Senior Bowl: Unpolished offensive linemen need time to develop One of the best ROT in the draft http://www.nfl.com/videos;jsessionid=3FF7C0CB11531D8D2EBE2C6793E31198?videoId=09000d5d80627724 Cherilus is one of the best run blocking OL in this draft and should he be the choice the Charger offensive line would have to be considered one of the best if not the best in football. Senior Bowl: Linebackers are dominating the practices By Pat Kirwan | NFL.com Xavier Adibi's winning attitude has made an impression on GMs visiting Senior Bowl practice sessions. MOBILE, Ala. -- Practices at the Under Armour Senior Bowl have been crisp and upbeat. The Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers coaching staffs have blended a lot of quality contact and instructional periods in the schedule to ensure the NFL coaches and personnel people get a real good look at the talent here. After three days of practice, it looks like the linebackers are the premier group of any position. The North squad might have three first-round linebackers working out, while the South has another first-round candidate. Dan Connor (Penn State), Keith Rivers (USC), Xavier Adibi (Virginia Tech) and Ali Highsmith (LSU) have dominated the week and have all the skills required to line up on Sundays as early as next September. Let's take a look at the top four showing off their talents for the NFL, along with a guy who impressed me at practice and might be moving up draft boards. 1. DAN CONNOR, 6-3, 230, Penn State From the first practice, Connor jumped out as a tremendous middle linebacker with range, the ability to key and diagnose, with all the instincts required to be a great player. When a guy posts 410 tackles in a college career, sometimes you wonder if maybe his stats were padded, that maybe he was getting credit for every time he got to a pile. But that's not the case with Connor. He lines up the defense and meets all of the running backs at the line of scrimmage. It's great to see his pass drops, which he performs with smoothness and an eye on the route progressions. On one play he's holding off the deep middle, and on the next he's colliding a slant route. When the linebackers this week went to their blitz period against the running backs, he made an even bigger impression when he made three different backs simply miss him when he rushed. On two other occasions he won with a bull rush and came back with a spin move to get to the QB. "Connor could play in any scheme, 4-3 or 3-4, and excel as a rookie," said one GM. "He reminds me of Lofa Tatupu of the Seattle Seahawks, except bigger." 2. KEITH RIVERS, 6-3, 237, USC Rivers is a very impressive physical specimen. He weighed in around the 235-pound range, but when you watch him practice you would swear he's closer to 250. Rivers can thump a guard who comes out to block him; he sees the scheme in front of him right away and always seems to be waiting for the back before he gets to the point of attack. What is impressive is he always leads with his hands. He has long arms and great upper body strength to explode into blockers and disengage. Rivers has smooth hips, easily opens up in his drops and has a knack for knocking down balls. Rivers runs 4.6 in the 40 but plays even faster. One GM who has a 3-4 defense feels he's the best prospect for his team even though Rivers was in a 4-3 package at USC. Rivers also possesses pass-rush skills, as his physical style makes him capable of a few sacks a year. If a 4-3 team takes Rivers, it will be able to try him at the Mike (middle), Sam (strongside) or Will (weakside) positions. 3. XAVIER ADIBI, 6-2, 219, Virginia Tech Adibi was the first player on the field for every practice and usually beat the coaches out to the drill area. It's always great to see how much a guy loves football and has a professional attitude. Adibi demonstrated that all week, even before practice started. As the drills got under way, Adibi showed the same lightning-quick playing style Connor and Rivers demonstrated. He has edge-rush skills, he can disengage from blockers to make tackles, and he has some coverage skills. He will need to work on the nuisances of the pass drops in all the zone concepts, but it isn't a negative. What impressed me most about the Virginia Tech linebacker when I spent some time with him was his ability to deal with a bad situation and self-correct. During the Wednesday morning 9-on-7 drill that pits the defense against the offensive running game, he got tagged by USC offensive tackle Sam Baker, who got under Adibi's pads and put him on his back. But Adibi recovered from the embarrassing shot and made a great play in the next situation. When I asked him about the Baker play, he was comfortable talking about it and basically moved on to the next play in his mind. That's the type of mental toughness all coaches are looking for in the NFL. Adibi is being scouted by all 32 teams and has a position in the 3-4 as an OLB or in the 4-3 as a Sam or Will. 4. ALI HIGHSMITH, 6-0, 221, LSU Highsmith is a 4-3 weakside linebacker and is drawing little interest from 3-4 teams. But the 4-3 teams see a young Derrick Brooks. This guy can go sideline to sideline and he's athletic enough to go out on a slot receiver and play him in man coverage. After watching him practice, all I can say is he makes it look easy. "He might be good enough to play some safety," said one defensive coordinator. His point wasn't that he would move Highsmith to safety, but rather that he was talented enough in space to do it. On his pass-rush skills, it's all about speed, and he demonstrated a nice spin move. He could be a real intriguing player for the Tampa 2 scheme. 5. BEN MOFFITT, 6-2, 241, South Florida Moffitt jumps out at you when the contact begins. He likes to strike, plays hard all the time, and he has a nose for the ball. Moffitt will be a terror on special teams right away and will be able to back up at a few linebacker spots as a rookie. I was also impressed with his pass rush skills; he has a good dip-and-rip move to beat a blocker. He told me he did a lot of blitzing at South Florida, and that sets up well for fire-zone teams like Philadelphia and the New York Giants. Coming Friday: Offensive line prospects Players to watch at Senior Bowl Kirwan: Breaking down the QBs NFL streamlines draft process 2008 NFL Draft order tentatively in place Michigan's Long leads strong class of OTs © 2007 NFL Enterprises LLC. 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