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Official 2012 Senior Bowl Thread


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#1 NoFBinLA

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 06:35 PM

Howdy howdy. Having issues with my 'staff' account, so this is Garda and here shall Jene Bramel, Cecil Lammey, Matt Waldman and myself regail you of our adventures as credentialed media at the Senior Bowl in lovely Mobile, Alabama. we'll have links to interviews, various practice reports and more from the sidelines this week. I'll have my first practice report up shortly, I know everyone else is working on theirs as well. PS - I :wub: Doug Martin.
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#2 NoFBinLA

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 06:49 PM

Here is the bulk of my piece for CheeseheadTV.com -

I went to the North practice to watch the first days action. The first day is always one you take with a grain of salt as players who have never been on the field together before try to get into a rhythm, something which always seems to be the case with the offense more than the defense.

While I recognize for those of you who are Packer fans, the focus this off-season will be defense more than offense, more of my attention was spent on the offense as that's often my starting point for the week. I like to see where the offense starts off on Monday so I know if and how they im;proved on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Before I get into the practice, let's talk a little bit about the weigh in. It is, in many ways, a real meat market. The players from each squad parade up to the stage in shorts and that's all. As they are oogled by scouts, team staff and media alike, they have their height measured and are weighed. There are always a few surprises-someone weho is smaller or shorter than expected.

A player can also show a lot in his body type. Is he super cut? Does his frame looked maxed out? IS he a little overweight and if so, is he just a bit pudgy or sloppy?

Guys who stood out (for good or ill) were Iowa WR Marvin McNutt (shorter than expected), Cincy RB Isiah Pead (could define himself more), and North Alabama DB Janoris Jenkins had very good physique.

Really though I don't spend too much time on the weigh in because it comes down to one thing-can they play or not?

So let's look at the North squad and who on the offense looks like they can play.

One of the bigger names at quarterback here in Mobile is Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore. Moore looks small out there, almost as a boy amongst young men. That doesn't preclude him from being a good player though.

His arm? That just might.

Moore throws very well short, though he appears to be unable to throw a very hard ball even short. Moore overthrew his recivers on longer passes with great frequency, wildly innaccurate on most deep balls. I was not hot on Moore before, and so far I'm not seeing anything to change that.

I liked the aggressiveness Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson threw the ball with. Once he warmed up, he didn't hesitate to throw the ball into tight coverage, with success most of the time. He throws a hard ball short and a pretty ball on longer passes. Of the quarterbacks, he stood out to me as the best of the day. I have an interview with him coming up in a day or so, so keep an eye out for it.

Suprsised is the word I would use to describe two receivers: OSU's Devier Posey and Appalachian State's Brian Quick. My practice report notes basically look like this-

88 - body catch, fought the ball
3 - caught with body
88 - ball off hands, attempted to body catch
88 - body catch, almost lost pass

88 is Quick and wow did he fight the ball a lot. He rarely reached his hands out to meet the ball, waiting for it to come to his body and as a reslut, there were some catches he should have made but he didn't. Heck, there were passes he didn't even try to catch. He runs a decent route and he has speed but so far, he is not impressing.

Marvin McNutt, WR from Iowa looked pretty good though he sometimes had issues pulling in the ball and a few times he took some coaches notes to the extreme, overdoing some move or motion the coaches mentioned to him. He's a bit more raw than I expected.

A guy who stood out in a great way is Arizona State WR Gerrell Robinson. I loved the effort I saw from Robinson today and he made some great catches, including a beauty of a one-handed grab ona ball well behind him. He runs a fast route and did a good job of helping his QBs out with some athletic moves.

California's Marvin Jones also stood out positively is to me. He's another guy who got great seperation on his routes, made some good over the shoulder grabs and like Robinson, made his quarterbacks look good.

At the running back position, I saw a lot of OSU's Dan 'Boom' Herron, Cincy's Isaiah Pead and Washington's Chris Polk. The guy who stood out the most? Doug Martin out of Boise State.

there are some guys, like Herron, who seem to think they don't need to go 100% because it's the first day of practice, there's no real contact and you well, you are who you are.

Martin is NOT that guy. Martin went hard on every single play. He's not a big guy, but he's thick and a tough runner. He looked good at the weigh in, and even better on the field.

He stays with a very low pad level, runs strong and will abuse any player who has the thought enter his mind that he'll take Martin. Martin will blow him up. He also catches the ball well and can run inside the tackles very effectively.

A guy like Herron, you see the talent but not the effort. A guy like Martin, you get both.

You'll get to know Martin a little more sometime soon as I was able to group interview him on Media Night.

I thought both Polk and Pead look pretty good, though not spectacular. Polk looked a little doughy to me at the weigh in and Pead looked to me like he could add a little weight, though many other analysts disagreed.


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#3 GECKO

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:46 PM

Nothing like good times and good BBQ. Thanks for the info gents. :blackdot: Interested in hearing about Jake Bequette and Vick Ballard
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#4 Faust

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:49 PM

Posted this earlier in a different thread, but because this is the official thread, here it is again:

Senior Bowl practice report: Monday

Tony Pauline


Posted: Monday January 23, 2012 2:21PM ; Updated: Monday January 23, 2012 5:22PM

SI.com draft expert Tony Pauline is live in Mobile, Ala., where some of the draft's brightest talent are taking part in Senior Bowl week, the annual prospect showcase. He'll be providing live analysis from practice each day throughout the week.

4:21 p.m. CT -- Monday practice is complete for the North. Overall Marvin Jones (WR/Cal) made a great impression and delivered much more than scouts expected. Have to also be excited about Mike Adams (T/Ohio State), who justified his rising draft stock with a strong practice.

- The first practice of Tuesday starts 9:30 a.m. CT and we'll be bringing you all the goings on from the Senior Bowl!

4:17 p.m. CT -- Brad Nortman (P/Wisconsin) was kicking moon shots all afternoon. His punts were consistently flying 55-to-60 yards with great hang time.

4:05 p.m. CT -- Mitchell Schwartz (T/Cal) was forced to play center after the North's second center, Garth Gerhart (ASU) left the field with an injury. Schwartz has held his own in the early going, blocking with good fundamentals and, more importantly, displaying the ability to handle the center/quarterback snap exchange.

- Alameda Ta'amu (DT/Washington) has displayed a lot of power on the inside, consistently pushing offensive linemen off the ball and into the backfield.

- Mike Adams (T/Ohio State) looks like he's got his game on track and has been dominant in the middle part of practice.

- Brian Linthicum (TE/Michigan State) has really impressed all day. He looked very athletic during opening drills and has made several impressive catches in full scrimmage.

4:01 p.m. CT -- Senio Kelemete (G/Washington) has been incredibly athletic on the field and has stopped several top-rated pass rushers -- including Jack Crawford of Penn State -- dead in their tracks. In the full scrimmage Kelemete annihilated Vinny Curry on one play.

- Mike Martin (DT/Michigan) and Mike Brewster (C/Ohio State) have had a terrific battle all afternoon. Martin fired off several snaps and took the advantage with his first step, but Brewster adjusted and out-positioned Martin toward the end of the drill. It's been fun to watch.

- Shea McClellin (DE-LB/Boise State) spent much of his college career at defensive end but after tipping the scales at 248-pounds this morning, the coaching staff switched him to linebacker and thus far he's made the adjustment well. McClellin moves well in space, showing the ability to quickly change direction. He has a ways to go but you can tell there's something there.

3:49 p.m. CT -- Alfonzo Dennard (CB/Nebraska) has struggled. He does not show a quick backpedal and struggled transitioning to run downfield with receivers. The usually reliable Dennard has not gotten his feet underneath him yet.

- Isaiah Pead (RB/Cincinnati) has been the most elusive and creative ball carrier of the day. On one play he made two defenders miss with his ability to cut back against the grain.

- Mike Adams (T/Ohio State) is really starting to pull it together. He's used his wide frame to out-position defenders and moves his feet well for a big man.

- Michael Egnew (TE/Missouri) has looked incredibly fluid and smooth all day. He's very natural catching the ball and shows nice tight end speed.

3:46 p.m. CT -- Vinny Curry (DE/Marshall) has looked terrific in the early going. He's been matched up against Ohio State tackle Mike Adams, who has been rising up draft boards, yet he's bettered the Big Ten lineman. Curry has looked quick, athletic and fluid. Adams reverted to holding Curry in an attempt slow him down.

- To his credit Adams did rebound and has looked very good run blocking.

- Mike Quick (WR/Appalachian State) has struggled and looked outclassed. His routes are awfully slow and not sharp. He's also dropped several catchable throws.

- Marvin Jones (WR/Cal) has stood out in one-on-one drills. He probably runs the best routes of anyone on the North team, consistently separates from defensive backs and has made several outstanding receptions.

- Kirk Cousins (QB/Michigan State) has shown the best arm of any signal caller on the North and it's of legitimate NFL strength. He's powered the ball into the tight spots and has challenged the hands of his receivers.

3:37 p.m. CT -- It's overcast and slightly raining as the first practice of the day has gotten underway at the Senior Bowl.

- Devier Posey (WR/Ohio State) looks terrific in the early going. He's run great routes and caught everything thrown in his direction. Posey looks very fluid and natural and does not look like a player that missed most of the 2011 season.

- TJ Graham (WR/North Carolina State) a late addition to the game, has also looked good. He's made several difficult receptions and has run crisp, quick routes.

- Marvin McNutt (WR/Iowa) has struggled in the early going. He looks very stiff and has dropped a number of catchable throws.

- Though its still early, Kellen Moore (QB/Boise State) does not look good. He shows no ability to put speed on his passes and his throws have consistently been behind receivers.

10:30 a.m. CT -- The 63rd Senior Bowl kicked off this morning, as more than 100 NFL hopefuls were weighed and measured in front of the league's 32 franchises, all of which had an assortment of general managers, coaches and scouts on hand. On stage at the Mobile Convention Center ballroom were several impressive looking athletes who'll take to the field this afternoon for the initial practice of the week.

Several notable prospects were no-shows this week, mostly due to injury. Fast-rising receiver Kendall Wright of Baylor has been recovering from an ankle injury which he played with late in the year, and Wisconsin receiver Nick Toon is struggling with a foot injury. Small-school offensive lineman Amini Silatolu of Midwestern State, graded by a number of scouts as a second-day draft pick, is not in Mobile due to a hamstring injury. Trumaine Johnson, a highly rated cornerback from Montana, turned down an invitation to the Senior Bowl as he told officials he "was not ready" to participate. That has sent up a number of red flags, as the small-school prospect was graded as a potential second-round pick.

Two players from Alabama's national title winning team are mending injuries and won't be on hand, including safety Mark Barron and defensive tackle Josh Chapman.

Chapman played the last part of the season with a knee ligament injury, which he further worsened during the title contest against LSU. He's now looking at a rehabilitation process that will take at least four months.

Scouts were pleased to see the bulk of the Tide's senior prospects opting to participate in the Senior Bowl less than two weeks after the title game. Courtney Upshaw, Marquis Maze, William Vlachos and DeQuan Menzi are all on hand and ready to take the field for Monday's practice.



#5 Cecil Lammey

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:24 PM

here's my Day One NORTH practice notes

full report with insight from me, Waldman, Bramel coming soon to the NY Times 5th Down Blog

2012 Senior Bowl Day One North

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State-- good balance on dropback, sets up nicely, clean release, lacks arm strength, struggles when throwing routes over 7 yards, downfield passes flutter, with extra effort accuracy suffers, passes tend to sail when extra effort is given, has a wind up when throwing deep, underthrew Brian Quick on '9' route by 10 yards and it went out of bounds,

Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin-- like his scissor step, very tight, very balanced, shows good core strength on bootleg plays or throwing on the run, has good zip on shorter passes, aggressive mindset today, throwing between defenders, does a good job of 'feeling' where passing lanes are, regularly hits guys in the numbers, quick release, uses eyes to manipulate the defense, will move safety with his eyes, no hesitation when throwing between defenders, hits back step and fires the ball,

Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State-- looked like a giant compared to other two QBs on north squad, tight upper body helps accuracy, does a good job of throwing on the run going to his left or right, he drives the ball, compact release, exceptional stick throws especially one to Devier Posey on comeback route, goes through his progressions,

Boom Herron, RB, Ohio State--
lacked effort today, looks the part, didn't catch the ball cleanly, wasn't hitting the hole hard

Doug Martin, RB, Boise State-- balance, vision, great feet, low pad level, ran hard/hot on every play, he has good balance when changing direction can stick a foot in the ground and explode, a natural hands receiver out of the backfield, has good stop/start ability, doesn't lose speed when changing direction,

Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati-- jack of all trades, master of none, not as explosive as Martin but cuts cleanly, good hands, catches with arms extended away from the body, good stop/start moves, slippery, good feet,

Chris Polk, RB, Washington--
body issues, didn't run hot, good feet, had a nice catch behind him where he had to spin to catch the ball,

Gerell Robinson, WR, Arizona State-- silky smooth route runner, got downfield in a hurry, not an ankle breaker but knows how to get open against one-on-one coverage, will catch low passes, sacrifice body, good hand/eye concentration, had a great catch behind him over the middle that he caught with one hand and didn't break his stride, he adjusts well to poorly thrown passes and is a bad ball receiver,

Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State--
big, doesn't know how to use his frame, will not square his shoulders to the line of scrimmage on comeback routes, only body catches, slow out of breaks, lacks 'my ball' mentality,

Devier Posey, WR, Ohio State-- technically sound, not as explosive as one would think, comes back to the football, too many drops or body catches today for my liking, even though he's a smaller guy he's a heavy stepper, really has to throttle down to change direction, smart DBs will able to read that move and jump his routes, lacks over the shoulder ball tracking ability,

Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa-- not as big as originally thought, knows how to use size/frame to box out defenders, has good ball tracking downfield, can catch over the shoulder, he lacks explosiveness in and out of his breaks, does a good job of looking in passes, uses head fakes too much when setting up a route, will cause his route to get sloppy, will catch low passes,

Marvin Jones, WR, California-- aka 'mr bailout' guy will go after the football, a good downfield threat, had a great spin catch where he twisted to catch the ball, had a great catch where he tipped the ball up in the air (bad pass), fell to the ground, but caught the ball with two hands underneath with defender laying on his back, I'd like to see him comeback to the ball better on hook routes,

T.J. Graham, WR, N.C. State-- hi catches not a problem for the little man, doesn't hear footsteps, would like to see him get his head around quicker and spot the ball, late to see the ball leads to drops downfield,
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#6 Jene Bramel

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:22 AM

Day 1 Practice Report and Impressions (Fifth Down Blog)
Practice observations on the North's skill position players and South's defensive players, along with thoughts from the weigh-in.

A Wide Receiver Graduate Seminar (Fifth Down Blog)
In-depth look at the North's wide receivers, with a focus on how the Vikings' coaches taught technique.

#7 Jene Bramel

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:26 AM

Some of this will be redundant from our Fifth Down blog article, but here's what caught my eye while watching the South practice yesterday. It's - not surprisingly - focused on the defensive side of the ball. Quinton Coples was the best defensive lineman of a group that included Melvin Ingram and Courtney Upshaw today. Played a little high (frequent issue for him) but showed a strong inside rip and swim move, a good bull rush and the ability to win on the edge. If he finishes the week as consistently as he started it, he’ll both allay concerns about his so-so senior season and be forced to answer questions about his effort when teams interview him before the draft. Melvin Ingram is incredibly athletic for his body type. He and Courtney Upshaw are sharing reps in a role that will have them play in both a two and three point stance. Ingram was mostly successful with a bull rush, but seems to lack a consistent finishing move, which could hurt him if he’s unable to beat better offensive linemen off the edge. I didn't find Ingram as impressive in team drills as Russ Lande did yesterday, but didn't feel like he hurt himself with his play either. Upshaw looked really thick at the weigh-in (273 pounds) and seemed to lack flexibility during stretches, but was athletic during drills. He didn’t stand out as a pass rusher, but I was usually watching Coples and Brandon Thompson during his reps. I really like Brandon Thompson. Low pad level, anchors well, controls blockers when he’s not moving forward. Probably not much of a pass rusher, though. Bummed that Devon Still and Andre Branch bailed this week with minor injuries. Particularly bummed on Branch, who I wanted to see in person. They’ve got Jake Bequette playing strong side linebacker in practice. In these practices, that’s had him dropping in coverage in passing situations rather than rushing the passer. He’s struggled and it’s almost certainly due more to athletic limitations than comfort level and experience in a two point stance. I really want to like one of these inside backers. I saw Emmanuel Acho and Nigel Bradham today. Bradham was a little more impressive at the weigh-in. Both were inconsistent on the field. I think Bradham has more upside as a potential sideline-to-sideline MLB, but he needs work in coverage. I liked what I read about Acho, but Chad Reuter told me that he felt he was iffy between the tackles and probably not fast enough to survive outside. He seemed more instinctive in today’s limited sample than Bradham but looked very much like Reuter’s assessment. The North guys may prove to be the better talents. Both James-Michael Johnson and Bobby Wagner looked good at the weigh-in and the scouts here seems to be high on one or the other over both the South guys. Reuter likened Wagner to Donald Butler, a guy I’ve always liked. Love to see him live up to that standard. Keenan Robinson looked great in individual drills, very fluid for his size. Seemed to change direction well enough, but was often a step behind when the TE broke down out of his route. Not sure what to make of those differing observations. Sean Spence and Zach Brown have been the weak side linebackers. South used under fronts all day, which left both guys as chase OLBs and zone depth cover backers. Good fit for both. Spence weighed in at 228, a great number for him. He held his ground when blocked, but didn’t shed well. Looked as instinctive as billed, though. Brown was underwhelming during individual drills – Robinson moved through the pad drills better – but looked better in the team drills. Have a feeling he’ll pop tomorrow and Wednesday. Lavonte David also measured well at 225, but doesn’t have a frame to add much more. Most seem to favor him over Spence as the better undersized Will. Looking forward to watching him tomorrow. Didn’t watch the corner play at all, though reports suggest that Alfonzo Dennard disappointed on the North side. Did hear that Ryan Steed had his moments in man coverage, but was also told that he struggled badly on other plays. South coaches had Antonio Allen as the deep safety when they worked Cover-1. Didn’t watch closely but he wasn’t as impressive as Brandon Taylor in that role. That’s not all that surprising, but Allen could keep his stock relatively high if he proves he can handle some zone coverage reads. George Iloka measured 6-4, 222 at the weigh-in. If he’s as good a two-way prospect as advertised, he’s arguably right with Taylor as the next most versatile safety behind Mark Barron (who also decided not to come to Mobile at the final hour).

#8 NoFBinLA

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:00 AM

Here's my interview with Russel Wilson, QB for the Wisconsin BadgersHere's my interview with Russel Wilson, QB for the Wisconsin Badgers
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#9 Faust

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 02:19 PM

Senior Bowl practice report: Tuesday

Tony Pauline


Posted: Tuesday January 24, 2012 10:52AM ; Updated: Tuesday January 24, 2012 4:17PM

SI.com draft expert Tony Pauline is live in Mobile, Ala., where some of the draft's brightest talent are taking part in Senior Bowl week, the annual prospect showcase. He'll be providing live analysis from practice each day throughout the week.

3:15 p.m. CT -- The South practice is over and so ends the Tuesday schedule at the Senior Bowl.

Chris Rainey of Florida really stood out with his versatility and ability to be a true receiving threat. On one play he even threw a block on defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie of Texas A&M and removed him from the action. Jerod-Eddie weighed in more than 125 pounds heavier than Rainey on Monday.

Former Gator Janoris Jenkins continues to impress. He sticks like glue to opposing receivers and shows terrific ball skills.

We start against tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. CT for what is the most important day of Senior Bowl practices of the week.

2:58 p.m. CT -- Vick Ballard finally caught a pass in full scrimmage. He also just had a pair of terrific runs. He's shown a nice burst of speed and did a great job following his blocks. He also showed elusiveness and on his second long gainer made several defenders miss.

- Nigel Bradham looks incredibly athletic on the field. He covers a lot of area on the field and easily stays with backs or tight ends in coverage.

- A point of concern in Courtney Upshaw's game is the limited speed he shows on the field. While he's effective rushing the passer out of a three-point stance, Upshaw looks very limited in his ability to pursue and catch the ball-handler from the backside when stood up at linebacker.

- QB Ryan Lindley of San Diego State has looked good in scrimmage. He's an effective short yardage passer who's been on the mark with his throws. Lindley has also shown a lot of skill rolling outside the pocket and throwing on the move.

- Emmanuel Acho is just a smart, instinctive football player. He's not the greatest athlete but does a great job diagnosing the action and putting himself in a position to make plays on the ball. Acho has looked good against the run and pass.

- WR Juron Criner of Arizona has had his moments today. He's incredibly athletic and made several acrobatic receptions over defenders. Criner lacks downfield speed, but quickly gets off the line and shows the ability to get separation in underneath coverage.

- WR Patrick Edwards of Houston has been a bit of an enigma today. He's incredibly quick and shows a burst of speed, but does not make the receptions that are seemingly very catchable.

- TE LaDarius Green of Louisiana Lafayette has caught the ball exceptionally well today. He's very fluid and the 237-pounder looks more like a possession receiver. He needs to improve his blocking, which will come by adding strength, but he looks like a good candidate as a move tight end for the next level.

- S Antonio Allen of South Carolina has flashed skill all day. He's a very sudden player that jumps out of nowhere to make plays. Allen is also a vicous hitter. He just needs to show more consistency against the pass, but you can tell he has the underlying skills.

- DT Jaye Howard of Florida has made several nice plays. He fires off the snap and is able to penetrate the line of scrimmage.

2:48 p.m. CT -- Former Florida Gator cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who played for North Alabama last season, has looked good. He's fast, easily stays downfield with opponents and ,despite playing at a low level of competition last year, looks as though his ball skills have improved. Scouts have to be thinking first round for Jenkins after his performance.

- RB Vick Ballard of Mississippi has dropped a ton of catchable passes today in practice.

- OL Philip Blake of Baylor has shown some promise. He's a feisty blocker who does a great job controlling defenders when he squares into the opponent.

- OL Jeff Allen of Illinois continues to do a fine job on Quinton Coples of North Carolina. Coples struggles getting off of Allen's blocks.

- Coples has had his moments today, as he just ran around Zebrie Sanders in scrimmage. He is an impressive looking athlete with great movement skills. But you get the sense that Coples does not play with a sense of urgency and gives up on plays too easily.

2:28 p.m. CT -- CB Dwight Bentley of Louisiana Lafayette is having a terrific day. He's been able to stay downfield with receivers and shows the ability to stay on their hips out of breaks.

- LB Courtney Upshaw of Alabama has been standing up over tackle as a rush linebacker in a three four. He's an impressive looking athlete but has yet to show he can get off blocks. Upshaw has been handled on several occasions by Jeff Allen of Illinois, who's lined up at left tackle.

- WR Chris Rainey of Florida continues to be very impressive in drills. Defenders just cannot stay downfield with the speedster and he's made a number of sensational catches.

- QB Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State has looked terrific thus far. He has a monster arm and spins his passes with speed to get the ball through the tight windows. He just fired a brilliant pass through triple coverage into the hands of Joe Adams of Arkansas.

- T Zebrie Sanders of Florida State has looked good in one-on-one drills. He's handled Quinton Coples twice.

- Alabama's Courtney Upshaw is now being used at defensive end and looks good. He put offensive tackle Matt McCants of UAB on his bottom with a powerful bull-rush, then did the same to James Brown of Troy State.

- DL-OLB Melvin Ingram of South Carolina has looked terrific in pass rushing drills. He plays low and has been tough to block.

2:10 p.m. CT -- WR Marquis Maze of Alabama has been running terrific routes thus far. He quickly gets into breaks and positions himself to make the reception on exit. He's caught the ball well from the fastball quarterbacks on the South.

- WR Jeff Fuller of Texas A&M on the other hand has struggled. He's slow getting into breaks and rounds off his routes. Fuller shows some stiffness in his game. He has caught the ball well and looks very impressive getting vertical to grab the pass for such a large receiver.

- DL Jake Bequette of Arkansas weighed in at 265 pounds. He's being used at linebacker today and is really struggling in pass coverage drills. Looks slow and has difficulty flipping his hips.

- LB Sean Spence of Miami is having a tough go of it early in practice. He's guessing wrong in coverage drills and has been beaten by running backs down the field several times.

- QB Nick Foles of Arizona has been overthrowing his passes today. He seems to be trying to impress scouts with his arm strength, but his point of release has been high and passes have been sailing over the intended targets' heads.

- OL Cordy Glenn of Georgia, who played left tackle as a senior for the Bulldogs, was moved back inside to guard at practice and has been very effective. He's strong and has stayed with blocks.

- RB Chris Rainey of Florida has shown impressive downfield speed and hands in receiver drills. He just beat former Gator teammate Janoris Jenkins for a long gainer on two separate instances.

- Jeff Fuller just let a pass go through his hands and bounce off his chest. It was intercepted Dwight Bentley of Louisiana Lafayette on the ricochet.

1:58 p.m. CT -- Tuesday afternoon practice is underway, as the South squad has finished their warm-ups. The biggest crowds of the week have been on hand for the South practice, as their roster offers the greatest firepower at quarterback. The fact that a handful of players from national champion Alabama are on the field has also caught the interest of local folks in Mobile.

Defensive lineman Malik Jackson was a late entry to the game and will be taking the field today.

Updating the injury suffered by Joe Looney this morning, the Wake Forest guard has been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his foot which will require surgery. No timetable for his full recovery was given.

10:57 a.m. CT -- Morning practice is over. Without a doubt the two most impressive players this morning came from the defensive line. Mike Martin of Michigan and Kendall Reyes of UConn were both impossible to stop and set up shop behind the line of scrimmage.

The South practice begins at 1:45 p.m. CT. Thus far the early reports on Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden have been terrific. We'll be here to cover it live.

10:42 a.m. CT -- S George Iloka of Boise State just made a beautiful interception of a pass thrown by Kirk Cousins. Iloka stepped in front of the receiver and grabbed the ball away.

- RB Chris Polk of Washington display terrific straigh ahead speed and power yet shows little in the way of creativity or the ability to elude defenders.

- DL Mike Martin of Michigan continues to impress. He's shown the ability to finish plays today and has been a disruptive force all day.

- DT Derek Wolfe of Cincinnati has been mostly quiet but just made a terrific play beating a double team block to get behind the line of scrimmage.

- WR Marvn McNutt of Iowa continues to struggle. He had a step on a defender 30 yards downfield, Leonard Johnsin of Iowa State, but dropped a pass perfectly placed in his hands by Kirk Cousins.

- OL Joe Looney of Wake Forest, who replaced the injured Garth Gerhart, is gingerly walking off the field with what looks like an ankle injury.

- LB James-Michael Johnson of Nevada has shown a lot of athleticism on the field today. He easily moves about the field, showing the ability to quickly get outside the box or get depth on pass drops. He's not made many plays on the ball, but is omnipresent moving around the field.

- WR Gerrell Robinson of Arizona State made several terrific catches in scrimmage. He continues to run good routes and really does a nice job using his 220-pound frame to box out cornerbacks and physically beat them down for the catch.

- RB Doug Martin of Boise State continues to impress scouts with his versatility. Beside displaying a variety of skils carrying the ball he looked good returning kicks during special teams practice.

- CB Asa Jackson of Cal-Poly has been quiet during the defensive drills but looked very good returning punts. He's been able to handle the 60-yard moonshots that have been coming off the foot of Wisconsin's Brad Nortman on a very breezy day.

10:18 a.m. CT -- QB Russell Wilson of Wisconsin has been up and down all morning. At times he throws beautiful, catchable passes that quickly arrive to the receivers' hands. Other times his passes resemble a wounded duck as they flutter in the air.

- RB Doug Martin of Boise State has looked terrific thus far. He runs with great quickness and shows a burst through the hole. Martin is also very patient and does a nice job side-stepping defenders to create yardage.

- DT Mike Martin of Michigan has been a disruptive force all morning. He just threw Penn State lineman Johnnie Troutman to the ground and blew up a running play.

- RB Isaiah Pead of Cincinnati is again the toughest running back to tackle. He shows terrific footwork and just gave Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith a nice stiff arm to keep his play alive.

- WR Brian Quick of Appalachian State continues to struggle. He shows very limited quickness in his game and cannot separate from defenders.

- TE Emil Igwenagu of UMass has looked terrific as a blocker this morning. He's lined up at both fullback and on the line as a tight end, and no one has been able to get by him. He's small, but tough and strong. Igwenagu just made a terrific catch in double coverage.

- OL Kevin Zeitler of Wisconsin has been shifting with Mike Brewster at the center position today.

- DT Kendall Reyes of UConn has been a force this morning. He shows great explosion off the snap, as well as a variety of moves with his hands. Reyes has gotten a lot of penetration and just destoryed Zeitler of Wisconsin in one-on-one drills.

- C Mike Brewster of Ohio State and DT Mike Martine of Michigan are again battling hard in practice. Brewster laughed about it yesterday and noted it's just a continuation of what's taken place the past four years.

- G Kelechi Osemele of Iowa State has had a solid morning. He uses his wide body to seal defenders from the action and was able to overwhelm the smaller Vinny Curry.

- OL Tony Bergstrom of Utah has had a solid day. One one play he steered the athletic Jack Craford of Penn State from his pass-rush angle, then in another instance buried Billy Winn of Boise State. Winn has not looked good at all. He looked sloppy in weigh-ins and has not been a factor at all in practice.

10 a.m. CT -- Safety George Iloka of Boise State has had a quick start to the morning. He looks terrific in drills, displaying sound footwork in reverse and the ability to burst to the ball out of his plant.

- QB Kellen Moore of Boise State continues to struggle. The speed on his throws is notably slower than any of the other signal callers at practice this morning.

- WR Gerell Robinson of Arizona State looks solid. He runs exceptionally quick and crisp routes for a receiver that tips the scales in excess of 220 pounds.

- QB Kirk Cousins of Michigan State continues to throw the ball with terrific speed and velocity. Receivers are never waiting on the pass as they leave their breaks.

- OLB Shea McCLellin of Boise State continues to impress since making the move to linebacker. He destroyed several running backs and fullbacks this morning in pass-rushing drills in which he simulated standing up over a tackle.

- What's so impressive about T Mike Adams of Ohio State is the way he easily moves his 330-pound frame around the field. Even this morning, when asked to block in motion, Adams quickly gets out to the second level and is able to adjust and block linebackers thanks to his agililty.

9:42 a.m. CT -- The weather this morning in Mobile has taken a turn for the better, as it's sunny and 60 degrees. The players now have prime conditions to practice in front of the hundreds of scouts on hand.

Early news has DE Andre Branch of Clemson as a last-second scratch from the Senior Bowl. He's reportedly suffering from a groin injury. Garth Gerhart, who left the field with an injury Monday afternoon, is not on the field this morning. Guard Joe Looney of Wake Forest is, however, I assume as a replacement for Gerhart.



#10 Faust

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:07 PM

QB, WRs emerge at Monday's North Sr Bowl practice

Posted on: January 24, 2012 8:21 am

NFL Draft Blog
by Rob Rang

Making a strong first impression at the Senior Bowl can send a player's stock skyrocketing and boost his rookie contract by millions of dollars.

Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins and California wide receiver Marvin Jones can't start writing checks just yet but if they continue the sparkling efforts turned in Monday during the North Team practices they could prove to be two of the big winners from this year's Senior Bowl.

Cousins out-shined Wisconsin's Russell Wilson and Boise State's Kellen Moore by attacking all levels of a talented North defense. His experience in a pro-style offense was obvious as he made quick decisions, showed accuracy short, middle and deep and thread the needle through tight spaces. Whereas his teammates struggled to find a rhythm with their new receiving corps, Cousins was hitting on all cylinders, spreading the ball all over the field and hitting his backs, tight ends and receivers on a variety of routes.

Like Cousins, Jones entered the Senior Bowl with significantly less hype that others at his position. Jones, who measured in at a shade under 6-2 and 200 pounds during the morning weigh-ins, was quick off the snap, showed burst out of his breaks to gain separation and the speed to slip past cornerbacks for big plays. He caught everything thrown his way, showing the hand strength to gather in passes thrown slightly off-target as well as the vision to track deep balls over his shoulder.

Jones wasn't the only wideout to make eye-popping plays on the day, though he was the most consistent.

A few uncharacteristic drops from Appalachian State's Brian Quick late in Monday's practice dampened an otherwise strong initial showing from the FCS All-American. Quick, who measured in at a chiseled 6-3 (and a 1/2) and 222 pounds Monday morning was the early star among receivers. Though not sudden off the line of scrimmage, his long-strides help him to quickly eat up the cushion and he showed terrific hand-eye coordination making several impressive catches out of some poor throws. Quick, in fact, arguably made the catch of the day when he snatched a quick out thrown high and wide by Moore. Quick used every bit of his height and long arms to pull the ball down while dragging both feet in bounds to secure the catch.

It took some strong catches from Jones, Quick and a few other North receivers to get Moore on track. The Boise State All-American appeared every bit as un-athletic as scouts feared when he measured in at a touch under 6-0 (5'11 and 3/4) and 191 pounds during the weigh-in. Worse, concerns about his arm strength appeared to be legitimate when he struggled connecting with his receivers on simple quick outs to open practice. As practice went on, however, Moore seemed to settle in and the accuracy and touch he demonstrated in throwing a staggering 142 touchdowns against just 28 interceptions during his record-breaking career with the Broncos were again on display. Moore is especially effective throwing down the seam, showing excellent touch to settle passes in over the linebacker and in front of the safety to slot receivers and tight ends.

Russell Wilson clearly has the arm strength to make NFL throws but was surprisingly tentative in his first Senior Bowl practice. Too often he stood flat-footed in the pocket and surveyed the field looking for easy completions. He attacked holes when he saw them, rifling in passes through tight coverage but also stared down his receivers on occasion and was nearly picked off a few times.

Of the North's receivers, Ohio State's Devier Posey provided the biggest challenge to a talented defensive backfield that included Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard, graded by some scouts entering the year among the nation's elite senior prospects at any position. Posey's speed allowed him to slip past Dennard as well as Iowa State's Leonard Johnson and Boston College's Donnie Fletcher but too often Posey simply dropped the ball when his quarterbacks didn't place it perfectly. Posey struggled adjusting to passes slightly behind and had a couple of big play opportunities simply bounce to the ground because he allowed passes to get into his pads rather than catching the ball with his hands.

The concern was the exact opposite for his Big Ten rival Marvin McNutt from the Iowa Hawkeyes. McNutt has excellent size (6'2 1/2, 212 pounds), strength, hands and route-running to be a possession receiver in the NFL but didn't show much in terms of elusiveness or the speed to turn short and intermediate passes into big plays. He is a savvy route-runner, however, who was consistently open despite aggressive coverage from defensive backs.

It wasn't a standout practice for any of the North's defensive backs. Dennard showed his characteristic physicality in challenging big and small receivers, alike, but also proved vulnerable to double-moves, getting beaten over the top by Jones and McNutt, alike.

Oklahoma's Jamell Fleming and Cal Poly's Asa Jackson had their moments, each demonstrating a quick, low backpedal and good burst back to the ball.

Scouts will want to see improvement from Fletcher and Penn State's D'Anton Lynn. Each struggled to keep up with the North's receivers, showing average change of direction and speed. Fletcher was turned around on several occasions early in practice before the North's quarterbacks and receivers turned their attention to Lynn. The former Nittany Lion was victimized by Cousins and Wilson often as practice wore, perhaps an indication of their comfort with his limited playing speed and awareness after having played against him in the Big Ten.

Extra Notes: The Monday morning weigh-in put the spotlight on a couple of under-the-radar prospects scouts will no doubt be keeping an eye on this week. Quick looked every bit the part of a standout NFL receiver with his impressive measurables, as did Utah State inside linebacker Bobby Wagner (6'0, 241), Boise State running back Doug Martin (5'09, 219) and Michigan defensive lineman Mike Martin (6'1, 307). Though the Martins are not related, one wouldn't know it by their compact, heavily muscled builds... Clemson defensive end Andre Branch was among those who may have been caught in the bad weather that kept several from getting into Mobile as planned. NFL officials informed scouts that Branch would be participating this week but that he was not in Mobile for Monday morning's weigh-in... Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead got an opportunity to field punts late in Monday's practice, showing the concentration to catch the ball in traffic as well as the burst, elusiveness and vision you'd expect from the all-conference running back. Pead was rarely used in this capacity while with the Bearcats but turned some heads with his few opportunities Monday... Boise State's Shea McClellin (6-3, 248) lined up at defensive end for the Broncos but practiced at outside linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings' staff Monday. He showed good footwork in the bag drills early...



#11 Ned

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:19 PM

:blackdot:

#12 Faust

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:36 PM

QB, TE among positions of interest at Senior Bowl

By Bucky Brooks NFL.com
Analyst
Published: Jan. 23, 2012 at 08:02 p.m. Updated: Jan. 23, 2012 at 10:00 p.m.

MOBILE, Ala. -- The Senior Bowl is the crown jewel of the college all-star circuit. The game annually showcases the top talent in a draft class, and the 2012 contest is certainly no different. Several of the top-rated prospects at their respective positions are slated to participate this week.

With so much talent to evaluate through five practices and a game, scouts head to Mobile with a checklist to complete by week's end. Here are five things I'm looking for during my visit at the Senior Bowl:

1. Who is the next best QB behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III?

The competition for the third quarterback position on draft boards is wide open with Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden, Michigan State's Kirk Cousins and Arizona's Nick Foles viewed as viable contenders for the spot.

This week, each will have the opportunity to showcase their potential directing a pro-style offense, which will require them to take snaps from under center and execute three-, five- and seven-step drops in the passing game. For Cousins, the exercise shouldn't require much of an adjustment considering his experience running a pro-style passing game at Michigan State, but Foles and Weeden must quickly acclimate to the system after enjoying tremendous success in spread offenses.

One player to watch is San Diego State's Ryan Lindsey. He spent four years directing a wide-open attack that featured several pro concepts and his intriguing physical tools could shine on the Senior Bowl's big stage.

2. Who is the next Jimmy Graham?

The copycat nature of the NFL will lead scouts and coaches to spend most of the week searching for a big, athletic tight end with the ability to create mismatches in the passing game.

Stanford's Coby Fleener and Missouri's Michael Egnew enter the week with the biggest fanfare after their highly decorated careers, but they also have the games to match the hype. Both are polished pass catchers with sneaky speed and athleticism, and their natural ability should shine as deep middle threats.

Louisiana-Lafayette's Ladarius Green doesn't rank as a household name yet, but his tantalizing combination of size, speed and athleticism could make him a star by the end of the week. At 6-foot-6, 240 pounds with 4.7 speed, he is the Graham clone that scouts could fall in love with after watching him excel against the competition this week. Graham rose from obscurity to mid-round status following a strong week in Mobile in 2010, and Green could be in line to experience a similar rise with a strong performance.

3. Which small-school standout will impress this week?

This game has served as a launching pad for several small-school prospects in the past, and it certainly will provide several guys with an opportunity to make a significant jump up draft boards.

Appalachian State's Brian Quick, Midwestern State's Amini Silatolu and Cal-Poly's Asa "Ace" Jackson are the small-school standouts who could benefit most from working against elite competition this week. They have performed well in limited opportunities against big-school competition, but shining in workouts built around competitive drills like 1-on-1, 9-on-7 and team periods will give evaluators plenty of opportunities to forecast their potential as pros.

4. Which cornerback will cement his status as a first-round pick?

LSU's Morris Claiborne is a lock to be the top corner off the board, but the first round could see two or three cornerbacks hear their names called on draft day. Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard and North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins are rated as borderline first-round prospects on several boards across the league, but their uncertain status could be cemented with a strong week in Mobile.

Both are considered undersized by pro standards, and concerns about their ability to match up against big, physical receivers prevents some evaluators from getting excited about their pro prospects. However, a strong showing in a game that features several big-time pass catchers with size and speed could alleviate concerns about the ability of Dennard and Jenkins to hold up at the next level.

5. Who will be the most dominant defensive lineman?

The only way to evaluate big guys is to see them work against other big bodies in competitive drills like 9-on-7 and 1-on-1 pass rush. These workouts will pit several of the top defensive line prospects -- North Carolina's Quinton Coples, Penn State's Devon Still, Clemson's Brandon Thompson and South Carolina's Melvin Ingram -- working against highly rated offensive linemen in the trenches. Watching these players hold their ground in tight quarters, while also creating penetration against the run and pass will provide a glimpse of potential and upside.

Given how infrequent it is to find quality matchups between elite blockers and defenders, this week will serve as the ultimate litmus test in the minds of evaluators searching for dominant defenders in the trenches.



#13 Cobra

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:44 PM

Senior Bowl practice is on now live until 7 est. Also tomorrow and Thursday live 5:30 t0 7 pm est on the NFL channel.
"It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag."

Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC



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(Cobra is my new favorite FBG thumbup1.gif )

#14 Faust

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:56 PM

Senior Bowl notebook: Tuesday

Posted Jan. 24, 2012 @ 3:20 p.m. ET
By PFW staff
Updated at 6:46 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Jan. 23

MOBILE, Ala. — With the second day of practices at the Senior Bowl in the book, here are some of our observations:

South practice observations from associate editor Kevin Fishbain

• During the running back vs. linebacker drills, the South's linebackers made some nice plays, especially the pair from Texas, Emmanuel Acho and Keenan Williams. UNC's Zach Brown, who is known for his speed, also made a couple nice plays on the ball. Acho's brother, Sam, was a media favorite here last year and had a pretty good rookie season with Arizona.

• Florida's Chris Rainey caught my eye throughout the South's practice — how could he not, considering his blazing speed? Rainey had great cuts on his routes in the running backs vs. linebackers drill and then lined up in the slot later on in 7-on-7 drills. Rainey also caught a long pass down the sideline, which was one of the longest plays of the day. Rainey could get some looks as a change-of-pace back, especially if he keeps having success as a receiver.

• Louisiana-Lafayette CB Dwight Bentley had some real nice plays on the ball and impressed Redskins DB coach Raheem Morris. Overall in the South practice, the defensive backs beat the receivers more often than not. With Janoris Jenkins and Brandon Boykin out there, the South's secondary should have an edge throughout the week. Vanderbilt's Casey Hayward also made some nice plays at corner. Morris, by the way, was far and away the most vocal and positive coach on the field today — no surprise there.

• Arizona WR Juron Criner made the play of the afternoon with a one-handed catch, attracting the biggest reaction from the audience.

South practice observations from senior editor Mike Wilkening

For Raheem Morris, staying in coaching was an easy decision.

"I am a coach, man," Morris, the Redskins' new secondary coach, said Tuesday. "There's no sitting out in my game."

Morris was fired as the Buccaneers' head coach in January after three seasons. He said the transition from head coach to position coach wasn't humbling.

"I think that the National Football League, whether you're a head coach, whether you're a secondary coach, whether you're a coordinator, it's only 32 of you. And when you get an opportunity to be one of 32, it's awesome," he said.

Morris' Washington connections have him excited about his new job.

"It's about the people that you know, the people that you deal with," he said. "Coach (Mike) Shanahan, you can't be with a better program, can't be with better guys. I know (offensive coordinator) Kyle Shanahan, very close with those guys, very close with their management and (general manager and former Buccaneers GM) Bruce Allen. ... The stuff that (defensive coordinator Jim) Haslett's been doing for years, it's a very good defense that's worked for a long time with some of the 3-4 schemes."

Would Morris welcome the opportunity to get another shot as a head coach?

"Right now, I just want to do my job," he said. "I'll let that stuff play out the way it's supposed to play out." Should another opportunity arise, "hopefully it will be a good one, hopefully I can take advantage of it," he said.

Additional South practice observations:

• One of the more memorable plays from South practice was when Florida RB Chris Rainey, lined up at wide receiver, sprinted by North Florida CB Janoris Jenkins, his former Gators technique. "I know his technique, so I just beat him in the technique," Rainey said afterwards.

• Alabama TE Brad Smelley had a sharp practice. He was quick, and he caught the ball well, with the highlight a diving snag.

• Three defensive backs who caught my eye: Georgia CB Brandon Boykin, Louisiana-Lafayette CB Dwight Bentley and Vanderbilt CB Casey Hayward.

North practice observations from senior editor Mike Wilkening

• Ohio State C Mike Brewster was impressive in a pair of matchups with Michigan DT Mike Martin. Both reps were far more heated and intense than the typical one-on-one drills, which made for compelling viewing. Brewster showed finishing ability and a real tough streak Tuesday.

• I did not study Boise State QB Kellen Moore as closely as I did on Monday, but what I saw, I liked, relative to his Day One play. I saw him make several accurate throws with the necessary zip.

• Cincinnati RB Isaiah Pead held his own in pass protection on Tuesday. "That's a drill that all running backs have to have in order to play this game, so I was looking forward to it," Pead said after practice. Pead said he would like to "bulk up" — "You don't really see too many 190-pound backs," he noted — but he was stout enough on Tuesday. I asked him about his lower-body strength, as he appears to have relatively skinny legs for a running back. "I'm a heavy squat guy back at school. I just can't show for it," he said, referring to his legs. "But I've got some strength behind me."

• Arkansas State LB Demario Davis caught my eye both on special teams, when he recovered a punt fumbled by N.C. State WR T.J. Graham; and in one-on-one passing drills, where his speed stood out. I asked him for his go-to pass-rushing move. "Speed to power," he said. "They think I'm all speed, and then I hit them with a power move and come back into 'em. They dive, jumping back, and I'm able to get there."

• Ohio State RB Dan Herron's pass protection will be an issue to watch. He did not fare well in position drills or in one-on-one matchups. Pass protection will be a vital skill for the 5-10, 205-pound Herron on the next level. Let's see if he makes some technical adjustments and shows improvement later in the week.



North practice observations from associate editor Kevin Fishbain


• The North quarterbacks might as well be the "all-intangibles" team. You will hear more about the lack of size of Russell Wilson and Kellen Moore but that they make up for it with leadership. On the field, you can see why teams would be nervous about drafting one of them too early — Moore at times looks like a slot receiver. But in Tuesday's practice, Wilson was very impressive. He was accurate, consistent and had the best zip on his ball of the three quarterbacks. Moore has a funky delivery, and his balls tended to float a little more. I was hoping to see a little more from Kirk Cousins, who is the best of the North group.

• Boise State's Doug Martin showed a good burst through the hole at running back, as well as on a kickoff return.

• A lot of people talked about California WR Marvin Jones on Monday, and I can see why. He is very quick on his routes and made a couple of nice catches. He may have the best speed among the North's receivers.

• The play of the morning practice went to Boise State S George Iloka, who made a diving interception in 11-on-11 drills. Iloka certainly looks the part (6-3, 216), and considering the priority of finding safeties to cover the emerging tight ends around the league, he can do a lot for his draft stock this week.

• Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland spent almost 20 minutes talking to a small group of media members after practice. One of his more striking comments: "We need a quarterback that can get us over the hump." That was far from a vote of confidence in Matt Moore and confirms that Miami will look to make a big move this offseason to get a quarterback. I'll have more on Ireland's comments this evening



#15 Jene Bramel

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:10 PM

From Tony Pauline above:

Coples has had his moments today, as he just ran around Zebrie Sanders in scrimmage. He is an impressive looking athlete with great movement skills. But you get the sense that Coples does not play with a sense of urgency and gives up on plays too easily.

:lol: His "moments" came on -- I'm not exaggerating here -- nine out of every ten snaps.

It's probably okay to ease up on plays when you've destroyed your opponent off the snap (again...and again) and are already a step behind him unable (due to the way the reps are run) to hit the QB or RB and finish the play.

#16 Balco

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:21 PM

I have watched every game Kendall Reyes has played. I fully expect him to get 1st round mention. Versatility to play DT in 4-3 and DE in 3-4.

#17 Mr. Brownstone

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:24 PM

:blackout: Will be attending the game. Looking forward to seeing these guys with the help of these reports.

#18 Jene Bramel

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:39 PM

I have watched every game Kendall Reyes has played. I fully expect him to get 1st round mention. Versatility to play DT in 4-3 and DE in 3-4.

I liked Reyes today. He, Billy Winn and Derek Wolfe saw snaps at DE and DT. I thought Winn and Reyes were both solid. Both look a little more like 3-4 DE to me, but definitely think they can kick inside if needed. They should be part of a feature piece I'll be writing on scheme versatility tomorrow or Thursday.

#19 5-ish Finkle

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:40 PM

:football:
"In'nOut'nIn'nOut"

#20 Jene Bramel

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 04:42 PM

Will be filing these notes tonight, but I'll put them up for discussion now. Will again get to see both teams practice tomorrow; let me know if there's anything you'd like to see get more detail. Day 2 Defensive Notes | North Scouts and team observers flocked to the fence to watch Mike Singletary take the North linebacker group through individual drills. The Vikings moved through individual drills at a fairly brisk pace, but Singletary could be heard giving tips on footwork, maintaining good body position when changing direction, alignment and run fits and recognition skills throughout practice. The North defensive roster doesn’t have the depth of talent that the South has, but a few players turned in notable performances on Day 2. Lavonte David, Nebraska David’s measurable aren’t elite, but he looks the part on the field. Singletary wanted him to slow down and keep his feet underneath him during individual drills, but David settled quickly after that. He pancaked Washington RB Chris Polk, who had been otherwise solid, on a 1v1 pass protection rep and was impressive throughout unit drills in coverage. He dropped to his coverage landmarks more quickly than any linebacker on either roster thus far and showed good change of direction skills and awareness in man coverage underneath. He didn’t stand out as a run defender today, but wasn’t a clear liability either. Bobby Wagner, Utah State Wagner drew praise early for his hustle and speed in special teams drills then earned a compliment from Singletary for his good body lean while changing direction in individual footwork drills. He was on the line of scrimmage at OLB today and consistently showed the ability to anchor at the point of attack and shed blocks. Through two days, he’s ahead of Emmanuel Acho, James-Michael Johnson and Nigel Bradham as the most impressive between the tackles run stuffing linebacker prospect. Audie Cole, NC State Cole drew coaching from Singletary for chopping footwork and body position during drills and for a couple of missed coverage landmarks in 7v7 reps. But he was very good against the backs in blitz pickup drills, showing a good swim move and a quick step outside. He changed direction well for a player his size and still looks like a solid, but not spectacular, scheme-diverse every-down OLB. Demario Davis, Arkansas State Davis, a late addition to the North roster this week, was very impressive today. Singletary made an effort to improve his footwork during drills, hammering home the point that a wider, lower base and keeping his feet close to the ground would keep him upright when changing direction. Davis, who played inside today, was a half beat slow to react on some snaps, but was violent coming downhill after making his read. He was also extremely quick and explosive in the blitz pickup drills, beating backs and tight ends consistently. Unlike Nigel Bradham on the South roster, he had no trouble getting his players lined up quickly and correctly. He’s going to draw notice if his performance remains strong through the rest of the week. George Iloka, Boise State Iloka had some difficulty when matched against a wide receiver in 1v1 drills, but looked very fluid in space and coming up to make plays in zone coverage. His quick recognition and reaction on an underneath route earned him a diving interception and set the tone for the North defense early in team drills. Antonio Allen flashed improvements in coverage during the South afternoon session, but Iloka has been the better all-around safety prospect in practice and should be moving up draft boards. Cam Johnson reportedly had a strong practice yesterday and showed a consistently strong effort with his hand on the ground today. He wasn’t an explosive pass rusher, but set the edge well against the run. Vinny Curry showed enough of a burst to beat his opponent off the edge but his body lean often takes him to the ground rather than allowing him to turn the corner. He was able to get upfield well in his run fits at times in team drills, however. Derek Wolfe, Kendall Reyes and Billy Winn split snaps at end and tackle. Winn and Reyes were more consistent than Wolfe. James-Michael Johnson flashed during the back-on-backer pass protection drills, but had a lot of difficulty changing direction and generally played too high. When his pad level was better, he showed good power at the point of attack. Shea McClellin is much smoother from a two point stance than Jake Bequette was yesterday. The North coaches also gave McClellin a couple of snaps as a down defensive end late in team drills and he showed a good spin move to collapse the pocket. Day 2 Defensive Notes | South Juron Criner made a couple of ahh-inducing catches, but the story of the day was the dominant play of the South defensive line One group, made up of Quinton Coples, Brandon Thompson and Courtney Upshaw (along with the solid, but not spectacular Kheeston Randall), won consistently in every drill and then blew up nearly every play the South offense tried to run in team drills. Melvin Ingram and Jaye Howard made things nearly as tough anchoring the second group. Quinton Coples, North Carolina It’s not an exaggeration to say that Coples won 90% of his reps in today’s practice. He again made his opponents whiff at times on his go-to inside rip and swim move and flashed a rare, but effective edge rush move with good lean. He’s been strong enough to get away with a high pad level when defending the run. His play today, albeit against what may be questionable competition, was again evoking nearly unanimous comparisons to Julius Peppers. Casey Hayward, Vanderbilt Most of the South corners flashed at one point or another today, but Hayward drew the most praise from vocal Washington DB coach Raheem Morris. Showing very good change of direction skills and the ability to use his hands effectively in press coverage, Hayward frequently broke up passes with a quick burst back to the ball. Juron Criner was able to get separation with his big frame at times, but Hayward was usually right in his pocket. Brandon Thompson, Clemson Coples will get all the headlines from today’s practice, but Thompson dominated as frequently as Coples. Thompson consistently got under the pads of his blocker and either drove him back or stood his ground and shed easily. He was in the backfield extremely quickly on a number of 7-on-7 snaps and disrupted a handful of rushing plays in team drills. Zach Brown, North Carolina Brown, who may have been holding back a bit on the soggy field yesterday, was arguably the best linebacker on the South roster today. He was much quicker through the footwork drills and rarely needed to look down to judge where he was between pads. He was the most consistent backer in coverage drills, never getting lost when needing stop quickly and change direction on a route. He was also very sudden shooting gaps from the backside and would have made multiple tackles for loss if the 7-on-7 session was a live tackling drill. He and Lavonte David have been the class of the Will linebacker prospects this week. Coples’ efforts were nearly matched by Melvin Ingram, who played with better leverage today, collapsed the pocket well and even tossed a running back to the ground like a rag doll to end one play. Courtney Upshaw also had a good practice. His pass rush catalog is limited without a true edge rushing capability, but his pad level was consistently better than his opponent’s all day. Sean Spence seemed to be guessing during coverage drills, often getting lost by the running back coming out of his break. He was nearly as effective in pursuit as Brown in team drills, however, and again regularly helped Nigel Bradham get the team lined up out of the huddle. Bradham struggled today in all phases. He was turned badly on one long-gaining running play and looked especially limited in coverage. Keenan Robinson closed on routes much better today, breaking up multiple passes in man coverage, but was also grabbing his receiver too often near the end of the play. Antonio Allen was better in coverage today, breaking on underneath routes better. But he still looks stiff when backpedaling and needs to gather himself to change direction.

#21 EBF

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:18 PM

Do you think Doug Martin can sneak into the back end of the first round? There are some teams there like the Bengals and Packers who could use a versatile three down back.

#22 BuckeyeArt

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:37 PM

Some completely opposite observations about Quick. Rang thought he was great on Monday and Rang and Cecil thought he struggled.

#23 Balco

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 06:00 PM

I have watched every game Kendall Reyes has played. I fully expect him to get 1st round mention. Versatility to play DT in 4-3 and DE in 3-4.

I liked Reyes today. He, Billy Winn and Derek Wolfe saw snaps at DE and DT. I thought Winn and Reyes were both solid. Both look a little more like 3-4 DE to me, but definitely think they can kick inside if needed. They should be part of a feature piece I'll be writing on scheme versatility tomorrow or Thursday.

Cool.

#24 Yenrub

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:59 PM

:blackdot: Glad to read that Russel Wilson is doing well, same with TJ Graham
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#25 Cecil Lammey

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:39 PM

Doug Martin love on my ESPN Denver blog: http://denverssports...com/cecillammey
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#26 NoFBinLA

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:51 PM

Some completely opposite observations about Quick. Rang thought he was great on Monday and Rang and Cecil thought he struggled.

He struggled. He body caught, or tried to, everything. Looked better today but he has a real tendency to let the ball come to his body which won't cut it at the next level. Now, there are things he does well which excacerbate the body catching (in other words, highlight it), and maybe rob was commenting on that. :shrug: Different strokes, different folks. I love Rob so, if we're on opposite sides it's worth taking a minute for me to look at his notes.
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#27 NoFBinLA

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 08:52 PM

:blackdot: Glad to read that Russel Wilson is doing well, same with TJ Graham

Wilson had an up and down day today (under deadline on something else so my Day Two notes will come probably tomorrow) - started REALLY tentative, which shocked me. Came on more aggressive as the day progressed, quicker reads, quicker decisions.
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#28 Wadsworth

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:35 PM

From Tony Pauline above:

Coples has had his moments today, as he just ran around Zebrie Sanders in scrimmage. He is an impressive looking athlete with great movement skills. But you get the sense that Coples does not play with a sense of urgency and gives up on plays too easily.

:lol: His "moments" came on -- I'm not exaggerating here -- nine out of every ten snaps.

It's probably okay to ease up on plays when you've destroyed your opponent off the snap (again...and again) and are already a step behind him unable (due to the way the reps are run) to hit the QB or RB and finish the play.

No kidding. How could you watch that practice and come away with only saying Coples "had his moments"? He was extremely impressive.
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#29 Cecil Lammey

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 09:51 PM

Day Two practice notes here:

2012 Senior Bowl Day Two North

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State-- continued to float passes to middle of the field, did a better job of making bucket throws to receivers down the sidelines, not deep throws but 15-20 yards he was getting them up and over to WRs in stride, had good zip on short throws and quick outs to near side including one to Marvin McNutt that beat the press coverage, it seems like his arm gets tired quick, after making a couple of good short passes his third pass (similar route) floated, several of Moore's passes come in with the nose of the football angled up which creates a more difficult catch for the WR, finished practice by throwing more passes in the dirt,

Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
-- Wilson started out rough today, he floated a pass early that got picked off and it seemed to take him out of his game, after that he held onto the ball too long and seemed hesitant to fire it downfield, it was the complete opposite from yesterday when he was very aggressive throwing into coverage, when Wilson did let it go he checked down to RBs or TEs underneath, after the halfway point he started to warm up and looked more like the QB on Monday, he had trouble getting a handle on the snap today and bobbled the football many times, it's also worth noting that Wilson regularly only reads one side of the field from top to bottom (hi read first, then checkdown),

Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State-- Cousins had a down day, he was giving us his best Kyle Orton impersonation (aka Captain Checkdown) for most of practice and no that's not a compliment, he was late getting the football out of his hands several times, this led to incompletions or completions where his WRs got killed/hit by the coverage, I like the way he strides into his throws but he has a hitch in his throwing motion when he throws downfield which causes accuracy problems, Cousins did show his athleticism during scrimmage where he tucked the ball and quickly ran down the sideline, like Wilson he also had trouble handling the snap today,

Boom Herron, RB, Ohio State-- making no plays of note today,

Doug Martin, RB, Boise State-- very balanced in pass pro, does a good job setting his feet and firing into the blitzer, this will help him get on the field for three downs, still looked explosive in drills, runs with balance and vision,

Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati-- not many notes on Pead today, decent in pass pro drills, puts effort into his blocks but not devastating and has little punch, as a runner got pulled down by his collar on inside run,

Chris Polk, RB, Washington-- poor performance in backs on backers, the LB v RB drill to test pass protection, must improve this if he wants to be more than a two-down runner at the next level,

Gerell Robinson, WR, Arizona State
-- another strong performance for Robinson here, he's such a great athlete and knows how to disguise his routes, fooled George Iloka (Boise St) on an out route where he easily made his break and got open, once again looked smooth getting up the field in a hurry, effortless runner with deceptive speed, made one of the highlight catches of the day where he slid to catch a low Kirk Cousins pass near the sideline, he ended up gathering in the ball basically sitting the sliding on his ###, great concentration to adjust to that ball and make a play on it, making the most of his opportunity in Mobile,

Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State-- gonna start calling this guy 'Auto Body', every catch is a body catch, he made one (ONE) catch cleanly with his hands today and he looked uncomfortable doing it, doesn't know how to use his sizeable frame to shield defenders away from the ball, will not square shoulders to the line of scrimmage, poor sideline awareness and did not drag foot on catch near sidelines,

Devier Posey, WR, Ohio State-- Posey is a frustrating player to watch, he'll make a great downfield catch then drop two easy passes underneath, he showed good ball tracking ability on a deep pass early in practice against one-on-one coverage, it came in over his shoulder and he was able to track it easily in the air, on underneath routes he has to throttle down too much for my liking, this makes him a heavy stepper and gives away the fact that he's going to break on the ball, one comeback route had him double catching the ball that he should have caught easily,

Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa-- one of my favorite players in Mobile, knows how to use frame to shield defenders away from the ball, strong, physical, difficult to jam off the line of scrimmage, not a quick twitch guy but uses his hands well to fight off defenders, he'll climb the ladder to go get high passes and does not hear footsteps when running routes over the middle, can make difficult catch in stride, made nice spinning catch where pass was behind him--turned and kept running upfield, does a good job of coming back to the football and after the catch immediately tucks the ball safely away, McNutt fought for a deep pass today but ended up not coming up with the ball,

Marvin Jones, WR, California-- Jones has good sideline awareness and regularly gets two feet down when running sideline routes, tucks the ball away after the catch, strong hands,

T.J. Graham, WR, N.C. State-- did a good job of grabbing the ball out of the air in front of him, was used on end around play to utilize his open field moves and speed, smaller guy but does a good job beating press at the line of scrimmage, uses his hands well to get by CB and fight him off to get separation in routes, needs to do a better job disguising routes,

-----------------------------------------------

Day Two South

Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State-- a favorite college QB of mine but he's not having a good showing here in Mobile, threw passes low on his rollouts either to the right or the left, he drops back poorly and slowly often looking out of balance when he goes back, several of his passes were behind his intended targets, Lindley is often late with his reads/throws, he got a few of his WRs lit up today by getting them the ball late, that allowed the DB/S to crash on the play and get in a hit,

Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
-- Foles was hot and cold today, overall he throws with good zip but often his placement is off, he drops back with balance and holds the ball high and tight, he looked good on rollout passes even though he's not the most athletic QB here, I do not like his pump fake at all, he oversells it and over-exaggerates his motion, this leads to accuracy problems as he comes back to throw, it's a wild motion that looks like he's trying to self adjust his back, would rather see him do a simple ball fake without the extreme body movement, his pump fake reminds me of the movie 'Tommy Boy' where Chris Farley gets out of his car to swat at the imaginary bees,

Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State-- Weeden is the best QB here, I like his scissor step as he drops back, and his intent as he drives forward through his throws, Weeden is a gunslinger, he's not afraid to throw into coverage and if he makes a mistake (e.g. INT) he's not afraid to go back and try the tight throw again, on his deep passes he has a good deep arc that allows WRs to run underneath, he throws well rolling out to the right and has the ability to duck under/away from pressure, when rolling to the left his accuracy suffers but he shows adequate zip,

Chris Rainey, RB, Florida
-- Rainey is fast, super fast, however I think he needs to be listed as a WR instead of a RB, he's not built like a NFL caliber runner, he works great as a WR because of his downfield explosion, he can get on top of the defense in a hurry, I like his ability to run routes and track passes downfield, he does a good job of looking passes in, he can catch passes over the shoulder outside and deep, had a nice twist catch where ball was behind him- he caught it and continued upfield,

Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor
-- Ganaway's hands are inconsistent and it's frustrating to watch, he should be a more consistent receiver working from that Baylor offense but will let the ball get to his body too often, I like how swift he is as a runner and doesn't seem like a lumbering back who weighs 240 pounds,

Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State-- I like the way Ballard bounces when he runs, his feet are lively and it helps him change direction easily, his hands are inconsistent and he seemed distracted as a receiver, worried about run after the catch too much instead of securing the football, he's a smooth runner and has good burst, he even did a Marshall Faulk 'matador' move where he was running at full speed- saw an incoming defender then stopped on a dime to let the defender miss him- he then continued to motor up the field without losing much speed,

Lennon Creer, RB, Louisiana Tech-- saw Creer last week at the Shrine Game and not much has changed in his game for this week, straight line guy with little wiggle, north/south very intent and determined,

Joe Adams, WR, Arkansas
-- I was extremely impressed by Adams today, he's very explosive in and out of his breaks, difficult to jam at the line of scrimmage because of quickness, knows how to use his hands to fight off defenders and create separation, he has a great closing burst on the ball when it's in the air, great 'my ball' mentality, good ball tracking ability on downfield passes, has the body control to twist his body and secure the catch,

Juron Criner, WR, Arizona
-- very impressive day from Criner, like his cuts on the comeback route, sets up the route well and doesn't tip off what the route is to his defender, had a fantastic 1-handed catch today on a comeback route that was behind him, shows the ability to go after passes, caught a low pass near the sideline where he sacrificed his body,

Patrick Edwards, WR, Houston-- caught some comeback passes, squares body to line of scrimmage giving his QB the biggest target possible, he does have to gather himself when making a cut and loses speed and quickness out of the break,

Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M
-- I like Fuller but was disappointed by him today, had a good over the shoulder catch early in practice showing good ball tracking ability, he's a bigger receiver who is slow off the line of scrimmage and fails to beat the jam, he does have strong hands and it's tough for defenders to swipe the ball away from him, will make the contested catch but it's a double edged sword-more of his catches are contested because he lacks consistent separation skills,

Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina-- I like the way Jones runs the comeback route, he knows how to use his frame to shield defenders away from the football, will turn upfield quickly after the catch,

Marquis Maze, WR, Alabama
-- like his skill after the catch, very agile, can set his foot and explode to change direction,
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Keep up the great work- :thumbup:


#30 krsone21

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:11 PM

Day Two practice notes here:

2012 Senior Bowl Day Two North

Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa-- one of my favorite players in Mobile, knows how to use frame to shield defenders away from the ball, strong, physical, difficult to jam off the line of scrimmage, not a quick twitch guy but uses his hands well to fight off defenders, he'll climb the ladder to go get high passes and does not hear footsteps when running routes over the middle, can make difficult catch in stride, made nice spinning catch where pass was behind him--turned and kept running upfield, does a good job of coming back to the football and after the catch immediately tucks the ball safely away, McNutt fought for a deep pass today but ended up not coming up with the ball,




I'm very intrigued by Marvin McNutt. He was originally recruited by Iowa to be a QB but lost the QB battle and was asked to switch over to WR. He has only been playing WR for 4 years. He has grown a lot in those 4 years and I think he can get even better. I will be keeping an eye on him during the combine and see where he gets drafted. He broke almost all of Iowa's WR records.

#31 Cecil Lammey

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:19 PM


Day Two practice notes here:

2012 Senior Bowl Day Two North

Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa-- one of my favorite players in Mobile, knows how to use frame to shield defenders away from the ball, strong, physical, difficult to jam off the line of scrimmage, not a quick twitch guy but uses his hands well to fight off defenders, he'll climb the ladder to go get high passes and does not hear footsteps when running routes over the middle, can make difficult catch in stride, made nice spinning catch where pass was behind him--turned and kept running upfield, does a good job of coming back to the football and after the catch immediately tucks the ball safely away, McNutt fought for a deep pass today but ended up not coming up with the ball,




I'm very intrigued by Marvin McNutt. He was originally recruited by Iowa to be a QB but lost the QB battle and was asked to switch over to WR. He has only been playing WR for 4 years. He has grown a lot in those 4 years and I think he can get even better. I will be keeping an eye on him during the combine and see where he gets drafted. He broke almost all of Iowa's WR records.


FANTASTIC interview with him I'll post later! :thumbup:
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Keep up the great work- :thumbup:


#32 krsone21

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:34 PM



Day Two practice notes here:

2012 Senior Bowl Day Two North

Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa-- one of my favorite players in Mobile, knows how to use frame to shield defenders away from the ball, strong, physical, difficult to jam off the line of scrimmage, not a quick twitch guy but uses his hands well to fight off defenders, he'll climb the ladder to go get high passes and does not hear footsteps when running routes over the middle, can make difficult catch in stride, made nice spinning catch where pass was behind him--turned and kept running upfield, does a good job of coming back to the football and after the catch immediately tucks the ball safely away, McNutt fought for a deep pass today but ended up not coming up with the ball,




I'm very intrigued by Marvin McNutt. He was originally recruited by Iowa to be a QB but lost the QB battle and was asked to switch over to WR. He has only been playing WR for 4 years. He has grown a lot in those 4 years and I think he can get even better. I will be keeping an eye on him during the combine and see where he gets drafted. He broke almost all of Iowa's WR records.


FANTASTIC interview with him I'll post later! :thumbup:

:thumbup: Sweet, I'm looking forward to it Cecil.

#33 Jene Bramel

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:53 AM

Not much additional detail from my above post in my defensive notes for the Fifth Down Blog, but lots of good stuff on the skill position guys from Matt and Cecil on Day 2.

#34 Bankerguy

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:06 AM

I am interested in Still. Can you guys tell me how he projects in a 4-3 or 3-4 system. Thanks.

Edited by Bankerguy, 25 January 2012 - 07:07 AM.


#35 Hoosier16

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:19 AM

Chris Polk, RB, Washington-- poor performance in backs on backers, the LB v RB drill to test pass protection, must improve this if he wants to be more than a two-down runner at the next level,

That was impressive (or unimpressive if you're Polk). That's a fun drill to watch. I remember seeing Ben Tate look great and McCluster getting killed a few years ago. I was looking forward to seeing how Polk would do in this drill. The first thing I see after turning on the TV is Lavonte David literally running over Polk. As he was lying on the ground, Polk had to be thinking, "I've never seen that in the Pac 12". He looked more like McCluster than Tate. One of Polk's assets is his receiving, but if he can't block, he'll never get in on 3rd down.

Chris Rainey, RB, Florida-- Rainey is fast, super fast, however I think he needs to be listed as a WR instead of a RB, he's not built like a NFL caliber runner, he works great as a WR because of his downfield explosion, he can get on top of the defense in a hurry, I like his ability to run routes and track passes downfield, he does a good job of looking passes in, he can catch passes over the shoulder outside and deep, had a nice twist catch where ball was behind him- he caught it and continued upfield,

Rainey absolutely smoked Jenkins on the long route and had to pull up and wait for the ball. But, it looked like he had trouble separating from the defender on the shorter routes.

#36 gump

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:14 AM

@ChrisSteuber #Alabama LB Courtney Upshaw is the best player at the #SeniorBowl. Not even close. He's always around the ball; very active.
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#37 Faust

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:32 AM

From Tony Pauline above:

Coples has had his moments today, as he just ran around Zebrie Sanders in scrimmage. He is an impressive looking athlete with great movement skills. But you get the sense that Coples does not play with a sense of urgency and gives up on plays too easily.

:lol: His "moments" came on -- I'm not exaggerating here -- nine out of every ten snaps.

It's probably okay to ease up on plays when you've destroyed your opponent off the snap (again...and again) and are already a step behind him unable (due to the way the reps are run) to hit the QB or RB and finish the play.


Great points - and why I like to post a variety of viewpoints from other sources, as I like it when a guy like Jene adds his perspective and thoughts on what he observed!

#38 NoFBinLA

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:22 AM

My Tuesday notes for the North:

Hey folks, AG here in Mobile, Alabama covering the Senior Bowl. I apologize for the lateness of this entry, but I ran up against a different deadline and I've been fighting a cough (or someting worse) all week and last night (Tuesday night) was where it all came to a head. That said, lots to talk about looking at the North squad for the second time. I don't live the Vikings run practices, by the way. The pace is lackluster, the aggression isn't there, you just don't get the same insight you get when you look at the South practices run by the Redskins. Tuesdays tend to be a day where some of the risers from Monday fall back to earth, as players settle in and begin to be more comfortable. But trends still develop and sometimes what you saw Monday is more truth than you thought. Brian Quick continues to body catch the ball. The small school wide receiver has talent, you can see it in his overall play, but he is very raw. Every time he allows the ball to hit his body, every time he fails to reach out and catch the ball with his hands, I just think about how that will be unsuccessful more often that not at the Pro level. I like his speed, I love his size, but he's not able to snatch the ball out of the air. A few times I noticed him quitting on a ball that might have been thrown a bit out of his range. That's not always a big deal, as it's practice. I like to see effort though, especially from a guy who, coming from Appalachian State, needs to play every down like he has something to prove. Because he does. Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson had a real up and down day. He started out shockingly tentative. Wilson held onto the ball too long, checked down too often and appeared to be overthinking things. My opinion is Wilson was trying too hard to make every pass perfect. Just when I was going to give up hope, Russell came out for another set of throws and looked like the Monday Wilson I really liked. Aggressive and decisive, throwing the ball quickly and hard. Wilson is an interesting prospect to me. On tape. I don't think he's a starter in the NFL, but in the right situation he could be a really solid back-up. However, at practices when he is being this aggressive, chip on his shoulder guy I can see flashes of more. (**Note: Cecil just came back from Wednesday's Morning North Practice and said all the QBS look terrible today. He said wilson floated everything and again reverted to the tentative guy we saw at the start of practice Tuesday.) Kellen Moore just doesn't excite me at all. He continues to throw a pretty short ball, but the longer the throw the more his accuracy suffers. He did make a great throw to Cal's Marvin Jones (standing out once again) along the sideline. Only Jones was getting that ball and it was the sort of throw where the quarterback knows he has to place it just so and is able to pull it off. Jones made a fantastic catch on it, by the way, Just an outstanding grab with his hands and did a great job getting both feet in bounds. Back to Moore-I recall last year being unimpressed with the arm strength of Andy Dalton when we were here. Not that he couldn't throw long, just that he never seemed able to drive the ball on short, stick throws. He could put all his effort into throwing the ball hard-so much so that you could SEE it-and still not get much heat on the pass. So far it hasn't been an issue for Dalton. Moore has the same thing going on. You can see when he screws himself up for a hard throw and yet it never produces the intended hard pass. I still say one day it's going to burn Dalton-it wouldn't shock me to be saying the same thing about Moore as time goes on. Kirk Cousins, the Michigan State quarterback, hasn't stood out too much one way or the other frankly. He doesn't impress me in particular, but he doesn't make me cringe too much. You know who did stand out for me Tuesday? Marvin McNutt. The Iowa wideout looked a lot better to me on Tuesday than on Monday and while he was body catching a bit, he showed an ability to track the ball and adjust to it, flashed some nice speed and ran good routes. McNutt also did a great job of using his body to shield the ball from defenders when he made a catch, something I wish Quick would learn to do better. There were several passes where McNutt did a great job of turning his body to block off the defender and make the catch. In short yardage and red zone situations, that's gold in the NFL. I continue to like what I see in Gerell Robinson. He had a couple of down moments but basically, this is a guy who puts that effort I was looking for from Quick into virtually every play. He runs a nice physical route and isn't afraid of contact from a DB looking to knock him off his route. Far from it, I would wager he welcomes it. Despite the ability to play physical, he is a smooth athlete with some deceptive speed who can shake coverage with a nice move, but never tips his routes. Robinson made a great play on a low Kirk Cousins pass as well. He continues to be a nice surprise every time I watch the receivers. Here's where things get a bit dicey because the North practices don't showcase the running backs too much. So the notes here are very brief. I continue to love Doug Martin. He's a great all around back who, again, is in 100% on every play no matter his role. He holds up outstandingly in pass protection, shows explosion and very good vision and he can catch the ball. Some team is going to get a great value here. At the other end of the spectrum is Dan 'BOOM' Herron. He never stands out and I have virtually no notes on him. As I said the other day, he's a guy who-to me-appears to be happy to just be there and coast on whatever laurels he thinks he has. It's not just me, either. He's yet to jump out at anyone I've talked to all week. Washington RB Chris Polk didn't have a great day, getting blown up in backs on backers drills (a drill which helps determine a RB's ability to hold up in pass protection). He just couldn't control or stop the linebackers he battled with and that will hurt his ability to be on the field on third downs where his pass catching skills might help. That's it for now. Heading to Wednesday's South practice. will recap yesterday's South practice later.


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#39 Donnybrook

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:28 PM

Didn't watch the corner play at all, though reports suggest that Alfonzo Dennard disappointed on the North side. Did hear that Ryan Steed had his moments in man coverage, but was also told that he struggled badly on other plays.

As a Viking fan, I need you to forget about those DEs and start watching those CBs. :)

#40 Faust

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:28 PM

Senior Bowl notes: Rivals continue combat as teammates

By Rob Rang | NFLDraftScout.com Senior Analyst


Excerpts:

Another former rivalry was on display in the South practice as Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin looked to be the only defensive back with the wheels to stick with Florida running back/receiver Chris Rainey. The former do-everything weapon from Gainesville has shown off his versatility, practicing at running back, wide receiver and return man and showing the speed and explosion to barge past defensive backs.

But Boykin stood out on a few plays, using correct angles and his world-class speed to cut off Rainey's intended path and chase him out of bounds. Both SEC players are pint-sized in stature, but they have the natural God-given speed to stick at the next level.

OTHER PROSPECT NOTES:

--QB Kellen Moore, Boise State: With such an impressive collegiate resume, Moore will get his shot at the next level, but, as he showed Tuesday in practice, he has an uphill battle because of his size and arm limitations. Moore has very good touch and anticipation on this passes, but, to little surprise, his lack of arm strength was exposed on several pro-style passes and scouts have been discouraged with his unorthodox mechanics. There is a place in the NFL for a brilliant offensive mind like Moore, but he hasn't shown anything in practice to warrant a pick in the top five rounds.

--QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State: Similar to Moore, Weeden is a rhythm passer with good touch on his throws and composure in the pocket. He has looked natural taking the snap from under center and in his drops, but he often throws to his initial read and doesn't actively go through his progressions. While Weeden has been arguably the top signal caller in Mobile through two practices, scouts are still skeptical about his ability to work through his reads and survey the defense while dropping back -- something that most of these practice drills won't show.



#41 Faust

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:40 PM

Coples' versatility drawing raves at Senior Bowl

By Rob Rang | NFLDraftScout.com

Mobile, AL -- When defensive end Quinton Coples accepted an invitation to play in the 2012 Senior Bowl, the North Carolina defender had no idea which NFL coaching staff he'd be working under. He didn't know if he would be operating out of a 3-4 defense or the 4-3 alignment he starred in while with the Tar Heels.

Frankly, he didn't care.

"I don't really have a preference, to be honest with you," Coples said following his South Team's practice Tuesday. "I'm willing to play in the 3-4, 4-3 inside or outside. I've been practicing and working on improving so that I'll not only be the best defensive lineman in the draft but the most versatile."

Measuring in at nearly 6-6 and 281 pounds, Coples has the size, strength and athleticism to be a force regardless of scheme. Rated as the No. 1 defensive end prospect and 12th overall by NFLDraftScout.com, Coples is the highest-rated Senior Bowl participant. He hasn't disappointed, terrorizing the South team's quarterbacks and running backs by consistently penetrating the line of scrimmage to blow up plays before they've even begun.

"He's been impressive," one high-ranking team official thought likely to be considering a defensive lineman with their first round pick said Tuesday, on the condition of anonymity. "He played really well on Monday and followed that up with another strong effort today."

Considered a natural defensive end by former head coach and renowned defensive whiz Butch Davis, Coples nonetheless was moved inside to defensive tackle as a junior in the wake of Marvin Austin's season-long suspension. The experiment proved to be a dramatic success as Coples emerged as a First Team All-ACC pick after posting 59 tackles, including 15.5 for a loss and a team-leading 10 sacks. Coples moved back to defensive end as a senior and had similar numbers in 2011 (55-15-7.5) despite being double-teamed much of the season.

"I still like him better inside," the official said. "He's got quickness and power and with those strong hands of his, he can turn interior linemen and get after it. I don't see the explosiveness to be a 10-plus sack guy off the edge in the NFL, but he gives you the flexibility to line him up anywhere... and there are very few guys that offer that kind of versatility."

Versatility has become even more of a premium as the NFL has increasingly become a passing league. Defenses have struggled to adjust, making the importance of rushing the passer without losing bodies in coverage absolutely critical.

New Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie spoke of the league's evolution from a largely 4-3 based defensive alignment, such as the one the Raiders have traditionally used, to more 3-4 principles such as he oversaw as the long-time Director of Football Operations with the Green Bay Packers.

"The league has changed," McKenzie said as Tuesday's practice ended. "Schemes have morphed so much that there now is so much difference with what a team might be doing based on first down, second down, and third down. Few teams are strictly a four-man or three-man front anymore. Some people believe that the 3-4 defense is more versatile because it gives you more guys who can stand up and move around. That's the thing with the NFL, it is constantly evolving. So, any time you can add a player with the versatility to do that, you can't help but be interested."

It wasn't just the scouts taking notice of Coples' strong play.

"[Coples] is so big and strong that you might think he's going to bull-rush you all the time but he's kind of a hybrid because he can move so well," Florida State offensive tackle Zebrie Sanders said. Considered by most to be the South Team's top pass blocking tackle, Sanders has nonetheless struggled with Coples so far this week.

"[Coples] has a lot of moves, including spinning back inside," Sanders said. "He's tough to remain square to. It's good for me because I'll be facing guys like him in the NFL and I will improve from the experience but, yeah, he's tough."

As much as scouts and players can't help but be impressed by Coples' versatility, the Tar Heel defender hasn't always played with the level of intensity this season to warrant all of his lofty praise.

That's something that could limit Coples' stock and will make his interviews with clubs this week, at the Combine and in the weeks leading up to the draft all the more critical to his final grade.

Some have suggested that the circumstances following Davis' surprise firing at North Carolina and the investigations surrounding the program led to a solid but unspectacular senior campaign for Coples.

Ultimately, however, questions about Coples' "want-to" desire could be trumped by his "can-do." Essentially, he can do it all.

"I'm versatile. I can play from the zero [nose guard] to the nine [defensive end lining up outside of the tight end] and get after it," Coples said.

Getting after it is exactly what Coples appears to be doing this week in Mobile. He beat the athletic Sanders with speed and pushed around Georgia's Cordy Glenn, as well. Glenn, at 6-5 and 346 pounds, is the heaviest player in the Senior Bowl and, like Sanders and Coples, is viewed as a possible first round prospect, himself.

Considering the success of teams using multiple fronts to confuse offenses in 2011, Coples could be viewed as the type of difference-maker able to make an immediate impact in the NFL.

Reinforcing its well-deserved reputation as the ultimate "copycat" league, NFL teams are certain to follow the lead of the Super Bowl-bound New York Giants this off-season and attempt to boost their ability to put pressure on the quarterback by just rushing defensive linemen.

The Giants tied for second in the NFL with 48 sacks in 2011. Only 5.5 of their sacks came from defenders other than their front four.

For a defender as talented and versatile as Coples, the timing couldn't be better.



#42 Faust

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:43 PM

Senior Bowl practice report: Wednesday

SI.com draft expert Tony Pauline is live in Mobile, Ala., where some of the draft's brightest talent are taking part in Senior Bowl week, the annual prospect showcase. He'll be providing live analysis from practice each day throughout the week.

3:09 p.m. CT -- The final full pads practice at the Senior Bowl is complete. After a few days of game planning all that's left is to play the game on Saturday.

Scouts came away impressed with Melvin Ingram today. He's a natural pass rusher who gets a lot of upfield momentum and is stronger than he's given credit for. What position Ingram plays in the NFL is yet to be determined. Is he a defensive end? Outside linebacker? Three technique tackle? The combine will help get us closer to the answer but rest assured, Ingram can be a force at the next level.

Louisiana Lafayette cornerback Dwight Bentley had another strong day, as did Chris Rainey of Florida. Rainey continues to prove himself as a playmaker and if he keeps his concentration on the field he'll make an offensive coordinator in the league happy.

It's been great providing SI.com readers live updates from Senior Bowl practices, a rather intense undertaking never previously attempted on the internet from the event. Next up is the analysis of Saturday's game. Let's hope it's a good game.

2:57 p.m. CT -- For all the good play of Cordy Glenn the past three days, few scouts in attendance believe he's a left tackle prospect for the NFL. He's struggled with speed rushers during today's practice.

- Chris Rainey of Florida continues to make plays all over the field. He just made a tough reception in underneath coverage after beating the defense for a potential long gainer which Brandon Weeden underthrew.

- Weeden just made a magnificent pass to Joe Adams. The throw had tremendous speed and was perfectly timed to hit Adams as he left his break in the middle of triple coverage. Weeden has made some tremendous throws since Monday but really needs to improve his deep accuracy as a number of times he's under thrown open receivers.

- Leonard Creer, who played in the Shrine Game last week, was a late addition to the South squad and has looked good. He's not fast but patient and instinctive. He just picked up a nice gainer, waiting for blocks to develop then throwing several moves on defenders in the open field to keep the run alive. He also shows the ability to turn it on in a single step with the ability to burst through the hole.

- Nick Foles continues to struggle. He rarely hits receivers in stride and constantly has them reaching backwards or vertical in an attempt to make the catch.

2:33 p.m. CT -- DT Brandon Thompson of Clemson has been tough to stop. He fired past the guard with his patented first step and got a lot of penetration behind the line of scrimmage.

- Juron Criner and Ryan Steed are having a terrific battle in practice, with Criner getting the best. To his credit, Steed just stepped up and battled to defend a pass.

- DT Kheeston Randall of Texas has shown a lot of power the past two days. He just drove center Ben Jones of Georgia four yards deep into the backfield. Randall then came back and threw a terrific move on Philip Blake and again got into the backfield.

- Chalk up another positive play for Dwight Bentley of Louisiana Lafayette, who made a great move on a ball intended for Dwight Jones of North Carolina and broke up the pass.

- Zebrie Sanders of Florida State is really struggling today. He's been manhandled on a number of occasions and is struggling to stay on his feet.

- Melvin Ingram is eating opponents alive today. Out of a three-point stance he has Matt McCants of UAB spinning, then came back and lined up at defensive tackle to beat Will Blackwell of LSU.

- Cordy Glenn just manhandled Quinton Coples in one-on-one. Glenn was lined up at left tackle. Not to be outdone, Coples threw an inside move on Glenn the next time they faced off and beat him to the inside.

- Janoris Jenkins of North Alabama is the one to finally stop Juron Criner. Jenkins had terrific inside position, then dove in front of the pass defend the throw.

- Brandon Thompson's quickness is impressive. Opposing blockers cannot adjust quick enough off the snap, and he keeps blowing past the offensive linemen.

- Late addition Malik Jackson has made a good impression thus far. Lining up at defensive tackle, Jackson projects to end in the NFL and has shown athleticism, quickness and power.

2:24 p.m. CT -- OLB Nigel Bradham of Florida State continues to impress with his athleticism. He's fast and fluid moving in every direction and covers a terrific amount of area on the field.

- Vick Ballard has started the day by running with authority. He just ran through three tackles for a nice gain.

- What's impressive about Joe Adams of Arkansas is not just his speed and hands but moxie. He just battled the large Antonio Allen of South Carolina and physically beat him off the line to get into his route and make a nice catch.

- WR Juron Criner of Arizona is playing much better. He's a terrific athlete and dominant when on his game. Despite taking an elbow in his neck from Ryan Steed of Furman, Criner was able to get off the line, separate from the defender and make a nice catch. Criner just made another terrific over the shoulder reception down the field, beating DeQuan Menzie of Alabama.

- LaDarius Green of Louisiana Lafayette continues to impress with his pass catching skills.

- Melvin Ingram of South Carolina is short but deceptively powerful. He's shown the ability to knock offensive lineman back off the ball with a jolt of his hands. He then quickly changed direction and showed the ability to pursue the action laterally across the field.

2:05 p.m. CT -- WR Dwight Jones of North Carolina is a large, imposing target who really struggles with his route running. Jones' footwork gets very choppy in route running drills and he decelerates into breaks.

- On the other hand, Joe Adams of Arkansas is small but incredibly quick and fast. He runs terrific routes and shows the ability to carry his horizontal momentum into breaks.

- OL Cordy Glenn of Georgia has been the talk of the South by a lot of scouts. He's got the body type, strength and movement skills to quickly start in the NFL. He's being talked about as a late-round pick with his performance the past two days. He does not back down either, and just went after Quinton Coples in drills, battling hard after the whistle had blown.

- S Brandon Taylor of LSU is a fearsome run defender, but scouts have to be concerned about his play in coverage. During drills Taylor is noticeably slower in his backpedal compared to the other safeties. He's got to show he can do more than make plays up the field in a straight line if he's going to be anything other than a late-round choice.

- OLB Keenan Robinson of Texas has started the day with a vengeance and looks terrific in pass-rushing drills.

- Credit to Jake Bequette, the former defensive end from Arkansas who has switched between his college position and outside linebacker here. He looks much improved from yesterday and is really showing some explosion today. He's destroyed several running backs in pass-rushing drills.

- Add Zach Brown of North Carolina to the list of linebackers who can not be stopped in pass-rushing drills. That's a good sign, as Brown has shown terrific strength in these drills, which is the biggest question mark of his game.

1:56 p.m. CT -- The final full pads practice at the Senior Bowl is underway, as the South has taken the field. How intense is Wednesday practice at the Senior Bowl? A veteran insider who's been covering the league for more than four decades told me he saw more hitting during the first 45 minutes of practice this morning than he's seen in any two days of practice on the NFL level.

A few final notes from the North.

T Mike Adams of Ohio State was not able to capitalize on his dominant performance from Monday and looked human at times this morning. How will this affect his draft stock? Let's say at this point he's not a lock to be a top-15 choice.

CB Alfonzo Dennard of Nebraska leaves Mobile with a draft grade much lower than when he arrived. Dennard was stiff and struggled all week. The projected first-rounder was beaten by receivers who are likely last-day picks. While it's a bit premature, some scouts on hand say Dennard may have to move inside to safety, a thought that could further depress his draft stock.

11:00 a.m. CT -- The North practice is complete. Vinny Curry of Marshall really stood out today and was impossible to stop at times. He's at a disadvantage, as he's been used solely at defensive end and never allowed to stand up over tackle, but scouts leave the morning and the week highly impressed with his athleticism, quickness and general feel as a pass rusher.

- RB Dan Herron of Ohio State showed surprising foot quickness today. After being stuffed on the inside for a few hand-offs, Herron suddenly displayed the ability to bounce around the outside and avoid defenders and piles.

- S Harrison Smith of Notre Dame has struggled. He looks good in pads but in scrimmage and during drills looks solely like a straight-line, downhill safety with limited skills in coverage.

- TJ Graham is another player to watch during special teams situations on Saturday. He's been fielding kicks and has shown impressive speed and the ability to get cleanly through the lanes on returns.

- OL Senio Kelemete of Washington was pushed inside to guard today and was effective. He's a solid athlete and his ability to block with sound fundamentals (knee bend, hand placement) is impressive.

- G Tony Bergstrom of Utah continues to improve. He's more than held his own during one-on-one blocking drills and in scrimmage. After a slow start Bergstrom has really elevated his play as the week progressed.

10:47 a.m. CT -- WR Marvin Jones of Cal continues to impress. We spoke of his route-running skills and burst earlier, but he's also a heady ball player. He just did a terrific job staying with the action and following his quarterback across the field, finding the open space to help out the signal caller, who was about to be sacked.

- Shea McClellin of Boise State looks better every day at the linebacker position. He's been planted in the middle today and has done a great job remaining patient with assignments, smoothly moving across the field and showing a good degree of awareness.

- Kirk Cousins just threw a beautiful pass to Marvin McNutt for a long gainer. Cousins was pressured heavily by Cam Johnson of Virginia, but patiently sat in the pocket and delivered an accurate strike.

10:35 a.m. CT -- DT Alameda Ta'amu of Washington is still showing tremendous power and has been tough to stop. On the last play he drove Ohio State center Mike Brewster into the backfield, three yards behind the line of scrimmage.

- T Mike Adams of Ohio State is really having a tough time this morning handling Vinny Curry. Curry has convincingly beat the big tackle off the snap every time. Curry was just moved inside to defensive tackle and annihilated Kevin Zeitler with a swim move. We got ahead of ourselves in our praise for Kevin Zeitler. He's been beaten bad the past three downs by three different defensive linemen.

- DE Cam Johnson of Virginia has displayed a lot of quickness and speed off the edge in one-on-one drills.

- C Mike Brewster of Ohio State is having a tough go of it this morning. He was just beaten badly by Mike Martin of Michigan, who had been quiet most of the day. Brewster has been struggling to hold the point and continues to get pushed back off the line.

- T Kelechi Osemele of Iowa State looks good at right tackle. He completely shut down Jack Crawford of Penn State, who's supposedly quicker and more athletic than Osemele.

- LB James Michael Johnson of Nevada continues to look very athletic on the field, but today he's starting to make plays on the ball.

- LB Lavonte David of Nebraska continues to impress. He just made a great play in full scrimmage against the run, exploding up the field to stop Pead behind the line of scrimmage.

- QB Russell Wilson of Wisconsin has shown he's able to make plays based on his athleticism. Wilson looked like he was going to be sacked in scrimmage for a big loss, but was able to escape the rush and defenders to make a nice completion to Chris Polk.

- QB Kellen Moore shows terrific timing on his passes. The consensus is he'll be a No. 3 quarterback for a West Coast offense in the NFL.

10:22 a.m. CT -- Late addition Rishaw Johnson of Cal-Pa, who played guard during his college career, has been used at center in the early going and has struggled. Too many center/quarterback fumbled snaps thus far.

- Many on hand believe the problem with Kellen Moore's poor arm strength starts with his delivery. Moore has a short throwing motion and looks like he's pushing the football. The comparison to Tyler Palko of the Kansas City Chiefs is being made.

- Vinny Curry of Marshall is once again displaying a lot of quickness and athleticism. He really struggles handling blocks, and looks more and more like he'll be a natural as a 3-4 outside linebacker rather than at defensive end.

- Doug Martin just had a nice run in which he put a move on Trent Robinson and left the Michigan State safety grasping at air.

- WR TJ Graham of North Carolina State has displayed a great burst of speed in drills and just ran by Leonard Johnson for a deep pass. Graham has elevated his stock the past three days.

- G Kevin Zeitler of Wisconsin has upped his game this morning. He's been just about the only lineman who's been able to slow down Mike Martin of Michigan and stopped him cold on one snap.

- DT Derek Wolfe of Cincinnati looks good this morning. He does not get a lot of penetration, but he's quick and impossible to move off the line of scrimmage.

9:48 a.m. CT -- The North squad began the day with special teams drills, specifically kick return and coverage game plans for Saturday. Doug Martin of Boise State again looks good showing both a burst and long speed. This is something to keep an eye on during Saturday's game, which will be the first and only time both squads run special teams at full speed and full contact.

- Isaiah Pead, the running back from Cincinnati, has been returning punts for the North this morning and doing a good job. Several scouts have commented that Pead's quickness and short burst of speed are the skills needed for a punt returner in the NFL. Something else to keep an eye on Saturday.

- TE Brian Linthicum of Michigan State sat on the sidelines yesterday, but looks terrific this morning. He moves incredibly well for a big man and is smooth in and out of his routes.

- WR Devier Posey of Ohio State continues to impress with his physical skills. He shows exceptional quickness in and out of routes and a nice burst of speed. He hasn't shown the strong hands or ability to pluck the ball from the air, but to his credit Posey has not dropped many passes the past three days.

- WR Marvin McNutt of Iowa looks improved this morning. Early-week jitters may have resulted in some stiffness and dropped passed but thus far he's looked very smooth and has caught the ball well.

- Doug Martin is impressing outside of special teams drills, too. He's showing terrific quickness and just put a great move on former Boise State teammate Shea McClellin to come free in the flat for a nice reception. Martin has shown soft, strong hands all week.

- LB Lavonte David of Nebraska has looked good in coverage drills all morning. He's athletic, easily runs downfield with backs or tight ends and nicely positions himself to defend the pass.

- LB Audie Cole of North Carolina State is not known for his foot speed or athleticism, but he's just a good, tough football player. Every time Cole has stepped to the line this morning he seems determined to stop his opponents by any means necessary, and for the most part he has.

9:35 a.m. CT -- The North has taken the field for the final day of full-pads practice at the Senior Bowl. Today is always the most important day of the week, as the intensity is turned up several notches. There are more general managers, coaches and scouts on hand for Wednesday practice than at any point in time during the week.

Rishaw Johnson, the guard from Cal-Pa, flew to Mobile last night and is a late addition to replace the injured Joe Looney. Johnson really impressed during two days of Shrine Game practice last week.

It's hotter and muggier this morning than any of the past two days, so it's going to be a real test for these NFL hopefuls.


Edited by Faust, 25 January 2012 - 02:45 PM.


#43 Jene Bramel

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:50 PM

I am interested in Still. Can you guys tell me how he projects in a 4-3 or 3-4 system. Thanks.

Still probably would work as a 3-4 end or 4-3 NT, but best position likely 4-3 penetrating DT. He took his name off the Senior Bowl roster last Sunday. Given how well the DL groups have looked in relation to the OL, he would very likely have shined this week.

#44 Faust

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:53 PM

Coples stands out in first day of padded Senior Bowl practices

By Bucky Brooks NFL.com
Analyst
Published: Jan. 24, 2012 at 09:20 p.m. Updated: Jan. 24, 2012 at 11:04 p.m.

MOBILE, Ala. -- To get an accurate assessment of a prospect's pro potential, you must evaluate his performance in pads.

On the second day of Senior Bowl practice, Mike Shanahan and Leslie Frazier put their respective squads in pads and you could see the difference in pace and tempo. From the increased intensity in 9-on-7 drills to aggressive play of linebackers and defensive backs during 1-on-1 sessions, the practices at Ladd-Peebles Stadium were reminiscent of training camp workouts.

With plenty of time to evaluate some of the top prospects in the 2012 draft class in pro-like conditions, here are some of my observations from the day:

» North Carolina DE Quinton Coples has been the most dominant defender on either roster, and his spectacular performance has quelled some of the concerns about his lackadaisical play as a senior. Coples has abused blockers in 1-on-1 drills with his combination of strength, power and athleticism. He has shown the ability to put together a series of power moves in sequence, which makes him tough to block in isolated situations. While he still lacks the explosive burst that is typically displayed by elite rushers, his ability to collapse the pocket could make him a difficult block as a potential left defensive end or defensive tackle (three- or five-technique) in a 4-3.

» South Carolina DE/OLB Melvin Ingram flashes the speed and athleticism to become an immediate difference maker as a pro. At 6-foot-2, 276 pounds, he possesses cat-like quickness and burst. He blows past defenders on upfield rushes, but also shows a spin move that allows him to win to the inside. He kept blockers off balance with his wide array of moves, and few blockers were able to contain him during the 1-on-1 period. He wasn't nearly as effective in team drills, but his occasional flashes are so impressive that it is easy to envision him making a big impact as an edge player in an attacking scheme.

» Vanderbilt CB Casey Hayward is making a strong case to be a solid Day 2 draft prospect. He has blanketed receivers in man coverage from press and "off" technique, and his superb instincts have resulted in several deflections in team drills. His competitiveness and toughness stood out in 1-on-1 drills, as he refused to concede completions without attempting to strip or poke the ball out after the catch. Even though his willingness to finish will go unnoticed by some evaluators, the emphasis on attacking the ball suggests he possesses the persistence and tenacity to thrive as a ball hawk as a pro.

» Louisiana-Lafayette CB Dwight "Bill" Bentley is quietly creating a buzz in scouting circles with his impressive ball skills and awareness. He has made several plays on the ball over the past two days, while displaying outstanding coverage discipline and focus. Bentley's leverage and body positioning were outstanding in 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 drills, and his overall consistency will encourage coaches to closely examine his game despite his diminutive stature.

» Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden will spark several debates in war rooms across the league, with his advanced age (28) and intriguing physical tools. He is one of the rare quarterbacks in college football capable of making every throw in the playbook, but scouts are concerned about his decisions and football IQ. He was plagued by turnovers during the regular season and most of those miscues resulted from poor reads from the pocket. Weeden has avoided those mistakes at the Senior Bowl, showing better accuracy and precision from the pocket. His superb ball placement and touch has earned high marks from scouts, with many viewing Weeden as the fourth-best quarterback on boards across the league.

» Appalachian State WR Brian Quick has been the talk of the town with his exceptional combination of size, speed and athleticism. He has blown away scouts with his natural talent, and his ability to hold his own against elite competition has coaches salivating about his potential. An NFC East position coach familiar with Quick proclaimed him the most impressive athlete at the position. An AFC South position coach said Quick is an outstanding prospect with the physical tools to be a special player in the league. With so much lofty praise being thrown around, it would not surprise me to see Quick go much higher than anticipated when draft day approaches.

» Ohio State OT Mike Adams is an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on during the run-up to the draft. He possesses franchise-caliber physical tools and his surprising athleticism makes him an interesting first-round possibility as a left tackle. His length and movement skills should allow him to fare well against athletic pass rushers. If he can continue to hold his own against quick pass rushers this week and test well at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, he could be the fourth offensive tackle to come off the board on draft day.

» Notre Dame S Harrison Smith has garnered some attention as one of top safeties in Mobile. He has displayed better than anticipated movement skills and impressed coaches in attendance with his range and instincts. He certainly has the size, strength and toughness to play near the line of scrimmage, but his ability to play in space could make him an ideal fit as a free safety in some schemes.


Edited by Faust, 25 January 2012 - 02:53 PM.


#45 Jene Bramel

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 02:57 PM

Will have defensive standouts/disappointments for Fifth Down blog, thoughts on hybrid talents for RSP blog and more tonight and tomorrow. Thought I'd post highlights from my Twitter feed today, then add links to those when they post over the coming hours. Might read best from the bottom up...


Brandon Boykin very good again. Strong hands, quick recovery skills, stayed over his feet and didn't get lost when WR came out of his route.

Casey Hayward had a rough start, lost leverage in early reps on inside breaking routes, but was very good in 5v5 pass drills again.

Bentley had a little trouble consistently getting a jam and got him beat deep on a couple of occasions, but very good otherwise.

First long look at Janoris Jenkins, Dwight Bentley today. Both won regularly v WR. Jenkins in particular very quick feet, good anticipation.

Liked Markelle Martin more often than not in 1v1 contests with WR/TE. Antonio Allen struggled w/ recognition & footwork to hang in man.

Keenan Robinson also impressive as pass rusher. Showed good quickness around the edge and powered through block on more than one rep.

Jake Bequette finally got chance to shine in blitz pickup drills. Beat backs w/ quick step & power rush. ROLB only position for him in 3-4.

Zach Brown again strong in all phases, including flashing some power and short area quicks in blitz pickup drills with RBs.

Coples still plays high, but won't be pushed back when engaged, stoned a RB coming off tackle with one hand late in team drills.

Looked like South OL would be more competitive early in drills, but usual DL suspects (Coples, Ingram, Thompson, etc) again outclassed them.

Can't imagine anyone didn't get the Holyfield reference but here's the YouTube clip anyway.

Hard to get great sense on safety reads and finishing skills since they aren't taking receivers to the ground though.

Think there's room for Allen to separate from Iloka and Smith a bit if he shows continued improvement in coverage.

Will be watching Antonio Allen and the corner group closely. Hoping to see more good things from Zach Brown and Keenan Robinson too.

Headed to South practice. Expecting a Holyfield-Steiner feel to the South DL v North OL again today: "Come out and get your whoopin'."

-----

Liked the physical nature of Jamell Fleming and George Johnson in 1v1 blocking drills v WR. Brought contact and shed well.

George Iloka struggled in man all morning. Still breaks well on plays in front of him but Harrison Smith better all around practice.

Singletary also had nice words for McClellin. "You're getting better Boise. Getting better. I like it," during individual drills.

Demario Davis not as impressive today but drew praise for his footwork from Singletary during drills.

Like Bobby Wagner a lot. Not as stout today but played with leverage. Hung w/ backs to the flat and wheel route all day.

Shea McClellin needs to improve playing with leverage from 2 point stance but hung with backs in coverage well at times.

Johnson too high in drills but better in 7v7 than yesterday. Nice to see the rebound but looks like a longship to play every down.

Thought Mike Singletary was going to send James-Michael Johnson to his room during footwork drills. Made him start over five times.

Kendall Reyes, Mike Wright solid all around effort. Billy Winn very good but Reyes similar swing end-tackle prospect with a little upside.

Cam Johnson not flashy but looks good. Beat tackle on the edge multiple times in team drills. Very consistent v run today.

Vinny Curry very good when he gets a jump off snap. Showed in and out rip moves today. Stayed on feet around corner. Set edge in 7v7.

Mike Martin is ridiculous. Doing straight leg kicks during warmups. As flexible as a Rockette.

My partners in crime @cecillammey @MattWaldman killing it this week. And they're only lightly hazing me on my virgin trip to Mobile.

Still haven't seen a universal consensus on any one player, eg saw one writer suggest that Quinton Coples just "had his moments" yesterday.

May be a matter of degree, limitations of Senior Bowl practice process, but felt like all three less consistent than I've seen advertised.

But I'm not sure I agreed with some of the positive reviews I've seen on Jack Crawford, Dwight Bentley and Kheeston Randall.

Most divergent opinions seem to be on the wide receivers, especially on Brian Quick and Jeff Fuller.

Been interesting to see the players about which the Twitter scout community has had such varying opinions on this week.

Won't focus as much on LB today, though. Want to see Cam Johnson, Jack Crawford, Vinny Curry in the pit and DB 1v1 work.

Headed to the North practice shortly. Eager to get another look at Demario Davis, Lavonte David, Bobby Wagner.

#46 Bankerguy

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:13 PM

I am interested in Still. Can you guys tell me how he projects in a 4-3 or 3-4 system. Thanks.

Still probably would work as a 3-4 end or 4-3 NT, but best position likely 4-3 penetrating DT. He took his name off the Senior Bowl roster last Sunday. Given how well the DL groups have looked in relation to the OL, he would very likely have shined this week.

Thanks, much appreciated. I didnt think he was a good match for Dallas and this adds credence.

#47 Faust

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:19 PM

Five observations from first padded practices at Senior Bowl

By Mike Mayock

MOBILE, Ala. — The first day of padded practices for the Senior Bowl took place Tuesday, providing the first real look at some of the top prospects who will play in Saturday’s showcase game. Here are five observations coming out of the two practice sessions between the North and South teams:


    [*]I thought the most impressive group was the South’s defensive line. Melvin Ingram, Courtney Upshaw and Quinton Coples, to me, are all first-round picks, and they’ve all played like first-round picks. I’m particularly interested in Ingram, because he’s got an atypical body type at 6-foot-2 and 276 pounds. You’ve got to figure out how to use him, but he’s played really well so far. Bottom line: These three guys represent the best position group heading into Saturday’s game.

    [*]The defensive backs from the South squad have been tremendous. It’s pretty obvious why cornerback Janoris Jenkins is so highly rated. Even though he’s had his problems off the field, like having to transfer from Florida to North Alabama, his physical skill set is obvious. Dwight Bentley, the small-school kid from Louisiana Lafayette who weighs just 176 pounds, had a great day yesterday, according to several scouts. I was really impressed by him today; he’s really helped himself.

    [*]Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn impressed me today. He’s a massive kid at 6-5½ and 346. He’s got 35-inch arms, and I thought he hung in there really well during the 1-on-1 drills. I also liked offensive lineman James Brown from Troy. He, too, did well in the 1-on-1 drills.

    [*]To me, it looks like the South team has more high picks, more first-round picks, on its roster. You can see them playing with a higher level of skill. I just need to see more from the quarterbacks.

    [*]The North quarterbacks, their two little guys, intrigue me. I don’t know what you do with Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson, but I am intrigued by him. I want to watch more of him, because of what he did at Wisconsin and at North Carolina State before that. He’s only 5-10½, so he doesn’t fit into a mold, but I’ve said it before: He reminds me a little bit of former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie. Wilson gets outside of the pocket and can make plays. If a team is open to having a quarterback of that size and takes a chance on him, he can be a pretty special kid. On the other hand, Boise State’s Kellen Moore is not athletic, a tough thing for a quarterback who is less than six feet tall and has an average arm. However, he’s got one of the most anticipatory throws in the college game. He’s so good at that, which is why he has some potential.
    [/list]


Edited by Faust, 25 January 2012 - 03:20 PM.


#48 Faust

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:47 PM

Senior Bowl notebook: Wednesday

Posted Jan. 25, 2012 @ 6:29 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Updated 6:24 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jan. 25

South practice observations from senior editor Mike Wilkening:

• Illinois OT Jeff Allen got a few reps at guard and appeared to fare well in a pair of one-on-one matchups with Texas A&M DL Tony Jerod-Eddie.

• Georgia OL Ben Jones acquitted himself in one-on-one drills, showing good hand use.

• Florida State OT Zebrie Sanders had trouble with North Carolina DE Quinton Coples' strength, and South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram bull-rushed him with great success, getting low and knocking him over. And in the first play of the scrimmage, Alabama DE-OLB Courtney Upshaw, rushing against Sanders, collapsed the pocket.

• Alabama C William Vlachos started one-on-one drills well, anchoring well against Texas A&M DL Tony Jerod-Eddie, but there were multiple other instances where he was pushed back too easily.

• Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller beat well-regarded North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins in a one-on-one drill, getting good separation. Fuller was one of the South's standouts Wednesday, according to an evaluator.

• Vanderbilt CB Casey Hayward's physicality is strength. He seems well-suited for a scheme where he can get an initial jam on the opposition. In a one-on-one matchup with Florida's Chris Rainey, Hayward used his hands well; keeping the receiver close, but Rainey spurted away. The play highlighted skills that each player needs to hone. Hayward will need to cover for extended stretches to succeed, and Rainey will need to fight off the attempts to neutralize him with might at the line.

• Alabama DE-OLB Courtney Upshaw has respect for the effort of the South's offensive tackles. "They don't really have too many guys," Upshaw said. "Some guys have to go back-to-back plays. Every end out here is going at them hard." Upshaw said that Georgia OT-OG Cordy Glenn has particularly impressed him this week.

South practice observations from associate editor Kevin Fishbain:

• North Carolina DE Quinton Coples looks the part and had some plays where he easily powered his way into the backfield. He even took time to take a bow after a "sack" in 11-on-11 drills (he touched the quarterback, though the play continued as if a sack was not made). Coples got into it for a moment after a play with Illinois OT Jeff Allen, the first real chippy, extra-curricular activities I've seen this week. It didn't last long, though.

• Coples' college teammate, LB Zach Brown, made a nice play shooting the gap from his linebacker position, untouched, to make a play on the running back in the backfield. I asked the speedy Brown what he expects to run in the 40-yard dash. He responded: "4.3." He doesn't lack confidence.

• The cornerbacks again looked significantly better than the wide receivers on the South squad. Georgia's Brandon Boykin made a couple nice plays and Janoris Jenkins continued to look as good as advertised. All of the corners were very physical and won more often than not in red-zone drills. The North receivers will have a tough time — even with the cushion they will get — in the Senior Bowl game on Saturday.

• South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram played with his hand in the ground as well as at linebacker today. He made a couple nice spin moves, but will need to continue to be fast with power to succeed against big tackles in the NFL, as he measured at a little less than 6-foot-2.

• The offense seemed to have a few issues with players moving early. One one play, the left tackle, fullback and wide receiver all moved and the other eight players stood still. Clearly, it's not easy to be on the same page in just a couple days with a new group of players, but the South had multiple false starts.

• The two new running backs, Alfred Morris of Florida Atlantic and Louisiana Tech's Lennon Creer, both flashed plenty of speed once they got into the open field on a few plays, making their mark on a squad with high-profile backs like Chris Rainey, Vick Ballard and Terrance Ganaway.

North practice observations from associate editor Kevin Fishbain:

• Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins continued to impress. I thought he looked better on Wednesday than Tuesday on his throws. He also showed a little mobility when the pocket collapsed and he had to get outside and decided to take off.

• Wisconsin's Russell Wilson made a real nice throw on the run. With a defender coming at him, Wilson threw a strike to Ohio State WR Devier Posey. Wilson said after the practice that one of the things he is working on this week is his feet, though he maintained that he has no problem staying in the pocket, despite his lack of height, to make the throws. He also made a nice throw running to his left.

• During the offensive line drills, it was impossible to ignore that Ohio State OT Mike Adams is clearly the biggest tackle on the North squad and he showed well. Washington OL Senio Kelemete received lots of praise from the coach for his work in the drill and his ability to finish the play.

• A pair of running backs stood out running routes — Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead and Ohio State's Dan Herron. Both backs made crisp routes against the North's linebackers and defensive backs. Boise State RB Doug Martin again showed a great burst, htiting the holes hard.

• Connecticut DL Kendall Reyes made a nice inside move to record a tackle for loss, blowing up a running play in the 11-on-11 drills.

• I spoke with both Boise State S George Iloka and Penn State DB D'Anton Lynn after practice. In this new era of explosive tight ends, both have the size teams want at safety to counter it and discussed how their physical play will help in covering the Rob Gronkowskis and Jimmy Grahams of the NFL.

North practice observations from senior editor Mike Wilkening:

• I wasn't watching the North quarterbacks closely this morning, but Wisconsin's Russell Wilson nonetheless caught my eye. He showed excellent touch and accuracy when he hit Boise State RB Doug Martin on a wheel route. There was nothing that N.C. State LB Audie Cole, who was covering Martin, could have done. Later, I looked to my right just in time to see a defender leaping in vain as a Martin pass sailed over him and into the arms of Arizona State WR Gerell Robinson.

• Virginia LB Cam Johnson was fast off the edge in pass-rush drills and held his own matched up against well-regarded Ohio State OLT Mike Adams. The 6-4, 270-pound Johnson stayed low on the taller Adams, a good technique for him to hone if he's going to be rushing against taller tackles in the pros.

• Boise State DL Shea McClellin earned praise from Vikings LB coach Mike Singletary coach as he went through individual drills this morning. Singletary told McClellin — whom he referred to as "Boise" in a later drill — that he had showed improvement Wednesday. "I like that," Singletary said to him.

• Penn State DL Jack Crawford won the leverage battle on Iowa State OT Senio Kelemete and bowled him over in a one-on-one drill. I haven't watched Crawford enough to know if the bull rush is something he frequently utilizes but he definitely showed some power and good technique in that particular instance.

• I liked the playing temperament of California (Pa.) C Rishaw Johnson, a late addition to the roster. I thought he played aggressively and worked to finish his blocks, and I liked his energy. Johnson, however, was beaten by Michigan DT Mike Martin in a one-on-one drill.



#49 EBF

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:03 PM

Really liked what little I saw of Boykin at Georgia. Great athlete. Irrelevant for non-IDP FF purposes, but definitely a player I'd like to see my favorite NFL team snag.

#50 Jene Bramel

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:19 PM

Filing to the Fifth Down shortly... Senior Bowl Day 3 | Standouts and Disappointments Defensive Standouts DE Quinton Coples, North Carolina Coples was the most dominant player on the field this week. His game may still need some refinement, but he again proved that he’s worthy of selection in the top ten after a disappointing senior season. Comparisons to Julius Peppers, Mario Williams and Calais Campbell are all valid. DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina Had it not been for Coples, Ingram may have been the most impressive defender this week. He showed a number of effective pass rush moves and, though he did take himself out of plays at times, was more consistently effective against the run than some expected. He’s a lock to go in the first round. DE Vinny Curry, Marshall Curry showed his quick burst off the edge and ability to penetrate against the run against top competition. There are still blemishes in his game, but he’ll have many teams taking a second look at his tape. DE/OLB Cam Johnson, Virginia Johnson was listed as a LB on the roster sheet, but predominantly played with his hand down in practice. He showed a better than expected burst off the edge and anchored against the run well. He’ll get looks from 4-3 and 3-4 teams in need of a pass rusher. DT/DE Billy Winn, Boise State With more 3-4 and hybrid front schemes around the league, a versatile player like Winn who can defend the run and rush the passer from multiple positions is a highly sought after commodity. Winn, along with Connecticut DL Kendall Reyes, improved their draft stock significantly this week. DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson Thompson may have been just as disruptive as Coples this week. He won’t be a dominant pass rusher, but a team looking for a disruptive, penetrating DT had to like what Thompson showed in Mobile. DT Mike Martin, Michigan Martin’s chiseled physique had scouts buzzing at the weigh-in and his tenacious play in the pit will likely move him up the boards of teams looking to add a rotational run stuffing body with a great motor. OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama Upshaw was part of a South defensive line group that dominated practice all week. Upshaw evoked comparisons to James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley from observers who saw him beat blockers with an impressive mix of power and technique. OLB Zach Brown, North Carolina Other linebackers may have been slightly better in coverage or more physical at the point of attack, but Brown was the most impressive all-around linebacker this week. His measurables and speed suggest that he may be limited to a 4-3 WLB role, but similar talents (e.g. Jon Beason, Daryl Washington) have kicked inside and performed well. ILB/OLB Bobby Wagner, Nevada Wagner took all his reps at OLB in Mobile, but showed the strength and leverage to play inside. He also more than held his own in coverage during drills and team sessions. ILB Demario Davis, Arkansas State Davis was a late addition to the North roster, but impressed immediately with a combination of speed, suddenness and coverage ability. He’ll continue to rise up draft boards if he tests well as the pre-draft process continues. OLB Lavonte David, Nebraska David weighed in at a solid 225 pounds, then proved that he could play even bigger against the run while showing good quickness and anticipation in coverage. He’s right behind North Carolina’s Zach Brown as the draft’s best flow and chase Will backer. OLB Shea McClellin, Boise State McClellin, a defensive end at Boise State, showed that he can comfortably transition to OLB in the NFL. He’ll be a project against the run, but he surprised in coverage all week and showed that he can get to the quarterback. His week should earn him consideration in the middle rounds as a rotational player. CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama Jenkins needed to prove that he still had the shutdown corner skills he showed at Florida and didn’t disappoint. He showed excellent footwork, route anticipation and closing speed and looks like a first round pick. Brandon Boykins, Casey Hayward and Dwight Bentley were also impressive, but Jenkins generated the most buzz. Defensive Disappointments CB Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska Dennard was very inconsistent in coverage this week, while most of the competition at his position met or exceeded expectations. He’ll need to rehab his stock in the coming weeks after dropping out late Wednesday with a hip flexor strain. ILB James-Michael Johnson, Nevada Johnson had his moments during 7-on-7 sessions, but his pad level and coverage were issues all week. His stock is likely slipping into the later middle rounds. ILB Emmanuel Acho, Texas Acho was solid, but not spectacular as a huddle presence and between the tackles against the run. But he struggled terribly in coverage at times and looks limited to a base defensive role. S Antonio Allen, South Carolina Allen got a chance to prove himself capable of making reads in zone coverage and show range in deep coverage, but didn’t inspire much confidence that he could handle either job. That may not matter to teams preferring an in-the-box safety, but it won’t improve his draft stock. DE/OLB Jake Bequette, Arkansas Bequette took snaps exclusively at strong side linebacker this week and rarely got a chance to rush the passer. He showed some improvement, but isn’t athletic enough to chase and cover. He looks limited to a situational 4-3 RDE / 3-4 ROLB role.




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