NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 17: Dwight Bentley #5 of the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns is tackled after making a catch for a first down on a fake punt by Mahbu Keels #21 of the San Diego State Aztecs during the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 17, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
One of the surprises of the 2012 Senior Bowl was the play of Louisiana-Lafayette cornerback Dwight Bentley. Unheralded coming into the week, Bentley opened some eyes in his first practice with his physical and aggressive play. Bentley is hoping to become another of the "small school" cornerbacks who can make that leap to the NFL and put his talents on display in the Senior Bowl.
"It's not about those other small school guys, it's what I have to do here for myself," Bentley explained. "For all of us small school guys, the NFL scouts want to see how you go out here and compete with the bigger school guys." The Senior Bowl is the perfect venue for players like Bentley to show NFL scouts just what they can do against some of the bigger school players they don't often get to compete against during the season. "It's about coming out here and doing what I do best," Bentley said. "Not to take anything away from those guys, they're very good players but if I'm worried about those guys I'm not going to be out here doing what I have to do."A big part of Bentley's game was simply just shadowing the receivers in practice and often running their routes for them. "My best attributes are my route recognition and playing fast," Bentley said "Once I know what I have to do, playing fast is the key to get the edge over people and beat them to their routes." Bentley had no problem actually covering the receivers during Senior Bowl week. His only real issue was actually catching passes that should have been interceptions.
"I'm a hard worker, I get along with my teammates and I've tried to help everyone I played with get better," Bentley said when asked why an NFL team should draft him. "I'm not a bad kid, I don't get in any trouble or have any off the field issues either."