It's the third day of the Senior Bowl practices and with its progression there's been a number of prospects whom have made their mark and impressed, others that have underwhelmed, and some that commenced by having weak showings and later ended up leaving strong impressions on the scouts.
Again, for this third day I have compiled information from different sources about these college football prospects that have practiced today and therefor will now bring it forth and present it to you.
Here it is:
Zach Brown (OLB) looked good in practice because that is when he should theoretically look best since there is no tackling allowed and that is something he struggles to do. But he took better angles than I saw on tape and clearly has all the athleticism you could want in coverage.
James Michael Johnson (ILB) of Nevada continues to look very athletic on the field, but today he's starting to make plays on the ball.
Lavonte David (OLB) of Nebraska continues to impress. He just made a great play in full scrimmage against the run, exploding up the field to stop Pead behind the line of scrimmage. David has looked good in coverage drills all morning. He's athletic, easily runs downfield with backs or tight ends and nicely positions himself to defend the pass. David has great speed and quickness, and hits like a ton of bricks. In my opinion, he should be a first round pick but size is a question..
Sean Spence (OLB) was disruptive today and when you watch him you can’t help but imagine how good he would be if he was bigger. His weigh-in likely hurt his stock, but in the right system (perhaps a Cover-2 or heavy zone system) he could be an impact linebacker.
Audie Cole (LB) of North Carolina State is not known for his foot speed or athleticism, but he's just a good, tough football player. Every time Cole has stepped to the line this morning he seems determined to stop his opponents by any means necessary, and for the most part he has.
Keenan Robinson (LB) has experience playing all three linebacker positions but I think his best position is probably the weak-side. He’s a helluva hitter, a very good tackler and he has ability in coverage. He’s a complete linebacker and he’s going to be a riser after this week. Keep an eye on him at practice, he will impress you.
Nigel Bradham (OLB) is another player I like. He’s just a solid, fundamentally sound guy that I think has a NFL future as a starter. I’ve liked him since his junior year, so I am excited to take a closer look at him the rest of the week when I have the chance.
More after the jump...
Quentin Coples (DE) was the biggest winner out of anyone I watched today. The guy absolutely has top 5 talent, it’s just a question of how much he wants it. He will be as good as he wants to be, so it’s a question of desire and work ethic for judging him. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a sense of that throughout the week. He is just so athletic for his size that he had me drooling at his potential as a strong side end in a 4-3. He’s not an ideal right end in my opinion but as a left end he could be one of the best in the league if he wants it bad enough. I just hope he lands somewhere with a great defensive line coach that can light a fire under him. With Coples, we are looking at a legit edge rusher. Speed to turn the corner and athletic ability that isn't matched by anyone on the field for his size (6-6, 281).
Melvin Ingram (OLB/DE) looked very fluid in pass rush drills, showed an impressive variety of pass rush moves and consistently won 1 on 1 battles in the pit. I think he is fluid enough to be a 3-4 OLB and I think he has enough strength and power to play 4-3 DE. He’s a versatile player that will likely earn a 1st round grade from me once I’m able to watch him more on tape. Melvin Ingram showed good quickness and ability to get to the quarterback. He had a very good session in 1 on 1′s and I think Mike Mayock made a good point that if he gets drafted into a system with a plan in place to use him in different slots on all three downs, he could be a very valuable first round selection.
Courtney Upshaw (OLB/DE) is such a physically impressive player. He’s not a freak from a measurables standpoint but you can tell he’s going to be a quality player in the NFL from watching him. He’s so strong and physical that I would never bet against him. His lack of length might limit his upside a bit, but there’s no question he can be a starting outside linebacker in a 3-4 or maybe even a 4-3 left end. I just haven’t watched him enough yet, but I like his game. Size, quickness, hand placement, burst, effort–he is truly a five-tool player. He is an elite talent and is a future NFL star. Right now, he looks like a man among boys regardless if it’s the second practice or not, and I think he was ready for the NFL last year and has really turned up his game.
Shea McClellin (DE) One player that really impressed me today was Shea McClellin (Boise State). He’s very athletic, has impressive burst and really gave the offensive tackles trouble in 1 on 1’s today. I love his potential as a 3-4 outside linebacker. I haven’t seen him in coverage this week, but I really think he has the potential to be 1st rounder and an impact player at that position. He looks better every day at the linebacker position. He's been planted in the middle today and has done a great job remaining patient with assignments, smoothly moving across the field and showing a good degree of awareness.
Vinny Curry (OLB/DE) of Marshall is once again displaying a lot of quickness and athleticism. He looks more and more like he'll be a natural as a 3-4 outside linebacker rather than at defensive end. Mike Adams of Ohio State is really having a tough time this morning handling Vinny Curry. Curry has convincingly beat the big tackle off the snap every time. Curry was just moved inside to defensive tackle and annihilated Kevin Zeitler with a swim move. He shows very good burst off the snap of the football and used some rip moves on Wednesday's practice to beat the offensive lineman rather than just bull rushing or running around them like he did the days previously. Vinny Curry of Marshall really stood out today and was impossible to stop at times. He's at a disadvantage, as he's been used solely at defensive end and never allowed to stand up over tackle, but scouts leave the morning and the week highly impressed with his athleticism, quickness and general feel as a pass rusher.
Cam Johnson (DE) of Virginia has displayed a lot of quickness and speed off the edge in one-on-one drills. He continues to consistently get pressure and showed well against the run in Wednesday's practice.
Alameda Ta'amu (DT) of Washington is still showing tremendous power and has been tough to stop. On the last play he drove Ohio State center Mike Brewster into the backfield, three yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Brandon Thompson (DT) has solid measurables and packed 311 pounds onto his 6’2" frame but his burst and quickness is my favorite part about his game. He gets off the ball very quickly and overwhelmed some of the interior linemen on the South today. He was consistently disruptive all practice and looks like a quality 3-tech in the NFL, perhaps a similar player to Jonathan Babineaux on the Atlanta Falcons.
Jaye Howard (DT) is a guy I’ve liked since I watched him play over the course of his junior season and I was happy to get to see him live today. He’s lighter than I would have liked right now, but he beat Cordy Glenn a couple times in 1 on 1 drills. He’s got some burst and athleticism, but I’d like to see him get stronger and get up above 300 pounds for sure.
Mike Martin (DT) also continues to look good, making the most of his ability with his unstoppable effort. Mike Martin and Ohio State C Michael Brewster went at it at practice and it got a little chippy. Both guys really play hard and it was a fun battle to see.
Derek Wolfe (DT) of Cincinnati looks good this morning. He does not get a lot of penetration, but he's quick and impossible to move off the line of scrimmage.
Tydreke Powell (DT) showed some ability as bull-rusher in 1 on 1 drills when he was able to push his man off the ball, but did not showed the ability to shed and looked like 2-down guys in the NFL. Powell plays too high at times and negates his strength, and on film I’ve seen him try to penetrate upfield and make plays in the backfield despite his lack of great burst or quickness. He’s a mid-round guy in my opinion, and I’m not sure he has much upside
Jerod-Eddie (DT) (to Tydreke Powell) is similar but when I’ve seen him he seems like he has a bit better gap responsibility, but I haven’t done enough study on him yet. He seems like he could possibly be a 3-4 defensive end, but if he plays defensive tackle in a 4-3 he would strictly be a run stopper.
Janoris Jenkins (CB) is quietly one of the best players at this event. He is showing dominance in man coverage and is looking like he’s really turned himself into a legit top 32 selection.
There is a lot of intrigue going around right now about Louisiana-Lafayette Dwight Bentley(CB). He had a very good season and while he got off to a slow start to practice on Tuesday, he made some nice plays.
Mike Mayock has Iowa State cornerback Leonard Johnson(CB) rated ahead of Alabama CB Dre’ Kirkpatrick. I have Johnson rated as a 2nd-3rd round pick.
There have been some concerns about Alfonzo Dennard’s(CB) recovery speed. He likes to take a lot of risks but is a very sound player fundamentally and should be a solid first or second round pick for any team. Leonard Johnson had his best day of practice and showed he's not afraid to mix it up and get physical on Wednesday. Leonard told me after practice he was looking forward to being able to play press coverage and get in the receivers faces.
Harrison Smith (SS) of Notre Dame has struggled. He looks good in pads but in scrimmage and during drills looks solely like a straight-line, downhill safety with limited skills in coverage.
Cordy Glenn (OG) was a very pleasant surprise as I didn’t expect a great week from him. He didn’t show much bend in his waist and had an impressive ability to anchor and sustain. He’s an impressive player that might be able to stick outside at tackle or succeed inside at guard. He’s definitely above Kelechi Osemele on my board right now.
Senio Kelemete (OG) of Washington was pushed inside to guard today and was effective. He's a solid athlete and his ability to block with sound fundamentals (knee bend, hand placement) is impressive.
Zebrie Sanders (OT) an impressive athlete with a good first step, he can get out of his stance quickly and block down on defensive tackles which I liked. He really needs to get stronger in the lower body though and his hand placement was an issue today. He was letting his hands get too far outside which will draw holding calls and limit his ability to control the defender after he’s engaged him. He’s struggled to "finish" blocks as well. Multiple times in 1 on 1’s he had won the battle right up until the end when Coples or Ingram would finish and he didn’t. Sustaining that block and playing to the whistle isn’t always something you can coach. He’s got the athleticism and the length to play left tackle though, he just needs some coaching and weight training. I still have a late 1st round grade on him, but he’s obviously not perfect.
Jeff Allen (OT) continues to impress. He’s one of those players that the more I’ve watched him the more I like him. He’s definitely a sleeper at left tackle right now and while he struggled with Coples a couple times today, so did everyone. Allen held his own all day though and impressed scouts without a doubt. He’s got left tackle ability and will definitely go higher than people think. He could go in the 2nd round when all is said and done.
Philip Blake (C) impressed me today. He showed a strong anchor and looked pretty good at guard and at center today. I will definitely be keeping an eye on him the rest of the week.
Ben Jones (C) did not impress me today. He was consistently beat off the snap by quicker players like Brandon Thompson and struggled to anchor against stronger players. He’s an average athlete that is a mid-late round player in my opinion, definitely not a 2nd or 3rd round Center. His stock is on its way down in my opinion.
William Vlachos (C) also looked bad today. His arms just look remarkably short (he measured in with 30 inch arms, which is not good for an offensive lineman) and he struggled to anchor today as well. He looks like a late round player to me.
Matt McCants (OT) had a bad day as well outside at tackle. He was victimized multiple times by Coples and Ingram as well as Courtney Upshaw. He has little strength in his lower body and it showed today. But he doesn’t look like an impressive athlete and just flat got beat off the edge a couple of times today. He’s not earning a high grade from me either, though I still need to study him.
Will Blackwell (OG) didn’t look very good though he was solid. He’s an average player in my eyes, not sure how much starting potential he has. He’s got a draftable grade from me, but didn’t impress me too much today.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends:
Marvin McNutt (WR) of Iowa looks improved this morning. Early-week jitters may have resulted in some stiffness and dropped passed but thus far he's looked very smooth and has caught the ball well. He has good hands and can really snatch the ball out of the air. He is really effective on short, underneath routes and on deep balls. His ability to go up and get the ball will make him an effective NFL player regardless of his 40 time.
Marvin Jones (WR) continued to show strong in practices. Jones continues to beat press coverage and drive defenders off in his cuts. He doesn't seem to waste any movement in his routes either and seems to catch everything. We spoke of his route-running skills and but he's also a heady ball player. He just did a terrific job staying with the action and following his quarterback across the field, finding the open space to help out the signal caller, who was about to be sacked. Jones also gives maximum effort on every play and held his own in run blocking drills.
Brian Quick (WR) isn't fast off the line of scrimmage, but he's big and strong enough to beat press coverage and runs routes well. He began catching the ball more with his hands today rather than letting everything into his body. His body type really reminds me of Brandon Marshall and the drops won’t move my comparison anywhere.
Devier Posey (WR) of Ohio State continues to impress with his physcal skills. He shows exceptional quickness in and out of routes and a nice burst of speed. He hasn't shown the strong hands or ability to pluck the ball from the air, but to his credit Posey has not dropped many passes the past three days.
Juron Criner (WR) made a sick one-handed catch in one-on-one drills today that drew the attention of, pretty much everyone. Criner has good size and if he can flash more of that kind of ability, he could really rise on our board.
TJ Graham (WR) of North Carolina State has displayed a great burst of speed in drills and just ran by Leonard Johnson for a deep pass. Graham has elevated his stock the past three days.
Doug Martin (WR) is impressing outside of special teams drills, too. He's showing terrific quickness and just put a great move on former Boise State teammate Shea McClellin to come free in the flat for a nice reception. Martin has shown soft, strong hands all week.
Chris Rainey(RB/WR) took some reps at receiver on Tuesday and looked pretty good. I saw a comparison of Dexter McCluster thrown out there and that might be a pretty good one. Still early.
Ladarius Green (TE) is my favorite tight end on this roster. He’s my #2 TE in Mobile behind only Michael Egnew, but Green may have just as much upside as any tight end in the draft. His combination of pure size and athleticism is extremely intriguing and like Egnew he has good hands. He needs work as a blocker, but if the effort and work ethic is there that can be coached. But he will be a helluva match-up problem as a receiver who can be split out in the NFL, and those joker tight ends are all the rage right now. He looks like a 2nd or 3rd round prospect to me
Deangelo Peterson (TE) is another player I’ve liked all year. He’s a sleeper because he never got much of a chance to show what he can do as a receiver at LSU, so he could surprise people once he gets to the next level. He’s got pretty good hands, size and athleticism and should end up in the 4th round or maybe a little higher on draft day.
Brad Smelley (TE) has had a solid couple of days. He’s not an early-round guy by any means, but he’s draftable and has the work ethic to be a contributor on special teams and work his way up the tight end depth chart despite his lack of great size and athleticism.