Picture a giant convention center with over 1,000 men sitting in chairs and bleachers looking up at a stage. The giant room is dimly lit, save for the spotlights on the scale and measuring podium.
114 different NFL prospects are marched onto the stage and weighed and measured in front of all of us. They are clad in nothing but tights and awkward faces. As a Titans scout announces their dimensions, they march off stage right and are replaced by the next scantily clad prospect.
Welcome to Tuesday morning at the Senior Bowl.
The surreal event is one of the strangest experiences of my year, every year. Some people take it quite seriously, furiously jotting down the height and weight to go next to the pre-filled hand size, arm length and wingspan. Others use a lighter approach. I'm firmly in the latter camp, as anyone who follows along with my Twitter feed (@JeffRisdon) knows all too well.
But there is a lot to be taken away here. Size is critically important to most NFL evaluators. There are positional prerequisites that some players simply don't make. Other astonish with their long arms, big hands and impressive physiques.
Here are some of the guys who stood out to my bleary eyes this year:
Terrill Hanks, LB, New Mexico State -- He looks like an action figure at 6'2" and 234 pounds. His muscles have muscles.
Isaiah Johnson, S, Houston -- Nice physique at 6002/207, but he has tiny hands at just 828.
A bit of scouting parlance: we write things differently. 6015 is 6'1" and a half. 6047 is 6'4" and three-quarters. For a guy of Johnson's size, scouts would expect his hands to be at least 900. It's not a deal-breaker, but it will not help him.
Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson --He looked like an 8th grader cutting gym class. No muscle definition at 5103/175. He also has tiny hands at 768 and the shortest arms of anyone here at 29 inches. Those are indeed deal-breakers for many teams.
Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose State -- At 6045 and 246, he's straight out of central casting as a flex TE. His 1058 hands are the biggest of any player here and look particularly huge at the end of his 3338 arms, which are actually short for his height.
Oshane Ximines, DE, Old Dominion -- Listed by the Monarchs at 6-4/255, the talented Ximines is officially 6034/241. That loss of length and weight is significant; teams running a 4-3 base front are not going to have as much interest.
Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas -- A long-armed monster at 6045/274, he has a ridiculous wingspan at 84 inches and over 36-inch arms. That got scouts seated around us buzzing.
Cameron Smith, LB, USC -- Not going to lie, I'm not sure he can play in the NFL, but he has a budding career as a male model if he wants it. He's incredibly handsome and well-built.
Sutton Smith, LB, Northern Illinois -- He was a demon for the Huskies as a pass rusher, but his size limitations are problematic. Smith came in at 6003/234 with arms under 31 inches and one of the smallest wingspans here at 7348. Smith faces a major uphill battle to get drafted with those dimensions no matter how good his tape is or how fast he might be.
Donald Parham, TE, Stetson -- The tallest Senior Bowler at 6083, he looks like a beach volleyball player at 243 pounds. I have not seen him play one snap but his size has me intrigued.
Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State -- Wren was the last guy to take the catwalk and he closed the proceedings in style. He's a very impressive 6044/315 with little fat and great legs.
The practice sessions kick off Tuesday afternoon.