The first of two big pre-draft scouting All Star events begin this week in Orlando as players gather for the traditional East-West Shrine Game. As TFY did last year, here are the results of the West practice with additional draft impacting news which follows. UPDATE- Wednesday practice
According to sources Matt Szczur (wide receiver, Villanova) told people earlier today he was chosen baseball over football and will play in the major leagues, not the NFL. Allegedly, the Chicago Cubs tripled their offer to Szczur to $1.5 million. The Cubs has been moving their offer north from the original contract offer of $400K. Sources said a contingent from the ball club made the latest offer after visiting with Szczur in the past few days.
JC Brignone OL Mississippi State
Tues: Quick, explosive and blocks with solid fundamentals yet got pushed off the ball by larger defensive linemen.
Wed: Much of the same, though he did hold the point a little better. Brignone is short and able to naturally get leverage on opponents, which he uses to his advantage. He’s also very effective in motion.
Cortez Allen DB Citadel
Tues: Looked terrific in drills, very fluid and smooth yet did not translate those skills into production during one-on-one drills or in scrimmage.
Wed: Again- good in drills but struggled some in scrimmage. Made a few nice plays but also resorted to holding opposing receivers and would have been flagged during a game.
Dan Bailey PK Oklahoma State
Tues: Solid kick-off leg. Booted the ball into the opposing end-zone.
Brandon Bair DL Oregon
Tues: Looked dominant all afternoon to the point that he was being double teamed late in the session. Showed quickness, athleticism and technique with his hands.
Wed: Not as dominant as yesterday yet still very good. Showed a lot of athleticism and much better pass rushing skills today.
Joseph Barksdale OL LSU
Tues: Like what we saw from Barksdale at left tackle today. Fundamentally sound and cut off the edge in one-on-one drills. Struggled on the right side.
Wed: Really another solid day and comes out of the past two days as a big winner. Just did a terrific job all afternoon in pass protection. Fundamentally sound, uses his hands extremely well and very strong. Improved his draft stock significantly.
Nicholas Bellore LB Central Michigan
Tues: Tough, two down defender that struggled making plays outside the box.
Wed: Made some nice plays in the box but struggled in one-on-one coverage drills when he was asked to cover any amount of area.
Armon Binns WR Cincinnati
Tues: Ran good routes, worked to get separation and usually did. Also caught the ball well with his hands. Just shows no quickness or speed in his game.
Wed: Made several nice receptions in the afternoon and battled hard for the ball. Speed and quickness limitations will suppress his draft grade.
Jordan Cameron TE USC
Tues: Made a lot of athletic plays today. Fluid getting off the line and caught the ball exceptionally well.
Wed: Looked polished as a pass catcher, easily getting off the line then running good routes. Caught the ball extremely well.
Chris Carter LB Fresno State
Tues: Lined up solely at both outside linebacker spots in the West 4-3 alignment and struggled. Was late reacting to the action and beaten a number of times.
Wed: Struggled again at linebacker, looking very slow reacting to the action. Used at defensive end for a few snaps in one-on-one drills and was solid. Terrific job in pass rushing drills against the RB/FB.
David Carter DL UCLA
Tues: Looked really solid. Very athletic and beat opponents off the ball a number of times.
Wed: Dominant day. Very athletic but also flashed power. Was constantly doubled during the scrimmage.
Patrick DiMarco FB South Carolina
Tues: Was devastating as a lead blocker, at one point removing Dontay Moch from the action on a running play. Also caught the ball well.
Wed: Another terrific performance. Hands down the best blocker on the West squad and again showed good hands catching the ball out of the backfield.
Ricky Elmore DL Arizona
Tues: Struggled and was handled most of the day.
Wed: Had his moments rushing the passer but pretty quiet for the most part.
Nathan Enderle QB Idaho
Tues: Has a big time arm but no accuracy whatsoever. Almost knocked a bystander unconscious at one point with one of his wayward outs. Big time NFL physical skills though.
Wed: Through the ball a little better but still wild with his passes and all over the place. Strongest arm of all the QB’s in this game as the ball explodes out of his hands.
Adam Grant OL Arizona
Tues: Struggled all day and was often beat. Stiff and does not move well. On his behalf we were told he is sick.
Wed: Significant improvement. Looked much better and handled a few of the better guys (Bair/Carter) in drills. Spoke with him afterward and he confirmed he’s getting over the flu and has been taking IV’s for hydration.
Alex Green RB Hawaii
Tues: Solid interior ball carrier that was able to pick and choose his spots yet was easily tackled at the point. Caught the ball well.
Wed: Showed a lot of shiftiness in his ball carrying.
Virgil Green II TE Nevada
Tues: Natural pass catcher who gave effort blocking.
Wed: Another good day catching the ball. Shows the ability to sneak it downfield on occasion.
Andrew Jackson OL Fresno State
Tues: Showed minimal strength at the point and was destroyed by Bair a number of times.
Wed: Big improvement for Jackson. Effectively got leverage on defenders then controlled them at the point. Solid outing for the lineman.
Ben Jacobs LB Fresno State
Wed: Two down defender who struggled making plays outside the box.
Jeron Johnson DB Boise State
Tues: Looked stiff and struggled in drills as well as scrimmage. We were told he is having issues with his hamstring.
Wed: Another disappointing day. Was often beat in coverage during scrimmage and in drills. Did not perform as we expected.
Jerrod Johnson QB Texas A&M
Tues: Not good- Johnson will make one super throw followed by a dozen duds. He’s all over the place with his passes and missed several wide open receivers due to his wild accuracy. Also struggled under the rush. The belief is the shoulder surgery Johnson underwent during the season my still be affecting him..
Wed: Threw the ball a little better yet still wild on his throws for the most part.
Shiloh Keo DB Idaho
Tues: We were surprised by the ball skills and footwork Keo showed in drill. Primarily used at strong safety and made a nice pick late in the session.
Wed: Looks like a conventional strong safety or zone safety. Cannot cover man to man or really go sideline-to-sideline.
Karl Klug DL Iowa
Tues: Struggled getting off blocks but worked hard. One scout went on and on about what a tremendous person and high character, hard worker Klug is.
Wed: Made one nice play in drills but for the most part once blocked, stayed blocked.
Ted Laurent DL Mississippi
Tues: Showed a lot of straight-ahead, bull rushing power but it ended there. No moves whatsoever and struggled against fundamentally sound blockers.
Wed: Nothing in the way of playmaking skills. Really a space eater that occupies blocks.
Orie Lemon LB Oklahoma State
Tues: Made a few nice plays against the run. Good job making defensive calls.
Wed: Worked throughout the session. Solid run defender also very effective up the field.
Laupepa Letuli OL Hawaii
Tues: Strong, small area blocker used at right tackle today. Probably better off at guard. Very jovial during practice and seemed to lack a mean streak.
Wed: Buried a number of opponents all day long. Really a very good and powerful small area blocker.
Korey Lindsey DB Southern Illinois
Tues: Really terrific from the get-go. Terrific mechanics, smooth and fluid all the way (backpedal/hip turn). Made a lot of positive plays in one-on-one and in drills, breaking up several passes. Good burst out of his plant and explosive.
Wed: Not as good as yesterday but still solid. Leaves with improved grade and a chance to get one of the remaining combine invites.
Alex Linnenkohl OL Oregon State
Tues: Did a real good job as a position blocker today and was applauded by coaches several times. Not big or dominant but tough and smart.
Wed: Another good day with similar results.
Jeffrey Maehl WR Oregon
Tues: Did drop one pass today- but only one. Otherwise made some incredible grabs and ran terrific routes. Worked hard and was a favorite target all afternoon.
Wed: A lot to like about his game. Not a burner but is exceptionally quick off the line, runs terrific routes and made the acrobatic receptions look routine.
Dontay Moch LB Nevada
Tues: Solid day. Lined up solely at weak side/strong side linebacker and did not look out of place. Must learn to do a better job shedding blocks and got torched by Jordan Cameron for a long reception but for the most part looks like the light is on.
Wed: Improved and starting to look like he belongs at a conventional outside linebacker spot. Still struggling in coverage but not awful.
Michael Mohamed LB California
Tues: Used at outside linebacker and did not look comfortable.
Wed: Had a tough day at outside linebacker and constantly trailed all the tight ends in coverage drills, giving up a lot of receptions.
OJ Murdock WR Ft. Hays State
Tues: Really looked good. Super quick, ran great routes and caught the ball well. Showed a downfield burst. Not large and did struggle in battles.
Wed: Not as good as yesterday. One thing we realized about Murdock; he’s going to have trouble handling the jam at the next level.
Matthew O’Donnell OL Queens, Ontario
Tues: Canadian lineman from Ontario. Huge and by far the biggest blocker here. Marginal athlete with limited foot quickness but gave effort and controlled opponents once he got his hands on them.
Cheta Ozougwu DL Rice
Tues: Plays with good fundamentals, breaks down well and very quick. Fast off the edge but not strong and easily controlled by blocks. Used solely at defensive end today and we think a move to OLB in a 3-4 is in the offing.
Wed: Looked really solid as a pass rusher today. Not going to beat any blocks yet does not give up on plays, which is a benefit.
Anthony Parker WR Calgary
Wed: Ran good routes, contorts like a pretzel and worked hard.
Andrew Rich DB BYU
Tues: Did a solid job and was better than expected in a number of areas.
Wed: Struggled in coverage and was beaten numerous times. Straight line safety.
Aldrick Robinson WR Southern Methodist University
Tues: Caught the ball well and very quick. Struggles in crowds.
Wed: Showed a lot of speed and made some nice downfield receptions. Has the ability to turn it on in a single step.
Caleb Schlauderaff OL Utah
Tues: Best offensive linemen from the West this afternoon. Constantly got leverage on opponents and was beaten just once in one-on-one drills.
Wed: Struggled today and was beat on a number of occasions.
Da’rel Scott RB Maryland
Wed: Had the play of the day when he caught a pass and broke it 70+ yards. For the most part lacks quickness and does not play with good balance.
Justin Taplin-Ross DB Utah
Tues: Looks like a man-child in the secondary but a little stiff. Looked better in scrimmage than he did in the drills.
Wed: Used strictly in the box and struggled. Poor ball skills and did not make plays even when he had positioning on opponents.
Vai Taua RB Nevada
Tues: Ran well on the inside, picking and choosing his spots to get through the clearing. Has a much thinner build than we expected.
Wed: Showed no strength at all in his running and was stopped dead in his tracks a number of times.
Julius Thomas TE Portland State
Tues: Looks the part and sometimes plays to it. Made some nice receptions in the open but needs a lot of work on his game. Struggled handling blocking assignments or getting off jams and often on the ground.
Wed: Starting to improve and really put the pieces together. Raw but you can see something is there and has a lot of upside.
Brandyn Thompson DB Boise State
Tues: Really looked good. Quick pedal, smooth in his hips and made a number of really good pass defenses today.
Wed: Terrific and by far the best and most complete defensive back on the West. Terrific mechanics and top ball skills. Broke-up a number of passes and came away with a pick, never getting beaten.
Scott Tolzien QB Wisconsin
Tues: Best signal caller on the West, in part because Enderle and Johnson were so bad. Accurate in the short and intermediate field. Made good decisions. Still throws with a ¾ delivery and cannot get the ball downfield.
Winston Venable LB Boise State
Tues: Made a few nice plays against the run today.
Wed: Showed skill in coverage- or better said, solid sideline-to-sideline range. Needs work but has an upside.
Darrin Walls DB Notre Dame
Tues: Looked great in drills, possibly the best on the West, but failed to show up in one-on-ones and in scrimmage. Gives a very soft cushion and let up a number of receptions. Disappointing in a word.
Wed: Finally put the pieces into play and had several nice moments in scrimmage. He can stay on the hip of a receiver then follow them out of breaks, which is a tough thing todo.
Ryan Whalen WR Stanford
Tues: Made a number of acrobatic receptions all afternoon, diving around the field and catching the ball. Worked hard but no speed.
Wed: Made some sensational catches all day. Fought hard for the ball and showed great concentration. Also made the catch of the day after a deep pass which was a sure interception for Korey Lindsey bounced off the Southern Illinois corners hands. Whalen stayed with the action and made the catch. Edit- with apologies to Korey Lindsey, we had dinner with Whalen this evening and Ryan corrected us- it was not Lindsey who dropped the sure interception it was Cortez Allen of The Citadel.
Nate Williams DB Washington
Tues: Displayed a good degree of athleticism on the field and was effective on the run.
Wed: Again, athletic and quick but struggled in coverage and looks like a downhill type of DB.
Zachary Williams OL Washington State
Tues: Struggled all day. Missed a snap and more than a few blocks.
Wed: Another tough day. Had another center/quarterback exchange hit the ground. Also got ragdolled in the middle more than once.
Ryan Winterswke DL Boise State
Wed: Not much of anything. Could not get off a block in drills and unsuccessfully attempted to speed rush around lineman. Lined up at defensive tackle during scrimmage.
– Sources have told us part of the problem for Scott Tolzien is the Wisconsin quarterback is just not a confident kid. Working and changing his mechanics have not helped the issue. Tolzien has been recently working with former NFL quarterback Chad Pennington.
-Remember Tony Washington, the talented offensive tackle prospect from Abilene Christian whose off the field issues were well documented leading up to the 2010 NFL Draft? Not a single NFL team went near Washington, but several CFL teams have allegedly shown a lot of interest in the athletic pass blocker. We are told Canadian authorities are holding up the works at this point.
– Finally, the quote of the day. When someone mentioned that Marvin Austin looked in shape and ready to go during his dominant performance this morning, someone quipped, “Wearing a single digit jersey in college probably made him look fatter than he is!” Something to think about.