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CBS Sports 2018 Senior Bowl Articles and Practice Reports

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  • CBS Sports 2018 Senior Bowl Articles and Practice Reports

    Senior Bowl 2018: Winners and losers from Tuesday's weigh-in at Mobile
    Chris Trapasso Jan 23, 2018 • 3 min read

    Senior Bowl festivities kicked off early Tuesday morning with the perpetually awkward weigh-in session in which all participants walk across a large stage and get measured in front of hundreds of team employees and media members.

    And while draft-stock fluctuation will mostly occur during the week of practices and the game on Saturday, there were some winners and losers from the Mobile weigh-in, as the physical measurements remain an important part of the pre-draft process.

    Heights are listed in "6023" form, with the last number representing eighths of an inch. So, 6023 would be 6-foot-2 and 3/8 of an inch.

    Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

    Weigh-in: 6057 / 259 / 34" arms

    Some believed Davenport's listed size at 6-foot-7 and 255 pounds was slightly exaggerated. Turns out, it wasn't stretched that much. Combine his nearly 6-6 frame with long, 34-inch arms and you have one enormous defensive end.

    Perspective: Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter measured in at 6051 and 251 pounds with 34 1/2-inch arms at the 2015 combine.

    Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, OLB, Oklahoma

    Weigh-in: 6013 / 243 / 34 1/2" arms

    For an "undersized" outside rusher, Okoronkwo measuring in at over 6-1 and north of 240 pounds is important. For many teams, those are the thresholds for edge-rushers. Beyond that, Okoronkwo's 34 1/2-inch arms are tentacle-like. Relatively speaking, the Oklahoma star is still on the smaller side of the outside pass-rusher spectrum, but his length can be likened to other, much bigger NFL pass-rushers.

    Perspective: At last year's combine, Cardinals' first-round pick Haason Reddick measured in at 6012 and 237 pounds but only had 32 3/4-inch arms.

    Uchenna Nwosu, OLB, USC

    Weigh-in: 6020 / 245 / 33 1/2" arms

    Nwosu is the other "smaller but productive" outside linebacker in this class with fringe first-round talent and collegiate film. For him to hit 6-2 and 245 pounds is a huge win for him. His 33 1/2-inch arms mean he has enough length to keep offensive linemen off his frame.

    Perspective: Von Miller's official size at the combine was 6025 and 245 pounds with 33 1/2-inch arms.

    Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama

    Weigh-in: 6003 / 176 / 33 3/8" arms

    Ok, so Wallace could stand to gain some weight at the next level. And he will. That won't be a problem for an NFL strength and conditioning program. But those arms will be tantalizing to many scouts, general managers, and defensive coordinators. Length at the cornerback spot is often seen as the catalyst for plays on the football. Wallace snagged three picks and knocked down 15 passes in 2017.

    Perspective: Jaguars star cornerback Jalen Ramsey has 33 3/8-inch arms.

    Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU

    Weigh-in: 6051 / 306 / 35 1/2" arms

    In general, 34-inch arms represent the threshold for NFL offensive tackles. For Noteboom, an established pass-protector to hit 6-5 and have arms longer than 35 inches is really impressive.

    Perspective: Patriots left tackle Nate Solder has 35 1/2-inch arms.

    Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

    Weigh-in: 6047 / 237 / 10 1/8" hands

    Everyone was expecting Allen to stand out among the other quarterback prospects, and he did to a certain degree. Being nearly 6-5 and almost 240 pounds represents the "he looks like an NFL signal-caller" portion of scouting reports written about him. Hand size is a hotly debated topic during draft season, and while smaller hands don't totally disqualify a quarterback prospect from succeeding at the NFL, teams would rather have a quarterback who has large mitts for ball-security purposes.

    Perspective: Carson Wentz has nearly the same size hands at 10 inches.

    James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

    Weigh-in: 5107 / 210 / 34" arms / 9 5/8" hands

    Washington's weight and especially his arm length would push him into the "winners" subheading. But there was plenty of negative buzz about him not even hitting 5-11 despite being listed at 6-0 during his illustrious career at Oklahoma State.

    Perspective: Washington's weigh-in figures are nearly identically to ***** wideout Pierre Garcon, who was 5117 and 210 pounds at the 2008 combine. However, he had just 31 1/8-inch arms.

    Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa

    Weigh-in: 5097 / 188

    Wadley is a quick-twitch scat back, so he wasn't expected to hit the 200-pound mark. But at nearly 5-10 and under 190 is relatively small even for a change-of-pace speedster.

    Perspective: Only 16 running backs who've participated at the combine since 1999 have weighed less than 188 pounds.

  • #2
    Senior Bowl 2018: Observations from the first two practices in Mobile, Alabama
    Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen took the field, but RBs and defensive front seven players stole the show
    Chris Trapasso Jan 24, 2018 • 5 min read

    The week of Senior Bowl practices are finally underway, and both the North and the South clubs took to the field Tuesday afternoon in Mobile, Alabama, to show their skills to scouts, GMs, head coaches, and draft analysts like yours truly.

    Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen of the North team headlined the second practice of the afternoon, but the South squad had plenty of noteworthy performances.

    Practices will take place Wednesday and Thursday with walk-throughs on Friday before the game on Saturday afternoon.

    Here are my observations from the first two practices of Senior Bowl week.

    South Team
    Clemson linebacker Dorian O'Daniel looked comfortable handling all his duties in the first practice of the week. Early in the session, he flew past a running back in a blitz-pickup drill. After that, he defended two passes and air-tight coverage forced another incompletion. In 11-on-11 drills, he filled his run fits quickly and had a few tackles near the line of scrimmage. O'Daniel has the athletic makeup and the nuanced skill to thrive in today's NFL.

    James Washington had a near flawless practice. In the one-on-one drills, he caught every pass thrown his way, including a diving grab over the middle on a dig route and a long score on a go route in which he had to release to the outside to gain separation. He made everything look easy.

    San Diego State runner Rashaad Penny had his issues with his blitz pickups until he drove back Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser when the defender tried a spin move.

    Byron Pringle showcased his deep-threat ability on two long touchdowns in one-on-one drills. He didn't blow past Alabama cornerback Levi Wallace on the second score but smartly reached for the football at the last second to avoid the potential of a pass breakup.

    Texas defensive tackle Poona Ford is under 6-foot, but his smaller stature and quickness off the ball were on full display against the South offensive line. He consistently found himself in the backfield after the snap in team drills. In the one-on-one portion, he unsurprisingly struggled without a gap to explode through.

    Southern Mississippi running back Ito Smith's agility may lend credence to an idea that he's an outside speed runner. That's not exactly where or how he wins. His cutting ability is apparent on inside runs, and he demonstrated the subtle elusiveness on two nice between-the-tackle scampers.

    Da'Shawn Hand won a few battles against Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, but the latter had the strongest rep of the one-on-one drill in the trenches, as he almost sent Hand into their teammates watching the drill.

    Indiana tight end Ian Thomas repeatedly got separation from linebackers at the intermediate levels, but had a pair of drops.

    Overall, the quarterbacks from the South Team -- Troy's Brandon Silvers, Western Kentucky's Mike White, and Virginia's Kurt Benkert -- struggled with timing and accuracy. LSU wideout D.J. Chark was targeted often but only had one long touchdown to show for the attention, which came on a perfectly thrown ball from Benkert.

    The biggest pad-pop of the day came via Auburn linebacker Tre' Williams who flashed through the A-gap untouched and unloaded on Penny, which led to a fumble.

    Virginia defensive lineman Andrew Brown and North Carolina cornerback M.J. Stewart had fantastic practices. Brown lived in the backfield on run plays in team drills and Stewart was glue on wideouts in one-on-one drills.

    North Team
    Josh Allen started with a bad overthrow against air as the practice began, and during one-on-one drills, a few of his passes were behind and low, particularly one on a dig route to Colorado State wideout Michael Gallup. However, it wasn't a wildly erratic day for the Wyoming quarterback. Many of his accurate passes were dropped, as it appeared the sun cutting across the field was a problem for some receivers at the outset of the practice, most namely DaeSean Hamilton of Penn State and Iowa State's Allen Lazard.

    Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield threw well behind his intended target on an in-breaking route and a throw toward the sideline, and it appeared as if he was fading away from both passes. Other than that, his tosses had plenty of zip and accuracy.

    Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage was the best offensive player on the field for the North squad on Tuesday. He shook The Citadel's linebacker Myles Pierce in a pass-catching drill and was amazingly fluid in his cuts and acceleration as a runner. On one play, he smoothly bounced to the outside then outran South Carolina cornerback Jamarcus King around the corner. He ended practice with an outstanding juke on a defender who got penetration quickly after the snap.

    Boston College cornerback Isaac Yiadom put his length to use with a fine pass breakup on a deep shot from Mayfield.

    Oklahoma outside linebaker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo utilized his length often in one-on-one drills, not allowing offensive linemen to get into his frame. He set the edge well in team drills and played a pitch perfectly later in the session.

    Michael Joseph, the Division III player from Dubuque, was scorched by Gallup on one go route. He was stellar in one-on-one drills beyond that.

    Texas A&M safety Armani Watts had back-to-back solid reps against Notre Dame's large tight end Durham Smythe. On the first, he had tight coverage on a pass that was ultimately overthrown. On the second, a throw from Mayfield, his timing was perfect on the pass breakup.

    UTEP guard Will Hernandez dominated in one-on-one drills. It didn't matter who he faced. He's wide, strong, and has deceptive movement skills to drive back the opposition. He certainly did that on Tuesday.

    Ohio State defensive linemen Jayln Holmes used his hands well in one-on-one and team drills. For someone without tons of production on his resume, it was a good for him to show that polish.

    Nathan Shepherd from Division II Fort Hays State showcased his explosiveness on more than one occasion. He devoured a run play before it could materialize and held his own in one-on-one drills.


    • #3
      Senior Bowl 2018: Observations from Wednesday's practices highlighted by Josh Allen's vintage performance
      The Wyoming quarterback showed the good and the bad during a fascinating day of practices in Mobile
      Chris Trapasso Jan 25, 2018 • 5 min read

      Josh Allen was vintage Josh Allen on Wednesday at the Senior Bowl, wowing the crowd during one drill, then disappointing just a few plays later.

      Allen wasn't the only intriguing signal-caller on display, as Richmond's Kyle Lauletta had an impressive performance for the South squad.

      Outside of the quarterbacks, James Washington, Dorian O'Daniel, Isaiah Wynn, and Andrew Brown continued their dominance of the preparatory sessions.

      Here are my observations from the Wednesday's practices in Mobile.

      North Team
      Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen again started practice with inaccurate tosses against air, which isn't a major problem, because he's throwing to receivers with whom he's not familiar. Happens to many signal callers at the Senior Bowl and Combine. Soon thereafter, Allen redeemed himself with two ridiculous touchdown passes in one-on-one drills. Both came from the 40-yard line, drove through the slight wind and were perfectly accurate. The first score was a dime to Iowa State wideout Allen Lazard. The second touchdown was to Colorado State wideout Michael Gallup. However, Allen's accuracy issues resurfaced in team drills with a variety of errant passes, one of which was an overthrow that resulted in an interception.

      On Lazard, he had a fantastic day creating separation -- particularly for a 6-foot-4 wideout -- and demonstrating his ball skills on a few catches well outside his frame. On Gallup, he glides all over the field, making room for his quarterback to get him the football. He's also well-built and has reliable hands. He's been outstanding in his first two practices.

      The Kalen Ballage train steamed ahead on Wednesday, as he continued to put his smooth athleticism on display in receiving drills and when he outran Oklahoma outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo downfield on a wheel route. The Arizona State specimen also dominated in the blitz pickup drill. He's reminds me of David Johnson. That's not exaggeration.

      Okoronkwo again utilized his long reach and pass-rushing moves in one-on-one and team drills. He had a would-be sack of Baker Mayfield -- on a rep against Oregon offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby.

      In 7-on-7, Mayfield got into a rhythm, as he completed many passes to different receivers. The velocity on those throws was impressive. He did hold onto the ball too long on consecutive plays that led to a throwaway and scramble after the aforementioned would-be sack by Okoronkwo.

      Boston College cornerback Isaac Yiadom broke up three passes on the afternoon. Two of those came on deep throws in which he stayed in the hip pocket of the receiver. He's had a quality week thus far.

      Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki's height, length, and soft hands helped him stand out Wednesday, as he made a few grabs above his head on seam throws. He got loose on a wheel route for what would have been a big gain. Gesicki's a high-point tight end who'll be a reliable target in the NFL.

      Wisconsin edge-rusher Garrett Dooleys refinement was apparent in team drills, as he played with proper leverage and hand use to free himself from an assortment of tackles on the outside.

      South Carolina cornerback JaMarcus King had a rough afternoon, and it was mainly due to his lack of functional strength. He's a fluid cover man but has trouble in press and at the catch point against bigger, stronger receivers.

      The NC State defensive line duo of Justin Jones and B.J. Hill were super-stout against the run as per usual, and Jones even got the best of sturdy guard Will Hernandez once, which was a rare mishaps for the UTEP's star.

      South Team
      Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta was the best quarterback on the field for the South Team Wednesday. After a few misses early, his quick, compact release allowed him to fit the ball into some tight windows. During a red-zone drill, Lauletta squeezed a pass between defenders to Marcell Ateman on a slant for a score. He also made a nice anticipation throw over a linebacker on a dig route to LSU wideout D.J. Chark.

      Georgia offensive linemen Isaiah Wynn picked up where he left off yesterday, as he controlled multiple defensive linemen in one-on-one drills with a combination of quickness and jolting power.

      Virginia defensive tackle Andrew Brown may see his stock rise more than anyone after his week in Mobile. Being allowed to play a more attacking position on the inside as opposed to the two-gap spot he manned on the edge for the Cavaliers, the former five-star recruit has been freed to show off his electric first step and burst into the backfield. He was continually disrupting plays behind the line of scrimmage. It didn't matter which offensive lineman he faced.

      Oklahoma State wideout James Washington continued his effortless production at practice. While he did have a drop on a low throw against air, he won the vast majority of his matchups and was uncoverable down the field. He has an extra gear unlike any other wideout at this year's Senior Bowl.

      Central Florida outside linebacker Shaq Griffin displayed plenty of juice around the edge on a few snaps during team drills. He can flatten to the quarterback too.

      Marquis Haynes of Ole Miss exhibited very active hands during a one-on-one drill with an offensive tackle, which even drew some praise from his teammates. He doesn't mess around at the point of attack.

      Western Kentucky quarterback Mike White rocketed a pass to the front corner of the end zone to Central Florida tight end Jordan Atkins who made the diving grab.

      Alabama center Bradley Bozeman and Texas defensive tackle Poona Ford had a fun, back-and-forth battle in the trenches. Ford got the best of the Crimson Tide pivot a few times, but on one rep, I noticed Bozeman sink his hips to reach Ford's low center of gravity to stymie the stout defensive tackle. Later, Ford flashed a quick spin move in one-on-one drills.

      USC outside linebacker Uchenna Nwosu used a fantastic straight arm to maintain distance from the offensive tackle in front of him and ripped through for a would-be sack in team drills. He and Okoronkwo are extremely similar prospects. Nwosu is more of a technician. Okoronkwo is more of a dynamic athlete.

      Clemson outside linebacker Dorian O'Daniel pieced together another steady practice performance. He ran with speedy Southern Miss running back Ito Smith on a wheel route that fell incomplete and had tight coverage down the field on Indiana tight end Ian Thomas who made a nice grab on a perfect pass. O'Daniel used his twitchiness twice to beat running backs in a blitz drill as well.

      There has been an immense amount of buzz surrounding UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport, and while he did get around the corner a few times on Wednesday, he hasn't created the high amount of splash plays he consistently showed during his collegiate career.


      • #4
        Senior Bowl 2018: Marcus Davenport shines, Josh Allen stands out on Thursday
        Everything you need to know about the Senior Bowl practice sessions in Mobile on Thursday
        Chris Trapasso Jan 26, 2018 • 5 min read

        Senior Bowl practice wrapped on Thursday, and the headliner quarterbacks didn't disappoint in their last preparatory session before the game.

        Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield were steady all afternoon, and the most hyped defensive player -- Marcus Davenport of UTSA -- looked like a high first-rounder.

        Stealing the show, however, was Allen Lazard, the big receiver from Iowa State. His large stature and high-pointing prowess lead to a variety of splash plays, mostly in the end zone. Virginia defensive tackle Andrew Brown capped off the best week of anyone in Mobile with more consistent penetration into the backfield.

        Here are my observations from Thursday's practices.

        North Team
        Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen had his steadiest practice and stood out among quarterbacks on the North squad during the final session before the game Saturday. He didn't make any "wow" throws, but, more importantly, didn't make undrafted free-agent type tosses either. In red-zone work, he had nice touch on a fade to the back corner of the end zone and zip on a score on a weakside sprint out to the front left pylon. He did have a pair of overthrows on passes into the end zone, but neither were egregiously off-target.

        Rutgers outside linebacker Kemoko Turay exhibited hand use in Mobile he didn't show on film during his collegiate career. Turay beat steady Oregon offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby and Pittsburgh offensive tackle Brian O'Neill two times each using a swipe move and a surprisingly powerful bull rush. He's a speed-to-power rusher and had a fine week.

        Iowa State wideout Allen Lazard was the most impressive player -- for either team -- on Thursday. He made an outstanding back-shoulder catch for a touchdown early in the session and finished with three more dazzling displays of his high-pointing ability. He also created separation on a dig route in team work and was found by Baker Mayfield. In the red zone, he also made a tough grab on a slant against tight coverage. Lazard has a fun combination of size, leaping ability, strong hands, and deceptive athleticism.

        Mayfield was his typical, consistent self, and worked wonders near the end zone. However, as was the case yesterday, when his first read was covered he hitched, looked uncomfortable and either threw the football away, scrambled, or dumped it into the flat to a running back four or five seconds after he received the snap.

        Stanford defensive tackle Harrison Phillips toyed with offensive linemen in one-on-one drills, using his immense strength to push back blockers. In team drills, he utilized his go-to swim move to win at the point of attack.

        On the topic of hand use, Oklahoma outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was masterful getting offensive linemen off-balance with his long arms in both one-on-one and team drills. He beat Crosby on a few reps. Army offensive tackle Brett Toth was the only player I saw stymie Okoronkwo on one snap.

        Penn State wideout DaeSean Hamilton had some issues with drops throughout the week. His route-running was spectacular though. He's a tremendous salesman on routes with multiple cuts. The Nittany Lions star also possesses the quickness and speed to separate on a regular basis. He left Boston College cornerback Isaac Yiadom -- who was super sticky in coverage all week -- in the dust on a post corner in team drills.

        Both NC State defensive linemen, Justin Jones and B.J. Hill, remained incredibly sturdy in the middle. They're both strong bull-rushers with heavy hands. Iowa offensive guard Sean Welsh was put on skates by Hill in a one-on-one rep. Hill even deployed a quick spin move -- impressive at his size -- in the middle that nearly beat UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez.

        UCLA center Scott Quessenberry was the only interior offensive linemen who held Hill in check.

        Boise State wide receiver Cedrick Wilson was the recipient of a fine throw through traffic from Allen in the red zone and extended above his head for a grab from Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee.

        South Team
        After two days of underwhelming play -- particularly relative to the massive amount of buzz surrounding him in Mobile -- UTSA pass-rusher Marcus Davenport was a monster Thursday. He beat TCU offensive tackle Joseph Noteboom a handful of times for would-be sacks, got his hand on a throw after another pressure and late in the practice actually fell into Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta for another sack.

        Georgia offensive guard Isaiah Wynn was again dominant in one-on-one drills regardless of who he faced. Alabama defensive lineman Da'Shawn Hand actually had a nice week ... when he didn't match up with the former Bulldogs star.

        Defensive tackle Andrew Brown from Virginia continued outstanding play that'll lead to arguably the highest draft-stock rise of any player in Mobile this week. He not only won with burst off the ball but utilized a super-quick swim move to get into the backfield with relative ease on more than one rep. He seems to be at home on the inside as an attacker as opposed to eating blocks on the outside of the defensive line.

        Darious Leonard, a linebacker from South Carolina State, was excellent in a variety of coverage drills. He blanketed every running back he saw, both down the field and on out-breaking routes to the flat. I counted three pass breakups. His athleticism makes him an enticing prospect.

        Vanderbilt linebacker Oren Burks showed his run-defense chops with a rapid fill on an inside run by LSU back Darrel Williams

        Georgia State cornerback Chandon Sullivan had a pair of pass breakups and maintained tight coverage for the vast majority of practice Thursday.

        Outside linebacker Shaquem Griffin of Central Florida wrecked Humboldt State offensive tackle Alex Cappa late in the practice with a tightly-wound spin move that would've led to a sack. Griffin is a no-nonsense stand-up rusher on the outside.

        LSU wideout D.J. Chark had no problem creating separation Thursday -- a theme of the week for him -- as he reeled in a few grabs in both one-on-one and team drills.

        Oklahoma State receiver Marcell Ateman high-pointed to reel in a touchdown in red-zone work and actually fought through a pass-breakup attempt.

        Ole Miss outside linebacker Marquis Haynes' active hands were impactful yet again. He had a would-be sack in team drills and ripped his way to a win in one-on-one drills.

        At the quarterback spot, Lauletta was the best North Team quarterback, as he got the ball out of his hands quickly and his accuracy didn't waver much. Western Kentucky's Mike White was the North squad's second-best signal-caller Thursday.


        Related Topics


        • Nick
          2017 Senior Bowl: Underrated South WRs, North's Reddick shine on Wednesday
          by Nick
          2017 Senior Bowl: Underrated South WRs, North's Reddick shine on Wednesday
          NFL teams have different plans for Haason Reddick, and he's showing he could fit anywhere
          by Dane Brugler & Rob Rang 21h ago • 8 min read

          NFL teams value versatility. But there is a difference between being versatile and then not having a true position. Temple linebacker Haason Reddick (6-foot-1 1/2, 237 pounds) is trying to show that he belongs in the former of the two categories with his performance this week in Mobile, Alabama.

          And through two practices, Reddick, who debuted at No. 38 overall on my initial top-50 board, has lived up to expectations.

          Reddick was primarily used as an edge player this season at Temple, standing up or rushing with his hand on the ground as a defensive end. He would occasionally stand up as an off-ball linebacker, but mostly as a spy, limiting the opportunities for scouts to evaluate him in coverage.

          During Wednesday's practice, Reddick was used on rushing, blitzing and off-ball linebacker drills, showing his wide range of abilities. As a rusher, blockers had a tough time slowing him down thanks to his initial burst and flexibility to dip around the edge. He got the best of Pittsburgh offensive tackle Adam Bisnowaty on a quick inside move that left the Pitt blocker helpless to counter. During pass pro drills for the running backs, Reddick blitzed from different angles and made several of the backs attempting to slow him down look silly.

          The telling test this week for Reddick is his ability to hold up in coverage drills. It is obvious he is still feeling out the position as an inside linebacker, taking things slowly as he figures out where his eyes need to be. When asked to cover running backs out of the backfield, Reddick was a tad wild with his lower body, but even though he gave up initial spacing, his athleticism allowed him to recover in flash, knocking the ball away.

          Some teams will view Reddick as an edge rusher while others will look for him to make the full transition to inside linebacker. Regardless, he has shown this week that his athleticism allows him to be a quick study with new responsibilities.

          Temple has produced only one NFL player drafted in the top 50 over the past two decades (Muhammad Wilkerson, 30th overall to Jets in 2011), but Reddick is on his way to being the second.
          More observations from Wednesday's North practice:

          The tight end group on the South squad receives most of the attention, and rightfully so, with a roster that boasts O.J. Howard, Evan Engram and Gerald Everett. But Florida International's Jonnu Smith (6-foot-2 3/4, 245 pounds) deserves praise thrown his way for his performances this week during practice. He is an athletic route runner with a smooth release and sharp footwork in and out of his breaks to create room to work as a pass-catcher. Smith is guilty of allowing...
          -01-26-2017, 03:31 PM
        • Nick
          Dane Brugler’s Top 10 Senior Bowl storylines
          by Nick
          Dane Brugler’s Top 10 Senior Bowl storylines: Drew Lock vs. Daniel Jones the main attraction
          By Dane Brugler Jan 21, 2019 19

          For​ one week every January,​ the​ NFL​ invades Mobile, Ala.,​ for the annual​ Reese’s Senior​ Bowl. The​ all-star exhibition fields​ the top​​ senior college prospects for an audition in front of hundreds of NFL scouts, coaches and evaluators.

          The Senior Bowl game is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2:30 p.m. ET at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will be aired on NFL Network. However, it is the daily practices throughout the week that truly matter for the NFL evaluators in attendance.

          The North Team will be coached by the Oakland Raiders and the South team will be coached by the San Francisco *****.

          Below are 10 storylines to track during Senior Bowl week.

          10. Washington State’s Andre Dillard is the top offensive lineman in Mobile — does he live up to that high billing?
          Evaluating Washington State offensive linemen can be a difficult task with the wide splits and the quick-strike design of the offense. Nonetheless, left tackle Andre Dillard is one of the most impressive blockers I have studied on tape this fall, projecting as the top senior offensive lineman on my draft board.

          With his light feet, body flexibility and core power, Dillard is rarely beat around the corner, maintaining his balance in his movements. His lack of length is a concern, but he uses quick reflexes and a violent swipe to eliminate the reach of rushers. Dillard’s ability to process and play under control will be vital traits during practice drills.

          A strong week in Mobile could help Dillard go from a possible first-round pick to a probable first-round pick. But it won’t be easy going up against the quarterback assassins on the South squad like Old Dominion’s Oshane Ximines, who also is looking to prove why he belongs in the top-32 discussion.

          9. Premium pass rush talent ready to steal the show
          Regardless of the names on the back of the jerseys, the quarterbacks are always the main attraction at all-star games. However, the quarterback hunters off the edge like Ximines will attempt to change that this week during Senior Bowl practices.

          The NCAA’s all-time sack leader, Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson, surpassed Terrell Suggs’ record with 45 career sacks and is looking to make it back-to-back years with a first-round Conference USA pass rusher (Marcus Davenport). It is easy to spot Ferguson on film because he is routinely the first defensive lineman out of his stance, using his quickness, motor and length to get blockers off schedule. If those traits show during practices, he will cement top-40 status in the eyes of some scouts.

          Although he is a better run defender than pass rusher right now, Boston College’s Zach Allen has the violent hands and contact balance to win off the edge. He projects as more of a base...
          -01-22-2019, 06:05 AM
        • Nick
          Risers and Fallers from East-West Shrine practices
          by Nick
          Risers and Fallers from East-West Shrine practices
          Jan. 20, 2010
          By Chad Reuter
          The Sports Xchange/

          ORLANDO, Fla. -- Three days of intense practices at the East-West Shrine Game concluded Wednesday with prospects trying to make a lasting impression before many NFL scouts skipped town for a few days leading into next week's Senior Bowl.

          Washington defensive end Daniel Te'o Nesheim continued to impress with his motor, while Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless looked fluid as a receiver and blocked with aggression. South Florida linebacker Kion Wilson was strong as a run-stopper in the middle. But those three solidified reputations they built during their careers.

          The following players did the most to enhance -- or hurt -- their draft stocks during this week's practices. For those with disappointing showings, the film from Saturday's game has become all the more critical to be considered for late-round draft status.


          OT Roger Saffold, Indiana
          It's hard to argue anyone but Saffold was the best player on the field this week. He was strong, moved his feet well in pass protection and when drive-blocking gave good effort through the end of plays, and was mobile enough to hit targets at the second level. Some scouts will project him inside, but it appears the 3½-year starter at left tackle should at least get a chance to prove he can handle those responsibilities. A third-round selection seems likely for Saffold at this point in the process.

          DT Torrell Troup, Central Florida
          Playing near his home UCF campus, Troup had his way with Canadian guard Matt Morencie and West Liberty center Ben Staggs in one-on-one drills, using his strength and violent hands to knock them backward or to the side on his way to where the quarterback would be in the pocket. Morencie and Staggs are fair athletes but lack the strength to handle Troup -- they shouldn't worry too much, however, as the Golden Knights' foes found him a tough ask all season long.

          WR Freddie Barnes, Bowling Green
          With the East quarterbacks lacking great accuracy, Barnes received many chances to show off his ability to catch the ball outside his frame. He extended to snatch a fastball from Fordham's Josh Skelton over the middle, earning affirming nods from scouts watching the play. In contrast to some of the other receivers on the field for the East team, his strong hands and crisp routes were eye-opening to those not familiar with Barnes' game.

          WR Verran Tucker, Cal
          A hamstring injury ended a promising week for Tucker, who looked quick and sure-handed over the first two days of practice. The 6-1, 194-pounder ran better routes than expected, coming back to the ball and catching from his body. Fellow Pac-10 receiver Terrence Austin took Tucker's spot, and while not very quick off the line, displayed good...
          -01-21-2010, 04:36 PM
        • Nick
          2017 Senior Bowl: SEC defenders, Michigan's Lewis shine in Tuesday drills
          by Nick
          2017 Senior Bowl: SEC defenders, Michigan's Lewis shine in Tuesday drills
          But no player looks like a better NFL prospect than Bama TE O.J. Howard
          by Dane Brugler & Rob Rang Jan 25, 2017 • 8 min read

          The first practice of the 2017 Senior Bowl started a tad slow as expected with the Cleveland Browns coaching staff walking the players through numerous positional and team drills. By the second hour, the pace of practice picked up, especially during one-on-one drills. And several of the SEC defenders in attendance this week stood out.

          The "other" pass rusher at Texas A&M, Daeshon Hall (6-5, 265, 35-inch arms) was unblockable for most of the day, using lateral quickness and body control to cross the face of blockers and knife through gaps. He is able to generate terrific momentum from his initial get-off to convert his speed to power and uses various spin moves to make it tough on blockers to land punches.

          A basketball player growing up, Hall is still developing his technical skills as an edge rusher and doesn't have eye-popping production. With Garrett commanding so much attention at right end, Hall should have been the beneficiary at left defensive end, but he managed only 4.5 sacks in 2016 and is still figuring out how to efficiently use his gifts to consistently disrupt the pocket.

          Even though he requires some maintenance, Hall showed in practice what he also flashed on tape -- the explosive traits to pester the pocket in the NFL.

          In the secondary, it was impossible not to notice LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White. When Browns defensive backs coach DeWayne Walker taught different drills to the cornerback group, he used the former LSU Tiger on the first rep each time because he knew he would only have to say the instructions once. A four-year starter in Baton Rouge, White carries himself like a seasoned veteran off the field and that maturity also translates to the field.

          In one-on-one drills vs. receivers, White showed terrific anticipation and balance in off-coverage, staying on top of routes and not allowing much separation. Although he might not be the best athlete on the roster, his experience (47 starts in the SEC) is definitely paying off for him.

          While watching the cornerback drills up close, I caught up with a defensive backs coach for an AFC team and asked his opinion on the group.

          "Honestly, I haven't seen a lick of these kids yet. But LSU (White) is making a real nice first impression."

          More observations on the South practice
          Alabama tight end O.J. Howard (6-6, 249, 34-inch arms) entered the week as my top-rated player in Mobile and he didn't disappoint on Day 1. He was a mismatch waiting to happen with his combination of speed, fluidity and receiving skills, including several one-handed grabs. There might be a player or two who will challenge him, but it's tough to think...
          -01-26-2017, 03:29 PM
        • Nick
          The East-West Shrine Game
          by Nick
          Interesting notes from Sporting News on the East-West Shrine game practices (game to be played on 1/20)...


          -Miami (Fla.) defensive end Baraka Atkins stood out as the best defensive linemen on the East, clearly at an athletic level above the other linemen. While NFL types are still trying to figure out if he fits best at end or tackle, he showed that he has the quick feet, quick hands and agility to beat offensive tackles when rushing the passer from the edge.

          -Texas A&M linebacker Justin Warren grabbed attention with his build (6-2 1/2, 245) upon first sight and continued to impress throughout practice. He showed very quick feet and the speed to chase down most plays. Warren also got aggressive and physical when battling blockers in run-stopping drills.


          -Hampton linebacker Justin Durant had another good day of practice Tuesday. He showed the speed to make plays sideline-to-sideline and blew up lead blockers at the point of attack. He played with the energy and emotion NFL coaches prefer. He did, however, struggle to shed blocks consistently.

          -Fresno State wide receiver Paul Williams has been nothing but inconsistent in two days of practice. He shows the athletic ability and speed to be an NFL starter, but he has struggled to run precise routes and has not caught the ball consistently. He is better than what he has shown so far this week.

          -Texas defensive end Brian Robison was active and disruptive Tuesday and made plays all over the field. He uses his hands well, usually plays on the offense's side of the line of scrimmage and consistently defeats the offensive lineman blocking him. He also plays with the intensity NFL teams covet and is a vocal leader.

          -Fresno State center Kyle Young really struggled Tuesday. He is thick-legged and struggled to move his feet quickly to negate quick pass-rush moves. Despite his natural bulk, he was consistently jolted by aggressive bull rushers and driven backward into the pocket.


          -The star of the day, without question, was Michigan wide receiver Steve Breaston. He caught many passes without any drops, including four deep passes that would have been touchdowns. He ran excellent routes and showed the burst to get separation and the speed to stretch the separation and run away from cornerbacks deep.

          -Miami defensive end Baraka Atkins had another great day and has gone a long way toward showing that he can play either end or tackle in the NFL. He is very polished in his pass-rush moves and consistently beat offensive tackles in one-on-one drills, inside and around the corner with equal frequency.

          -Central Michigan defensive end Daniel Bazuin had his best day of practice yet. Despite lacking explosiveness to burst off the ball and beat offensive tackles around the corner, he...
          -01-19-2007, 12:43 AM