The first day of full pads practice at the Shrine Game was a warm one, as the temperature crept close to 80-degrees. It wore on some of the players that have not been in uniform for almost six weeks but there were several nice performances. Updated for Wednesday’s practice.
Justin Bethel DB Presbyterian
Tues: Looked very fluid and smooth in drills. Played soft coverage most of the day and gave up a lot of underneath receptions.
Wed: Once again looks very fluid and smooth in all his mechanics. Has a nice burst to the ball and solid pedal in reverse. That said he’s still a half second late getting to the ball to make plays. Regardless, Bethel displayed a lot of next level potential
Robert Blanton DB Notre Dame
Tues: Looks the part in centerfield but did not make many plays on the ball.
Wed: Blanton is explosive and quick but really struggled in coverage drills and/or situations and was often beat by his man.
Charles Brown DB North Carolina
Tues: Instinctive and shows good awareness. Solid cover skills in the short field. Thick lower body, almost like a running back.
Wed: Awful day for Brown. He was constantly beaten by opponents from start to finish. Brown was also getting down on himself throughout the day and at one time was prompted by the coaches to keep his head up. Tough day for Brown, though it was not due to lack of effort.
Tysyn Hartman DB Kansas State
Tues: Looked solid against the run but struggled in coverage. Not real fast laterally or outside the numbers.
Josh Norman DB Coastal Carolina
Tues: Looked impressive in drills; big, smooth and very quick. Struggled in one-on-ones but came back and made several good plays in full scrimmage. Nice ball skills.
Wed: Another impressive performance by Norman. Really looks the part and plays to it. Explosive but also made a lot of plays. Had two terrific picks in scrimmage and turned a lot of heads.
Micah Pellerin DB Hampton
Tues: Impressive looking- nice size, feet and smoothness. Had a few nice plays on the ball but rather quiet in scrimmage.
Wed: Early on Pellerin showed terrific fundamentals and skills but kept missing by a fraction to make plays on the ball. That changed in scrimmage as he got a great jump on a pass intended for Thomas Mayo and came away with a terrific interception.
Christian Thompson DB South Carolina State
Tues: Looks the part and sometimes plays to it. Very good between the numbers.
Wed: Showed improvement in a lot of areas. The bottom line on Thompson today; when facing the action he shows effective ball skills otherwise he struggles making plays with his back to the ball.
Jerrell Young DB South Florida
Wed: Young looks impressive in pads yet that’s where it ends. He was constantly beaten in coverage drills and showed little in the way of being able to break to the ball out of his plant.
Matt Conrath DL Virginia
Tues: Physically impressive; tall, large and really looks the part. Made a few nice plays in scrimmage but was also easily tied up in blocks to often.
Wed: Lined up at defensive tackle today but it was a repeat of yesterday. Conrath was continually controlled at the point by blockers and rarely got penetration. He plays a little high and was easily stood up at times.
Nicolas Jean-Baptiste DL Baylor
Tues: Sloppy; easily handled by opponents and rarely got penetration at any point during the day.
Wed: Jean-Baptiste flashes a lot of athleticism and movement skills, occasionally making plays on the ball. What he lacks is consistency and for every one play Baptiste makes he’ll then disappear for a long stretch.
Julian Miller DL West Virginia
Tues: Early in the day looked like the most athletic lineman on the field. Quick, fluid and showed a variety of moves. Was handled in one-on-ones but came back and made several nice plays in scrimmage.
Wed: Not much of a factor today. Looks athletic but really did not make any plays on the ball.
Micanor Regis DL Miami-Fl
Tues Explosive first step lineman that quickly shoots the open gaps to penetrate behind blockers. Must beat opponents off the snap as he cannot get off blocks once linemen get their hands on him.
Wed: Very quick and relatively athletic. Played better than Tuesday and made a few plays. Regis is a nasty defender and never gave up on the action.
Travian Robertson DL South Carolina
Tues: Probably the best defensive lineman in practice. Looks athletic, quick but also strong. Holds his ground and on several occasions beat blocks and made his opponent look bad.
Wed: Not as consistent as Tuesday but still showed streaks of dominance and was impossible to handle at times.
Kyle Wilber DL Wake Forest
Tues: Lined up solely at defensive end and looked fairly athletic, easily moving about the field yet really struggles to get off blocks.
Wed: Can”t get off blocks at the line of scrimmage but his ability to make plays in space was impressive. Wilber chased the action down the line, showing speed in pursuit, and got after ball handlers. No doubt he has the skill to make the move to 3-4 OLB.
Najae Goode LB West Virginia
Tues: Goode was fluid, smooth and did a nice job slicing through blocks to get to the action. He also displays a good head for the game and displayed terrific instincts, quickly finding the ball.
Wed: Another solid run defending day for Goode, and there’s a lot to like about his game. Tough as nails. Forty time will b the final indicator for him.
Max Gruder LB Pittsburgh
Tues: Gruder was good against the run, showing a lot of quickness and explosion up the field. He looked more like a two-down defender and struggled getting outside the box to make plays.
Wed: Used at outside linebacker for the most part. Feisty and competitive. Shows a good head for the ball and makes plays in confined quarters. Not real effective in pursuit.
Josh Linam LB UCF
Wed: Shows a lot of skills defending the run. Exploded up the field, filling gaps, and has a good head for the game. Better up the field though he showed some lateral movement skills.
Brandon Lindsay LB Pittsburgh
Tues: For the most part Lindsay struggled. He was a non-factor against the pass and got washed from the play on running downs by fullbacks.
Wed: When Lindsay lined up at defensive end he showed a lot of pass rush moves and the ability to get penetration when he beat blockers off the line. In space, at linebacker, it was a different story. He seems confused and hesitant to react. Lindsay himself knew he was blowing assignments.
Shawn Loiseau LB Merrimack Collee
Tues: Loiseau was not spectacular but too his credit did not look out of place on the field and looked like he belonged with the step up in competition.
Wed: Looked solid against the run. Moves well laterally and shot the gaps up the field to penetrate behind the line. Struggled in coverage and gave up a pair of touchdown passes to Ford of Miami.
Jeff Adams OL Columbia
Tues: Ouch- Adams was beaten like a drum in drills all morning. Too his credit he got his feet underneath him during full scrimmage and looked significantly better but overall it was not a good day.
Wed: Much better today. Did a nice job position blocking and sealing defenders from the action. Looks quick and athletic. Must get strong and improve his balance but marked improvement.
Derek Dennis OL Temple
Tues: Dennis is quick, fundamentally sound and tough. He’s not real strong at the point and struggled to finish blocks. He’s got an upside and did make several nice plays throughout the day once he got his hands on defenders.
Wed: Dennis is strong, tough and resilient. He also showed a lot of skill blocking in motion. Needs to get stronger but has skill.
Tyler Horn OL Miami-Fl
Tues: Horn is explosive and very quick yet a lineman that was overpowered by large opponents throughout the morning.
Rishaw Johnson OL Cal-Pa
Tues: Johnson looked powerful all day and was the best offensive linemen from the East. He handled everyone he lined-up against showing terrific power and blocking with outstanding fundamentals.
Wed: Not as good as yesterday but still solid. Noticed he’s a bit narrow based in his set up with really hurts his ability to fully bend his knees.
Quentin Saulsberry OL Mississippi State
Tues: Saulsberry is incredibly quick and does a great job immediately setting up off the snap. He’s explosive as hell but cannot finish blocks and on more than one occasion got pushed back off the line by opponents.
Wed: Good day by Saulsberry. Held his own for most of practice. Handled Conrath of Virginia, who physically outmatches him.
Bradley Sowell OL Mississippi
Tues: Sowell is stiff and looks unathletic yet he was able to control defenders once he got his hands on them.
Wed: Very susceptible to inside moves by defenders. Did a solid job on those who tried to get around him on the outside.
Jeremiah Warren OL South Florida
Tues: Warren looked solid all day. He has a nice set up and handles opponents once engaged at the point of attack. He was rarely beaten by defenders.
Wed: Solid day. Strong, square and controls opponents. Struggled to finish blocks at times yet overall a fine performance.
Desmond Wynn OL Rutgers
Tues: Wynn had a struggle on his hands. He looks the part yet overextends into defenders and lunges into blocks which caused him to constantly be off balance. Needs some work but the underlying skill is there.
Wed: Looks athletic and explosive but does not always play to it. Often off balance and on the ground too much. Needs to work on the details.
John Brantley QB Florida
Tues: Brantley looked good in drills throwing a terrific ball which was accurate and fast. Once the scrimmage started the story changed as his passes were wayward and he just holds the ball to long in the pocket.
Bryon Coleman QB Tenn-Chattanooga
Tues: Coleman had an up and down day. He struggles throwing fade and corner patterns but throws some nice deep passes and his underneath tosses were on the money. He has skills for the next level though its more than likely a back-up role.
Wed: Had his moments but really struggles throwing on the move. Nice pop on the short and intermediate throws.
Austin Davis QB Southern Mississippi
Tues: Davis struggled through most of the day and his passes were off the mark.
Wed: Made a few nice throws but all over the place with many of his tosses.
Davin Meggett RB Maryland
Tues: Meggett was quiet early but turned it on during scrimmage. He’s quick and very slippery, with the ability to slide off defenders and through tackles. He does a very nice job creating his own yardage.
Wed: Does a real nice job squirting through the traffic and creating his own yardage.
Alfred Morris RB Florida Atlantic
Tues: Morris delivered more than expected showing quickness, creativity and as much power that can be shown at one of these events. From the standpoint of ball handling he did well.
Tauren Poole RB Tennessee
Tues: Poole was incredibly quick, throwing a number of moves on defenders which had them grasping for air and got a rise from the crowd at hand. He was able to create his own yardage for much of the morning.
Wed: Terrific performance. Shows great creativity and the ability to elude and avoid defenders. Has a burst through the hole and into the open field. Nice pass catcher out of the backfield.
Bruce Figgins TE Georgia
Tues: Figgins was more rounded than we thought coming in. He caught the ball well and also did a better than expected job blocking.
Chase Ford TE Miami-Fl
Tues: Ford looked well rounded today. He’s not fast but catches the ball well. He also did an adequate job blocking.
Emil Igwenagu TE Massachusetts
Tues: The small school tight end was lined-up at H-back, in the slot and as a fullback. For the most part he had a good day, catching the ball well and giving effort as a lead blocker.
Evan Rodriquez TE Temple
Tues: Rodriquez was a bit of a disappointment. He does not run very well and showed little in the way of speed or burst. He also did drop a few catchable throws.
Tim Benford WR Tennessee Tech
Tues: Benford caught the ball well today and battled all practice. He runs crisp routes and got separation in the underneath coverage but showed little in he way of a burst.
Laron Byrd WR Miami-Fl
Tues: After a disappointing senior campaign Byrd stepped it up today. He made a number of very athletic catches which drew a rise from the crowd. He showed good focus and concentration. Byrd’s eye/hand coordination is very impressive.
B.J. Cunningham WR Michigan State
Tues: Cunningham looked polished today. He ran solid routes and caught the ball well. Of all the receivers on the field this morning he looked the most natural.
Kevin Hardy WR Citadel
Tues: Hardy was not someone I was intent on watching yet he made several nice plays throughout the session. He’s got solid hands and ran decent routes. Like many of the other wide outs in attendance he showed little in the way of speed.
Lance Lewis WR East Carolina
Thomas Mayo WR Cal-Pa
Wed: Mayo’s day was up and down. He ran good routes and got decent separation but was inconsistent catching the ball. Mayo also showed little in the way of burst though we’ve been told he will run in the 4.3 second area during pro-day workouts.
Notes: I received further confirmation that Michael Floyd will not play in next weeks Senior Bowl. He’s still suffering with a few nicks and bruises from Notre Dame’s bowl game, which is always an issue for many of these post season events.
Several scouts here in St Pete were surprised Montee Ball is returning to Wisconsin. Evidently the junior ball carrier had a spot reserved for him to workout at API in Los Angeles and all expected him to opt for the draft..
Garth Gerhart, Toby’s brother, will replace David Molk in the Senior Bowl.