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NFL Draft 2016: Six Senior Bowl players who improved their stock

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

The Senior Bowl week has come to a close, culminating in yesterday's game between the North and the South squads. The South team came away with a convincing win, but it is important to look beyond that to see who actually "won" the Senior Bowl. A few players took great advantage of the week to impress teams with great play in practice and during Saturday's match.

  • Dak Prescott, QB, Missisippi State: Dak Prescott had a tremendous opportunity coming into the week and he fully seized it. With a weak crop of quarterbacks in Mobile, Prescott brought his A-game the whole week. He was on point in practice passing against air, in seven on sevens, in team drills, red zone drills and his strong week culminated in him lighting up the game and winning MVP. There are questions about Prescott as prospective future starter in the NFL, but he put himself in great standing after a great week in Mobile.

  • Vernon Butler, DL, Louisiana Tech: Coming from a more under the radar FBS program, Butler had to look good this week to standout over bigger name prospects. Luckily, all he did was look good. The 6-3, 325 pound defensive lineman was an absolute hulk throughout the week, dominating every drill that could be thrown at him. He is athletic for his size with great length and overpowering strength. Any team in need of a monster in the middle of their defense surely had to take notice of Butler after this week.

  • Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State: It is hard to talk about this Senior Bowl without mentioning Braxton Miller. The former Ohio State super star made a positional change this past season and a lot of people were wondering how NFL ready he would be as a wide receiver after years of dominating the quarterback position. Well, Miller responded with a fantastic week of practice. He was the quickest thing in the state of Alabama and defensive backs were having an absolute hell of a time trying to cover him. His route running looks incredibly clean and his natural athletic ability is evident. It is fair to assume Miller won't last long once the commissioner starts picks names in April.

  • Sheldon Rankins, DL, Louisville: Sheldon Rankins spent all of last week running by offensive linemen. He was too strong, too quick and too smart for every player he faced and he absolutely killed it every day. The 6-3, 300 pounder was moving at a different speed than most of the other defensive linemen and teams took notice. Any team looking for an impact three-technique should look no further than the former Louisville Cardinal.

  • Darian Thompson,S, Boise State: Darian Thompson stood out among not only the other safeties at the Senior Bowl, but probably all of the defensive backs. Standing at 6-2, 215, Thompson has incredible build to pair with really good athletic ability. He is a very cerebral player who can play at any level of the field and isn't afraid to get down and dirty as a tackler. He was awesome in practices and in interviews, so with the value being put on the safety position, I wouldn't be shocked to see him be the second one taken come the draft.

  • Jonathan Jones, CB, Auburn: Auburn had a major down year as a program so it is hard to get noticed as a player, even on an SEC squad. Jones is also beleaguered by size, standing a hair under 5-9 and weighing less than 180 pounds. That is going to be tough to overcome in NFL team's eyes, but Jones did everything in his power to show out throughout the week. He has very good movement skills and is a natural in coverage. In addition, he is very competitive and plays with a ton of fire and physicality, fighting for every play. I am not sure how much teams are going to knock Jones for his size, but he is an absolute football player who can compete at the next level.

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