to which role would suit his stock at the best level, and it appears an answer has been reached, for now.
What they're saying:
Foster's route running out of the backfield has been touted, but he also was on the wrong end of a big defensive play during practice on Thursday.
K.J Dillon #WestVirginia by far the loudest, most confident player out here. Just blew up DJ Foster in the backfield— NFL Draft Geek (@NFLDraftGeek) January 28, 2016
AZ State RB DJ Foster & La Tech RB Kenneth Dixon have some nice quicks.. especially in receiving 1v1s, they left a lot of LBs in their dust— Mike Margittai NFL (@DraftMaverick) January 28, 2016
What to watch for:
Where will Foster line up? Seems as though he will only see time at running back, but whether or not his versatility will prove a benefit rather than a hindrance has yet to be determined.
Foster's stock clearly was hurt by his performance in 2015, as well as his team's. One could figure he'd manage to sustain a career serving in a capacity similar to that of Joique Bell of the Detroit Lions or in fashion similar to how Shane Vereen of the New York Giants was utilized when he was on the New England Patriots.
Foster figures to be a player who is often aligned in the slot as a receiver because of his "quicks and hands." Most likely, at his current weight, teams will probably view him as a change-of-pace tailback rather than an every-down ball carrier.