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Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
If Fisher is gone by pick 16 (which is looking pretty likely now), I would scratch OT off the list for the #16, and would be reluctant to use the #22 on a RT prospect other than Fluker.
Round 2 could be the spot for us to look at RT, with guys like Lane Johnson, Dallas Thomas and (if healthy) Chris Faulk as possible targets.
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
i agree that if Fisher is gone we should table tackle until later in the draft. Tackle is almost becoming like QB in that prospects constantly are forced higher in the draft because of how valuable a position it is.
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
Some awesome & quick reports from OptimumScouting.com, definitely worth a follow on Twitter or a bookmark of their site to get the latest Senior Bowl news.
2013 Senior Bowl: North Tuesday Practice Notes
Written by Eric Galko on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 13:09.
Datone JonesToday was the first day we had two Optimum Scouting members covering an all-star day, which lead to some fantastic notes between myself and Alex Brown (@ABXXV25 on twitter). He covered quarterbacks, receivers, and defensive backs, while I focused on the linemen and watched running backs/linebackers.
The quarterback picture became a bit more clear, Eric Fisher generates the much-deserved buzz, and Markus Wheaton, Datone Jones, Kawann Short, Khaseem Greene, Dwayne Gratz, and Desmond Trufant.
-As for the North quarterbacks, Zac Dysert was clearly behind Mike Glennon and Ryan Nassib in terms of footwork, setup and consistent weight transfer. Laboring in his transfer of weight, Dysert often is forced to slow his feet down to set up the throw, lacking ideal lower half mechanics and foot planting. This unnatural weight transfer leads to increased stress and focus on his elbow and upper half, which inevitably results in an armed motion. Dysert struggled to spin a clean ball versus sporadic wind gusts in Mobile, but did flash arm talent from time to time. Heíll need to tighten up his mechanics and release point if he wants to stay in the day two discussion.
-Among the top two quarterbacks, Mike Glennon flashed in the vertical passing game, while Nassib impressed with his throwing base and ability to drive between the numbers. Glennon, when on time with his footwork and given room to step to the throw, drove the ball beautifully on bench-and-go and fly route patterns. The anticipation shown vertically, as well as proper ball placement, loft and velocity was fun to watch throughout the day. Glennon has an easy, over-the-top delivery, but needs to be stay up on his toes and improve his knee bend to avoid low throws on his checkdowns. Naturally rising up to an erect throwing base, Glennon will struggle at the next level in his reset and pocket adjustments due to tight hips and an elongated frame.
-Ryan Nassib, on the other hand, really impressed with his foot speed, ideal throwing base, strong core and quick setup. Tightly wound in his mechanics and sudden with his delivery, Nassib more so than any other quarterback, added RPMís to his football through proper weight transfer and base. Nassib struggled with deep anticipation and placement outside the numbers, but excelled between the numbers, driving multiple seam patterns to the tight end. Tomorrow I want to see him pull the trigger on high-low reads, as he often was late with the read and forced to check the ball down to the halfback option pattern. Overall an excellent day though for Nassib and Glennon.
-While I wasnít focused on the running backs, I did seem to notice the lower body pop through the hole and through contact from Oregonís Kenjon Barner. While he gets the ďspeed back onlyĒ reputation from his time at Oregon, Barner has the balance in his lower half and the cutting ability to redirect inside when working to the edge.
-The other running backs Jonathan Franklin or Robbie Rouse didnít get to show much today, other than both being able to win in routes out of the backfield. The interior of the line was won by the defense much of the day, and limited what they could show in team drills.
-Packed tight with muscle and surprising thickness to the lower half, I liked Marquise Goodwinís overall body type and initial burst. Quickly eating up cushion on intermediate and deep breaking patterns, Goodwin ran crisp speed cut, bench patterns. Early in practice, Goodwin had difficulty shedding the press and getting in-route, as corners Jamar Taylor and Jordan Poyer were very physical off the line. As the day progressed, however, Goodwin steadily improved and used his hands and foot quickness to win off the line. It was good to see the adjustment, and tomorrow Iíll be looking for crisper in-cuts, as Goodwin consistently drifted deeper on dig patterns.
-Kansas State receiver Chris Harper displayed ideal hand usage and technique to fight through press coverage and actually did a strong job in stacking over the top of the cornerback afterwards. The concern with Harper is his build up speed and lack of explosive cuts at the top of the route; in the press drill, Harper consistently created separation for himself and even forced a few holding calls from the opposition. Very much a hands catcher that attacks the ball out and away from his body, Harper should be in-line for a solid week.
-As for Markus Wheaton from Oregon State, he made it quite clear to scouts that he was the best wide receiver from the North squad. Long-legged yet quick out of his cuts, Wheaton separated underneath well enough to provide a clear throwing lane, while dominating with deep speed in the vertical game. Able to separate once the ball is thrown in his bench-and-go and fly routes, Wheaton has a homerun hitting skill set to be a dangerous weapon at the next level.
-Denard Robinson had a rough day today and clearly isnít comfortable returning punts. I counted three drops in receiver drills, each of which hit him squarely in the hands. Itís going to be a difficult transition for the former quarterback and not an overnight flip of a switch, so teams will need to patient with his development. Aaron Dobson of Marshall didnít blow me away with explosiveness, but he did have deceptive build up speed and some savvy at the top of his routes with shoulder/head fakes.
-The stud of the day was Eric Fisher of Central Michigan. He extended away from his body to seal the edge well, arched his back to absorb bull rushes, and overall showed the body control, kick slide, balance, and hand adjustments to merit being considered the top OT in this draft. Looking forward to keeping up with him as well as reviewing Luke Joeckel this week to compare the two.
-Also impressive today, after having a ďbad weigh-inĒ was Justin Pugh of Syracuse. Garnering a first round grade before his length concerns came up, he showed the ability to keep his hands tight inside, drive down in interior blocks, and pivot/reset very well in both run and quick pass situations. While his length will limit him, Iím not so sure he canít fill in at tackle for some zone blocking teams. Also, he pointed out yesterday in our interview that he has played OG in high school (Link)
-Ricky Wagner of Wisconsin really showed some ability today, surprisingly. He adjusts his hands well on the outside, keeps them inside to start, and can get some depth his kick slide (enough for the right side, likely). However, he does play a bit high, and lower bull rushes did eat him up today.
-Also of note, I thought two former tackles in David Quessenberry of San Jose State and Brian Winters of Kent State showed some talent playing guard today. Quessenberry exchanged his hands and reset very well on the interior, and stayed strong inside. He looked better than I expected inside at guard, and wonít take much/any time developing there. As for Winters, he showed the same hand strength and flashed ability to work in space, but his struggles at the point of attack on bigger nose tackles and his struggles to maintain inside leverage with his anchors proves heíll need time before heís an NFL ready interior lineman.
-Two offensive linemen that struggled today were Hugh Thornton of Illinois and Braxton Cave of Notre Dame. Thornton flashes the upside with his balance, quick ability to set up, and body control, but he tries to block too far away from his body, struggles in his initial engagement, and seemed too slow to adjust off the line. He does flash good blocking ability when he get that initial hand placement, but has struggled after that. As for Cave, he had a poor day holding his point of attack all day, struggled to exchange his hands at all on the interior, and made quite a few interior rushers happy today.
-The surprise star of the day on the defensive line, and maybe on the whole roster, was UCLA DL Datone Jones. Showcasing a strong lower half in the weigh-ins, he seemed to use that today to collapse the inside, drive through offensive tackles with great force while extended and playing with good pad level. Even with a dominant day from Eric Fisher, Jones was the only one to give him trouble.
-On the other hand, Michael Buchanan of Illinois continues his frustrating 2012 season with a lackluster performance today. He flashed the ability to plant and redirect in drills today, but in one vs. ones and team drills, he was rendered useless for the most part. He lacks the ability to exchange his hands and work upfield, he doesnít drive his inside shoulder well, he lacks any sort of polish in rush moves on the outside vs. more polish offensive tackles, and doesnít read-react or time in the run game well at all. For a player with so much upside, heís proved to be a big nothing thus far.
-Kawann Short of Purdue impressed today, just a day after many offensive linemen I talked to called him the best defensive lineman they faced in Day one. The stayed tight with his steps laterally (albeit not having elite burst), and drove with his legs well. He adjusts after his initial rush well, with polished moves, and today was a good step toward redeeming himself after a lackluster senior year.
-Another impressive defensive tackle was Sylvester Williams of North Carolina. With maybe the quickest first step off the snap in the entire draft, Williams elite pop and first move (utilizing a rip or swim move well) looked the part of a top tier defensive tackle. On film, though, he did seem to struggle after that first move, and weíll see if he can show polish as an interior pass rusher throughout the week.
-Brandon Williams of Missouri Southern was working hard all day, especially through drills, taking to coaching at a few points as well. He has a high motor, and flashed the ability to exchange his hands off the line when he gets a good first step. However, his initial pop off the line lacks at times, and Iím unsure if heís ready to take on multiple blockers in the NFL quite yet.
-Margus Hunt of SMU didnít show a whole lot today, and still shows he struggles to disengage when blockers get him in tight. He does also seem to have some balance issues (as Josh Norris of Rotoworld pointed out). Jordan Hill of Penn State needs to also keep his balance better off the ball, and he seems to sell out on the bull rush at times, not chopping his feet and looking for a counter. And Alex Okafor didnít show much today, but has some active hands on the outside that allow him to generate pressure inside or out.
-Rutgersí Khaseem Greene had another impressive today, adding to his ability to potentially be in the late 1st round discussion. He shuffled with his hands on the interior well enough today, and showed that, at least on occasion, he could be able to adjust inside in the run game. But he showed good interior linemen recognition in run support and impressed again today in pass coverage, anticipating and reacting very well in the screen game.
-New addition in Hardingís Ty Powell, who was playing the ď4-3 Under SAMĒ linebacker spot in practice. Basically lined up as a 3-4 rusher or an end setting DE in a 5-2, Powell looks like heíll need to bulk up across his frame. However, he seemed to transition well in the coverage aspect (could have stayed tighter and recognized his responsibilities better), a big plus for a potential 3-4 rusher. Excited to see more of him this week.
-I was told to start paying more attention to special teams this week, and today I noticed Kevin Reddick of North Carolina with some understanding on the punt-team game, showing a good motor and working hard to impress there. It may be minor, but for a mid-rounder like Reddick, it could be the difference between a 3rd round and a 5th-6th round grade.
-Jonathan Cyprien mightíve been the best-kept secret prior to the Senior Bowl, but that no longer will be the case. Extremely physical, aggressive and instinctive, Cyprien impresses in the way he can man cover the slot or play in deeper zone coverage. The body type and quick-twitch element that Cyprien possesses may even push Kenny Vaccaro for the top senior safety slot.
-And while UConn corner Blidi Wreh-Wilson continued to use his length well in attaching with opposing routes, it was teammate Dwyane Gratz that looked the part, especially in press drills and 11-on-11ís. Able to maintain leverage and position throughout the route with his plus length, Gratz turned manhandled opposing receivers off the line in drills. In 11-on-11ís, Gratz made an excellent play in cover 2-press by forcing an outside release, passing off the vertical stem of the outside receiver and turning inside to locate an incoming target for a pass deflection. Again, great length and physicality from a prototype cover 2 corner.
-Boise Stateís Jamar Taylor started off the day well, particularly in press drills where he was able to corral the speedy Marquise Goodwin with steady body shots and well-timed hand checks. Still, as the day progressed, Taylor grew less and less comfortable when unattached from the route, I.E. off man coverage. Iíll focus on Taylor more so in tomorrowís practice, but he appears to much more comfortable when able to land his hands and direct the route with physicality.
-Another west coast cornerback, Jordan Poyer had a strong outing in his own right, flashing the great range and closing burst to affect the catch point. While Poyer tends to rise up in his pedal, his change of direction remains quite impressive and the only thing that stands to improve is off the line footwork.
-Desmond Trufant proved today, at least in my eyes, that he was the most NFL-ready in terms of footwork and technique among the North DBís. Competitive and consistent with his effort, Trufant showcased the pedal steps, pad height and recovery speed to work in off-man coverage at the next level. Called out by Markus Wheaton in press-man 1-on-1ís, Trufant stepped up to the challenge and used the sideline effectively to force an incompletion. Trufant isnít ideally suited to press and could stand to improve his punch strength, but I loved the way he competed and held separation to a minimum today.2013 Senior Bowl: South Tuesday Practice Notes
Written by Eric Galko on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 17:34.
Another practice with myself and fellow Optimum Scouting member Alex Brown today, as I broke down QBs, WRs, and DBs for the South squad, while Alex took the pit drills and watch OLvs. DL
Tyler Wilson and EJ Manuel battled for the day's best quarterback, Quinton Patton proving his "top senior receiver" merits, Larry Warford looked the part of a starting NFL guard, John Jenkins tore up the inside, and Leon McFadden continues to make a name for himself.
-Arguably the best quarterback of the day (and easily the best on film) was Arkansasís Tyler Wilson. The commanding leader off the field (see our interview with him here) was impressive at times today. He seemed the most fluid in progressing through his reads (though most were working in the middle of the field, and his placement was solid on in-breaking curls, ins, and dig routes. However, his footwork still seemed like an issue, as it did on film. He still puts too much weight on his back foot at times, and that causes his ball to flutter a bit at times. Those fluttering passes arenít a major issue (see Eli Manning), but when they are on deep, timing based comebacks, it makes it harder for receivers to gather the ball. Overall, he was the most impressive in his reads, but he didnít stand out (mostly thanks to inconsistent deep ball) as much as he should have today.
-Battling with Wilson for the dayís top QB was Florida Stateís EJ Manuel. At first, his high, structured college release seemed to be adjusted, and he started the day off with a lower, quicker release and a more natural wheel to his motion. However, as the practices when on (and especially on deeper routes), his mechanics shifted back. Still, he spun a consistently clean ball and drove the ball on inside routes well. His ball placement seemed very hot and cold, but he was willing to work outside and inside. He still looks the part of a developmental QB, but heís not too far off at this point.
-The final quarterback on the South roster, Landry Jones of Oklahoma struggled throughout the days. His release still looks like heís placing the ball at times, and his velocity suffers as a part of that. He does seem to rise through his progressions, and the more he plays on his toes, the more his velocity suffers and his release slows. Overall, he needs to utilize his lower half better to generate velocity. Iím not sure if he has an NFL starter upside.
-Best of the bunch today was Stefpan Taylor of Stanford, who showed a great sudden burst, was tough through the hole, and possessed great lateral balance. Also, Floridaís Mike Gillislee looked solid today, and his decisive steps, especially once he passes the first level, was noticeable today in team drills.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
-The best receiver of the day was easily Quinton Patton of Louisiana Tech. Our top rated senior receiver before this week (and battling for our top overall spot), Patton does all the little things extremely well. Heís extremely clean and decisive in his short area routes, with zero wasted steps, explosive cuts, and maintaining balance throughout his route tree. His routes across the field arenít ďperfectĒ, especially his deep out, but heís certainly top 2-3 in every route heís run so far. He snatching balls across the field well, and positioning his body in the middle of the field. Itís hard to find anything not to like about Patton, besides his ďlimited athletic upsideĒ. Heís the type of player every team will want in the to two rounds if possible.
-Opposite of Patton, Terrence Williams of Baylor struggled mightily throughout the route tree, only looking comfortable when asked to get vertical on a 9-route. He needs to sink and adjust with much better balance in his short routes, doesnít have any development in deep post routes, and struggles to get separation on hitches and comeback routes. A work in progress, deep threat athlete at this point.
-A surprisingly solid day from Tavarres King of Georgia today, as he seemed likely a slightly less impressive version of Patton, following him in most drills. His routes arenít quite as crisp as Pattonís, he doesnít quite get the same separation on the interior, and his body control isnít as polished a Patton, but he did all of those things well today. King has a lot of upside, and things seemed to come together in his senior season this year.
-Also to note at receiver, Cobi Hamilton worked well with Tyler Wilson (as expected), but still didnít show off great extension. Dukeís Connor Vernon didnít show great change of direction or balance in quick changing routes, but flashed a bit today in certain areas.
-At tight end, Mychal Rivera of Tennessee was the most impressive. Though not built as well as youíd like in the blocking area, he showcases some ability to drive inside. And as a receiver, he showed great extension away from his body, in both the seam and on the outside.
-Mondayís tight end ďdarlingĒ Vance McDonald of Rice seems a bit straight-line to me. He has ideal tight end size, and his upside (and build) is comparable to Connor Barwin was, except the TE and not DE version. He did struggle with drops today, with four by my count.
-The most intriguing note today was from Chase Thomas at Stanford. He seemed a bit slow off the snap initally, with the slowest feet of all the linebackers, and needs ot drive better of the edge. I like what he can bring to an NFL team situatonally, but his lack of great athleticism is concerning.
-Nico Johnson of Alabama seemed slow as well in his interior burst, but closed well in run support and filled the A and B gaps well in run drills. Also, Zaviar Gooden of Missouri looked solid in his RB/WR/TE pickup in pass coverage drills at times.
-Best of the bunch today was Leon McFadden of San Diego State, who drew rave reviews after Mondayís practice. Physically impressive in press, he adjusted well vertically, staying tight in the hip pocket on in and out breaking routes, as well as vertically. He collapsed on the ball well as well. Interested to see if he continues to play at this level all week, and if that causes myself and NFL teams to review his film.
-William & Maryís BW Webb had an up and down day today, but I think heís able to stay lower and more explosive than any other cornerback here. He gets good burst out of his transitions, and is able to work downfield if he times his breaks better. He could extend away from his body a bit better.
-The top safety for the day was Bacarri Rambo of Georgia, from my perspective. He had the quickest feet of any safety in drills, transitioned smoothly upfield in coverage drills, and showcased good balance to get vertical on jump balls in and out of his break. Fellow Geogia defensive backs Sanders Commings (who showed solid press and adjustment ability) and Shawn Williams (who seemed very high cut, but attacked well in tight end pickup drills) both had up and down days.
-Georgia Southernís JJ Wilcox, a former running back just a year ago, still seems very raw in his pedal and in his transitions. Heíll struggle at the next level initially with his ability to pick up tight ends/running backs, but he has the length and closing speed to improve there over time.
Senior Bowl: Tuesday Afternoon Practice (South Squad)/Wagoner
Senior Bowl: Tuesday Afternoon Practice (South Squad)
Posted by nickwagoner on January 22, 2013 Ė 10:20 PM
St. Louis Rams – Blog | Senior Bowl: Tuesday Afternoon Practice (South Squad)
MOBILE, Ala. -
- The South team took its turn on the practice field this afternoon with a big crowd in attendance. Itís common practice down here for the South team to draw more attention than its northern counterparts. Thatís because the South is full of SEC players and we are here smack in the middle of SEC country. This yearís team is loaded with Alabama and Georgia players, in particular.
- Letís get the proceedings started with a couple of under the radar names that seem to be making a strong impression in the first two days.
- Perhaps no player seems to be doing that more than Rice TE Vance McDonald. McDonald wowed scouts just by showing up and checking in at 6í4, 262 pounds. But McDonald is fast, shows the ability to separate and seems to have strong route running skills. He seems to clearly be the best TE in attendance but he could make a case to be one of the top TEís taken in April if he continues to show strong here this week.
- Another pair of smaller school guys that are drawing some eyes are Southeastern Louisiana CB Robert Alford and Louisiana Tech WR Quinton Patton. Patton apparently made some big plays in Mondayís practice and he followed with a few more during the team portion on Tuesday. Alford is a smooth athlete with a lot of upside. Those two could join Missouri Southern DT Brandon Williams as the small school standouts here this week.
- Southern Miss LB Jamie Collins did not practice with an apparent injury. Also, as expected Alabama OT D.J. Fluker did not participate and he departed Mobile because of an injury suffered while training.
- I have a strong suspicion that Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson is going to make himself a lot of money here this week. Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher is going to get much of the hype but Johnson might be right on his heels as the best tackle here and potentially the second best tackle overall when itís all said and done. Johnson seems to be the more balanced prospect. The scary thing about Johnson is heís only been playing football for a few years. Heís considered a bit raw as a prospect but the polish seems to be coming fast.
- Speaking of somewhat raw prospects with major upside, BYU DE Ezekial Ansah has major motor and athleticism. He hasnít necessarily been consistently dominant and wasnít Tuesday but you can see why NFL types are intrigued by him.
- Was told that Florida OT Xavier Nixon struggled a bit on Monday but he had a couple of nice moments on Tuesday. Nixon popped a big block to open a hole for a long run during team drills by his teammate, Florida RB Mike Gillislee.
- Gillislee has a nice afternoon, particularly in team drills. He broke some long runs and showed good burst.
- Most of the players in attendance here are pretty polished products. As seniors, that goes with the territory. But you might be hard pressed to find a more true to form, downright football player than Georgia S Shawn Williams. Bacarri Rambo might steal a lot of the headlines, maybe because he has a cool name, but Williams seems to do a little of everything and do it all well. Heís an interesting guy to watch, certainly.
- WR Terrance Williams had another good day and continued to make a case to be one of the top receivers taken or at least the top senior WR.
- Didnít watch too much of the QBs but seemed that Florida State QB E.J. Manuel did a nice job going through his reads and delivering strikes during todayís practice.
- Thatís all for today. Iíll have much more coming for the centerpiece of the site today and back in the morning with an update on the Northís final padded practice.
- Thanks for reading.
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Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
Could be that a lot of marginal types will ascend up team's boards to levels that their talent doesn't really warrant. Much like QBs do every year.
WHAT SAY YE?
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
- Converted tight ends with only a couple years of experience on the OL
- Tremendous athletic potential for the position but lack the experience, strength, and technique to go with it
- Tall frames with room to add more weight and strength
- Possibly rising up draft boards in January and possibly February because of offseason workouts whereas the tape doesn't quite support such a high grade
Obviously that's not to say Johnson is guaranteed to turn out like Smith, but having been burned once on a similar prospect, I'm a bit leery of going back to the well with Johnson.
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
It might be tough for Rams fans to go to a site called NEPatriotsDraft.com but they have some excellent draft information and are on top of things on Twitter. Here are their Tuesday notes...
2013 Senior Bowl: 15 Thoughts on Day 2 (North Practice)
NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
The second day of Senior Bowl practices saw the pads go on and the competition for NFL roster spots ramped up. With the entire NFL scouting and player personnel departments in attendance players had an opportunity to turn heads. Just like during day one there were some players who stood out and caught my eye, for both good reasons and bad.
Here are my thoughts of day two North Practice from Mobile, Alabama.
1. Itís pretty clear after two practices that the best player on the North Squad is Eric Fisher. He was taking on all comers in one on one drills and handling almost all of them with ease. He stonewalled Alex Okafor a number of times, with a good anchor and strong hands. He slides his feet and forces the defensive player to go where he wants them too.
For a 6í7″ player he is flexibility and keeps his hips low. While itís unlikely he will be able to overtake Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel for the #1 OT spot. Itís clear heís the number two OT in this draft.
2. A lot of attention has been paid to Michigan QB turned WR Denard Robinson this week. From my perspective there has been a clear adjustment period in terms of becoming a receiver. He has had trouble catching the ball at times despite the fact he has 10″ hands. As a route runner he is real raw and tends to round his routes instead of having precise footwork.
However, he did show the ability to consistently separate in coverage, especially vertical. Any team that picks him is going to be doing so with the understanding that he might not be able to contribute right away, but he has the athletic ability and potential to pay dividends with time and development.
3. Desmond Trufant continued his standout play in the defensive backfield. Heís got very good hips, mirrors the receiver well and does a very good job of breaking sharply on routes. I like him in the slot because he is 6′ tall, but has the quickness and change of direction to run with smaller receivers. Heís been very aggressive and goes hard on every single rep. He made it clear to me many times that this week was all about competing.
Trufant has established himself as a clear day two selection and with his ability to play both cornerback slots could got early on day two. On top of that he is a very well spoken player and has a genuine passion for the game that comes through in his interviews.
4. Syracuse OT Justin Pugh performed well today. He was used at both left tackle as well as right tackle and showed good movement skills and a good anchor. His weigh in results were a little disappointing as he only measured in 6047 and 301 pounds, but he showed that his height shouldnít be a huge problem as he uses his leverage well didnít seem flustered against the top competition.
Pugh got matched up with Illinois DE Michael Buchanon twice and completely dominated him, stopping Buchanon in his tracks. Former Patriots OT Matt Light was about the same height as Pugh and I could see him playing tackle a similar way.
5. UCLA DE Datone Jones continued to turn heads showing a combination of explosion and power. The highlight of practice might have been his one on one battles with CMU OT Eric Fisher. In the reps I watched Fisher held up very well, but it was apparent that Jones has power that some other players here just donít have. Jones played primarily RDE, but on occasion was moved inside to push the pocket from the 3-Tech.
Thereís no doubt Jones has really helped himself this week. Jones told me personally that what NFL teams love is that he can add 10-15 pounds to his frame and it wonít effect his explosiveness.
6. Quarterback wise it was another up and down day for the North team. None of the QBs really stood out, but I thought North Carolina State QB Mike Glennon had the best day overall. He showed pretty good mobility for the his size and threw well on the run. It looked like he settle in and got in a bit of a rhythm. Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib really struggled today with is accuracy.
He got down on himself and fumbled a couple of snaps. The out and up route gave him a lot of trouble, as it did Glennon. It seems like it will be a back and forth battle until the end to see who comes out of here as the top dog. But, so far none have really impressed.
7. The thing that stands out about Oregon State CB Jordan Poyer is that he is always in the right position. He displayed good footwork in press technique and was able to open his hips and run up-field vertically with almost any receivers. Later in practice he was in underneath zone coverage and was able to break up a pass that would have been a pick six if he was able to hold onto it.
Heís got a great build and every WR I talk to say heís the smarted CB they have faced.
8. The running backs got their opportunity to do pass protection drills today which is always fun to watch. Robbie Rouse struggled a bit as you would expect. He was willing to block and didnít shy away from contact but, was beaten by a swim move at least twice. One was by new addition Ty Powell from Harding University.
The best of the bunch had to be UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin, he stuck his helmet into the chest of opposing rushers and was able to stay engaged for a good amount of time. Franklin also stood out again for his ability to get up field and create big plays. Once again Franklin displayed good hands and looks like a more complete RB prospect than initially thought.
9. Marshall WR Aaron Dobson really rebounded well on day two. On day one it looked like he wasnít fully settled in and looked a bit unsure at times. That led to a couple drops, poor routes and playing less physical than usual. However, today was a new day.
He started the day practice off on the right foot by making a great catch in which he adjusted his route, tracked the ball and caught it with his hands. He consistently showed the ability to make plays in the deeper third of the field, although that might be all he can do. Compared to day one, it was a much better performance.
10. I thought USC Safety TJ McDonald had a good day. I believed that McDonald was a little miss used these last couple years in the cover two defense. Today, he was used in coverage vs. the tight end a lot and he fared much much better. What stands out about McDonald is how big and physical he can be. Heís high cut but, his ability to come forward get hands on the TE and then run with him is a trait that not many safeties have.
With the tight end becoming a bigger priority to NFL offenses McDonald could find himself in a similar role in the NFL. Thatís not to say McDonald canít do much more than that, because he can. I just really like him in that role.
11. Purdue DT Kawann Short had himself a nice practice. He was used in a couple different spots and continued to get a push from each spot. He looked really good on the nose and at 3-tech where he was able to create penetration and disrupt.
It appeared Short really was one of the most disruptive players during team drills and continually disrupted the offenses rhythm. His presence on the nose may have been one of the reasons so many snaps were getting fumbled.
12. Florida International SAF made a ton of good plays from his deep safety position. On one particular play he was a single high safety in the middle of the field, he looked good in his back-peddle, read the QB and then made a very athletic break to the sideline to make a play on the ball. We have seen the physical side to Cyprien, but this was a good chance to see his range and instincts. He has definitely been one of the top safeties on either team this week. Cyprien is a natural leader and the other players on the team feed off his emotion.
13. An under the radar performer today was San Jose State OT David Quessenberry. He acquited himself well in pass rush drills by showing some of the better feet out of all the OL here. Quessenberry was a prospect that didnít have as much national exposure as other linemen in this class. I thought he has handled himself well and continues to look composed in tough one on one situations.
14. Southern Methodist DE Margus Hunt has really struggled to play with leverage throughout the week. He is so tall itís just tough for him to bend. His tendency is to stand up out of his first stance and makes himself and easy target. He gets handled too vs. the run and needs to show better lower body power.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Hunt after his Bowl game, but some of the tendencies that plagued him during the season have surfaced this week. One thing that I do like about Hunt is that he told me he ďwas trying to work on his football IQĒ and better understand the game. For a player that is as big as he is, itís going to be tough to correct the leverage problem.
15. Itís tough to mention all the players that I thought stood out in todayís practice since itís tough to watch everyone. I thought Utah State CB Will Davis showed good hips, recovery and athleticism. Colorado TE Nick Kasa showed his tough to cover athleticism down the middle of the field by burning linebackers consistently, heís definitely an impressive ďupsideĒ prospect. Nevada S Duke Williams also had a strong practice and showed his versatility by coming down to the line of scrimmage and covering the slot.
Stay tuned for the South Practice notes to follow.
2013 Senior Bowl: 15 Thoughts from Day Two (South Practice)
NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
Day two was my first opportunity to see the South team on the field practicing. With no QB separating himself from the pack it was a chance for the South QBs to steal the show and possibly improve their draft standing. The competition was good throughout the day, as the players settled in and got acquainted to their surroundings.
Who were the players who stood out? What was the highlight of the day? Which players struggled in this environment? All that and more in my 15 thoughts.
1. The overall QB play was better than at North Practice in my opinion. I thought Florida State QB EJ Manuel started off the day well with some accurate throws to the sideline and some nice velocity. As the throws got harder and the tempo of practice picked up his accuracy began to wane, especially on the deeper passes.
I thought Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson got better as the session went on. He made some very good throws into tight spaces, especially down the middle of the field. His arm strength is good not great, but it shouldnít hurt him too much moving forward. He did end his team session with a pick six by FSU LB Vince Williams.
Landry Jones made some nice throws, but overall nothing has stood out about him. His overall presence on the field isnít as noticeable as some of the other QBs.
2. If there was a star player of the day in my opinion it was Louisiana Tech WR Quinton Patton. He caught just about everything in sight, showed great hands, quick feet, precise routes and a big play ability. He definitely stood out among the South receivers and I think the consensus among people down here is that the two most impressive WR have been Patton and Oregon State WR Markus Wheaton.
3. While Patton was clearly the most impressive South receiver, I thought Dukeís Conner Vernon showed well today. He looked quick, ran well and seperated from coverage pretty well. After seeing him live and in person I think he can be a very good slot receiver. Vernon told me his favorite route to run is the dig route and he did a lot of that today. In change of direction drills he was one of the receivers who stood out to me.
4. The overall defensive back play on the South roster isnít to the standard that it is on the North. While that said I thought one of the two best CB on the squad was Southeastern Louisianaís Robert Alford. He displayed that quick twitch movement that Janoris Jenkins had last year. Alford is a fluid athlete with good hips and change of direction. His quick feet really stood out and was a player that I keep writing down in my notebook.
Alford was one of the best special teams performers during his college season and his overall athleticism and agility made it clear why he was such a good return-man.
5. Other than Alford the best CB on the South roster was San Diego Stateís Leon McFadden. I loved the aggression that he played with and also made a number of tremendous breaks on the ball. On one drill he was able to track the deep ball well, adjust, go up get it and keep his feet in bounds. On top of that he made a number of pass break-ups and came after guys hard until the play was over.
He tried to strip Georgia WR Tavarres King at one point and it looked like he might have hurt Kingís hand. Overall very solid practice by McFadden.
6. I really liked the way both South running backs played throughout practice today (Andre Ellington apparently withdrew). Stepfan Taylor was the better inside runner of the two, showing good vision, no wasted motion and good burst through the hole. Heís a physical back whose built really well. The knock on Taylor is his vertical speed and burst once he gets into the open field. As one scout remarked ďTaylor is a good player, but probably runs a 4.65 40 yard dashĒ.
Florida RB Mike Gillislee showed better outside running potential. I really liked his patience on the edge to let his block develop and then cut it up field. On one particular play Rice TE Vance McDonald had a great block to clear a large running lane. Gillislee has a great build for a RB and possesses a good cutback move that seems to break a lot of tackles. Iíd say UCLAís Johnathan Franklin along with the two South RB are in the top RB tier down here and then the rest fall in behind.
7. Georgia DT John Jenkins was impressive to watch in person today. Heís just a massive human being, but his quickness and motor really stood out to me. For a big guy he was going hard on drills and playing to the whistle. In pass rush and line drills he was just so physically and powerful at times that the opposing linemen would have no chance.
He is able to bull rush and get leverage on these linemen and push them around. Today Jenkins lined up at nose tackle, at times 3-tech and I believe 1-tech if I saw it right. While many think Jenkins is limited to just NT, I think his quickness will allow him to play 3-tech in a 4-3.
8. Ezekial Ansah did not stand out today. Heís not going to be the edge rush presence that was originally thought. He got blocked real easily in pass rush drills and couldnít get off a lot of blocks with a recovery move. The only time I was impressed by Ansah was when he ripped inside quickly and was able to close on the opposing QB.
For a player who was as hyped as he was mid-way through the year, there is not much buzz down in Mobile about him.
9. I thought Louisiana Tech OT Jordan Mills handled his first day fairly well for being thrown into the mix at the last minute. He was matched up vs. Ezekial Ansah twice really won those two battles handily. He anchored at the line and got his hands into Ansahís chest. He had a number of scouts in the lobby scrambling to get interviews after his impressive debut today.
10. None of the Georgia defensive backs stood out for the positive today, but one thing that did surprise me was that Sanders Commings was the most physical of the bunch. In 7 on 7 drills Shawn Williams struggled to cover and Baccari Rambo was inconsistent. Commings is a big cornerback weighing in at 223 pounds, so he will definitely have to drop 10-15 pounds and that will help with his hips and change of direction. Otherwise he might be limited to safety in the NFL.
11. Baylor WR Terrance Williams wasnít able to get the separation I thought he would be able to get vs. some of the South corners. Even when running vertical routes he was covered very well by William & Mary CB B.W. Webb. Williams also had a couple drops today, and was being coached up by the Lions WR coach on some of the footwork on comeback routes.
Tomorrow will need to be a more productive day for Williams if he wants to catch Patton and Wheaton as best WRs of the week.
12. Alabama TE Michael Williams has been a favorite of mine for a long time and I thought he moved very well today. Seeing him in person you really get an appreciation for how big he is and the way he sets up as a pass blocker.
As a receiver I thought he ran better than I expected and didnít lumber and appeared to out run some linebacker coverage. Over the middle of the field and in the red zone he will be a big time threat just due to his shear size Ė not to mention his blocking ability.
13. Florida State LB Vince Williams made a nice interception of Tyler Wilson at the end of team drills. He is one of the more athletic linebackers here and although he missed some tackles in the run game, made a couple plays to take notice of.
14. Kentucky OG Larry Warford is an old school guard. Heís strong, physical and a big man. Heís a very good run blocker, but I feel like he needs to get in better shape because he was pretty winded at times throughout the day.
15. Other things that caught my eye today: Cobi Hamiltonís ability to go up and catch the ball in traffic is evident. He made plays today just like he did at Arkansas and his rapport with Tyler Wilson is evident.
Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson flipped between LT and RT, I thought he looked about as expected today and didnít stand out for anything negative.
Tennessee TE Mychal Rivera made a sick catch over the middle, catching the ball away from his body and getting up field. Heís got a thick build that can handle contact of a movable TE in the NFL.
Lots of players pulled out for various reasons including Andre Ellington, Dallas Thomas and Onterio McCalebb.
One guy to keep an eye on is Cal CB Marc Anthony. He had a pretty good day today and a source close to the Cal program said it was a huge week for him, because he didnít have a great season.
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
For whatever reason, National Football Post doesn't want me to copy/paste, so here are links to their Tuesday notes as well as players who shined on Day Two and those who struggled...
Senior Bowl: Tuesday prospect notes | National Football Post
Senior Bowl - Players Who Shined on Day Two | National Football Post
Senior Bowl - Players Who Struggled on Day Two | National Football Post
Re: The Official 2013 Senior Bowl Thread
Desmond Trufant is impressive man. Same as Jordan Poyer and Leon McFadden. Its a shame (yet at the same time its a blessing) that we dont need a CB.
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