The week of practices before the Senior Bowl, where some of the best NFL prospects in the country go head-to-head in a series of one-on-one drills, are as important as the game itself for NFL teams looking for hidden gems in the lead up to the April draft.
Emmanuel Acho is just a smart, instinctive football player. He's not the greatest athlete but does a great job diagnosing the action and putting himself in a position to make plays on the ball. Acho has looked good against the run and pass.
Kheeston Randall (DT-DE, Texas) showed exceptional agility for a 300-plus pounder during individual drills, and he was a handful to block because of his ability to work inside-out against blockers. Randall looked less comfortable pass rushing from the outside, but his size-athleticism combination may make him an ideal fit as a 3-4 defensive end for a Steelers-type scheme.
Both Randall and Acho have a chance to be picked in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft after strong senior seasons, helping lead the Longhorns back to a bowl berth after a 5-7 collapse in 2010.
Acho was a third-team All-American, racking up 115 tackles, including 14.5 for loss from the OLB position, while Randall was a dominant force on the interior of the defensive line.