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 Senior Bowl Week 
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Here's some on day 2:
waltersfootball.com wrote:
2010 Senior Bowl Practice Report: Day 2 - North

By Matt McGuire
Jan. 27, 2010

Today was another gorgeous day in Mobile. I'm loving this weather and very thankful we don't have too much wind, cold temperatures and rain. The Draft gods are certainly looking out for us this. Let's get to the report:

One player who didn't impress me that much today was UMass offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse. He didn't look like the most fluid athlete and he struggled with his lateral movement in 1v1's. Tyson Alualu stunned him with a rip move then later got under his pads on a bull a little too much for my liking. The scouts and coaches want to see how the small-school guys step up to the big competition and Ducasse isn't living up to the hype at the moment after a great weigh-in.

TCU linebacker Daryl Washington had another great day of practice. He's very athletic with great range and was all over the field on 11v11's. The problem is I think he lacks some versatility as a WILL linebacker only, but can also be a very good producer on special teams early in his career.

Yesterday's MVP, Boise State corner Kyle Wilson, has really stepped up to the plate this week. He is turning and running with receivers, and is very physical with his jam at the line of scrimmage. I have a hard time seeing him go in the first round, but he's solidifying a second-round grade this week.

One player who really impressed me today was Wake Forest's Brandon Ghee. Clemson's Jacoby Ford is the fastest receiver here (sub 4.40 time) and Ghee was step for step with Ford on a go route and had a beautiful pass break-up. These are the same plays I saw on tape. Ghee didn't see many balls thrown his way this past year at Wake Forest, but when given the chance, he made some plays in Tuesday's practice.

Wisconsin tight end Garrett Graham really struggles getting off the jam at 234 pounds. I talked to a couple draftniks who are seriously concerned with his frame. Graham showed good hands at the practice, but he looks like a late-rounder.

Illinois' Mike Hoomanawanui had the block of the day that got the Lions tight ends coach very hyped on the field and drew a gasp from the crowd. He's a very physical player with excellent strength, and I think he would be a great fit for teams like Carolina and Cincinnati that love blocking tight ends.

The receiver who showed some inconsistencies today was Cincinnati's Mardy Gilyard. He struggled to locate the football times and avoided contact. On tape I see he's scared to go over the middle and with his frame (179 pounds) he needs to prove that he plays bigger than he is. Draftniks seem to be torn on him - you love Gilyard or hate him. I personally don't like him very much.

Notre Dame safety Kyle McCarthy will struggle to get drafted in the first five rounds. I love his vocal leadership on the field and toughness, but he really struggles to eliminate space and lacks some serious speed.

From the little I saw of Rutgers' corner Devin McCourty today I was quite impressed. He's starting to win me over, and the thing I like about him is his intriguing, under-the-radar skill set. McCourty is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none but he finds ways to make plays, and receivers have a tough time fooling him when they get out of their breaks.

Idaho's Mike Iupati was very physical in 11v11's, but in 1v1's he was simply on the ground too much for my liking. He'll overextend and play top heavy, but the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced there's no way the Cowboys pass up on him in the first round. He's a prototypical guard for their system. Iupati manhandled Purdue defensive tackle Mike Neal a couple times and made it look easy - and Neal is an impressive specimen.

My favorite defensive tackle here so far is easily Penn State's Jared Odrick. He is very consistent, doesn't take many plays off, and has the best hands of any defensive lineman here. Odrick is very active and I think he can put on another 15 pounds without losing much speed.

Cincinnati's Tony Pike had another poor outing. His accuracy was shaky and he threw a ball that was one of the ugliest passes I've ever seen out of a college quarterback. He put out too much good tape for me to take this week too seriously, but second round is now out of the question because he lacks some serious bulk as a stick figure which will turn a lot of teams off.

Another defensive tackle who is impressing is Louisiana Tech's D'Anthony Smith. He has been playing with some power and nice quickness, and I was really impressed with his build at the weigh-in.

My most favorite coach on the Lions staff is without a doubt is defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. He's giving a lot of good pointers technique-wise, and I love his backwards hat and fiery demeanor.

Michigan's Brandon Graham had a very nice practice today and this is his environment. At the Combine he won't blow your socks off, but when the pads are on, he stands out. Graham is very physical and has some good short area quickness. He made Utah's Zane Beadles eat dirt on a nasty spin move that had the sidelines crowing.

Murray State defensive end Austin Lane made some impressive plays in 11v11's. In pursuit, he showed a good motor and got himself involved. He measured in at a legit 6-6 and he has room to add on some muscle. He's a sleeper to watch out for in the draft process.

One of my favorite tight ends in the 2010 NFL Draft is Oregon's Ed Dickson. He's an average in-line blocker, but he has great ball skills, and showed good athleticism and body control in going up and catching a pass a couple feet over his head on a seam route.

Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is making me forget about his average senior season. I've been told he has a very outgoing personality, but on the football field his instincts come to life and he is quick to diagnose and react. A big game in the Senior Bowl could guarantee he comes off the board in the top 50 picks.

I can't wait to see Tim Tebow, Taylor Mays and the rest of the South team later on today. Remember to come back to the site tonight for more Senior Bowl coverage live from Mobile!

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January 26th, 2010, 4:45 pm
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Offensive Linemen put at Different Positions to Test Adaptability
Chrissie Wywrot

Posted Jan 26, 2010


Coaches will say that the closer a position is to the ball, the more difficult it is to transition from college to the pros.

That means the men in the trenches – the offensive and defensive linemen – have some of the tougher transitions.

Once those players are drafted by an NFL team, they will begin the process of learning and refining techniques to be successful at the professional level. But for now, says offensive line coach George Yarno, the focus is on figuring out what they already bring to the table.

“Technique is probably the hardest thing to try to develop in a week's time because you’re already trying to give them all this information of who to block and how to block, “ he said.

“You try to give them little tips of better hand placement, better balance or footwork – whatever it may be – but you don’t try to radically change the technique because that’s too long of a process in a week’s practice time.”

Such a significant aspect of these practices is the evaluation, which ultimately puts the players themselves in somewhat uncomfortable situations.

Because NFL coaches and scouts want to see what these players can do, they rotate them between different positions along the line. Guards will play both sides and maybe even snap the ball at center; tackles will play both sides as well.

One player, guard Mike Iupati from Idaho, took reps at every position along the line except center.

“I think Mike has done a tremendous job,” said Yarno. “There is a learning curve on those positions, but you see that potential – you see the fact that he could be a multiple-position player.

“He’s done everything that’s been asked of him and he’s an extremely willing young man that has good knowledge of the game of football and has all the attributes you look for. I think his stock is going to continue to rise.”Figuring out if a player has the potential at different positions is the point. Players aren’t going to make a smooth transition and have immediate success where they haven’t played before, but seeing how quickly they can retain new techniques is something to look for.

“You’re for whether they can adapt to a position change,” said Yarno. “How quickly they take to it. Do they have the balance and the hands and the power – whatever it may be – to play that position? Not necessarily as an end result, but the ability to play that position in the future.”

Though Iupati has received a significant amount of national attention, Yarno said all of the players within his group have done well.

“I would hate to call out certain names,” he said. “The entire group has been really fun to work with. They’re very willing, very coachable. I see progress in all of them – even after two days. I’d say the entire group has been impressive for me because they have really done everything we’ve asked and more.

“I don’t think there’s anyone that you’d say, ‘Okay, this guy, this guy, this guy.’ I think all of them have shown an ability to play at the next level.”

The next level for all of these players is a challenge, but it is more so for some than others.

Just as Lions defensive tackle Sammie Hill had to make a transition from I-AA Stillman College, Massachusetts lineman Vladimir Ducasse is making the jump from I-AA to the pros.

“He’s probably the one that has to make the biggest adjustment,” said Yarno. “Mentally it’s probably about the same for him as other players because I-AA coaches and players know and do the same things that Division-I players do.

“But the physical part of it – adapting to the different pass rush moves and run defense techniques that he’ll see here – is quite a jump. That’s a good thing for him to be here and be able to show what he can do versus the very top players in college football.”

Though he is making a bigger physical jump, Yarno says he coaches Ducasse the same as his other players.

“I might explain things a little bit more technically to him to so he understands – just the nuances of the next level,” he said. “I treat him the same, he gets the same amount of reps and he’s working hard – he’s doing a great job. I think this is a tremendous opportunity for him especially to show that he can compete against the best college players.”



I hope we can get him in round 2. :idea:


January 26th, 2010, 7:11 pm
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What time is the Senior Bowl on Saturday?

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January 27th, 2010, 12:56 pm
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The Senior Bowl will be at 4 PM Saturday on NFL Network.

Here's a few more observations:
National Football Post wrote:
Ten impressions from Day 2 South practice Ole Miss prospects have a good day, but what about Tebow? Wes Bunting

MOBILE, Ala. -- News, notes and observations from day two at the Senior Bowl:

1. The guy who made the biggest impression on me during Tuesday’s South practice was Ole Miss RB Dexter McCluster. McCluster found ways to consistently separate during one-on-one drills, making plays both underneath and vertically down the field and was also impressive running the football between the tackles and accelerating into the open field. He may be slight, but if used correctly, this guy can create in a number of ways for an NFL offense.

2. Another Ole Miss standout was OL John Jerry, who was absolutely dominant at times during practice. He lined up at both tackle and guard, and his combination of size, length and overall lateral quickness through contact gave opposing linemen fits. He does a great job continuing to move his feet while reworking his hands in order to stay on blocks and handled anyone the South roster threw at him. A pretty impressive day for a guy who also grades out highly as a run blocker.

3. Miami tight end Jimmy Graham looked a lot more explosive off the snap than I initially thought and did a nice job all day slipping the bump off the line and cleanly getting into his routes. He’s a tight end who can also get up to speed quickly and was able to generate some vertical separation down the field. He still struggles when asked to adjust to the ball, but he’s a really intriguing prospect with a lot of upside and looks to be improving every time he sets foot on the field.

4. I’ve always considered Troy defensive end Brandon Lang one of the most overrated prospects in the draft, and Tuesday’s performance again made me feel good about my assessment. He plays too high to be an efficient bull-rush threat at the next level and doesn’t look real coordinated or instinctive when asked to work his counter-move. He was handled all day in practice and doesn’t grade out any higher than a reserve-type lineman.

5. Kentucky cornerback Trevard Lindley is a frail, undersized corner who struggled when asked to be physical with receivers in coverage Tuesday. To make matters worse, he looked uncomfortable in his back-pedal in off-coverage and simply doesn’t project as a real effective man-to-man corner in the NFL.

6. Speaking of corners out of their element, Oklahoma State DB Perrish Cox definitely looks that way. The guy struggles to sit into his drop, has a tendency to get overextended with his footwork and is stiff when asked to turn and run. He also looked uncomfortable in off-coverage all day and needs a lot of work from a technique standpoint if he hopes to hold up in man at the next level.

7. West Virginia offensive tackle Selvish Capers definitely looks the part, but the guy gets too high off the edge and displayed little anchor strength during one-on-one drills. He seems more like a zone blocking scheme-type guard to me.

8. Another West Virginia product, quarterback Jarrett Brown, appears to be the most physically gifted quarterback here. The guy can really spin the football, has a strong arm and can make some quality NFL throws. But he also has a tendency to lose sight of the strike zone and will let some throws go that make you scratch your head. The physical skill set is there, but becoming a more consistent passer is his biggest obstacle at this stage.

9. When Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was able to see the throw, I thought he did a good job accurately delivering the football. However, at this stage he simply isn’t a decisive quarterback in the pocket and really struggles when asked to anticipate throws in the pass game.

10. Baylor center J.D. Walton showed well for himself, quickly getting his hands up out of his stance, anchoring at the point and sticking to blocks through contact. He looked comfortable in pass protection throughout the entire session and, paired with his ability to run block in space, looks like another starting-caliber center prospect.


Great Blue North Draft Report wrote:
2010 SENIOR BOWL PRACTICE REPORTS
by Jon Cozart, GBN Chief Scout with contributions from Colin Lindsay, GBN Editor and Publisher

Tuesday practice report ...

Another day of practice at the Senior Bowl is in the books. And that means that there is yet another chapter in the on-going saga of whether star Florida QB Tim Tebow has a future at the position to be chewed over. The good news for #15 is that he appeared more relaxed and confident at today’s South practice; he also got plenty of zip on his passes and for the most part was reasonably accurate, particularly on medium and deep routes. However, Tebow continues to show a long release and low release point that will make it easier for NFL pass rushers to strip the ball and defensive backs to close. It is still too early, though, to write off Tebow as a potential pro passer. For starters, he has the intangibles and character that teams only dream of acquiring. Former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf, for example, described Brett Favre in college as a player that tilted the field in favor of the team he played for every game. Wolf added that Favre was lterally able to will his team to win games against powerhouse schools that they otherwise couldn’t have won. Tebow appears to possess many of those same qualities and will definitely find a home in the NFL, but still likely has a long way to go before he ever comes close to matching his college achievements at the next level.

In fact, Tebow hasn’t even been the most impressive QB on his own team this week as Jarrett Brown of West Virginia is slowly starting to generate a buzz of his own. Brown has good size and excellent mobility, a quick, compact delivery and throws nothing but darts with good accuracy. Indeed, Brown was hitting the deep ball and was accurate on underneath routes as well all week to date, while arm strength doesn’t seem to be an issue either. The issue for Brown, who only was a one-year starter in college, though, remains pocket awareness and his ability to make the quick reads and releases at the speed the game is played at at the next level. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson also had a much better practice on Tuesday than the previous when he prayed balls all over the field. Like his fellow South QBs, has a real live arm and gets the ball there in a hurry, but was still high and wide on several throws.

In fact, the South QB trio of Tebow, Brown and Robinson appears to be light-years ahead of their North team counterparts. Cincinnati’s Tony Pike has the most legitimate NFL arm among the North quarterbacks as the ball comes out of his hand with significantly less effort than the others. However, at nearly 6-6 he’s a reed-thin 212 pounds and needs to add considerably more weight to alleviate concerns teams have that he won’t be able to take the pounding in the pocket. Meanwhile, Dan Lefevour’s college production exceeded all expectations at Central Michigan, but with small hands and only average arm strength he has little hope of success in the NFL beyond a back-up role. In particular, Lefevor really has to muscle up on most throws to get any zip on the ball, although he may be better on game day as he will have a chance to showcase his legs and take the focus off his arm. At the same time, Oregon State QB Sean Canfield is facing an uphill battle as teams often prefer to avoid lefty signal callers unless they have an exceptional arm. Canfield can muster up more velocity than Lefevour and make more of the throws asked of him, but it likely may be not enough to garner consideration early on in this April’s draft.

While the South may have the edge at QB, arguably the most impressive players on either squad today were a pair of North DEs in Brandon Graham of Michigan and Arkansas State’s Alex Carrington. Graham, in particular, dominated one-on-one pass rush drills as he exploded off the snap, got great leverage as he kept his pads low, used his hands effectively to disengage and showed some nice spin moves. Graham who isn’t all that tall or bulky, though still needs to prove he can hold up against the run, but his pass-rush credentials certainly have gotten a boost this week. Meanwhile, the rangy Carrington has been something of a revelation. Not considered to be all that fast, Carrington has shown a better than advertised first step and has used his long arms to knock surprised OTs off balance. Best guy on the field was Michigan DE Brandon Graham who was unblockable in one-on-one pass rush drills. Same story for emerging Arkansas State DE Alex Carrington who showed a nice combination of strength and agility. Cal combo DE/DT Tyson Alualu also was tough to block all day. Alualu lacks natural explosion, but is a high-energy guy who is built low to the ground, gets good leverage and keeps his feet moving. Auburn tweener DE Antonio Coleman also got some real pressure on occasion, but lacks the strength to make much headway if he doesn’t beat his man off the snap.

The most interesting experiment of the week to date has seen Idaho OG Mike Iupati, who dominated inside, get some reps at LT. Iupati, though, struggled a little in moving laterally on the outside. Meanwhile, it was back to reality for UMass G/T Vlad Ducasse, one of the stars of yesterday’s North practice as he really struggled to stay with quicker D1A athletes. In fact, it was a tough day all-around for the offensive linemen, who to be fair are at a disadvantage in those one-on-one pass drills. Other offensive linemen who appeared to struggle today included Utah G/T Zane Beadles, Tennessee OT Chris Scott and Notre Dame C Eric Olsen. At the same time, though, LSU OT Ciron Black, C/G Jeff Byers of USC, Ole Miss G/T John Jerry and Arizona State OG Shawn Lauvao were solid enough. Black, for example, showed better than expected lateral movement and change of direction skills, although he still looks awfully squat for a LT prospect.

Meanwhile, while Tebow was the big story at the South practice, the best little story of the day just may have been Ole Miss RB/WR Dexter McCluster. Despite being barely 165 pounds, McCluster played mostly RB at Ole Miss, but has been working primarily at WR in Mobile. And while new to the position, McCluster showed real quickness out of his breaks and the speed to outrun DBs while also making several tough catches, although he also dropped a couple of easy ones. Former Ole Miss teammate Shay Hodge was also very crisp in and out of his cuts and showed smooth hands, while Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard, who struggled at times on Monday was much improved today as he showed a nice burst coming out of his breaks. Florida WR Riley Cooper, though, may want to rethink his decision this week to give up baseball and concentrate on football as he dropped as many passes as he caught. Fortunately for Cooper, who did make one remarkable one-handed grab, they don‘t flash a big ‘E‘ on the scoreboard for every muff. Meanwhile, hands weren‘t the problem for receivers Dorin Dickerson of Pitt, Danario Alexander of Missouri, and Andre Roberts of the Citadel none of whom got much in the way of separation, although the former two were able to outmuscle smaller DBs to make grabs across the middle.

Oregon TE Ed Dickson has a second solid day as he was consistently able to run away from opposing cover LBs and safeties; he also caught just about everything that came his way. Meanwhile, TE Jimmy Graham of Miami looked very smooth catching the ball on the move despite the fact he is a solid 260-pounder. On the other hand, TE Mike Hoomanwhathisname of Illinois looked very slow and unathletic; good thing for him he made his rep as a drive-blocker as he is just too thick through the lower body to be quick.

Back on the other side of the ball, Boise State CB Kyle Wilson had another solid day as he showed has smooth hips with the ability to transition from backpedal to sprint without losing speed. Fellow CBs Syd’quan Thompson of Cal and Devin McCourty have created some of their own this week. Thompson lacks exceptional recovery speed, but is very physical and breaks crisply on everything in front of him, while McCourty has shown good quickness and instincts. It was also a pretty good day for South Florida FS Nate Allen who was able to run with just about every wideout he challenged in press coverage.

Didn’t see too much of the LBs or backs today - hopefully we can concentrate on them a little more on Wednesday, but from what little we saw LBs Sean Weathersoon of Missouri, Daryl Washington of TCU, Koa Misi of Utah and unheralded Donald Booker of Washington, along with Wayne State RB Joique Bell, one of the backs to show much in the way of blocking ability, all had pretty good days.

This and that … It probably hasn’t helped his game this week as Florida QB Tim Tebow has reportedly been a tad under the weather this week, although the fact he has stayed and battled may also win points from pro teams … Kentucky FB John Connor, one of the top prospects at the position for the 2010 draft, has replaced LSU RB Charles Scott on the South roster. Scott did participate in the weigh-in, but failed his physical prior to the Senior Bowl because of a shoulder injury. Conner participated in this afternoon's practice wearing #32... Meanwhile, San Jose State DE Justin Cole will replace Wisconsin DE O’Brien Schofield, who suffered a serious knee injury on Monday on the North side. See you tomorrow…


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January 27th, 2010, 2:43 pm
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Quote:
Senior Bowl practice updates
Players make their mark in practices and Scouts Inc. is updating all the latest news
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By Scouts Inc.
ESPN.com
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MOBILE, Ala. -- Scouts Inc. made it to Mobile on the ESPN's DirecTV mobile studio bus after the driver, Charlie, ran through 169 gallons and $416 to get us here in seven-and-a-half hours.

We're here along with NFL scouts and coaches to take in practices, which are generating more buzz than we've seen in a long time. This year's group of seniors is very strong, especially along the defensive line, and QB Tim Tebow is the best thing to happen to the Senior Bowl in a long time.

The players are beginning drills in shorts and shoulder pads and we're getting our first look at what some of the top prospects in the nation can do. The North and South teams are practicing at the same time but our scouts are at both practices and we'll be here throughout with updates on what we're seeing.

• Practices have wrapped up for the day. There is plenty to digest as we begin formulating our scouting reports and we're looking forward to seeing the intensity ratchet up over the next two days as both teams practice in full pads.

• South team -- Tebow and West Virginia QB Jarrett Brown are having similar problems with their footwork. Tebow looks heavy-footed right now and at times is seemingly in slow motion. He is thinking too much and not reacting, and he sailed a pass in the flat.

Brown is having trouble hitting his back foot and transitioning his weight at the top of his drops. He slipped on a five-step drop and later was late on an out route that Oklahoma CB Perrish Cox read well and picked off.

• South team -- USC S Taylor Mays had a highlight-reel hit on Citadel WR Andre Roberts on a seam route and dislodged the ball, but on the very next play Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson overthrew Alabama TE Colin Peek and Mays could have had an easy interception but was looking for the big hit instead and completely missed the ball.

• South team -- Florida State S Myron Rolle looks rusty and the year he took off to study on a Rhodes Scholarship is showing. Rolle is all there mentally, diagnosing and recognizing plays well, but his body needs to catch up with his mind. He is smart and knows where he needs to be but must improve the physical aspect of his game over the course of the week.

• North team -- Missouri OLB Sean Weatherspoon is not closing quickly enough in coverage. He also took a false step during the team run period that led to a big run by Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount.

• South team -- Tebow is continuing to struggle under center. His timing and rhythm are off, even for a quarterback working with new receivers. He also seems to be having problems reading the defense, which combined with his elongated release makes him late on some throws. However, he is not hanging his head and is remaining positive and embracing the leadership role.

• South team -- LSU OT Ciron Black looks heavy-footed in one-on-one drills. Auburn OLB Antonio Coleman gave a hard move to the outside and then knifed back inside and Black did not have the lateral movement to stay with him.

• South team -- Among the defensive linemen, DTs Dan Williams and Terrence Cody are stuffing the run as expected but need to show refinement as pass rushers. Cody's one move is the bull rush while we'd like to see Williams use his hands better to disengage and finish his rush.

• North team -- Ohio WR Taylor Price has been the star of practice so far today. He's a legitimate vertical threat who is catching everything thrown in his direction.

• North team -- Clemson WR Jacoby Ford has speed but marginal hands. He has had one drop already and several bobbles.

• North team -- Cincinnati's Tony Pike has shown the best arm among the North quarterbacks so far but has been a bit erratic, losing the strike zone at times.

• North team -- Wisconsin DE/OLB O'Brien Schofield just limped off the field after going against UMass OL Vladimir Ducasse. We'll have to see if that affects him the remainder of the day and perhaps the rest of the week.

• South team -- Citadel WR Andre Roberts is a polished route-runner with natural hands who can catch the ball away from his frame. He just snagged a high fastball from West Virginia QB Jarrett Brown on a slant route.

• South team -- Tebow is getting off to a rocky start. He's fumbled three snaps, including two in a row, his footwork is choppy and he's taking false steps at times, and he's throwing behind and short-hopping some receivers. He just does not yet look comfortable under center.

• South team -- Former UAB QB Joe Webb is transitioning to receiver and just put a nice double-move on a defensive back. He has had two drops, though, and his position change is up-and-down to this point.

• South team -- West Virginia QB Jarrett Brown has started quickly. The ball is flying out of his hand and he's putting his physical tools on display. He looks the best of the three south quarterbacks at this point.

• North team -- Oregon TE Ed Dickson just dropped a pass, but you have to like his aggressiveness attacking the ball with his hands. He also used a swim move at one point to prevent Ohio State S Kurt Coleman from disrupting his route.

• North team -- Wisconsin TE Garrett Graham is letting the ball get into his frame and trapping it during drills. He needs to snatch the ball out of the air with his hands the way Oregon TE Ed Dickson has done on several reps.

• South team -- The South practice is absolutely packed with Florida fans in Tebow jerseys, and the field is surrounded by media types looking to get a peek at the beginning of Tebow's NFL job interview. This might be more of a circus around practice than we've ever seen here in Mobile.

• North team -- Not surprisingly, Wisconsin DE O'Brien Schofield is the quickest defensive lineman during bag drills. He is vastly undersized and will have to move to outside linebacker, which he showed he could do during Shrine Game practices.

• The weather couldn't be much nicer here in Mobile. The sun is shining and there is not a cloud to be seen. There's a slight breeze but with temps in the high 50s it's a good day for football.



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Tebow struggles while CB Cox shines
Offensive linemen and wide receivers among early Senior Bowl storylines
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By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl
Scouts Inc.

MOBILE, Ala. -- Senior Bowl week kicked off on Monday with the weigh-in and measurements for all players and practices in shorts and shoulder pads. Some players impressed and others disappointed in both areas. Here's a look at those from both teams who had the best and worst days:

South Team: Good Days


UAB WR Joe Webb -- Webb started his career at UAB as a wide receiver before moving to quarterback, and now he is switching back. He dropped a couple of catchable deep balls on Day 1 but impressed us with his ability to create separation. He is a very good athlete and was a surprisingly good route-runner for a player who spent little time as a receiver in college. He snatched anything thrown at him underneath, showed good burst out of his breaks and got upfield quickly after the catch. We're interested to see whether he can carry over the momentum he gained.

Oklahoma State CB Perrish Cox -- We liked Cox's overall man coverage skills. He displayed good footwork and the ability to flip his hips and run, and his instincts allow him to anticipate routes and stick with receivers out of breaks. A clear example came during seven-on-seven drills when Cox read a speed-out route by Citadel WR Andre Roberts, breaking simultaneously with Roberts then showing the closing burst to step in front and catch the ball in stride before getting upfield.

South Team: Bad Days

Florida QB Tim Tebow -- We were anxious to see Tebow work under center and he ended up looking very awkward. He fumbled snaps, took false steps in his drops and had trouble setting his feet at the top of his drops. Tebow was out of rhythm as a result and hurried his throws, which in turn affected his accuracy. He simply couldn't put it all together on Day 1. Tebow is essentially relearning how to do everything and struggled today, though he did remain positive and continued to embrace a leadership role.

LSU OT Ciron Black -- Black appeared heavy-footed and was slow coming out of his stance. He struggled with lateral movement, had trouble with reach blocks when trying to hook the edge and was not fluid in space when trying to get to the second level. His lack of athletic ability was exposed during one-on-one drills when Auburn OLB Antonio Coleman used an outside-in double move and Black was unable to reset his feet and recover in time to prevent Coleman from turning the corner. Black looked top-heavy at the weigh-in and the questions about his overall athleticism have only been magnified.

North Team: Good Days

Utah ROT Zane Beadles -- While we still have concerns about Beadles' ability to handle speed off the edge, he did get off to a good start here in Mobile. Beadles showed good hip explosion and a violent punch during individual drills, and impressive leg drive when he moved Louisiana Tech DT D'Anthony Smith off the ball during the team period. Most impressive, though, was his ability to keep his feet beneath him and stay balanced both as a run blocker and a pass blocker. Beadles is strong at the point of attack in the running game and at the top of his pass sets. He might be forced to move to guard because of a lack of ideal athletic ability, but Beadles looked good here on Day 1.

Ohio WR Taylor Price -- We liked what we saw from the 6-0 1/8, 198-pound Price during the weigh-in, where he displayed a strong, thick build. He carried that momentum over to the practice field, where he stood out as the most explosive and consistent wideout on the North roster. Price is a legitimate vertical threat, and unlike teammate Jacoby Ford, he has good size and hands to go with his speed. Price ran by Ohio State S Kurt Coleman when lined up in the slot and made a nice adjustment along the sideline to catch a ball thrown outside his frame. It's only one day, but Price looked like the complete package today and if he shines against top competition in this forum he could solidify or boost his midround grade.

North Team: Bad Days

Wisconsin TE Garrett Graham -- A tough day for Graham began at the weigh-in, where the 6-3 tight end tipped the scales at a very lean 234 pounds. He is not big enough to hold his own as an inline blocker and will likely have to move to fullback to succeed in the NFL. Graham could be effective in that role as a zone blocker who gets around the edge, but he will never be a good isolation lead blocker and would have to make significant contributions in the passing game. Problem is, Graham trapped a lot of balls against his frame on Day 1 and there are concerns about his hands going forward. He also seems to lack the burst to work the seam as either a tight end or fullback.

Clemson WR Jacoby Ford -- Speed is not the issue for Ford. He is a track star and the fastest wide receiver on either roster. However, he has to gear down so much to get into and out of breaks that he lacks the suddenness to separate from defenders, which is something small speedsters like Ford have to be able to do. Hands were also an issue for him on Day 1. We saw two drops and several bobbles by Ford, and with his speed we want to see him pluck the ball on the run and get up the field. A team will no doubt draft Ford and hope he can make plays from the slot, but there are certainly concerns about his game.

Todd McShay is the director of college football scouting for Scouts Inc. He has been evaluating prospects for the NFL draft since 1998. Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl also contributed to this report.


January 27th, 2010, 11:27 pm
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Tebow said to have strep throat
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ESPN.com news services

MOBILE, Ala. -- Quarterback Tim Tebow showed progress on his second day of Senior Bowl practices, even though he might have been "a little under the weather."

South team coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins says the former Florida star was a little more comfortable and got the ball out of his hand quicker on Tuesday. Sparano said that improvement shows how smart Tebow is and how quickly he processes information.

Senior Bowl spokesman Kevin McDermond said Tebow "might be a little under the weather," but added that he doesn't have strep throat, as had been reported. Tebow hasn't missed any practice time Monday or Tuesday.

However, Tebow's agent, Jimmy Sexton, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Tebow was hospitalized Monday night because of strep throat.

"He's been sick for two days," Sexton said, according to the Post-Dispatch. "He had a 103 temperature."

Tebow's brother, Robby, indicated likewise, according to the Gainesille Sun.

"He was real sick," Robby Tebow told the Sun. "He needed fluids."

During the week of practices, interviews and meetings leading up to Saturday's Senior Bowl, Tebow is trying to show NFL teams that he can be a pro quarterback.


Quote:
Day 2 updates from the Senior Bowl
Scouts Inc. updates the action from Day 2 at the Senior Bowl
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By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl
Scouts Inc.

MOBILE, Ala. -- Practice is getting under way for the North team on Day 2 of Senior Bowl week, and there are plenty of storylines to follow. Now that the players are in full pads, the intensity is ratcheting up and there is more on the line.

The struggles of Florida QB Tim Tebow were the biggest news of Day 1, but there are other players to watch on Day 2. The North team is up first, and we're interested to see how Oregon TE Ed Dickson responds after fighting the ball on the first day and whether the North offensive linemen can carry over the momentum they gained.

South team
• Practice has wrapped on Day 2, and we have a lot to digest. Be sure to check back throughout the week for our full reports on each day's practices, and for full scouting breakdowns and practice reports on six big-name players taking part in the festivities here in Mobile.

• South Carolina OLB Eric Norwood showed in college that he can block punts, and he just got another one here during the special teams period.

• Georgia DT Geno Atkins is showing good quickness today and looks like a solid fit as a 3-technique in the NFL. At one point, Atkins abused Alabama G Mike Johnson with a quick first step and good hand use.

• Florida WR Riley Cooper is having a solid day, making a spectacular one-handed catch over South Florida's Jerome Murphy.

• West Virginia's Selvish Capers has been the best offensive lineman on the South team during Day 2. He is showing good mobility, is getting to the second level well and would be a good fit for a zone-blocking team. Capers stopped Georgia DL Jeff Owens cold twice during drills.

• LSU RB Charles Scott has been relentless as a blocker during nine-on-seven drills. Scott also showed great focus during seven-on-sevens by catching a pass that bounced off the hands of South Carolina OLB Eric Norwood.

• Alabama RB Roy Upchurch made a nice catch on a wheel route and ran with good balance during nine-on-seven drills.

• Drills have not been kind to USC S Taylor Mays, who needs to show this week that he can hold up in coverage. He looks stiff and is having trouble opening his hips out of his backpedal during one-on-ones.

• Ole Miss RB/WR Dexter McCluster has been quick in his routes during one-on-one drills, catching the ball well and making a nice diving grab on a deep ball from Tim Tebow.

• South Carolina OLB Eric Norwood tried to jam Auburn RB Ben Tate early in his route but whiffed and could not recover. Tate tracked the ball well despite looking back into the sun and made the catch down the seam.

•Texas MLB Rod Muckelroy moved well laterally and exploded up into the hole during bag work early but looked stiff during one-on-one coverage drills.

• A pair of defensive backs are looking good early. Both Oklahoma State CB Perrish Cox and South Florida S Nate Allen have been very fluid changing directions so far in drills.

• Depth in his drops and inconsistent accuracy still are problems for Tim Tebow as today's practice gets under way. He also appears to be pushing the ball rather than snapping it out of his hand.

• As the South team gets loose for practice, we're wondering how Florida State S Myron Rolle will respond after his body lagged behind his mind on Day 1. The rust was showing for Rolle, who spent the past year studying at Oxford. And the big buzz here in Mobile is that Tim Tebow has come down with strep throat, although he has said he will continue practicing.

West Virginia QB Jarrett Brown also will be under the microscope after struggling with his drops and footwork on Day 1, and we'll be watching where Ole Miss WR/RB Dexter McCluster lines up as he tries to find a role in the NFL.

Finally, Alabama NT Terrence Cody has to show the endurance to be effective for the entire practice. He looked pretty bad while weighing in at 370 pounds, and there are enough concerns about his weight and discipline that his stock could start taking a big hit.

North team
• Michigan DE Brandon Graham already has emerged as the leader of the North defense. Graham is quick with good upper-body strength and technique. He never stops working, either. His motor is just ridiculous.

• UMass OL Vladimir Ducasse is talented but is being exposed a bit on the first day in pads. His lack of technique and playing experience is showing today.

• Idaho's Mike Iupati is clearly the best offensive lineman on the North roster. He is quick, powerful, balanced and nasty. He struggled when moved to tackle and might fit best at guard in the NFL, but he is good enough to consider late in the first round.

• Cincinnati QB Tony Pike was very efficient during the seven-on-seven period, throwing with good rhythm and making solid decisions. He found Dickson on a post route after looking off Nebraska S Larry Asante in the middle of the field.

• Iowa LB A.J. Edds did a good job of jamming and rerouting Wisconsin TE Garrett Graham during seven-on-sevens but stumbled when forced to turn and run, so we're a little concerned about his man cover skills.

• Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard is having a strong overall day. He's running good routes and making a lot of plays during seven-on-seven drills after showing off his quick hands and feet early in practice.

• Missouri OLB Sean Weatherspoon and Wayne State (Mich.) RB Joique Bell battled during pass-rush drills. Weatherspoon dominated with power early but Bell did not back down, a good sign for the small-school prospect.

• Pass-rush drills were a good showcase for Virginia FB Rashawn Jackson, who played with an edge, anchored well and reset his feet well.

• Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard is showing quick feet and hands early in practice, doing a nice job getting off press coverage at the line. He beat California CB Syd'Quan Thompson over the top just now after beating the jam.

• Illinois TE Mike Hoomanawanui is not an explosive player but was crisp during cone work and is showing good leg drive during blocking drills. He impressed us Monday and is on a roll again today.

• Virginia CB Chris Cook is a rangy player with good size, and he is doing a nice job tracking the deep ball in drills.

• Missouri WR Danario Alexander looks stiff early on, struggling to get a clean release against press coverage in opening drills. He was very productive in college but will have to get off the jam better to succeed in the NFL.

• The weather is once again beautiful here in Mobile, and the players have an extra hop in their step now that the pads are on and the contact is coming. There is more energy and urgency on the field, and it looks like we're in for a good day.



Quote:
Cooper, McCluster impress on Day 2
Struggles continue for Tebow, while USC TE McCoy also had issues on Day 2
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By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl
Scouts Inc.

MOBILE, Ala. -- Day 2 of Senior Bowl week saw the action pick up with the players in full pads and the intensity level rising.

Here's a look at those players from both squads who stood out in a good way and those who had disappointing showings:


South Team: Good Days

Florida WR Riley Cooper -- We've been impressed with Cooper over the first two days of practice. He is not the fastest receiver here, but he showed good tempo in his routes, was sudden in and out of his breaks and used his hands well to keep defenders off his frame. Cooper also did a good job gaining initial leverage before separating from man coverage, and he displayed good body control when opening up and snatching balls outside his frame. Cooper made maybe the play of the day when he made a nice one-handed catch over his shoulder with South Florida DB Jerome Murphy all over him.

Ole Miss RB/WR Dexter McCluster -- When you are 5-foot-8 and 165 pounds, you better be explosive, and McCluster is surely that. He is never going to be a powerful short-yardage back, but he ran downhill and was fearless between the tackles. McCluster is at his best, though, attacking the perimeter and making plays in space. He showed the quickness to separate from anyone underneath and ran by Alabama CB Javier Arenas at one point today. McCluster also caught the ball well and fielded punts cleanly, which is important because he needs to show scouts even more versatility than we've seen already.

West Virginia OL Selvish Capers -- Capers was the best offensive lineman on the South team on Day 2, showing good mobility when getting to the second linebacker as a run blocker. He also played with balance and showed good lateral mobility with his feet. During 1-on-1 drills, Capers anchored well and held his ground, at one point just erasing East Carolina DE C.J. Wilson on consecutive plays. He is not overly explosive and will have trouble at times with bigger bull rushers, and Capers needs to get stronger in the lower body, but he will be a good fit for a zone blocking scheme in which the emphasis is on getting into space and taking sound angles to defenders because he plays under control and has good feet.


South Team: Bad Days

USC TE Anthony McCoy -- McCoy dropped far too many passes on Day 2, starting in individual drills and continuing throughout practice. He made a spectacular, fully extended catch down the seam, but that was his only highlight of the day and McCoy otherwise fought the ball. He did a good job releasing off the line against Miami LB Darryl Sharpton at one point, but stumbled out of a break earlier and was run over when trying to block Sharpton during 9-on-7s. McCoy gave up too much penetration as a run blocker. The bar is set high for McCoy based on what we saw on film during the season, but he is not stepping up here in Mobile.

Kentucky CB Trevard Lindley -- The thing that stuck out most about Lindley on Day 2 was the stiffness in his hips. He struggled to transition out of his breaks and was high in his backpedal. He took too many false steps and rounded breaks instead of taking sound angles, and we saw during the team period that when Lindley is caught in a trail position he does not have the extra gear to recover. His lack of overall athleticism and top-end speed could drop Lindley into the later rounds.

Georgia DT Jeff Owens -- We hear a lot about Georgia's interior tandem of Owens and Geno Atkins, and Owens is considered the stout run stuffer while Atkins is smaller and quicker. However, Owens didn't live up to that reputation on Day 2. He was planted by USC C Jeff Byers on consecutive plays and in a defensive tackle class with so many good players we have a hard time seeing Owens fitting in the first four rounds.


North Team: Good Days

Illinois TE Mike Hoomanawanui -- He is not an elite tight end prospect and he lacks explosiveness out of his cuts, but Hoomanawanui is showing the tools to quickly develop into a solid No. 2 tight end at the next level. He is a crisp, physical route-runner who does not get pushed around and catches the ball well in traffic. We'd like to see a more violent punch as a run-blocker but he showed good leg drive on Day 2 and is by far the best inline blocker among the North tight ends. Hoomanawanui also showed some versatility by lining up at fullback and could develop into a good lead blocker. He exploded into and sealed off Iowa OLB A.J. Edds at one point during the team run period.

Idaho OL Mike Iupati -- There is not a weakness in Iupati's game when he's lined up at guard. His quick first step, lateral quickness, and long arms make him a dominant force inside, and he is a nasty finisher who is not satisfied until defenders are on their backs. And while he struggled a bit when moved to left tackle during practice, Iupati is stepping up against the higher level of competition and based on what we've seen we have no problem giving him a late-first-round grade as a guard. In fact, he's the best guard prospect we've seen in the last two drafts.

Virginia CB Chris Cook -- We were impressed with Cook's overall fluidity. He moves better than we expected for a big corner. Cook opens his hips well when forced to turn and run and should be right at home as a press corner in the NFL, much like former Utah and current Miami Dolphins CB Sean Smith. It's rare to find a bigger corner with Cook's ability to move well in space and attack the ball when it's in the air.

North Team: Bad Days

Missouri WR Danario Alexander -- Alexander looked a bit stiff even considering his size, and we have concerns about his lack of separation skills. He looked heavy-footed on Day 2 and was slow getting off the line against press coverage, and he struggled to transition out of his breaks because he has to gear down and drop his weight so much. He also showed inconsistent hands, dropping balls and lacking the body control to make catches outside his frame.

Fresno State RB Lonyae Miller Miller weighs 220 pounds but is trying to run like a scatback. He has to do a better job turning his shoulders upfield and getting downhill. He did a better job as the day went along, stabbing linebackers with a strong punch during pass protection drills, but he didn't anchor as well as we'd like from a back his size. Making matters worse, Miller was chastised by the coaches for lack of effort during punt coverage drills.

The Notre Dame offensive linemen -- Irish G Eric Olsen looked stiff and showed slow feet. He did not play with leverage and was driven back into the quarterback several times. Purdue DT Mike Neal owned Olsen all morning long. As for Notre Dame OT Sam Young, he is tall and has a big frame but is also somewhat stiff and struggled to play low and anchor against bull-rushers. Young also failed to get good push in the running game. Because of his frame Young could be drafted in the fourth or fifth round, and Olsen could come off the board late, but neither has much in the way of developmental qualities.


January 27th, 2010, 11:33 pm
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Quote:
Day 3 updates from the Senior Bowl
Players make the biggest impression during practice and Scouts Inc. is there.
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By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl
Scouts Inc.

MOBILE, Ala. -- Day 3 of Senior Bowl practices has wrapped up but Scouts Inc. was there all day and has all the info on players who impressed and those who struggled.

South team

• Oklahoma CB Perrish Cox just intercepted passes on back-to-back plays, showing great anticipation when breaking and good ball skills to bring the passes in.

• Tulane WR Jeremy Williams did a nice job finding a seam in zone coverage during red zone drills and made a nice adjustment to a ball thrown behind him in 1-on-1 drills, but he did drop two passes during individual drills.

• Alabama NT Terrence Cody is providing nothing in 1-on-1 pass rush drills. His lack of moves is really showing up today. In the same drill South Florida DE George Selvie got Tennessee OL Chris Scott on skates and knocked him to the ground in embarrassing fashion.

• Arkansas OL Mitch Petrus is an undersized prospect and appears to lack the power base to get movement off the line of scrimmage.

• Mississippi WR Shay Hodge takes too long to gear down before making breaks but he is catching the ball well.

• Alabama CB Javier Arenas looked good during 1-on-1 drills, doing a nice job jamming Citadel WR Andre Roberts and Tulane WR Jeremy Williams during press drills.

• Alabama NT Terrence Cody is showing a lack of balance today, getting knocked off his feet by a down-block during double-team drills.

• Florida WR Riley Cooper continues to show strong hands. He snatched the ball out of the air with a nice one-handed catch.

• Sorry for the delay, folks. Practice is getting off to a late start and the players are still warming up, but Alabama RB Roy Upchurch is having trouble tracking the ball.

• We're looking for a big bounce-back day from USC TE Anthony McCoy, who we thought would be the best tight end here but has struggled to this point. And we want to know which Patrick Robinson will show up today. Other cornerbacks are on the rise and he has to step up his game.

North team

• Oklahoma RB Chris Brown is in pads and is stretching with the team every day but he tweaked his hamstring on Monday and is not taking part in any drills.

• Penn State DT Jared Odrick is showing quickness and power in the team period and disrupting the offense.

• We liked Oregon TE Ed Dickson's hands coming in but he's taking it to another level today and catching everything thrown at him.

• Oregon RB LeGarrette Blount is catching the ball well but he still looks stiff in the passing game. He has to prove he can contribute in that area to boost his stock.

• Fresno State RB Lonyae Miller has good speed for his size but he is not a good pass blocker and he is showing little discipline as a runner.

• Maryland DB Terrell Skinner is anticipating routes, closing on the ball well and is not afraid to lay a hit on the receiver.

• Clemson WR Jacoby Ford is finding seams in zone coverage and he beat Boise State CB Kyle Wilson over the top in 1-on-1s. Ford's big-play ability is finally showing up but he dropped another pass and hands continue to be an issue.

• The struggles continue for Utah OT Zane Beadles. He was late getting off the ball on one play during a twist drill and was knocked to the ground by California DL Tyson Alualu on the next play.

• Arkansas State DL Alex Carrington showed his explosiveness when running a twist, absolutely train-wrecking fellow DL Tyson Alualu to the ground. Impressive for a 280-pounder.

• On a side note, the weather could not be nicer here in Mobile. There is not a cloud to be seen, temps are slowly rising and there is only a light breeze. Perfect day for football.

• Penn State DT Jared Odrick looks better than he did early in the week. He looked quick during bag work and is showing a quick first step and getting penetration in 1-on-1 drills.

• Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard got off the line better than any other wideout duping 1-on-1 drills against press coverage. He beat both Ohio State S Kurt Coleman and Virginia CB Chris Cook cleanly.

• Wayne State (MI) RB Joique Bell is catching the ball naturally. He is quick with a good center of gravity.

• A tough week continues for Missouri WR Danario Alexander, who looked stiff getting in and out of the bags during individual work and also dropped one pass and body-caught another.

• We're looking for a little more consistency from Cincinnati WR Mardy Gilyard today. He has shown good quickness during the week but he dropped too many balls on Day 2 and has to clean that up.

• The players are loosening up and things are about to get busy here in Mobile. The second day in pads is always the most intense so we're looking forward to lots of action today.



Quote:
CB Cox flashes instincts on Day 3
Day 3 a good one for skill players but some linemen and linebackers struggle
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By Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl
Scouts Inc.

MOBILE, Ala. -- Practice has wrapped up on Day 3 of Senior Bowl week and several players stood out. Here's a look at who had the best days and those who struggled, and the things we heard and saw that could affect the draft stock of several prospects.


South Team: Good Days

Oklahoma State CB Perrish Cox -- Cox did a nice job staying low in his backpedal and opening his hips during individual work. That allowed him to make interceptions on back-to-back plays during the team period. On the first play Cox stuck in UAB WR Joe Webb's back pocket, anticipating the route and making a nice catch in traffic. On the second he got good depth in his drop and read the eyes of college teammate Zac Robinson before closing on the ball quickly and snatching it out of the air. Cox looked smooth in and out of his cuts all day, showing fluidity and exploding out of his pedal when breaking on the ball.

Troy DE Brandon Lang -- Lang has put on weight since the beginning of the college season and that added bulk showed up on Day 3. He was stout on the edge against the run, showing excellent upper-body strength, using a strong punch to jar blockers and using his hands well to disengage. Lang shows good power and explosion as a pass-rusher, and while he's a bit undersized to play with his hand in the dirt, he has the strength to hold his own out there. He has a good mix of power and quickness to use outside-in moves, and overall has helped himself this week.

Miami LB Darryl Sharpton -- We were disappointed when Sharpton measured just 5-foot-11¾ and 229 pounds, but he has been one of the more complete linebackers in Mobile this week, and Day 3 was a good indication of how versatile he can be. He's not great when filling gaps and taking on lead blockers but Sharpton has done a nice job this week of slipping blocks and not taking himself out of position when doing so, and today he sifted through traffic well on his way to the ball. On Day 3 he was typically the first linebacker to read play-action and because of those instincts he plays a step quicker than his straight-line speed would indicate.

And after watching the pass rush we think he has a chance to be a sneaky-good pass-rusher thanks to his quick first step and quick hands. Sharpton did a good job with power-to-speed moves today, making things happen by jolting blockers and then swimming or ripping by them. We thought coming in that Sharpton was a midround guy who might level off as a versatile backup but based on what we've seen this week there might be more to him.


South Team: Bad Days

South Carolina LB Eric Norwood -- A hybrid DE/OLB in college, the 6-0⅛, 246-pound Norwood will have to play outside linebacker whether he lands in a 3-4 or 4-3 system. He showed decent instincts in coverage and was physical with receivers, but he got exposed a bit when he got into space. We saw Norwood try to get physical with a running back in coverage and when the back was able to swim by and get a step on him Norwood did not have the recovery speed to catch up. He moved to the strong side in practice today and while he is adequate against the run he could have problems matching up and anchoring against tight ends in the running game. Norwood is at his best when turned loose as a pass-rusher and can contribute in that role, but in the end he looks like a situational guy who will have trouble becoming an every-down starter.

UAB WR Joe Webb -- Webb had two drops on Day 3, failing to track a deep ball thrown over his shoulder and letting a pass bounce off his hands on a slant route during red zone drills. He is not consistently showing the ability to snatch the ball with his hands, and Webb also had a hard time gaining separation despite his good size. On the interception by Cox, for example, he did not do a good job sinking his hips and exploding out of his break, allowing time for Cox to read and jump the route.

Alabama DT Terrence Cody -- We understand Cody's potential to be a space-eater inside, but his sloppy build and lack of consistent effort are hard to ignore. Cody had a hard time splitting double-teams on Day 3 and was knocked off-balance several times by the down blocker, which raises question about his overall core strength. And while his role will obviously be as an interior run-stuffer Cody offers nothing as a pass-rusher. He can be an effective bull rusher at times but he doesn't stay low enough to generate a lot of push so offensive linemen are able to sink and anchor against him, and when that happens he has no countermove. At this point we would have a hard time using even a second-round pick on a guy who is going to give you limited snaps over the course of a game because of his weight and one-dimensional game.


North Team: Good Days

Nebraska S Larry Asante -- Asante is showing above-average range on the back end of coverage and the ability to match up in underneath coverage. He stayed with Wisconsin TE Garrett Graham well during team period, and showed a bit of a mean streak later in the team period when he laid Graham out on a play down the seam. Asante doesn't have elite man coverage skills but did an adequate job of staying low in his backpedal and closing quickly when the ball was caught in front of him. He appears to have the ability to limit production after the catch, and while it's hard to judge his tackling ability in this controlled environment, our film study and what we've seen here indicate that he has the instincts and discipline to get into position and be effective in run support.

Oregon TE Ed Dickson -- He fought the ball early in the week, but Dickson caught everything thrown at him on Day 3. He looked comfortable running routes, and his athleticism showed when he was able to separate from Nebraska LB Phillip Dillard and make a nice catch over his shoulder down the field. Dickson also made two catches in traffic and didn't appear to flinch. He is undersized, though, and will have to add some bulk to his lean frame if he hopes to be more than a sub-package H-back in the NFL. Dickson played to his potential on Day 3, though, and showed that he is by far the best athlete among the North tight ends.

Penn State DT Jared Odrick -- What stood out most for Odrick was his quick first step off the ball and his power and motor. He was stout against the run today, and his quickness allowed him to get into the backfield all day, and he never quit moving. He is still learning to use his hands and needs to keep them inside a bit more, but he is shooting gaps, finding the ball, and reacting well and disrupting the offense.


North Team: Bad Days

Missouri WR Danario Alexander -- Alexander has good size (6-4, 221 pounds) and threw his weight around at times, but he also had a hard time sinking his hips and getting in and out of cuts. He is not nearly as fluid as fellow North receivers Jacoby Ford and Mardy Gilyard, and we also have concerns about his hands. Alexander beat California CB Syd'Quan Thompson down the field during one-on-one drills and elevated to go after the jump ball, but the pass bounced off his hands. Alexander has to make that play and make more plays in traffic. He did flash the ability to shield the ball from defenders but his overall receiving skills need work.

Arizona State G Shawn Lauvao -- It was an underwhelming day for Lauvao, who was slow out of his stance and lacks core strength at the point of attack. He catches defenders and needs to be more aggressive because he lacks the upper-body strength to be effective. Arkansas State DL Alex Carrington absolutely ran Lauvao over on a twist during drills. Lauvao looks like a late-round pick at this point.

TCU LB Daryl Washington -- Washington's lack of size was exposed on Day 3. He has good athleticism and instincts and is generally in good position in coverage and against the run, but the lack of size is an issue. We saw a running back dictate his route on an angle route, and he was knocked back by a tight end when trying to press him on the line. Washington also got lost in traffic at times and dropped a sure interception, and based on what we saw today, he needs to get on a team that runs a Tampa 2 defense that emphasizes speed and quickness over size and strength.


January 27th, 2010, 11:46 pm
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slybri19 wrote:
And the Andre Smith Tub of Lard Award goes to Terrence Cody, but I think everyone knew that already. I just hope he decides to run the 40 with his shirt on.


He should have stayed home this week. He has been getting OWNED in practice. Draft Stock ticker: It's a bear market for Cody. His stock took a tumble.


January 28th, 2010, 2:32 am
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RIP Killer
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This is what I hate about not being able to see all of these practices myself. You read what Scouts, Inc. says, and the very players they are talking up are being panned by other sites, and vice versa.

For instance: It seems like Todd McShay is very big on Perrish Cox, talking about how smooth and fluid his hips are, how he stays low in his backpedal. But if you read the assessment of him by Scott Wright, he looks stiff and comes out of his backpedal too quickly.

About the only thing these different sites agree on is:

Mike Iupati is easily the best OL on either squad.
Jacoby Ford is scary fast, but needs to work on his hands.
Terrence Cody needs to stay away from the dessert table.


January 28th, 2010, 9:44 am
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M2K, I noticed that too and it made me laugh. Just goes to show you that scouting isn't an exact science and people can have different opinions on certain players. Here's another one:
CBS Sports wrote:
Senior Bowl: TCU's Washington, Ohio's Price impress on Day 3
Jan. 27, 2010
By Chad Reuter
NFLDraftScout.com

MOBILE, Ala. -- TCU linebacker Daryl Washington and Ohio wide receiver Taylor Price stole the show during the North's practice at the Senior Bowl on Wednesday, the most important of the week before things throttle down leading up to Saturday's game.

Washington, the No. 3 rated inside linebacker by NFLDraftScout.com, only started two games as a junior, but his play in the Horned Frogs win over Boise State in the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl portended his success after taking over for Jason Phillips that season (109 tackles, 11 for loss three interceptions).

And Washington is clearly the most athletic linebacker on either team at the Senior Bowl. He was fluid in coverage, attacked throws to the flat and dropped his hips and exploded into his target in Wednesday's drills. He even looked comfortable running with and receiving the ball when asked to take on the role of an offensive player in one-on-one drills within the linebacker group.

The problem with judging linebackers in practice is they don't have to tackle anyone. Washington's safety-like 6-2, 226-pound build will scare off some teams, even though he likely will play outside at the next level. But his production, length and speed on the edge should allow him to secure ballcarriers in space during Saturday's game and be selected in the top 75 overall picks.

Price, on the other hand, will be tough for the South defensive backs to wrangle down. He's so fast and elusive that several NFL teams surrounded him after practice to speak to him. With Cincinnati star Mardy Gilyard struggling to consistently catch the ball, Price has stepped forward as the best receiver on the North squad -- and maybe on both teams.

At 6-0, 198 pounds and expected to run in the low-to-mid 4.3's in his 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, Price has the size and speed teams want. That speed was on display Wednesday morning, as he separated from corners on go routes, showing a burst severely lacking from most of this year's senior receivers. He ran crisp routes inside and outside with good suddenness, brought in high throws and displayed excellent body control on the sidelines, only dropping one with Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty draped all over him in the middle.

If teams don't have Price ranked as a second-round value, like former Mid-American Conference star and current Green Bay Packer Pro Bowler Greg Jennings (Western Michigan), then he won't last very long in the third round. He entered the week as NFLDraftScout.com's 20th-ranked wide receiver in the draft, but is likely to vault up draft boards.

Although the North quarterbacks may all be selected in the top half of the draft, they have failed to impress this week. Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour was the best of the bunch, but he, Cincinnati's Tony Pike and Oregon's Sean Canfield had trouble throwing a tight spiral on their receivers' numbers when throwing past 10 to 15 yards.

LeFevour couldn't make quality throws on the run, which scouts thought was his specialty. Pike made Virginia corner Chris Cook look like an all-star by throwing a very poor intermediate out-route which Cook stepped in front of for an interception. Canfield struggled to get the ball outside the hashes in a timely manner all week.

Pitt's Dorin Dickerson had a bounceback day, catching almost every ball thrown his way, even though most weren't delivered with accuracy. He had a nice grab extending on a wide throw on an out-route to the left sideline, and even beat diminutive Cal cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson deep on a go pattern.

Thompson again came up short -- literally and figuratively -- against Missouri receiver Danario Alexander, who simply pushed him aside a few yards downfield after eating up Thompson's cushion. Thompson is clearly a zone corner, albeit a potentially very good one with strong run-support skills, who lacks recovery speed and needs help over the top to succeed in the NFL.

Clemson receiver Jacoby Ford looked outstanding early in the week, but over time, it has been obvious his short arms and small hands prevent him from consistently keeping the ball away from his chest. His quickness is still tough for corners to deal with and nearly impossible for linebackers to check when in zone coverage, and he proved it by finding holes inside on multiple occasions.

Youngstown State wide receiver Donald Jones really had trouble getting his 210 pound-frame moving, even making some scouts say "he can't run." He can shield defenders with that body and was a willing blocker, but had trouble coming out of breaks and lost his balance while trying to catch the ball and stay in bounds on a post-corner route.

Another impressive player was Oregon tight end Ed Dickson. He had a nice shimmy to get off linebacker coverage on the line, planted his foot and drove out of his routes and fought the ball less over the past couple of days than he did on Monday.

Two running backs, Fresno State's Lonyae Miller and Wayne State's Joique Bell, are mid-round picks to watch for in April. Miller's ability to cut and burst through holes would be perfect for a zone-blocking offense and it appears he can contribute as a receiver out of the backfield. Bell hasn't necessarily wowed scouts with great elusiveness or speed, but his hands as a receiver have been solid, he has given great effort in pass protection (though inexperienced and needing technique work) and the thick-framed runner always gets his pads low for contact, which makes him tough to bring down.

This year's class of specialists is not very strong, and Michigan's Zoltan Mesko has been rated as the top punter on the board most of the year. However, his punts have lacked height and spirals, rarely turning over to gain maximum hang time and distance. He'll need a strong game performance to regain the confidence of scouts.


South practice
Focusing on the line play Wednesday, it became very clear that NFL interior offensive linemen won't be looking forward to the arrival of massive SEC tackles Terrence Cody (Alabama) and Dan Williams (Tennessee).

Everyone knows about Cody's nickname, "Mount," because the 370-pound behemoth gave SEC offensive lines fits over the past two seasons after being a junior college All-American. However, he relies fully on his brute strength to win battles inside while his pass rush ability and lateral movement are limited.

That pure power he uses overwhelmed centers Jeff Byers of Southern Cal and Ted Larsen of N.C. State nearly every time during one-on-one drills. Those guys will have help on Sundays, however, and veteran centers are much stronger. In fact, LSU's Ciron Black moved inside to guard -- also lining up at right tackle -- and fared very well against Cody in drills and team play.

These practices didn't show Cody's lack of stamina once in the action for a few consecutive plays. Still, the quick burst he shows and his ability to eat blocks and create piles inside will remind scouts of longtime space-eater Ted Washington, possibly garnering him the type of late first-round slot (especially by a 3-4 team looking for a nose tackle) Washington earned coming out of Louisville almost two decades ago.

Williams' game is a bit different but still impressive. At 6-2, 329 with 33-inch arms, he has the low center of gravity and long arms to be a very effective nose tackle. Once again Byers came up short against Williams, as the former Volunteer threw Byers down like a rag doll during one-on-one drills.

He isn't as dominant with brute strength as Cody, as Baylor center J.D. Walton and Alabama guard Mike Johnson stood their grounds much better against the stout defensive tackle. Still, his combination of power and hustle to the outside, which Mount Cody cannot duplicate over the course of a game, gives him a chance to be a mid first-round pick.

Oklahoma State cornerback Perrish Cox made two interceptions Wednesday, one beating a receiver to the spot on a slant and the other coming over from his man to nab a floating pass from Cowboys teammate Zac Robinson. He was beat by a Joe Webb double-move earlier in practice, but recovered nicely to break up the play just outside the end zone. With many cornerbacks failing to impress this week, Cox may have helped himself.

West Virginia offensive tackle Selvish Capers was a late add to the South roster, and hasn't looked deserving of the invite. Whether lining up on the left or right side, he can't move his feet to get to outside rushes and is caught leaning too easily by quicker ends like Antonio Coleman, who easily ran around him inside.

Coleman did have trouble when bulls like Mike Johnson or Tennessee's Chris Scott latched on in drills. The 6-2, 255-pound Coleman didn't get a chance to show his stuff at linebacker, which could have helped his draft stock. South Florida's George Selvie, however, got a rep in linebacker coverage drills and looked fairly fluid and quick, staying with a receiver all the way down the sideline. At 6-4, 247 pounds and often unable to get off blocks from Ole Miss' John Jerry or Scott during team drills, Selvie may be best off as a 3-4 rush linebacker.

Undersized tackle Geno Atkins is capable of excellent explosion from the three-technique spot. He gets off the ball very quickly and uses his arms to swim past slower guards. The problem is he hasn't always given full effort on every play, and frankly was part of a rotation at Georgia that limited his opportunities. A team may get a great value in the mid-rounds if they take a chance on Atkins.

Florida receiver Riley Cooper has been seemingly lacking in effort this week, relying on his athleticism to make plays. Making a couple of one-handed catches on the sidelines was great, but receiver coaches would prefer he run crisp routes or hustle to get into position to get it with two. He stuck out one hand to get a wide pass early on, failed to extend for a pass above his head later on and even gave up on a post-corner route when Tim Tebow was trying to hit him in a red zone drill. With guys like The Citadel's Andre Roberts working hard on every play, Cooper's lackadaisical play stands out.

East Carolina punter Matt Dodge's worst punts were as good as Mesko's best efforts Wednesday. He consistently reached 4.3-4.5 seconds on 45-50-yard boots, turning the ball over about every three out or four kicks, as the other players stretched before practice really got going. However, Dodge took 1.6-1.7 seconds to unleash the kick -- even with a legitimate two-step drop -- which is well above the acceptable 1.25-1.35-second range. When pressure comes on Saturday, Dodge will have to prove he still can drive the ball that way.


On a different note, I've stopped going to Walterfootball.com for the time being because I got two viruses from that site this week. Luckily, my anti-virus software found them before any damage was done though. Has anyone else had that problem?

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January 28th, 2010, 12:38 pm
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Detroit Free Press wrote:
Wayne State's Joique Bell stands out among All-Stars at Senior Bowl
BY NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER

MOBILE, Ala. -- At first, you noticed him for his helmet. It wasn't the famous winged one from Michigan, the bright orange one from Florida or any of the others you see so often on television. It was different -- dark green with a gold W.

"Hey, Wayne State!" That's how one coach barked orders to running back Joique Bell during the first practice for the Senior Bowl.

But as the week went on, you noticed him more for his talent. One coach went as far as to say Bell stood out more than any other offensive skill player.

And in the game Saturday, Bell wants to do more than show a kid from a particular Division II school in Detroit can play with the big boys and deserves a shot in the NFL.

"People here think I'm just here representing Wayne State, but I'm not just representing Wayne State," Bell said. When Bell won the Harlon Hill Trophy in December as the Division II player of the year, he spoke to former NFL star Shannon Sharpe, who played at Savannah State. "He said when he came out, he was representing the whole Division II," Bell said. "He said, well, if he's not good enough to play at this level, then who is? So I feel that if I'm not able to pass at this level, then who is? "I'm doing this to open up a gateway for other D-II players to come in ... and give them a shot to come out here and compete against the best. I'm going to take full advantage of this opportunity. Hopefully, I can turn a couple heads."

Bell impressive in practice; scouts eager to see him in game
The comment came unsolicited. It was Baltimore running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery who brought up Bell to a Detroit reporter, not the other way around.

"He's the guy that has been the true standout," Montgomery said on the third day of practice for the Senior Bowl. "I think as far as offensive skill guys, he has been the most impressive guy."

That is one man's opinion, of course. Others were far more tempered in their comments about Bell, even if he did put up staggering numbers and win the Harlon Hill Trophy as the Division II player of the year. Scouts have a lot of questions: Does he have enough burst? How will he fare against top-flight competition?

And Saturday's game will be more important than the practices for Bell as he tries to raise his stock for the NFL draft in April. Scouts need to see running backs when the action is live. Can he make people miss at full speed? Can he break tackles?

But Montgomery knows what a good NFL running back looks like. He coached Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson in St. Louis, and he coaches Ray Rice and Willis McGahee in Baltimore.

"You see if a guy can make a guy miss when he's in the hole," said Montgomery, who was the Lions' running backs coach in 2006-07. "What I saw yesterday, glaringly, four times when he had the ball, he was able to front up a guy right in the hole and shake him and get out of there."

Montgomery also loved the way Bell finished every drill, sprinting the ball to the end zone.

"When a player works hard and he finishes the way he did yesterday," Montgomery said, "he caught the eye of probably every running back coach here."

Montgomery has two questions about Bell: If he's so good, racking up 6,728 rushing yards, eighth in NCAA history, why did he go to Wayne State? And how well does he learn, taking concepts from the classroom to the field?

Bell said he went to Wayne State for one simple reason: He wanted to play running back, and coach Paul Winters was one of the few who wanted him to. Bell mostly played quarterback at Benton Harbor High because his team needed him there. Schools like Michigan and Michigan State didn't get a good look at him at running back, so they were interested in him only as a safety.

"He came on his recruiting visit, and you could just tell he was a big-time player and all the coaches were excited he was even on a visit," said Mickey Berce, who played quarterback at Wayne State in 2004-08. "Coach Winters did a great job of recruiting him, because he's been putting Wayne State on the map. Without him, it would be rough, to say the least."

Bell said: "Everything happens for a reason, and we'll find out what that reason is in April."

As for his ability to learn, Bell knows the importance of showing that this week, when the coaches cram in a playbook in a few days and evaluate how the players absorb it.

"You've got to be able to comprehend it, hands down," Bell said. "If you don't, you know, that's your shot."

The Lions' coaches are leading the North, and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan noticed Bell the first day. In this environment, a lot of players, especially at skill positions, especially from small schools, might try to freelance so they can make a play and draw attention. But Bell did what he was supposed to do the first time the North ran the ball, gaining 4 yards.

"He's got a no-nonsense kind of approach to the game," Linehan said. "He said, 'I understand this play. I'm going to go get 4 yards.' And I like that. He's consistent. This is not a big stage to him. He fits right in."

What about Bell's burst? He worked with a trainer in the Bay Area for two weeks before the Senior Bowl and will return for three weeks before the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis next month. He said he can run the 40-yard dash in the 4.4-second range consistently and as low as 4.39. He hopes to lower that to 4.32.

"I've got tunnel vision," Bell said. "It won't be a problem for me to stay focused."

How will Bell fare against top-flight competition? That remains to be seen. So far, so good.

"He's on the field with some of the top prospects," Montgomery said, "and right now he's outplaying a lot of the top prospects at his position."

When I started talking about this guy a month ago, I figured that he would be a 7th round pick or UDFA. Now, I think he could go in the 5th round.

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January 29th, 2010, 5:54 pm
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anyone now if the game will be streamed online? I dont get NFL network :cry:


January 30th, 2010, 12:58 pm
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My boy Dan Williams played a really good game. Kris Jenkins and Michael Lombardi were almost giddy about him at halftime. When I first started following Williams, he was looking like a guy who could be drafted in round 2-3. He's now clearly a first-round pick and he might even challenge Suh/McCoy as the top DT. In terms of size, he is a better fit for the Lions than either of those guys, so I could see him leapfrogging Suh or McCoy on certain teams' draft boards. Still a long time until April but I'm curious to see how much Williams' stock could rise.

Brandon Graham will be long gone when the Lions pick at #34 and Kyle Wilson might be gone too. Brandon Ghee is a definite round 2 possibility for the Lions, I think.

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January 30th, 2010, 9:09 pm
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wow. and I thought we were overreacting about Blount.

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January 30th, 2010, 9:26 pm
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I watched the entire game and I didnt get the impression that he earned himself maybe more than 10-15 spot increase, from #30-40 to #15-25 depending on teams needs.

He will be the 3rd DT off the board, and did not put himself into the top 10 IMO at all.


January 31st, 2010, 12:41 am
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