LINCOLN — Stanley Jean-Baptiste probably won't be leaving the Senior Bowl with the same “under-the-radar prospect” tag that NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt gave him as players arrived in Mobile, Ala.
That means the former Nebraska cornerback has used this week to make the most of the invitation that he embraced receiving last month.
“I knew when I got it that I had no time to waste,” Jean-Baptiste said Thursday. “I had to make an immediate impact and I had to be getting the scouts' attention, and show that I can move around and be an athlete and play the game.”
Jean-Baptiste has received a steady flow of positive publicity as his North team prepares for the Senior Bowl game that will be played Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, with kickoff at 3 p.m. and television coverage by the NFL Network.
Because of Jean-Baptiste's size and length, Brandt has been among those comparing him to Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, and Eric Galko of Optimum Scouting tweeted this week that the Miami native has “all the tools.”
Jean-Baptiste had to prove that he knew how to use them, which has included maximizing instruction from the Atlanta Falcons staff that is coaching the North.
“They're getting the best out of me,” he said. “They're having us compete every day and every drill. No time off.”
Combined with the scouts scattered all around and the NFL Network cameras always rolling, Jean-Baptiste describes the scene in one word: “Intense.”
“You just can't get too caught up in it,” he said, “because then you're going to make mistakes or do things that you don't want to do.”
Jean-Baptiste already had one thing going for him Sunday as he was measured at 6-foot-2 3⁄8 and 215 pounds, with a 78-inch wingspan. Brandt on Monday had him heading a list of five players who weren't in his Top 50 prospects but “could help their draft stock with good showings” in Mobile.
Brandt called him a willing tackler who looks fast in coverage and has quickness.
After Wednesday's practice, Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage mentioned Jean-Baptiste among the defensive standouts in his North video breakdown.
“Huge corner, one of the biggest ones here,” Savage said. “He's just really difficult to throw around. He's got towering height (and) arm length.”
Before the Senior Bowl workouts, NFL Draft Scout and NFL Draft Countdown both had Jean-Baptiste in third-round range. Is he on the move? The NFL combine next month — where his 40-yard dash time and some other testing will be watched closely — will probably tell more of the story.
It's a story, though, that might have changed for the better back in the 2011 season when Nebraska transitioned the former junior-college transfer from receiver to cornerback.
“I liked receiver, but I think making the change has been a good thing for me,” said Jean-Baptiste, who was second-team All-Big Ten last season after intercepting four passes and breaking up 12 others. “It got me to where I'm at now. And it feels like the right time, with how everybody's looking for corners with size.”