TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 22: Dont'a Hightower #30 and Courtney Upshaw #41 of the Alabama Crimson Tide react after a defensive stop against the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Courtney Upshaw didn't partake in most of the testing phases of the Combine and since then I've seen him listed by nearly everyone as a "faller" or "slider" or "loser" or whatever when it comes to the evaluation he was given in Indianapolis. Some examples:
5. Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama, 6-1 1/2, 272; new likely draft position: Late first round or high second round. We were disappointed with Upshaw. He struggled during the linebacker drills, where he was required to move his feet and show that he could handle playing off the ball in pass coverage. He was upright and stiff in drops, could not flip his hips to change direction quickly and lacked the explosiveness and burst that NFL teams wanted to see. In our view, his performance clearly showed that he is a power player who lacks the explosiveness and speed to be a threat as an edge pass rusher.
" Alabama DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw: I just didn't see the explosion that you want to see from a pass rusher off the edge.
Regardless, he remains firmly in the first-round discussion and his poor showing at the Combine, if anything, just gives him a better chance of falling to the Seahawks at #12. Am I swayed by this information? Well, it certainly makes me want to go back and take a further look. Game tape is ultimately going to be more important to teams - John Schneider said that in his interview today on Brock and Salk explicitly - so really that's where we can draw our information.
If it is indeed true that he may have hurt himself enough to fall past some of the teams in front of Seattle, it's probably smart to further familiarize ourselves with his game. The folks at DraftBreakdown just cut his Mississippi State game footage so take a look after the jump.
Post-script: I wrote this whole thing - not that it's much - then saw that Rob Staton beat me to the punch at Seahawks Draft Blog as well. Make sure you head over there to take part in the commentary as well.