Scott Wright;s Tuesday Morning Senior Bowl north
Tue Jan-22-08 06:16 PM
January 22, 2008
Senior Bowl - Tuesday North Practice
President, NFL Draft Countdown
It was pretty overcast at Ladd-Peebles Stadium this morning but still a little warmer that it was yesterday. For the first time this week the North squad practiced in full pads today and there was a noticeable difference in the intensity, with a lot of big hits delivered throughout the session. As always there were a lot of interesting matchups today and if you're a fan of watching the big uglies in the trenches then this is your team and once again the offensive tackles were impressive.
• Yesterday USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis showed off his ability to wreak havoc in the backfield and today he showed he could be just as effective against the run. Ellis has looked every bit the part of a Top 10 pick so far.
• I continue to be impressed with Nebraska offensive tackle Carl Nicks, who looks like a great natural athlete despite his massive size but he is still raw and plays too high at times.
• Boston College offensive tackle Gosder Cherilus may be a very large man but he also moves his feet well.
• Indiana cornerback Tracy Porter was okay yesterday but he was even better today, jumping a route to intercept a Joe Flacco pass in 7-on-7's on a play that would have been a "Pick 6" in a real game. He also did a nice job of sticking with his guy in coverage.
• USC offensive guard Drew Radovich stood out today, playing real physical and displaying a strong initial punch and some pop.
• Penn St. linebacker Dan Connor had a mixed day. On one run play he couldn't shed a Mike Pollak block and was neutralized but later he separated Marcus Smith from the ball with a big hit in coverage.
• Once again none of the North quarterbacks really stood out. USC's John David Booty and Delaware's Joe Flacco looked pretty average and the best of the bunch today was Michigan's Chad Henne. Overall though I am still waiting for one of these guys to step up.
• Iowa cornerback Charles Godfrey had another nice day in coverage, even drawing praise from Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan for his efforts in 7-on-7's.
• The nightmare continues for Oklahoma St. wideout Adarius Bowman, who seems to be dropping more balls than he is catching. Then when he finally did catch one in 11-on-11's he fumbled! At this point it's more of a confidence issue than anything else and it was clear he is very frustrated right now. New Mexico's Marcus Smith also had a couple more drops today and afterward hit the ground for some pushups.
• Michigan St. tight end Kellen Davis looked awfully good, making a nice catch in 11-on-11's and showing some aggressiveness as a blocker in positional drills.
• One of the surprises of the week for me so far has been California wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, who followed up a strong first day with another terrific showing. Hawkins made at least a couple of impressive catches, although he had some issues with rounding off his routes.
• Purdue's Cliff Avril struggles at the point of attack and was physically dominated on more than one occasion. Granted he is going up against some excellent offensive tackles but it's becoming clear to me that his best fit at the next level will come as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.
• The transition to linebacker continues for Bruce Davis of UCLA, although he did flash a couple of times and made some nice tackles including one in space.
• Notre Dame safety Tom Zbikowski laid a bit hit on Justin Forsett toward the end of practice.
• USC linebacker Keith Rivers is real vocal on the field and had another strong showing. On one play he got good pressure on the quarterback after avoiding a block on a blitz.
• Nevada linebacker Beau Bell got dinged up and was down on the field for a few minutes but was able to walk off under his own power.
• Michigan's Shawn Crable delivered a big hit on Owen Schmitt today.
• Oklahoma St. running back Dantrell Savage isn't very big but he showed some toughness running inside today.
• East Carolina's Chris Johnson, Indiana's Tracy Porter, Purdue's Dorien Bryant, Virginia Tech's Eddie Royal, Colorado's Terrence Wheatley and Lavelle Hawkins and Justin Forsett, both of Cal, worked as kick returners.
• Boston College's DeJuan Tribble struggled to keep up with the wideouts in coverage today.
• Michigan safety Jamar Adams did a nice job in coverage, showing the ability to hold his own against smaller, quicker wideouts.
• Kansas St. wide receiver Jordy Nelson beat USC's Terrell Thomas for a touchdown today but that may have been more of a case of Thomas struggling than Nelson excelling.
• Cal running back Justin Forsett displayed nice vision and cut-back ability today.
• Oregon St. kicker Alexis Serna showed he has 50+ yard range and he hit all of his attempts at the end of practice.
• It's a position that doesn't get a lot of attention but Indiana long-snapper Tim Bugg has been very accurate and is definitely a draftable prospect.
All in all there weren't necessarily any performances that just blew you away today but there were a lot of guys who did a solid job and helped themselves. Going forward I think the big storyline will continue to be the offensive linemen on the North team and in my four years of coming down here this is probably the most impressive group as a whole that I have seen. That's another day down for the North but there is still plenty more to come so be sure to check back for all the latest from Mobile as NFL Draft Countdown's unparallel coverage of the Senior Bowl continues.
Re: Scott Wright;s Tuesday Morning Senior Bowl north
January 21, 2008
Senior Bowl - Monday North Practice
President, NFL Draft Countdown
After all of the talk about players dropping out of the game and heights/weights it was finally time to get on the field and play some football. The North team is being coached by the Oakland Raiders and they kicked things off with a relatively light practice, opting for shells rather than full pads. Things started off slow and they basically walked through some plays and stretched for the first fifteen minutes or so but after that things began to pick up. Here is a look at what happened and who stood out today.
• Two of the most impressive players on the field today both happened to be USC Trojans. Defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis was practically unblockable, blowing by Chad Rinehart on one play and being very disruptive in the backfield all afternoon. He also received a lot of praise from the coaching staff. Meanwhile his college teammate Keith Rivers, who drew a lot of praise from Raiders defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. Rivers looked quick and explosive moving both forward and laterally and even made a nice play in coverage twenty yards downfield against Kellen Davis.
• UCLA's Bruce Davis worked with the linebackers today and while you could tell he has a lot to learn he certainly didn't embarrass himself either.
• At wide receiver Adarius Bowman of Oklahoma St. did not look good and he struggled with drops all day. Early on he had to change cleats on the sidelines and something may have been bothering him because he never seemed to get comfortable. New Mexico's Marcus Smith was very energetic but he also dropped some balls today and after each one he made himself do pushups as punishment.
• Virginia Tech wideout Eddie Royal showed good change of direction skills and made a lot of big plays. Cal's Lavelle Hawkins looked really smooth, running excellent routes and just seeming to get open a lot. He also caught a nice touchdown pass against Terrell Thomas in 1-on-1's.
• Purdue's Dorien Bryant was real quick out of his breaks but Kansas State's Jordy Nelson was not and seemed to be doing everything a step slower than everyone else. On a positive note Nelson does adjust to the ball well.
• At quarterback nobody really blew the doors off the stadium but USC's John David Booty was the best of the bunch. Booty has a terrific delivery and throwing motion and really leads his targets well. Delaware's Joe Flacco needs to work on speeding up his drops but he had some moments and held his own despite playing against better competition than he's used to. Michigan's Chad Henne really throws a nice all but he didn't necessarily stand out.
• Iowa cornerback Charles Godfrey started off great, sticking with some smaller, quicker wideouts, but later in the practice he struggled a bit and gave up some completions.
• Michigan's Shawn Crable looks the part and stands out physically but he appeared to be a little awkward in his movements at times. Virginia Tech's Xavier Adibi was very active in 7-on-7's while UNLV's Beau Bell showed good range to the sideline and in coverage.
• USC tight end Fred Davis looked awfully short standing next to guys like Kellen Davis and Martin Rucker but he did make a nice catch in traffic and had the best day of the bunch.
• Indiana's Tracy Porter isn't known for a physical style of play but he played Adarius Bowman tough despite a drastic size difference and was able to stay in the hip pocket of most of the wideouts he was matched up against.
• USC offensive tackle Sam Baker displayed good use of his hands and nice footwork. He especially stood out in pass protection against speed rushers.
• Offensive guard Roy Schuening is stout at the point of attack and has good awareness.
• It was tough for the running backs to stand out in a practice like this but East Carolina's Chris Johnson was shifty and showcased his ability to make people miss. Justin Forsett also displayed good speed and elusiveness on a long run.
• North Carolina St. defensive tackle DeMario Pressley drew some positive notice from the coaching staff and showed good upper body strength and leverage, although he has a ways to go when it comes to footwork.
• West Virginia fullback Owen Schmitt was used extensively as a receiver out of the backfield and he did well. He's isn't graceful but he got the job done and even dragged Thomas DeCoud behind him on one play.
• Notre Dame defensive tackle Trevor Laws didn't look great in positional drills but he made at least one standout play, pushing Drew Radovich into the backfield and batting down a pass with authority.
• Michigan safety Jamar Adams really casts an imposing figure on the field and he delivered a big hit in 7-on-7's late in the practice.
• Eastern Michigan defensive end Jason Jones had a very nice day and seemed to be in the opponents backfield a lot.
• Not only is Nebraska offensive tackle Carl Nicks one of the most physically impressive players in Mobile but he did a good job of stonewalling Chris Ellis in 11-on-11's and showcased a physical and sometimes nasty demeanor.
• North Dakota St. punter Mike Dragosavich did a decent job of punting out of his own end zone but was a little inconsistent as well.
• Tom Zbikowski, Dorien Bryant and Eddie Royal worked as the punt returners.
There were a number of standout performances today but if I had to single out a couple of guys on each side of the ball Sedrick Ellis and Keith Rivers would easily be the defensive picks while Carl Nicks and Lavelle Hawkins would get the nod on offense. It was a good first day overall and there should be some excellent matchups throughout the rest of the week, especially between the offensive and defensive linemen. So day one for the North is officially in the books and things should only get better once they put on the full pads start hitting.
Re: Scott Wright;s Tuesday Morning Senior Bowl north
Carl Nicks has realy been impressing scouts all over with it looking more likely that Chris Williams, Baker, and Otah will all go in the first if this guy keeps doing well i am pretty sure he might end up being our second round pick