During his time at the University of Arkansas, DeMarcus Love had a heck of a career. He started 37 career games for the Razorbacks, saw time at both offensive tackle positions as well as at guard, and was an All-SEC player as a senior as part of a team that went to a BCS game.
So how does a guy like that fall all the way to the sixth round of the National Football League draft? By committing one of the more egregious sins that a pro football prospect can commit.
Love suffered a knee injury in Arkansas' Sugar Bowl loss to Ohio State, and the swelling in his knee hadn't subsided before he took the trip to Mobile. He didn't look great in the practice sessions leading up to the game, and had a poor performance in the actual game as well. As a result, a guy that had been thought of as a potential first-rounder after his junior year and no worse than a second-rounder immediately after his senior season fell into the sixth round, where the Vikings grabbed him with 168th overall selection.
More often than not, we hear about how the Senior Bowl helps players improve their stock. . .look no further than Senior Bowl MVP Christian Ponder as proof of that. . .but as Love says in the interview he conducted with the Pioneer Press,
"It could have made me or broke me, and it broke me," Love said. "People saw an opportunity, and they went after me."
Hopefully, now that he's going to be healthy again, Mr. Love's performance will be more in line with his pre-Senior Bowl expectations than the free fall he experienced afterwards.