Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
"You can never have too many cornerbacks." -- John Madden
Originally Posted by sosa39rams
I won't be surprised if the Rams take a CB in the Round 4-6 range to replace Brad Fletcher if he is not re-signed.
On the issue of OTs, I'm starting to wonder if we'll see Barrett Jones eventually getting some work on the outside at the Combine or in workouts. After all, he played some OT at Alabama, and with a fairly thin OT crop, he might be one of the better prospects at the position.
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
Me neither, though Poyer and Trufant will go in rounds 2 and 3 at the latest. Not only did Jones play all the positions, he excelled at them.
Originally Posted by AvengerRam
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
Exactly. Which is why I could see him being a very valuable guy for the Rams. I could see him start at LG or RT as a rookie. He is also capable of moving to center if Wells were to get injured, and probably would be our primary back-up at LT.
Originally Posted by sosa39rams
I'm keeping a close eye on his progress.
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
Definitely interested in Jones, as well as Warmack and Fluker. I guess we'll see how the draft works out.
Originally Posted by AvengerRam
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
Theres some good LB's in this draft! Gotta like Khaseem Greene, Kevin Reddick, Keith Pough. Later round DT Brandon Williams as well, big thick guy! Some nice options from rounds 2 and 4-5.
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
A name to watch....
Quite probably the best LB at the Senior Bowl, if not the entire draft....
In fact, he may be the best LB to ever play football....
Ty Powell, Harding University
No, I don't really believe he's all of those things. I'm just excited to see a fellow HU Bison at the Senior Bowl. Go, Ty!!!
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
Originally Posted by HUbison
"Would you like to tie me up with some of your ties, Ty?"
(I don't know why, but that name always makes me think of that scene)
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
Don't sell yourself short, Judge. You're a tremendous slouch.
Originally Posted by AvengerRam
Quinton Patton + Bacarri Rambo Interviews From Senior Bowl
Louisiana Tech WR Quinton Patton talks about the talent pool at the 2013 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama and Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo talks about his skill set. Videos include some highlights from the Senior Bowl Practices.
Watch Patton and Rambo Interviews
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
Tackle's rising stock could place him out of Rams' reach
Eric Fisher Central Michigan
Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher.
By Jim Thomas
MOBILE, ALA. • During his recruiting trip to Central Michigan, Eric Fisher couldn’t help but notice Joe Staley’s picture displayed prominently on the wall.
“I told myself I want to be that guy, too,” Fisher said.
Fisher should get that chance. Staley was a first-round draft pick by San Francisco in 2008 out of Central Michigan who has blossomed into one of the NFL’s top left tackles. Staley’s a two-time Pro Bowler who will be blocking for Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore & Co. in Super Bowl XLVII against Baltimore.
As the top offensive tackle competing in this week’s Senior Bowl, Fisher looks like a sure thing as a first-rounder in April’s NFL draft. The decisions by Jake Matthews of Texas A&M and Taylor Lewan of Michigan to stay in school have pushed Fisher up the chart. Some observers project him as the second-best tackle in the draft pool this year, behind only Luke Joeckel of Texas A&M.
“I try not to pay attention to that stuff,” Fisher said. “I just try to become a better offensive lineman every day. I’ve really worked on my game, and this is a huge opportunity for me down here coming out of a MAC school to play against some of the elite.”
The Rochester, Mich., native was not heavily recruited out of high school, getting only one other scholarship offer – from fellow Mid-American Conference school Eastern Michigan. He was lean 242 pounds entering college, which may partly explain it. But he has gradually filled out his 6-foot-7 frame, weighing in at 305 pounds at the Senior Bowl.
After starting games at right tackle, left tackle, and right guard as a freshman and sophomore, Fisher settled in at left tackle his final two seasons at Central Michigan. As his success and reputation increased, so did the comparisons to Staley.
“I get that a lot,” Fisher said. “I like watching Joe play on Sundays. He’s a very athletic (tackle). I take pride in being an athletic offensive lineman. I think it’s kind of changing in the league to more athletic offensive linemen. So I just try to play how I’m comfortable playing. It’s working out pretty good.”
That’s for sure. Fisher has performed well during the first two days of Senior Bowls workouts, and that may push him out of draft consideration for the Rams, who have the No. 16 and No. 22 overall picks in the first round. Not to mention a pressing need at offensive tackle.
This season’s primary starters were Rodger Saffold at left tackle and Barry Richardson at right tackle. Richardson is scheduled for unrestricted free agency this offseason, and Saffold is entering the final year of his contract. So the shelves have to be re-stocked at that position.
Russ Lande of NationalFootballPost.com and a former NFL (and Rams) scout, thinks Fisher could go as high as No. 11 overall to San Diego.
“He’s tremendously athletic,” Lande said. “He can pull. He can get out in space. The only issue is he’s a little bit of an upright guy when you watch him block. He’s a real tall kid. A lot of those tall guys have that issue.
“He’s not a real powerful kid; you can jolt him and drive him. But when I look at what he can do – holy cow. He’s so athletic, and he’s a real nasty guy.”
Fisher and North squad defensive ends Datone Jones of UCLA and Alex Okafor of Texas have had some intense practice battles so far this week, so there’s no doubting Fisher’s competitiveness. And that helps explain why he’s so excited to be in Mobile this week.
“I think a lot of people, including myself, wanted to see me go against the elite competition,” Fisher said. “Going against these guys from the SEC and stuff in this game will be great for me I think just to prove that I am worthy of being here.
“It’s a great honor to be here. Not many players get to come here. I think I’m only the third player out of Central Michigan to come here.”
The next tier of offensive tackles behind Fisher includes Lane Johnson of Oklahoma and Oday Aboushi of Virginia, both members of the South squad.
Johnson was a high school quarterback and played QB for a year in junior college. But he kept growing, and at Oklahoma went from tight end, to defensive end, to a third-team all-American offensive tackle as a senior. Johnson (6-6, 303) played right tackle as a junior and left tackle as a senior.
“He’s a long, linear kid,” Lande said. “He can bend his knees which is rare for a big, tall kid. He’s got a chance.”
(Blocking is a leverage game, and the “knee-benders” usually get better leverage.)
Virginia’s Aboushi isn’t as flashy as some of the other top tackles in terms of athleticism, but brings some Brooklyn toughness to the table – which is where he’s from. Syracuse’s Justin Pugh may end up playing guard after being measured in with only a 31Ĺ-inch reach. (Longer arms are desirable for NFL tackles for punching out on pass rushers.)
Like most Wisconsin offensive linemen, Rick Wagner is super competitive and smart. But he’s a little stiff in his movements and may be a right tackle only, or maybe a guard in the NFL. Small-school prospect Garrett Gilkey of Chadron State has been working at guard at the Senior Bowl.
Alabama’s mammoth D.J. Fluker (6-5, 355) attended Monday’s weigh-in/measurement session, but then excluded himself from Senior Bowl practices and Saturday’s game because of a groin and calf problems.
Wagoner Senior Bowl Wednesday Reports
Senior Bowl: Wednesday Morning Practice (North Squad)
Posted by nickwagoner on January 23, 2013 Ė 6:22 PM
St. Louis Rams – Blog | Senior Bowl: Wednesday Morning Practice (North Squad)
MOBILE, Ala. -
- It was a beautiful morning here at Ladd-Peebles Stadium as the North team went through its final padded practice of this yearís event. With temperatures in the mid-60s, it was a good day for a number of players as they took full advantage of practicing in front of the assembled scouts and coaches. Most of the league types will head home tonight or tomorrow and then watch the tape of the game next week.
- The story of the morning was the return of New Orleans HC Sean Payton, who arrived here in Mobile and took in Wednesday morningís practice alongside top lieutenant and fill in Joe Vitt. Payton was re-instated by the league on Tuesday and here for practice Wednesday. He held court with the media for a while after the practice.
- Oregon OL Kyle Long, brother of Chris, again did not practice Wednesday as he deals with an illness.
- Michigan WR/QB Denard Robinson was cleared for contact and wearing the normal white jersey with his teammates on Wednesday for the first time. Heís been recovering from a nerve injury in his elbow.
- Also in the house again Wednesday was South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore would be one of the top prospects in this yearís draft were it not for the devastating knee injury he suffered during the season. Lattimore is on the road to recovery and here to get in front of some scouts and coaches. Rams GM Les Snead even spoke to him briefly yesterday.
- Quick update on former Rams CB Travis Fisher, who I promised Iíd update you on yesterday. Heís working as a DBs coach for a high school in Florida and is hoping to catch on as a scout.
- Once again, Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher impressed. He has great feet and his punch is a bit better than advertised. During some 9 on 7 run drills, Fisher was downright dominant. On one play, he took on talented Texas DE Alex Okafor and drove him into the ground with a pancake block.
- UCLA DE Datone Jones continues to be perhaps the best pass rusher on the North squad. Heís beaten Fisher a few times, including once on Wednesday morning.
- The QB situation remains questionable for this draft as a whole but NC Stateís Mike Glennon is showing up this week. This atmosphere seems to be quite conducive for him because thereís no pressure, no pass rush and he can stand in the pocket and deliver. He threw one perfect deep ball down the right sideline to KSU WR Chris Harper that drew oohs and aahs from the assembled crowd. Glennon throws a pretty ball, thatís for sure.
- Another solid practice for UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin, who still looks like the best running back on the North squad and possibly here this week.
- Utah State DB Will Davis didnít have a real strong showing but he has great potential, especially as a nickel.
- Florida International S John Cyprien is a bit of an unknown but a solid prospect on the back end. He has good speed to close on the ball and isnít afraid to deliver a blow.
- Ohio State DE John Simon again did not practice Wednesday.
- Elon WR Aaron Mellette looks a bit awkward wearing No. 33 and playing wide receiver but he ran some good routes and made some nice plays throughout the practice. He could be an intriguing prospect.
- Harvard FB Kyle Justzczyk might not look like a natural lead blocker but he has turned some heads this week. Heís versatile enough to get out and catch passes, shows decent burst running for a fullback and has been more than willing to try to open holes blocking. Not sure if the Rams will go back to having a full time fullback but if they do he could be an interesting prospect.
- Iíll have more on him later but UNC DT Sylvester Williams grew up in North County in St. Louis in a rough neighborhood before moving to Jefferson City to live with his sister for high school. He was a huge Rams fan and loved the Greatest Show on Turf teams and all St. Louis teams in general. He has a good story and Iíll have it all for you later on.
- Thatís all for now. Donít forget, chat is starting shortly and Iíll answer any questions you might have. I may have to cut out early because of the South practice but Iíll answer more this evening if thatís the case.
- Thanks for reading.
Senior Bowl: Wednesday Afternoon Practice (South Squad)
Posted by nickwagoner on January 23, 2013 Ė 10:57 PM
St. Louis Rams – Blog | Senior Bowl: Wednesday Afternoon Practice (South Squad)
MOBILE, Ala. -
- Maybe because it was the last padded practice, maybe because theyíve been out of pads until this week for nearly a month, maybe it was the nice weather, whatever it was, the South team came with by far the most competitive and entertaining practice of the week Wednesday afternoon.
- Louisiana Tech WR Quinton Patton said it was hyper competitive because it was the final padded practice before Saturday but he clearly enjoyed every minute of it. To him, itís what this week is supposed to be about as players from all over the nation come here to compete to prove they are the best.
- Patton is one that has done that consistently, making big plays all over the field. Heís got some upside to him, no doubt.
- The battle this week between Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson and Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher as the best at the position has been a relative draw. Both have been consistently excellent and Johnson was good again on Wednesday afternoon.
- Georgia S Bacarri Rambo (who Iíll have more on later) appeared to suffer some sort of hamstring injury and he sat out the latter half of practice. Rambo had been playing solid as expected in coverage on the back end most of the week.
- BYU DE Ezekial Ansah also appeared to aggravate an injury but he came back and was able to finish out the practice.
- Ansah is an intriguing prospect for teams here because of his combination of size and athleticism but heís still quite raw. Heís struggled a bit in pass rush drills but flashes on occasion. Heís going to be a bit of a project for any team that gets him but the upside is there.
- Cal DB Marc Anthony has been, perhaps, the best corner out of a talented lot here this week. He was solid again Wednesday and continues to show that he has the total package. Heís fast but heís also under control at all times.
- Texas A&M linebacker Sean Porter has been solid all week as well. Porter had some nice moments in Wednesdayís practice, including a big hit on a run play in 11 on 11.
- Closer to home, Mizzou LB Zaviar Gooden had a strong afternoon Wednesday. He was all over the place in the run game, made some plays in coverage and even caught an deflected pass and returned it for a touchdown.
- Kentucky G Larry Warford said he has been working to cut weight and expects to ultimately play around 330 pounds. Iíll have more on him later this week but heís a big, physical mauling type who might make sense for the Rams in the second or third round. His size and style would seem to be a match.
- Warford gave some funny answers to some funny questions after practice:
When asked what the best thing about being 300-plus pounds is, Warford responded ďI get to sit in the front seat of cars a lot.Ē
When asked he worst part of being his size, Warford responded ďGiving up rollercoasters.Ē He explained that most of the big rides have buckle systems that donít allow for men his size to get strapped in safely.
- During the practice, the defense dominated the first part of team drills with guys flying all over the place and delivering big hits. They controlled the line of scrimmage and Georgia S Shawn Williams seemed to be firmly in the mix most of the time.
- The offense picked it up later in the practice with Florida RB Mike Gillislee once again ripping off some big runs. Gillislee has been a pleasant surprise this week. Heíll have moments where he disappears but has been good for some big runs seemingly every day.
- At QB, none of the guys look as good in this setting as Mike Glennon does for the North team. Landry Jones is probably the most consistent as E.J. Manuel of Florida State and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas have been up and down. But none have really dominated.
- Thatíll do it for blog updates from here. Iíll have more feature stories coming in the next few days. Thanks for following along all week. See you back in St. Louis.
Optimum Scouting Wednesday Senior Bowl Reports
2013 Senior Bowl: South Wednesday Practice Notes
Written by Eric Galko on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 17:29.
2013 Senior Bowl: South Wednesday Practice Notes
Lane JohnsonIt was a busy day for the Optimum Scouting team, with myself handling the offensive and defensive lines as well as the running backs and linebackers, while Alex Brown and Mark Dulgerian tag-teammed the quarterbacks, receivers, and defensive backs.
We saw EJ Manuel flash more and more, Larry Warford and Lane Johnson dominated, Montori Hughes intrigues, and Shawn Williams among other defensive backs show some ability.
-E.J. Manuel experienced a better day of practice, having improved placement down the field, in addition to more decisiveness through his progressional reads. Though a bit mechanical and robotic in his delivery, Manuel does a nice job of maintaining a firm-throwing base with trash around his feet. Very much a work in progress, Manuel possesses plus physical tools and the movement skills to entice teams in the day two range of the draft.
-Landry Jonesí performance fluctuated wildly today, and itís becoming more apparent that he is in fact, a system quarterback. Slow to process in the post snap phase and often late to pull off of his primary, reset to his number two option and pull the trigger, Jones had multiple bad decisions today in 7-on-7ís and 11-on-11ís. When the throw is accurate, the timing is off, and vice versa for the former Oklahoma Sooner, and I question his presnap awareness at times. Though he struggled at times, Jones also flashed at times, with a few beautifully placed 9-route throws outside the numbers in the vertical game.
-Easily the best quarterback of the group, Tyler Wilson continued to excel in processing post snap information, accessing the full field with his reads and generating velocity with an effortless throwing motion. The best throw of the day, came on a hitch-and-go, where Wilson drove the ball close to 40 yards on a tightened arc, with ideal velocity and placement on the back end. More importantly than making all the throws, however, was Wilsonís internal clock and understanding of when to pull the trigger down the field or work to his check down.
-I was impressed today the most by Stepfan Taylor from Stanford who was probably the best of the bunch in every drill today. He stayed on his feet well through contact, he showed the strength at the point off attack in pass protection drills, and he cuts well and with controlled routes out of the backfield.
-Also of note, I thought Mike Gillislee did an adequate (yet still a work in progress) job in pass protection, but impressed mostly with his decisive steps up and through the hole and at the second level. And, new add Mike James from Miami (FL) showed his 3rd down back ability, holding ground well in pass protection especially well.
-For the third day in a row, LaTechís Quinton Patton was the best receiver on the South squad, and it wasnít close. He is polished in everything he does and is probably the best receiver at the Senior Bowl. If there was one area he showed room to improve this week it was against strong press coverage. One on play, he was jammed all the way through his route after missing the swat at the line and lacking the upper body strength to recover. Still, there were enough times Patton showed quickness and proper hand countering at the line to think heíll be more consistent in this are. His best play was against Robert Lester (a mismatch) where he ran a stop and go and tracked a deep pass down the sideline and into the end zone while keeping his feet in bounds.
-Baylorís Terrence Williams had some nice plays downfield which is where he seems most comfortable in using his frame and body control to track the ball over coverage. On intermediate routes, Williams becomes a bit more ordinary, not showing much route savvy at the top of his breaks and lacking explosiveness out of them as well. Heís a strider who fits as a downfield big play threat.
-Tavarres King had a steady, albeit not spectacular performance today, working back to the throw at the top of his route running and catching the ball cleanly away from his frame. Despite being a one-speed type of receiver, King is very fluid and calculated with his release, setting up each cut and accelerating out with balance.
-LSUís Russell Shepard was a late add to the Senior Bowl roster, due to an injury to Texas A&M slot receiver Ryan Swope, and competed his tail off during Wednesdayís practice session. Quicker than he is fast, but fairly sudden in the short to intermediate area, Shepard can drive out of his cuts with burst and speed to sustain separation. Heíll need to improve his strength to hold up versus more physical DBís and keep his balance better through downfield contact, but all in all he fought, competed and gave consistent effort throughout the practice.
-The athletic darling of this tight end group, Vance McDonald does present plus size, physicality and explosiveness to NFL teams. Able to run directly through contact at the top of the route and recover through his cut, McDonald can be brutish when working down the seams. Even showcasing reaction time and ball skills, McDonald made an impressive one-handed snag on a stick route that was thrown well before his break. Wednesday was just another strong outing for the size/speed tight end, and the only concern now should be his ability to extend for low throws, as well as experiencing the occasional focus drop.
-Mychal Rivera also had success in this practice, continuing to showcase the ability to extend for throws away from his frame and complete the catch through contact. Rivera is limited in terms of overall size and girth as a blocker, but has shown more than adequate effort, positioning and willingness to develop further as an end-of-the-line Y. Riveraís fairly developed route tree should intrigue teams in need of that second or third option at tight end.
-Easily the best tackle on the South roster and maybe outperformed the Northís Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson of Oklahoma showed today why he likely will work his way up to the mid/late first round. The athletic build, laterally balanced athlete showed great hand readjustments, strong hands throughout, and got great extension on the outside. He does reach a bit and his base gets quite wide at times, but he doesnít lose with it. Combine his play today, this week, his relative inexperience as a tackle, and the versatility to play on the right or left side, Johnson has thoroughly impressed this week.
-Arguably the best lineman overall today on the South roster was Larry Warford of Kentucky. Utilizing great inside hand placement consistently, driving blocks well on the interior, adjusting to a variety of rush moves against him, and getting great push/holding his anchor while extended, Warford impressed today and warranted our pre-week 1st round grade.
-Cal center Brian Schwenke showed to me today that heís polished in his set up, initial hand placement, and understanding of how defenses want to attack him. However, heís not a great athlete laterally, struggles with stronger rushers at the point of attack, and can consistently maintain balance after first contact. He needs help on the interior, but heíll get that in game action.
-Virginiaís Oday Aboushi got work in drills/11 on 11s at both tackle and guard, and flashed and disappointed some. He gets beat with inside rushes (including one devastating inside rip by Lavar Edwards), and has a bad habit of waiting until contact to react to his rusher. Still, he slides well with balance for a tackle, and if he can get his hands more consistently inside (especially at guard), heíll have NFL success.
-Also of note on the OL: New addition Jordan Mills from Louisiana Tech was active and certainly looking to start a fight today. He plays a bit high, but he did well to hold his ground. That aggressiveness could be a good thing. Xavier Nixon from Florida also shows that good initial step to his kick slide, but doesnít work back inside.
-The man I was curious to watch today was Ezekial Ansah from BYU. He missed part of individual drills today, unfortunately, so the look wasnít AS thorough as I wanted, but he still showed some of the concerns he had on film. He needs to react and adjust his body better when engaged by double teams, as he gets rendered useless far too easily. He was inconsistent, especially in team drills, in his ability to adjust his hands and work against the run, with part of the reason just not feeling comfortable with any developed hand-separating moves. He also needs to adjust his rush much quicker when his first move fails, and he seems to just wait for runner/QB as opposed to staying active and winning again. Maybe his most NFL ready skill set is his ability to shoot his hands up and limit the vision of the quarterback, as he batted down a pass today.
-I was surprisingly intrigued by Montori Hughes of Tennessee-Martin today. The small schooler was active and low off the snap nearly every rush, and was getting consistent penetration. He does seem to drive to outside too often and doesnít seem to have the adjustment to cut back inside, but it seems like more of a technique thing than an inability to do so.
-Georgiaís John Jenkins didnít show much to me at all today, which is frustrating. He wasnít generating nearly enough pressure against a single blocker, and wasnít working upfield while he was exchanging his hands. He showed (in individual drills) the transitions and cuts laterally that should impress for a guy his size, but he doesnít utilize that in game situations.
-Also to note on the defensive line: Cory Grissom struggled all day, lacking laterally quick moves and had an inability to drive upfield with force. But, he does seem to hold his point of attack well vs. double teams. Everett Dawkins of Florida State has balance concerns, as he struggles to adjust himself on the interior and over-extends himself too often. Lavar Edwards from LSU lacked any consistent burst off the line, but he does have some developed rush moves that could work situationally in the NFL. Malliciah Goodman has fantastic length and looks the part at times, but on the interior, he lets players get inside of him too often.
-The best linebacker of the day was Zaviar Gooden of Missouri, who was active across the field, explosive change of direction, and made three noteworthy plays in coverage, including a tipped pass and an interception. Gooden has a phenomenal build, and his range and burst is great to see. I do worry about his physicality, both on the field and mentally. Iíll be looking into that concern, but itís not a good question to be raised.
-I thought Chase Thomas from Stanford had a better day today, and showed some ability off the edge (working as a pass rusher mostly today, thankfully), and in using his hands vs. bigger bodies. Myself and Mark Dulgerian agreed that while he lacks great athletic ability and wonít wow in individual work, heís a ďgamerĒ, and a guy who impresses a lot more when he fits into a scheme.
-Two of the most surprisingly impressive linebackers today were Nico Johnson from Alabama and Vince Williams from Florida State. Johnson isnít anything impressive in coverage, but with his ability to engage and slip through blocks and his instincts in the run game are impressive enough to warrant possibly a mid to early rounder, despite being a 2-down player. Williams finishes his tackles with great pop, drives well on the interior, and doesnít shy away from contact. Iím excited to go back and watch more of him after this week.
-At safety, J.J. Wilcox has a lot to like physically, with his muscular build, explosive burst to and through the point of attack, ability to drive and close space on routes, and overall ball skills as a former running back. On the flip side, Wilcox also can be inconsistent in reacting to the throw, as he broke early on multiple occasions in practice to create early contact with the receiver. Overall I like the physicality he can bring to the table, but thereís far too much separation between he and the tight end in man coverage situations. Wilcoxís value at the next level could be tremendous if developed properly, and again, he possesses physicality and explosiveness to be a real force against the run. Moreover, Wilcox performed well in special team reps, contributing on the edge as one of the two, jamming cornerbacks on punt return.
-Georgia safety Shawn Williams had a nice day in coverage in one on ones as well as during the team session. He isnít physically imposing and doesnít possess any real special qualities but heís physical and uses his hands very well to direct the route. He will likely need to polish up his hand usage at the next level to prevent interference calls but he showed good route recognition today and made several plays on the ball and in rerouting receivers.
-Californiaís Marc Anthony made more plays today as one of the more unheralded defensive backs at the Senior Bowl. Heís a guy I will need to go back and watch film on, but there is no doubt he has the athleticism and physicality you like for the position. He had a handful of pass breakups between one on ones and team sessions, but the concerning thing is that they were on plays in front of him in which he seemed to guess the route. There was also a play where he completely guessed on a stop and go and was beat badly. As film shows, he breaks on the ball very quickly (in run support as well) but his instincts and route recognition in coverage are still a question.
-Cornerback Robert Alford (Southeastern Louisiana) had a solid day today, especially in press coverage. He displayed strong hands and did a nice job of countering receivers when they tried to rip or swat him. He played with balance against physical receivers and kept his footing when it looked like he was being handled on top and stayed in his manís pocket. He showed marginal deep speed and didnít show great recovery speed when his man had a step on him downfield, but he showed nice short area quickness underneath to stick with double moves/quick hit routes.
2013 Senior Bowl: North Wednesday Practice Notes
Written by Eric Galko on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 18:27.
Apologies for the delay, couldn't get the notes in before the second practice. I (Eric Galko) took the quarterbacks, running backs, and linebackers, myself and Mark Dulgerian worked on the receivers and defensive backs, and Alex Brown focused on the offensive and defensive line.
Mike Glennon won the day's "best QB award", while Jonathan Franklin, Markus Wheaton, Marquise Goodwin, Eric Fisher, Brandon Williams, and Desmond Trufant impressed today.
-Another day of flashes and concerns by the North squadís quarterbacks. The best of the bunch today was clearly Mike Glennon of NC State, however. His timing and velocity on deeper routes really impressed, as he threw some of the best balls of the week today. He got great spin on the ball and delivered dig and out routes with great velocity. His ball placement still was a bit off in the short area today (which is now a bit of a concern after three days with these receivers).
-Syracuseís Ryan Nassib really needs to improve his deep touch and velocity control. He floats too many balls vertically, but it doesnít seem to solely rest on his lack of a big arm. He doesnít have ďelite arm strengthĒ, but itís certainly enough in the NFL and isnít a weakness in my eyes. However, he needs to get a better understanding for those deep bucket throws. However, he continued to impress in his footwork on shorter routes, a big plus for his game as a potential west coast quarterback.
-Zac Dysert of Miami (OH) continued to overthrow passes today, but I couldnít quite figure out what his problems were, but itís concerning that itís been an issue over the course of the week.
-The best running back of the bunch today was UCLAís Jonathan Franklin. He looked great in blitz pickup in individual drills and was decisive in his initial cuts as a runner. Also, Kenjon Barner looked great in route running drills, especially utilizing his great wheel route out of the backfield. Heís shown enough in each area as a runner to prove his not just a ďspeedĒ back.
-Markus Wheaton again showed why heís considered the best of the North group. Heís a 3 step guy who consistently eats up cushion quickly and caused most defensive backs to turn their hips sooner than they wanted after selling the fade. His speed is obvious, but one of the concerns I had with Wheaton were the occasional drops he has on film. Today, and for most of the week, he showed exceptional hands plucking away from his body and securing the football through contact. He made two really nice catches today-one was on an out route when he dove to snag a pass low and in front of him using all hands. Another was an acrobatic back shoulder catch in traffic on a seam route just before being blasted by the nickel corner and safety over the top.
-Scouts were still intrigued to see Denard Robinsonís prospects as a receiver convert and were looking for any improvement after a rough first two days here in Mobile but the former QB still looked very raw. He had several drops throughout the day (half of them wouldíve been tough catches, regardless). He can be slow to locate and adjust to balls that are slightly off target and did not look comfortable coming back to the ball with hands extended. Overall, he looked like he was counting his steps this week and the pressure of the NFL spotlight on him while he tried a lot of things heíd never done before in college really showed in his play. Thereís no doubt heís got the athletic qualities you look for in the position, but you hope he can improve his hands and route running by the NFL Combine in February. Heís likely limited to the return game early in his career.
-Another impressive day for Marquise Goodwin of Texas. For a smaller, elite speed receiver, he showed consistent speed throughout his routes, able to get vertical in a hurry, and even showed the ability to extend away from his body well. Heís really impressed all week, enough to consider putting more weight than his struggles (partially team related) in 2012.
-Aaron Dobson of Marshall, a favorite of mine the past two years because of his highlight reel catches and production despite poor QB play, showed great routes today, especially along the sideline. His development there is better than I expected, and with his upside and quick feet to pick up speed and drive through contact on the interior, he could be a trendy 2nd round favorite.
-Elonís Aaron Mellette didnít show off great foot speed today in drills or in getting separation, and had trouble getting off press. Iím unsure if he has a natural role at the NFL, either inside or out.
-Once again, Central Michiganís Eric Fisher proved why heís the top rated prospect at the Senior Bowl in 2013. Tremendously gifted in terms of foot speed, balance in his kick slide and overall redirect skills within a 6í7 frame, Fisher continued to confirm his plus skill set to talent evaluators. What impressed the most today, however, wasnít in athleticism or range, but rather in finishing strength and overall punch technique. The one area that Fisher can improve upon is his inside anchor, as was exposed by Texas defensive end Alex Okafor, but that should not be unexpected for a player so tall, upright and leanly strapped together. Fisher still has room to add weight and is so athletic that teams have to be salivating over his potential.
-Brian Winters of Kent State had a better day today, showing more comfort inside with his footwork at left guard. Pad level in his pass set and overall bend seems to be an issue with the mauling run blocker, but overall hand strength remains a big-time plus and natural anchor ability is there.
-Wisconsin tackle Ricky Wagner improved his play today, handling the explosive Datone Jones with patient hand usage in his pass set and mirroring technique. Scouts nearby spoke of possibly moving Wagner to the inside, but he appeared more than adequate at right tackle today.
-Speaking of offensive tackles converting to guard, Justin Pugh Ėwho measured in with shorter than ideal armsĖ kicked inside for reps at left guard today and made the block of the day, pulling out on the perimeter and finishing at the point of attack with an audible clicking of pads. Athletic enough to stay at tackle in a zone scheme, but also able to be an on-the-move guy inside at guard, Justin Pugh has done his best to recover after a disappointing weigh-in.
-Of the guards and centers, Joe Madsen stood out the most in one-on-one drills, sitting patiently in his pass set and resetting properly with his hands to combat the defensive tackleís counter move. Madsen created absolutely zero movement in the run game and was physically abused by Brandon Williams during 9-on-7ís, but can be a versatile swing guy on the inside for teams in need of depth at both guard and center.
-Kawann Short was a more sudden and explosive guy than Sylvester Williams in drills, showcasing excellent balance, bend and coordination in running through bags, running the arc and changing directions. Developed with his hands, Short flashed a variety of off-the-line arm-over and arm-under short moves, but failed to have a consistent impact due to motor issues. When he comes off the football and engages properly with his hands, Short can be tough to corral; however, Short doesnít possess a great motor and at times shut it down during the practice.
-Very good initially with his hands and pass rush repertoire, UNCís Sylvester Williams impressed quite a bit in pit drills and one-on-oneís. Having superior burst and even showing off an inside spin move, Williams defeated just about every blocker he encountered in one-on-ones. Where Williams struggles, involves gap control and extension at the point of attack, as heís unable to lock his arms out and reset the line of scrimmage. All penetration and upfield burst, Williams has some Jay Ratliff to his game and can only one-gap at the NFL level.
-Last but not least among defensive tackles that impressed today, was Brandon Williams from Missouri Southern. Possessing a prototypical one-technique, ďfire hydrantĒ body type, Williams is as wide as he is tall and capable of creating natural push, leverage and extension at the point of attack. Dropping his weight and leveraging properly, Williams was an animal inside, working his hands to snap his opponentís back at the point of attack and collapse running lanes. Dominant at times in the practice, Williams walked Syracuse offensive tackle (who was lined up at left guard) back into quarterback Zac Dysert during 11-on-11ís, leading to a missed throw and incompletion. Following this bull rush, Williams and Pugh got into it with one another, exchanging some shoves before having to be separated. While that may seem insignificant, Williams is showing the fighterís mentality that coaches love at the shade nose tackle position, and this small schoolerís stock can only go up.
-At defensive end, Michael Buchanan proved to be a far more fluid, balanced and explosive moving athlete than the rest of the group, but too often played high and without maintained hand positioning at the point of attack. Buchanan shows glimpses of strong and sudden punches to create movement, but too often his initial punch slides off and he fails to create ideal separation. A project that can be molded into a dangerous edge rusher at the next level, Buchanan needs to land in the right circumstance in order to reach his potential.
-Margus Hunt struggled once again in practice, as a lack of proper timing with his punches and extension led to minimal effect versus the run and the pass. Flashes of off-the-line speed can be seen with physical freak, but Hunt continually popped upright and allowed himself to washed out of the pocket. Huntís raw ability, length and weight room strength havenít translated to the field as I had hoped, and heíll be facing a serious learning curve at the next level.
-An end that did win with hand usage and proper technique was Alex Okafor. Getting underneath Eric Fisherís chest plate and putting to use his heavy hands, Okafor walked Fisher back into the quarterbackís lap on multiple occasions during todayís one-on-oneís. Okaforís early development at defensive tackle, has him prepared for hand fighting at the next level and allowed him to be effective at times, against a much better athlete in Eric Fisher.
-I didnít get a great look at the linebackers today, but I did notice Kevin Reddick playing with good pad level, and pop to fill the hole. He works well on the interior and in traffic, and heís really in his element in team drills at either ILB or SLB. Also, Khaseem Greene was closing well in the run game, using good hands and driving well on the interior, better than expected, this week.
-Desmond Trufant (Washington) had a great day in all sessions. Starting during one on ones, he was dominant in all types of coverages. Markus Wheaton called out Trufant again and, although Wheaton initially got Trufantís hips to turn the wrong direction on a post-corner, Trufant did not give up on the play and showed excellent recovery speed (ball was high and off target out of Wheatonís break). Steelers head coach was watching Trufant closely during the session and challenged him to dominate his remaining matchups. On his next rep against Aaron Dobson, Trufant was initially beat on a quick slant but recovered and made broke up the pass. One area he showed a need for improvement today is in his hand punch in press coverage as he doesnít quite have the upper body to jolt anyone. But overall, Trufant showed exceptional competitiveness in all aspects. Corners will get beat in the NFL but itís the ones who continue to compete and improve that succeed. He was clearly the most NFL ready corner this week, not surprising considering his bloodlines.
-USC safety TJ McDonald has had an up and down week and today was no different. On film you see a guy who either flies to make a play on the football or a guy who gets beat because of misdiagnosis or poor angles. This week confirmed that when McDonald anticipates correctly he is in position to make plays but if he misdiagnoses early he lacks the recovery speed to correct mistakes. Today, he took good angles to passes in front of him and showed adequate burst out of breaks. He was also beat on a post he thought was going to be a corner route and couldnít flip his hips and recover in time to stop the deep touchdown. If recognition is a problem, youíd like to see recovery ability. There is an issue if your last line of defense lacks both.
-UConn cornerback Dwayne Gratz is thick and has obvious natural strength, especially at the line, but he struggled today. He was slow out of breaks and showed only marginal deep speed in downfield coverage. Against double moves, he lacked the foot speed to redirect on the move and gave up too much coverage in man. He may be limited to cover 2 or man under type of schemes.
-Jordan Poyer (Oregon State) had a solid day today but didnít really do much to wow scouts like he had the past couple of days. He again showed good physicality at the line and as he directed the route with his hands but there were a couple plays in off man coverage he flipped his hips too early to transition and was subject to comeback routes. This was more a matter of discipline and reading his queues properly, which heís shown to be consistent at on film.
-Also to note from today: Jonathan Cyprien continued his impressive week with fantastic range. It seemed as though most of the quarterbacks knew where he was on 7 vs 7s and stayed away (wisely); Jamar Taylor from Boise State needs to stay tighter and time his breaks better down the field, but has good footwork and closes well in the short area; Will Davis of Utah State continues to impress if heís facing a single receiver move, and showed off his upside and ceiling. However, his struggles on film and this week with double moves is concerning.
Bucky Brooks Senior Bowl Standouts
Markus Wheaton, Lane Johnson among Senior Bowl standouts
By Bucky Brooks
Analyst, NFL.com and NFL Network
Published: Jan. 23, 2013 at 04:09 p.m.
MOBILE, Ala. -- The first few practices at the Senior Bowl are routinely marred by inconsistent play from top prospects, due to the anxiety of performing in a stadium full of scouts, coaches and general managers. Evaluators certainly understand the pressure of the moment, but they still want to see which players are able to excel in a competitive environment that is similar to an NFL training camp.
Given the opportunity to digest four practices over two days, I present nine guys who have generated quite a buzz with their play this week:
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan: Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel was unanimously considered the top offensive tackle on the board the moment he declared for the 2013 NFL Draft, but Fisher's early showing at the Senior Bowl could lead to a fierce battle for the No. 1 spot over the next few months. Fisher has displayed exceptional athleticism, footwork and body control while stalemating some of the top pass-rushing prospects in this draft class. He has stoned defenders with a strong initial punch and has shown the capacity to anchor against power rushers. In addition, Fisher has displayed a nasty streak that suggests he possesses the requisite toughness and tenacity to be a dominant player on the edge.
Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State: Wheaton has been the most impressive receiver at the Senior Bowl -- by far. The Oregon State product has displayed excellent speed, quickness and burst, routinely separating from defenders out of breaks. Most impressively, Wheaton has shown strong hands; he is an outstanding pass catcher in traffic. By showcasing the capacity to make plays at every level, Wheaton has created quite a buzz in the NFL scouting community.
Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina: After flying under the radar during the season, Williams has drawn plenty of attention from NFL scouts searching for explosive defensive tackles with exceptional first-step quickness and burst. Williams has dominated drills with his combination of strength, power and athleticism while also displaying impressive instincts and awareness as a disruptive force. His ability to create immediate penetration against the run makes him an ideal candidate to play the one- or three-technique in a one-gap scheme.
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA: Jones arrived in Mobile as a supposed tweener, based on his size (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) and the way he was utilized at UCLA, where he spent most of his time as an interior defender. However, he has convinced scouts in attendance that he could be an effective 4-3 defensive end with his play this week. Jones has overwhelmed opponents with his strength and power while also flashing enough agility to win with speed off the edge. Factoring in his non-stop motor and relentless approach, it is hard not to like what Jones can bring to the table as a situational playmaker at the next level.
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue: Scouts have been raving about Short's potential as a three-technique in a one-gap scheme after watching him terrorize opponents with his combination of quickness and agility in drills. The former Purdue standout has shown rare lateral quickness for a pass rusher his size (6-3, 315), and scouts definitely are intrigued by his ability to disrupt plays with his athleticism. Although Short's energy and effort aren't always running at high levels, the fact that he has shown dominant flashes throughout the week will convince a number of teams that he has the potential to become a difference maker as a pro.
Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma: The buzz has been building around Johnson's game since the middle of the season. He certainly hasn't disappointed with his solid play this week. Johnson has demonstrated impressive footwork, balance and body control while snuffing out pass rushers in drills. In one-on-one drills, Johnson's capacity to anchor and redirect rushers has earned him high marks from scouts closely monitoring his game. Given the difficulty of identifying athletic offensive tackles with great feet and body control, Johnson is beginning to look like a possible first-round pick on draft day.
Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State: McFadden has been one of the defensive stars, creating quite a buzz in scouting circles. The San Diego State product has shown exceptional short-area quickness and burst in coverage. McFadden routinely blankets receivers in one-on-one and team drills while displaying an ultra-competitive demeanor that is essential to success at the next level. Although he still needs to work on playing man-to-man from an "off" alignment, McFadden's ability to lock down receivers in press coverage has piqued the interest of everyone in attendance.
B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary: Webb was a relative unknown prior to his arrival in Mobile, but he quickly has become a hot name in the scouting community. He has impressed evaluators with his solid overall game and impressive football IQ. Scouts have told me that he has been outstanding in the interview room, too, complementing his standout performance on the field. Webb has the quickness, agility and recovery burst that scouts covet in cover corners. In addition, he has displayed sound footwork and fundamentals in one-on-one drills against elite receivers. With a game that grades out well in all aspects, Webb could be one of the fastest risers in the draft following his play this week.
Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech: Patton doesn't wow evaluators with elite speed or athleticism, but his overall game is so rock-solid that NFL scouts have told me that he is destined to be a standout pro. Few receivers in attendance can rival Patton's guile and precise route-running ability. He has a knack for setting defenders up with crafty stems and movement early in routes, and his sneaky burst out of the break routinely leads to adequate separation. Also, Patton has showcased strong hands and superb concentration in traffic, making him an ideal candidate to provide an immediate impact as a No. 2 receiver in the NFL.
Players Who Struggled on Wednesday
Senior Bowl - Players Who Struggled on Wednesday.
Russ Lande breaksdown six players who struggled during Wednesday's Senior Bowl Practices.
January 23, 2013
Senior Bowl - Players Who Struggled on Wednesday. | National Football Post
1. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford (6031, 241 and 4.85): Thomas looked stiff in space as he showed poor lateral agility and range. Today he struggled identifying plays quickly in the backfield, an issue compounded by his lack of explosion. During one-on-one drills he looked spastic and out of control with his movements, and was not able to defeat his man.
2. Robert Lester, SAF, Alabama (6012, 212 and 4.60): Lester has had a rough week in Mobile and simply looks outmatched athletically. Today struggled to stay with TEs and failed to locate the ball in coverage once he turned his back to the QB. He looked stiff and mechanical changing directions and struggled to locate the ball on run plays.
3. Denard Robinson, WR, Michigan (5104, 196 and 4.35): Robinsonís natural explosiveness and all-around athleticism was obvious today, but he did little else to impress scouts during this morningís practice. His routes werenít crisp and he struggled to get consistent separation out of his breaks. He generally did not display good hands as he fought the ball throughout practice. This was the first day he was allowed to participate in team drills but was a non-factor. Today capped off a rough week for Robinson, and he will need to significantly elevate his game on Saturday in order to improve his draft stock.
4. Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (OH) (6027, 224 and 4.85): Dysertís passes lacked accuracy today and tended to dip in front of his receivers. The velocity of his throws also lacked consistency and often fluttered in the air. Overall this week, Dysert did not display the skill set expected out of a high draft pick as he looked more like a day three pick.
5. Margus Hunt, DE, SMU (6082, 277 and 4.80): Today Hunt showed flashes of what makes him such an intriguing prospect, but generally was ineffective because of his still very raw skillset. While he demonstrated the ability to lock out against blockers and control the POA, he was unable to shed blocks in time to get involved with plays, and generally was not effective with his hands. He also displayed an explosive first step off the ball but tended to get upright once on the edge, allowing his blocker to recover easily and get into his frame. Despite clearly being a physical talent, it is difficult to imagine Hunt will be a first round pick in April as some have previously hypothesized.
6. Hugh Thornton, OG, Illinois (6032, 313 and 5.20): Thornton was unable to repeat his strong performance from yesterday, as struggled with his balance throughout this morningís practice. He tended to duck his head and bend at the waist after initially making contact, causing him to fall off blocks too early. He also struggled with bull rushes, as he was too easily jolted off balance by aggressive defenders.