Archive for January, 2011

SI.com’s Tony Pauline and DraftInsider.net’s Brent Sobleski discuss their final thoughts after spending the week in Mobile covering the Senior Bowl.

Each player from both squads are discussed as their performances were on display and draft stocks may or may not have been affected.

Tune in and listen to what really happened during college football’s most important all star week when the entirety of  NFL front offices and coaching staffs are on hand to watch each prospect up close and personally.

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Tune in next week.  Same Draft Insider time.  Same Draft Insider channel.

Round One Lock?The scouts, coaches and general managers have long left Mobile.  All that’s left are the players, their families and a few agents waiting to kick the ball off this afternoon.  Yet even with that there was still plenty of buzz remaining after a weeks worth of practice.

- There were an inordinate amount of injuries during the week.  Gabe Carimi/T/Wisconsin, Marcus Gilbert/T/Florida and Rashad Carmichael/CB/Virginia Tech have been ruled out of the game.  As a result several players that only take the field for two quarters are likely to play the entire game.

- Were we harsh in our criticism of Jake Locker during the week?  Depends on who you ask, or better yet the answer is “yes” and “no”. Speaking with people yesterday there is still a feeling amongst scouts Locker could end up in the late part of round one.  They believe the expected rookie salary cap may make him too good to pass up.  Those we spoke with said Locker could be good on a team willing to build an offense geared around him and gets him outside the numbers.  That said there’s a feeling Locker made a mistake coming to the Senior Bowl and lost at least ten-to-twelve slots in the draft based on his performance.  His situation this year is being compared to what we witnessed a year ago with Taylor Mays; they both need a lot of coaching and the Senior Bowl practices put each in a situation which exposed their weaknesses.

- Phil Taylor is one player very glad he came to Mobile.  The thought process yesterday was the Baylor defender has likely locked up a spot for himself in the first round of the draft based on his performance.  This assumes a team is willing to overlook the character concerns.

- Who were the players that hurt themselves by not coming to the Senior Bowl?  Three names loomed large yesterday. Considering how terrific the defensive line from both sides looked all week the resounding belief was Adrian Clayborn of Iowa should have been here.  We reported from Shrine Game practices that an alleged injury kept Troy receiver Jernell Jernigan away from Mobile and it might cost him.  Numerous teams had Jernigan as their top rated senior receiver after the season but that will change after the play of Titus Young and Leonard Hankerson this week.  Finally most everyone thought the absence of Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith could prove costly.  Considering no corner really stood out during the week it would’ve been a great proving ground for Smith to establish himself head and shoulders above the rest of his class and potentially cement himself as a potential to 25 selection.

- One player who really surprised scouts, in both positive and negative ways, was Von Miller of Texas A&M.  The belief was Miller would be the premiere 3-4 outside linebacker in the draft yet that ended when he weighed in a bit smaller than expected and showed marginal strength all week, displaying himself as basically a speed rusher.  That said, Miller also proved to be a terrific athlete who did a good job in coverage.  He may now be the top 4-3 outside linebacker in the draft, with Akeem Ayers of UCLA being the best fit for a 34 defense.  As one insider told us, if Miller runs a 4.7 forty at the combine he goes in the second round.  Should he stop the clock in the low 4.6’s he’s a late first rounder while something in the 4.5’s will push him into the middle of the initial frame.

- Speaking of workouts, scouts expect Cameron Jordan to keep the momentum going at the combine.  He’s expected to run in the high 4.6’s/low 4.7’s at 290-pounds next month in Indianapolis.

- When we asked Rodney Hudson what scouts told him he had to do in order to be a successful pro he answered, “gain weight”.

- There was mention of several underclassmen in Mobile.  Right now the most overrated group seems to be the trio of juniors coming from Illinois.  Scouts were surprised defensive lineman Corey Liuget, linebacker Martez Wilson and running back Mikel Leshoure all entered the draft as each was given a grade of 4th-7th rounds by the advisory committee.

- Though not a surprise entry, Wisconsin’s John Clay is working hard in preparation for the combine.  Sources told us he’s down to 250-pounds after playing the season at 275lbs.

- Finally, with the ever present labor negotiations a constant topic of conversation in Mobile and the potential of a long lock out looming, the consensus is there will be a lot of surprise selections in April’s draft.  Talented but raw prospects that will need time to develop are likely to fall by the wayside in favor of the lesser athletic yet more “NFL ready” players.  Teams feel taking a developmental player in the first few rounds will be a waste of time since they are likely to miss out on rookie mini-camp, OTA’s and a host of other off season training critical for their development.   In essence, depending on the length of the presumed lockout, 2011 could be a washout for a number of incoming rookies.  This sentiment will be interesting to watch and see how it plays out with prospects such as Cam Newton.

Senior Bowl practices are underway!

Draftinsider.net’s Tony Pauline and Brent Sobleski are on-site to break down the play of each individual participant.

See how the South fared throughout the week….UPDATE: FINAL ANALYSIS ADDED…

Player Pos School Ht Wt Arm Hnd
Andy Dalton QB TCU 6020 213 31 ½ 9 ¾
Monday Practice Notes: Started out shaky, but the TCU product improved throughout the day. Dalton showed inconsistency with the RPM’s on his passes. He showed a tight spiral then a wobbly pass came out of his grasp. He showed some signs of throwing too much with his upper body. By the end of the practice, he was starting to get his timing down hitting a couple nice deep completions.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Really not impressive throwing the ball.  Rarely throws tight spirals in either the long or short field.  Cannot drive his deep throws.  Does a nice job commanding the offense but lacks top physical skills for the next level.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Slightly better today but still not sold he’s anything more than a clip board holder at the next level.  Threw a few solid passes downfield but really has to put a lot of effort to get any speed on throws.  Threw a few bad passes into coverage and had in one instance had Hankerson open down the flanks and poorly under threw him.
Analysis: Displayed a decent amount of skill but also showed he needs a lot of work on his game.  Doesn’t have great tools yet enough to work his way onto an NFL roster as a back-up.
Greg McElroy QB Alabama 6016 222 30 ¾ 9 3/8
Monday Practice Notes: McElroy was particularly solid throwing between the numbers and among his underneath routes. He was accurate and placed the ball well in these instances.  Some of his passes outside of said range tended to float and not hit their intended targets.
Tuesday Practice Notes:Similar to Dalton, McElroy does a great job commanding and controlling the offense.  He threw some sensational fakes on the defense in practice and hit wide open receivers as a result.  Like Dalton he lacks the physical skills for the NFL.  On more than one occasion he had receivers wide open down the field yet could not get the ball to them as his deep passes just hung in the air.
Wednesday Practice Notes:Just lacks the arm strength to get the ball through the tight spots.  Showed skill getting outside the pocket and throwing on the move, which was a plus.
Analysis: Some we’ve spoken with think McElroy helped himself more than any quarterback in attendance.  While we won’t go that far we feel he did enough that a west coast offense will give him a long hard look.
Christian Ponder QB Florida State 6021 222 31 ¾ 10 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: Ponder did not spin the ball well, particularly when throwing outside of the hashes. He was not overly impressive, but he was the most consistent throughout the practice placing the ball where his receivers could make a play.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Ponder shows a nice arm and throws a solid deep pass.  On a number of occasions he overthrew the ball when receivers were down the field- possibly on purpose to impress scouts.  Regardless- it was a good outing for a guy that’s been banged up the past two years.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Displays the best arm of all the quarterbacks on the South and have enough arm strength to start at the next level.  Was a bit erratic with his throws; beautifully placed passes on occasion then also had wide outs leaving their feet to grab the ball.
Analysis: The set up for Ponder was perfect and he showed a lot of skill.  Then again the QB’s were not hit or tackled all week so his weakness was also hidden.
Charles Clay FB Tulsa 6031 239 33 ¼ 9 5/8
Monday Practice Notes: Non-descript day as the South struggled to run the ball against a particularly tough and rugged defensive line.
Tuesday Practice Notes:
Wednesday Practice Notes: Lined up at fullback today.  Did a solid job blocking, displaying strength at the point, though he needs to improve his technique.  Not used as past of the offense.
Analysis: Did not distinguish himself and really was not allowed to show his skill.
Preston Dial FB Alabama 6021 238 31 ¾ 10 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: To quote one scout, “He can’t run”. Dial really labored when lining up at tight end during passing drills. He did make one nice reception down the seam using his hands to rope in the pass between the safety and linebacker.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Lined up at tight end.  Solid job catching the ball and was able to get into the secondary on more than one occasion.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Made a nice catch over the middle and gave effort blocking but many are really not sure why other qualified players were passed over for Dial.
Analysis: Used primarily at tight end and honestly did not look like he belonged with much of the other talent.
Anthony Allen RB Georgia Tech 5116 223 30 ¼ 9 7/8
Monday Practice Notes: A downhill runner who struggled because the holes were not there. He did show an aptitude to coach the football as an outlet receiver.
Tuesday Practice Notes: What impressed us about Allen today was his ability to get around tackle to the outside and the corner speed he displayed.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Solid day with a few nice runs.  More of a downhill runner but showed some next level skills.
Analysis: Had some flashes and likely did enough to slip into the late rounds.
Noel Devine RB West Virginia 5070 160 29 ½ 8 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: It was apparent Devine wanted to show off his speed and elusiveness, but he had trouble keeping his footing throughout the day.
Tuesday Practice Notes:Better performance than Monday.  Caught the ball well and showed a great burst in the open field.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Turned in one sensational run, beating defenders through the hole then running to daylight.  Really did not do much as a receiver out of the backfield.
Analysis: Tiny but elusive and extremely creative.
Derrick Locke RB Kentucky 5081 186 29 ¼ 9 3/8
Monday Practice Notes: Locke continually kept bouncing the ball outside. He was squirting through small openings to find some daylight. He also had some troubles with footing when making quick cuts.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Solid day for Locke.  Creates yardage on the inside and can run to daylight if there’s any openings in the field.  Also caught the ball well.  Was quick and fast.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Another good day for Locke.  Runs with terrific speed and had a nice run where he beat everyone around the corner then turned it up the field.  Runs behind his pads and displays a good degree of toughness on the inside yet no strength.  Easily brought down by defenders at the point of attack.
Analysis:A lot to like about his game, especially when you factor in his potential as a return specialist.  Definitely did not blow it up like Dexter McCluster did a year ago but showed his skill.
Bilal Powell RB Louisville 5103 204 30 ½ 9
Monday Practice Notes: This runner needs to cover the ball better when working his way through traffic. He has a tendency to tote the ball in his left arm.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Solid day for Powell who broke his share of long runs.  Displayed a better than expected burst and showed nice speed on the field.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Another solid day for Powell.  Broke a number of runs on the inside and shows a terrific burst into the open field.

Analysis: Looked like a solid straight line runner.  Not as big or strong as we thought but showed a decent amount of next level skill.
Luke Stocker TE Tennessee 6047 255 32 ¾ 9 5/8
Monday Practice Notes: Stocker showed an ability to adjust on the football, but his actual ability to catch the football was inconsistent.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Surprised us with his all around game.  Gave effort blocking and got results.  Also caught the ball well.  Not very fast but showed a complete game.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Really like what we saw from Stocker today.  Not a great playmaker yet a complete tight end that catches the ball well and does an outstanding job as a blocker.
Analysis: Gave us more than we expected. Displayed all the skills necessary to be a second tight end at the next level.
DJ Williams TE Arkansas 6017 236 32 10 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: One of the strongest performances of the day. Williams created separation from his tight end position against safeties and snagged everything thrown his way. His one handed catch in 7-on-7 drills was one of the day’s highlights.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Another really good day for Williams.  Made several nice catches down the field and in crowds.  Also did a solid job blocking.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Good final practice session for Williams.  Catches everything throw in his direction and looks like one of the better athletes on the field.
Analysis: Size is an issue but you can’t help but love this kids skill on the field and character off it.  Will be a later round pick but a creative offensive coordinator will find a way to make him productive.
Edmund Gates WR Abilene Christian 5115 189 31 9/58
Monday Practice Notes: The small school target adjusted on the football very well when called upon, and he was asked to do so multiple times. Gates has a very good performance against the big boys displaying speed and an ability to take the top off a defense (at least against inadequate safeties).
Tuesday Practice Notes: Was on the sidelines with injury today.
Wednesday Practice Notes:  Jock Sanders/WR/West Virginia: Sanders filled in for Gates today.  Had one play where he threw a move on the defender, ran a great route then made a terrific catch down the field.
Analysis:
Leonard Hankerson WR Miami-Fl 6015 205 33 10 5/8
Monday Practice Notes: Hankerson was a handful for whoever drew the duty to cover the Miami product. He was easily able to create separation and beat multiple cornerbacks deep.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Terrific practice for Hankerson.  Runs better than average routes, extends his hands to offer the quarterback a nice target and catches the ball away from his frame.  Consistent hand catcher.  Won out in a number of battles and made a number of nice catches in crowds.
Wednesday Practice: Established himself as the best receiver from the South.  Consistent hand catcher that fights for the ball and comes away with the pass.  Always makes the reception away from his frame.  Nice job coming back to the ball out of breaks.  Flashed speed down the field.
Analysis: Improved his stock and impressed scouts the entire week.  Will battle to be the top senior receiver in the draft but needs a good forty time at the combine.
Ronald Johnson WR USC 5111 186 33 ¾ 9 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: Johnson showed good short area quickness running underneath routes, but struggled against more physical cornerbacks.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Poor day for Johnson.  Slow getting off the line and dropped a lot of passes.  Consistently had passes bouncing off his hands.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Much better day for Johnson.  Ran very good routes, separated from defenders and for the most part, caught everything thrown to him.
Analysis:Progressed through the week yet really did nothing to make anyone think he’s just an average fourth/fifth receiver at the next level.
Jeremy Kerley WR TCU 5092 188 30 ¼ 9 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: His comfort levels with teammate Andy Dalton was apparent early. Kerley did drop a pass early and was bodied off at least one catch, but he also beat defender deep on multiple occasions.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Best receiver on the South squad.  Quickly gets off the line, runs some of the best routes of any receiver in Mobile and always makes the catch.  Not a downfield threat but really established himself as a terrific slot receiver prospect.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Did not stand out as much as yesterday but far and away the best route runner from the South.
Analysis: Looks like he’s going to be a very good slot receiver in the NFL.  Terrific route runner that almost always gets separation then shows terrific hands.
Greg Salas WR Hawaii 6011 206 32 ½ 9 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: Early adjustments were required for the former Warrior. Salas wasn’t keeping his feet. He did get his head around early enough. He even rounded off his routes. But when he was in position to make a catch, he showed very soft hands.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Had his moments and made some nice throws.  Also had a number of easy receptions bounce off his hands.  Must improve his route running; slows into breaks and rounds off routes.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Caught the ball very well.  Fights for the reception.  Needs a lot of work on his routes.
Analysis: Needs a bit of polish but starting to build a buzz about him.  Showed the skills to be a third receiver at the next level in time.
Courtney Smith WR So. Alabama 6040 220 33 3/4 9 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: Like most of his teammates, the tall receiver was able to take the top off the defense. Smith did show some troubles getting off the line, particularly when working against the jam.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Looks the part but only occasionally plays to it.  Made some nice receptions but also dropped an equal amount of catchable throws.  Poor route runner.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Just drops too many catchable throws.
Analysis: Needs a lot of work.  Size is enticing and will get him invited to camp.
Clint Boling OL Georgia 6047 310 33 1/4 9 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: Hard working interior lineman who was coached up to drive forward and then up into his blocks. Boling moved very well laterally showing an ability to cut off the penetrators lined up off shoulder. His hands do need to be moved in tight against the pass rush.
Tuesday Practice Notes: After spending most of yesterday at guard, Boling bumped outside to right tackle. He had his issues. Most were present in his pass protection, where he struggled to show the movement skills against edge rushers. He was more proficient run blocking firing off the ball hard and showing an aptitude to locate assignments in space.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Boling worked well staying within his capabilities and keeping his hands in tight and battled throughout the practice.
Analysis: The Georgia product is clearly a guard and not a tackle. He does provide the versatility if pressed into action, but his performance in Mobile only solidifies what was expected. Inside, Boling was strong at the point and did not suffer from as many technique issues. Outside at tackle, his technique broke down as a lack of athleticism caused the lineman to get beat multiple times.
James Carpenter OL Alabama 6046 313 34 10 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: The collegiate left tackle was moved inside to guard. It was obvious he was merely getting a feel for the position as the day progressed.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Impressive performance after moving back to tackle. Carpenter was clearly more comfortable and continued to wall off pass rushers in drills and in team settings.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Carpenter’s play at tackle generated somewhat of a buzz as he handled his duties blocking off the edge well. He used his long arms and mirrored most defenders with ease.
Analysis: Concerns arose about Carpenter’s ability to play tackle as the season progressed, but his play in Mobile may have been the most consistent at the position among the South roster throughout the week (once he was moved back outside). Carpenter is patient and uses his long arms to ride defenders past the quarterback. He is rarely caught of balance. His play at guard was not impressive, but he was clearly unaccustomed to participating at the position.
Marcus Gilbert OL Florida 6064 329 34 9 7/8
Monday Practice Notes: Gilbert was coached up constantly throughout the practice. He wound up when approaching a target then does not bring his feet upon contact.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Improvement was already seen in one day by Gilbert. He displayed a nice smooth kick step. He showed better patience allowing block to come to him. He was caught jumping early to gain an advantage on the edge, and he crossed his feet at least once in his pass set.
Wednesday Practice Notes: The week’s heaviest blocker was down blocking with power but did not put together a memorable effort.
Analysis: A big physical tackle prospect, Gilbert solidified himself as a right tackle in Mobile. He is not the most agile pass protector, but his length can keep him alive. Gilbert took the coaching he received and improved. He may not be an elite prospect, but he will be a solid selection in the mid rounds.
Rodney Hudson OL Florida State 6022 291 32 ½ 9 3/8
Monday Practice Notes: A fighter that worked hard every snap.  Hudson fires off the ball and finishes blocks. He has very strong hands and worked them well.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Because of Hudson’s limited size, it is expected he is weak against bull rushers. He faired very well today holding the point and really negating up field penetration. Hudson stays compact and technically sound, moving well, and played within himself.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Hudson showed an ability to move in space and locate on the move. After being technically sound most of the day, he was eventually beat after leading with his head in pass rush drills.
Analysis: Whatever may or may not have been accomplished by Hudson throughout the week, the issue remains the same…his weight. How much girth can he add at the next level in an NFL weight room? Coaches love his work ethic, technique, and athleticism. But at 291 pounds (up nearly 10 pounds from his playing weight), his prospects are limited in certain systems.
Jake Kirkpatrick OL TCU 6022 301 31 3/8 10
Monday Practice Notes: The pivot looked good his short areas with precise power steps, but he fired out too high out of his stance.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Kirkpatrick continued to come off the snap high and was eventually reminded by his coach to stay low. He also struggled to move laterally off the snap. Plus he liked to wrestle his assignments while getting his hands too wide.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Better performance as Kirkpatrick continued to battle throughout the practice. He still presented some of the issue described earlier in the week, but they were not as readily apparent today.
Analysis: Kirkpatrick is a limited prospect at the center position but will continue to work hard each snap. His issues continued to surround his pad level and how he could readjust. He is a strong and broad prospect who often relies too much on wanting to bury opponents instead of using proper technique.
DeMarcus Love OL Arkansas 6045 318 35 9 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: Handplay was atrocious for Love. Playing primarily at right tackle, the former Razorback kept his hands wide. As a result he was planted on his behind in pass rush drills by Sam Acho. He also has his struggles playing out and over his feet.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Technique, or lack there of, continues to be a problem. Love was moved inside to guard the tight confines still did not rectify his situation. He led with his helmet while his hands were shot wide. He has issues mirroring defenders. He was able to get to the second level to make blocks.
Wednesday Practice Notes: The dead horse is about to be beaten as Love has continued to keep his hands wide and lead with his head. He did show an ability to be very powerful at the point of attack once established.
Analysis: There is not much more to say on a prospect who clearly displayed a tendency toward inadequate technique, particularly with his hand play. Love loves to win up and come wide with his hands. If it is not coached up, he will be called for numerous holding penalties at the next level. He wrestles opponents instead of using his natural gifts to be a better tackle prospect.
Kristofer O’Dowd OL USC 6042 303 32 ¼ 9 3/4
Monday Practice Notes: The center obtained very good fits throughout the day against his opposition and looked more powerful than expected.
Tuesday Practice Notes: O’Dowd showed a nice lateral step off the snap but had his struggles. He needs to keep his head up and see the target. There was also communication breakdowns between the pivot and his guard on blocking assignments, but that can be expected.
Wednesday Practice Notes: USC’s former pivot kept in tight against his assignments not allowing his hands or feet to get wide. It helps to a degree but O’Dowd tended to get overpowered.
Analysis: The center crop was not very good overall this year in Mobile, but O’Dowd may have been the headliner at the position. At the very least, he was likely the most well-known. It is apparent he is well coached. He tries to play within himself. He is best in tight spaces. But O’Dowd simply isn’t very powerful with a lanky frame in the middle.
Derek Sherrod OL Mississippi State 6055 312 35 ½ 11
Monday Practice Notes: Another tackle prospect who received plenty of coaching throughout the practice. Sherrod slowed upon contact but seemed to rectify the situation in later sessions.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Sherrod moved very well in his pass set, with a clean and precise kick slide. As such, a speed rush was not much of an issue. Although, he was caught oversetting once against Von Miller.
Wednesday Practice Notes: The former Bulldog had his memorable moments battling Miller once again. Miller used a speed rush to blow right past Sherrod, despite a good initial kick step. He buried Miller later in the drill. Keeping his shoulders square is essential.
Analysis: Among a plethora of potential first round caliber tackles, Sherrod was quiet in his performance. He battled and had his up and downs throughout the process. He pass set is smooth, but he can be beat to either side. He was not fantastic against the run. Sherrod showed up to solidify his self as a first rounder, and left without much certainty.
Danny Watkins OL Baylor 6034 312 33 ¾ 10 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: Watkins was moved inside to guard and showed the ability to really bow up against bigger and stronger interior defenders. His feet got wide a few times, but he adjusted well.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Still spending most of his time at guard, particularly the left side, Watkins looked good working in space. He did not display a strong post leg during pass rush drills.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Continued a solid week of work, Watkins goes about his job quietly and played efficiently. His hip explosion through blocks was particularly impressive today.
Analysis: Watkins continues to surprise many as they watch how good he really is. The collegiate left tackle is built to be a guard, and didn’t miss a beat this week. He didn’t wow anyone with size or strength or athleticism, but he is consistent and technically sound. He is the type of lineman who stays in the league ten years starting or becomes a team’s top utility lineman.
Lee Ziemba OL Auburn 6060 317 33 ½ 9 ½
Monday Practice Notes: A better knee-bender than expected and looked comfortable at right tackle. His ability to mirror in pass rush drills was the best of the group.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Getting a look inside at guard, Ziemba was not accustomed to the tight spaces. He overset in pass protection. He wanted to lead with his head, while his hand stayed wide. And he began leaning on defenders.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Ziemba had trouble readjusting and reestablishing, particularly in his pass rush drills.
Analysis: Another prospect that started strongly, then had some problems the rest of the week. One thing is certain, Ziemba looked the part; particularly at right tackle. He may not have the athleticism or lower body flexbility to be a blindside protector, but his size and improved knee bend give him a good shot of becoming a solid strongside tackle in the league.
Sam Acho DL Texas 6016 257 35 5/8 9 7/8
Monday Practice Notes: As mentioned earlier Acho was able to be DeMarcus Love twice, clean, in pass rush drills to impress a large contingent around the drill.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Acho appear very athletic throughout the practice. He was fluid rushing off the edge but never seemed able to finish the play.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Worked out at linebacker and really struggled in coverage. Acho’s strengths were presented when let loose as an edge rusher, against showing his athleticism, flexibility, and ability to readjust from a down position.
Analysis: The Texas ‘tweener is fun to watch because he has a high motor and good athleticism, but much of the bluster results in little.  He is solid as a pass rusher, but his lack of size may require him to move to linebacker in certain systems. And Acho will have to work on his comfort in space as a result. Something he did not necessarily do well with while in Mobile.
Allen Bailey DL Miami 6032 278 34 ½ 10 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: After wowing at weigh-in, Bailey strung together a lackluster practice. He has his struggles getting off blocks and countering. Primarily playing at end, Bailey did move to tackle some during pass rush drills.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Another disappointing day for Bailey. The defensive end was strong at the point of attack, but, again, could not get off blocks once engaged. His ability to counter and clean the hands of offensive linemen has been non-existent.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Lethargic may be the term which best describes Bailey’s start of the day. His results were very similar to previous day’s, but Bailey finally turned it up a notch in the team session. He defeated a few blocks and made some plays against the run.
Analysis: Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane may be an overstatement – but not by much. Bailey impressed every scout at weight-in’s. He won the underwear war. But each day and every snap, Bailey could not get off a block.  To his credit, he played better towards the end, but a solid effort in the game is needed for the potential first rounder.
Jarvis Jenkins DL Clemson 6037 309 33 ¼ 9 5/8
Monday Practice Notes: Jenkins really fired off the football and was a handful for those unfortunate to draw his assignment. He negated some of that explosiveness by struggling to shed blocks.
Tuesday Practice Notes: His explosive first step continues to be apparent. He also puts himself in very good initial positioning with an array of club and swim moves. His issue throughout the day was finishing what he started. He is good off the snap, but his counters and ability to clean the hands of offensive linemen was lacking.
Wednesday Practice Notes: A reoccuring theme has been established. He is quick of the snap, and then struggles to follow-up. He has to work against the pressure and readjust.
Analysis: A big physical prospect with room to grow, Jenkins posted good efforts each day. His greatest asset is his first step and ability to use his hands initially. His downfall came when countering or cleaning off offensive linemen after those initial steps. Jenkins has a lot of upside to play in multiple fronts, but his performance was overlooked a bit this week because of a strong defensive line class.
Pernell McPhee DL Mississippi State 6027 274 34 3/8 9 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: McPhee delivered a good pop off the snap, but did not show a large contingent of moves.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Building off of yesterday’s performance, McPhee began to finish plays. He was still tough against the run, holding the edge, and blew up a couple blockers. His pass rush was much better during this session getting to the quarterback and being a constant presence.
Wednesday Practice Notes: McPhee is  powerful and he continues to work well through pass rush drills.
Analysis: The former Bulldog’s lack of production was an issue as a senior. His first day at the Senior Bowl looked to fall right in line. But then McPhee started to put it together. He was not just the end who could fire off the ball into blockers with a good initial blow. He became a complete defender finding ways to get past the linemen and create a little disruption in the backfield. A major step in the right direction for a once highly regarded prospect.
Chris Neild DL West Virginia 6017 313 32 11
Monday Practice Notes: Neild was a load against the run. He kept square to the line of scrimmage and stayed low. He did need to do a better job working against pressure.
Tuesday Practice Notes: The nose tackle is what he is. And today he was nearly impossible to drive off the football, even an inch. He stays square to the line. He can split double teams. He simply has not been much of a presence in pass rush drills.
Wednesday Practice Notes: There was an instance or two when Neild was moved off the ball. Those came when he battled against downblocks when the offensive linemen had an angle advantage.
Analysis: The best run stuffing defensive lineman throughout the week, bar none. Neild is limited in his abilities, but what he does well; he really does well. A two gap nose in college, Neild was almost impossible to move off the snap during practices. He does not present much up-field presence, but 34 teams will be very intrigued with this legitimate 0 technique. It also helped Neild tremendously to show up at 313 pounds, instead of near 300 (which was his playing weight). Nose tackles are rare, but Neild cna get the job done.
Brooks Reed DL Arizona 6024 257 32 5/8 10 18/8
Monday Practice Notes: A high motor player who delivered one memorable spin move beating Marcus Gilchrist clean.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Reed’s athleticism is apparent, and the South’s coaching staff allowed him to showcase it to a degree.  Reed spent a large bulk of his day pressuring the edge from a two point stance. He was quick off the edge and gave tackles troubles. He did have his issues when asked to line up hat on hat against bigger tackles in running drills.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Used in a variety of linebacker drills, dropping into coverage and held his own. He exploded off the edge and shortened the porch against the offensive tackles. In similar fashion, he improved in drills against double teams compared to yesterday’s effort.
Analysis: Reed looked the part as a potential 34 outside linebacker. He was not big enough to hold his ground (for the most part) as a true end in rush drills. But when asked to rush or play from a two point stance, he was solid. Reed is athletic and has some quick twitch ability off the edge. He should continue to grow into the role he is likely destined in the NFL.
Phil Taylor DL Baylor 6034 337 33 ¾ 10 3/4
Monday Practice Notes: The massive interior defender ate up double-teams and clogged the middle of the line. He also displayed a very nice swim move while rushing the passer.
Tuesday Practice Notes: A bull in the middle of the line, Taylor gets good push and can move offensive linemen off their spot. He did need to recognize pressure more quickly and fight against it.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Taylor started the day by blowing up the first run play of practice. He then was washed down the line the next play. He was hard to handle in the middle, but his hand play is suspect.
Analysis: Taylor has been automatically labeled a true nose tackle simply because he is 337 pounds (and much more throughout his career). He will need to improve his hands and make his hat reads more consistently. The physical ability and the inability of linemen to budge him throughout the week was impressive, but Taylor will require technique work to accompany his staggering natural ability.
Cedric Thornton DL South Arkansas 6035 299 34 ½ 10
Monday Practice Notes: A feisty defender who likes to talk and keep coming when it’s his turn to play. He struggled against top talent, but it was not from a lack of effort.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Thornton was very quick off the snaps giving a couple interior blockers fits. He did get high and had his shoulders turned. He also lost his feet in a few instances.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Thornton continued to fire off the ball and snuck past some offensive linemen based on pure athleticism. He did rise quickly out his stance upon contact and gave his chest up without countering.
Analysis: The defensive tackle from South Arkansas may be from a small school, but he had a big following from his teammates all week. Thornton likes to talk, make it fun, and fire off the football. His teammates continually hoot and hollered when he was doing well. Those times came, but there were also times he was engulfed at the point of attack and simply could not split doubles or make himself skinny. A prospect with some potential as a 3 technique once selected in the mid to late rounds.
Josh Bynes LB Auburn 6013 239 32 ½ 9 1/2
Monday Practice Notes:
Tuesday Practice Notes: Looks a bit stiff and just a two down defender that struggles in coverage.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Made one nice play in coverage but otherwise looks stiff and struggles moving in reverse.  Only effective in the box.
Analysis: Well built but a marginal athlete that looks stiff and has very limited range.
Nate Irving LB North Carolina St 6012 242 33 ¼ 10 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: Irving did not appear strong taking on blocks and then shedding.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Solid athlete that made plays sideline-to-sideline and easily moved about the field.  Very quick in all his actions.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Flows well to the action and explosive up the field but to easily gets caught up in the trash.
Analysis:Irving really does not play like a 242lbs linebacker.  He goes hard but looks swifter and quicker than you would expect someone of his size yet is too easily blocked at the point for someone that big.  Has an upside and could be productive in the right system.
Colin McCarthy LB Miami 6012 235 30 10 3/8
Monday Practice Notes:
Tuesday Practice Notes: Played smart football yet looked marginally athletic.  Adequate job in coverage but not great.  Adequate job in run defense but not great.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Struggled in coverage, which was a surprise.  Looks very average.
Analysis: Disappointing.  Just did not make enough plays.
Von Miller LB Texas A&M 6025 237 34 9 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: Spent most of the day at SSLB, but was not impressive working his way through all the drills.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Not a good day for a guy that’s projected to be a 3-4 OLB.  Was easily controlled by blocks all day and at one point got annihilated by Luke Stocker.  Showed decent skills in coverage when he had to move in reverse. Miller was brought over to the pass rush drills to showcase his talents, which were average at best.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Nice athlete; fluid with a nice degree of explosion.  Gets depth on drops.  Moves well in all directions.  Again struggled in pass rush drills.
Analysis:We came into the week thinking Miller was the best 3-4 OLB in April’s draft.  We left the week thinking he could be the first 4-3 OLB drafted.  Miller has the speed and quickness to be used on the weak or strong side and also showed ability in coverage.  Combine will tell the tale for Miller.
Kelvin Sheppard LB LSU 6021 250 32 9 3/4
Monday Practice Notes:
Tuesday Practice Notes: Big, strong stout linebacker that stacked well against the run.  Better than average skills moving sideline-to-sideline.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Once again looked very strong in the box.  Better than average skills in coverage.  Solid overall game.
Analysis: Looked and played big and strong on the field.  Nice game and a player we feel is underrated at present time.
Chris White LB Mississippi St 6027 244 31 ½ 9 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: A downhill defender best when the action as coming at him.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Used at both middle and on the outside.  Did a solid job in the box against the run.  Struggles moving in reverse.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Only effective downhill in a straight line.  Struggled any time he was required to quickly change direction or redirect to the ball carrier.  Used at both inside and outside.
Analysis: Marginal athlete that showed himself to be a two down defender best playing downhill.
KJ Wright LB Mississippi St 6031 246 34 ½ 9
Monday Practice Notes:
Tuesday Practice Notes: Physically, one of the most impressive looking linebackers on the field.  Fluid and fast in all directions.  Problem is Wright rarely made any plays on the ball today.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Really looks the part but his linebacker skills just did not impress us.
Analysis: Wright looks incredibly impressive in pads and easily moves sideline to sideline.  That said he did not make many plays on the ball which was disappointing.
Ahmad Black DB Florida 5093 183 29 ½ 9 5.8
Monday Practice Notes: His size put him at a natural disadvantage as he was continually overpowered when covering bigger tight ends.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Did a better than expected job in coverage. Effective in one-on-one and did a terrific job helping out cornerbacks.   Sold out versus the run.
Wednesday Practice Notes: What a difference a day makes.  Black looked bad in coverage today; lacked timing, lost out in battles and just seemed lost.
Analysis: Up and down week for Brown.  Showed good ball skills early in the week then struggled on Wednesday. Displayed enough overall ability to get drafted in a safety poor draft.
Curtis Brown DB Texas 5115 180 32 9 3/4
Monday Practice Notes: Brown was inconsistent. He was not afraid to mix it up and did a nice job locating the football. He also got turned around and beat a couple times throughout the day.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Looked terrific in drills.  Quick pedaling in reverse and instantaneously flips his hips, losing nothing in transition.  Did not transfer those skills into the scrimmage but really did not get beat either.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Again- looked great in drills but made no plays in scrimmage.  Often used off the line of scrimmage and gave up a number of underneath catches.
Analysis: Brown was disappointing as senior yet shows the fundamental skills to play at the next level.  He must turn the corner and really take his game to the next level as he has the ability to do.
Zac Etheridge DB Auburn 5114 201 31 9 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: A physical safety that was not able to close separation after the initial jam.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Worked hard and did a nice job going sideline-to-sideline.
Wednesday Practice Notes:
Thursday Practice Notes:
Analysis: Good story but an average player.
Marcus Gilchrist DB Clemson 5097 193 31 5/8 9
Monday Practice Notes: Gilchrist was late coming out of his backpedal and was beat, because he did not turn and run earlier enough.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Much better day.  Lined up at safety and showed good skill in drills as well as cover skills when placed over the slot receiver.  Made a number of good plays on the ball.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Made several nice plays against the pass.  Really shows a great burst to the action out of his plant.  Worked hard.
Analysis: Gilchrist flashed cover skills throughout the week and looked very effective facing the action.  We think this week will put to rest he can play cornerback at the next level as scouts realize his best position is safety.
DeAndre McDaniel DB Clemson 6001 213 32 ½ 10 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: McDaniel displayed a good jam and was very physical but could not close on targets.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Looks the part and explosive but really not quick getting out to the sidelines in coverage.  Struggles getting outside the numbers to make plays.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Forceful up the field but struggles in coverage and just average ball skills.
Analysis: We were a bit surprised by McDaniel.  Much of the ability to make plays outside the numbers we saw on film was missing as McDaniel looked like a limited, straight line safety.
Johnny Patrick DB Louisville 5104 185 30 ¼ 8 3/8
Monday Practice Notes: Patrick looked great early while the play was in front of him. He was breaking on the ball and making plays. Then, he showed he could not transition out of his backpeddle and was continually beat deep.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Solid day for Patrick.  Very quick and explosive with all his ball skills.  Just a very late reactor.
Wednesday Practice Notes:
Analysis: Patrick flashed, then struggled, flashed, then struggled.  May be best in a zone system and proved he has an upside.
DeMarcus Van Dyke DB Miami 6006 168 31 ¾ 9
Monday Practice Notes: The strongest performance from a defensive back from the South was contributed by Van Dykel. He was better than expected as he stuck to his receivers, particularly on deep routes.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Fundamentally Van Dyke is terrific as he offers good fundamentals and quickness.  Some feel he gets a little high in his pedal.  Problem his he’s very slow to react and really shows no instincts.
Wednesday Practice Notes: It was a matter of inches and Van Dyke fell short.  Again, technically he’s very good and displays the ability to stay on the receivers hip out of breaks but he’s always literally a quarter step away from making the play.
Analysis: Van Dyke showed enough to get consideration in the middle rounds, maybe even the late part of the third frame.  Has skills but just needs to put it all together.
Shareece Wright DB USC 5110 182 32 ¼ 9 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: Wright has his moments displaying a good jam and a nice breakup. He can do a better job locating the football.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Wright looks like a physical specimen on the field and for the most part his pedal, turn and ability to run are NFL caliber.  Problem is, like the prior two DB’s, he’s incredibly slow to react and shows little in the way of instincts.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Occasionally makes plays and fought hard but really lacks a sense of timing and gave up a lot of receptions.
Analysis: Great athlete who flashed skill on the field yet someone that needs a lot of work on his game.  Considering 2010 was the first time in two seasons Wright spent extensive time on the field we’d say there’s enough there to draft him late.
Charles Henry P Florida
Monday Practice Notes: Short and wobbly punts were floating in the wind during the special teams session.
Tuesday Practice Notes:
Wednesday Practice Notes:
Thursday Practice Notes:
Analysis:
Josh Jasper PK LSU
Monday Practice Notes:
Tuesday Practice Notes:
Wednesday Practice Notes:
Thursday Practice Notes: Terrific kick-off leg.  Consistently got the ball on the opposing goal line or into the end zone.
Analysis:

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