John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Practice week from the Senior Bowl has wrapped up and I've collected up some reports on those that looked good in positions of need for the Panthers. The Panthers drafted a player from last year's Senior Bowl, CB Josh Norman, so we could very well be watching a future Panther today.
Here's the reports I found interesting:
Senior Bowl Report - Day 4
On the Rise: Virtually every player participating in the Senior Bowl helped themselves by being here and going through the practices and interviews. Here are six "below-the-radar" prospects of particular note:
OG Larry Warford/Kentucky -big and strong, he competed snap-to-whistle this week
TE Mychal Rivera/Tennessee -he caught almost everything thrown to him
WR Russell Shepard/LSU -late add who displays speed, quickness and hands
OG David Quessenberry/San Jose St -versatile enough to play OG/OT and OC
DE Datone Jones/UCLA -proved that he is scheme capable in 4-3 or 3-4 DE Cornelius Washington -has energy and made things happen as a 4-3 DE
Though I was hot for one of the top OGs earlier this draft is deep at OG so we might wait and see who falls. Warford might be there in the 4th round.
Here's why I'm liking Warford:
Wrapping Up 2013 Senior Bowl Week of Practice - Bleeding Green Nation
Larry Warford (OG, Kentucky) and John Jenkins (NT, Georgia) went up against each other in the one-on-one pass protection blocking drills. With the former at 333 pounds and latter at a mammoth 359, that's nearly 700 pounds of man smashing into one another. Warford got the best of Jenkins in one instance, anchoring and standing his ground well against the bull rush. On another, Jenkins showed rare agility for his size and the quick feet that make him such an interesting prospect; he set up Warford by feigning a power move and then deftly skirted by him. A dancing bear, that's John Jenkins. Problem is, for a player who's 359 pounds, he didn't consistently flash the brute strength one would expect -- and when he did, it wasn't necessarily overwhelming. A few of the times when Jenkins was double-teamed, he got too high in his stance and was easily pushed off his spot immediately to open up a huge hole for the RB.
Jenkins is probably more of a 3-4 NG that unless he slides to the 2nd round I doubt we get him.
If we need a slot reciever here's a mid-round guy that impressed:
Senior Bowl 2013: Mike Glennon, Marquise Goodwin, Desmond Trufant standing out - SBNation.com
Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports also did his examination of the North Team. He singled out numerous players, but Marquise Goodwin from Texas is the player who really stood out from his discerning scouting eye.
If you prefer a CBs, this first guy had the performance and he has the pedigree:
2013 Senior Bowl: North Practice Report Day 4 Led by TJ McDonaldFanSpeak's NFL Draft Blog
Desmond Trufant, Washington: Trufant continued to have one of the better weeks of any player in Mobile. He played with good technique during the 1-on-1’s and was complimented by the coaching staff a number of times. He also came up with a big interception during the two-minute drill. He showed good speed throughout the day and was rarely fooled, something that had been a nagging issue in some earlier practices.
Jordan Poyer, Oregon State: Poyer struggled on one of his first reps in 1-on-1’s but made up for it with a really strong practice the rest of the way. I like his positioning and the way he would break on the ball. He really displays nice ball and coverage skills and rarely let his man outright beat him. His week wasn’t as flashy as say Trufant, but he did all the little things right.
Phillip Thomas, Fresno State: Thomas struggled some in 1-on-1’s and really looked lost at times later in the practice. He couldn’t match some of the tight ends physicality and just got beat inside too often. While he was trending up quite a bit, it’s been a week that has brought him back to earth somewhat.
T.J. McDonald, USC: Huge day for McDonald, he looked great in 1-on-1’s, he did allow one catch, but his coverage was great the quarterback (Nassib) just made an excellent throw. He flowed to the ball well in other drills and really was strong in every area. You saw good angles and awareness which were the two biggest concerns coming into this week.
McDonald might be a prospect at S in the later rounds. More on him:
2013 Senior Bowl: North Practice Report - Day 3 Led by Mike Glennon | FanSpeak's NFL Draft Blog
Safety: T.J. McDonald, USC: He did get beat once, but otherwise had a really strong practice, he all but shut down tight ends today, and diagnosed the play multiple times during full team scrimmage drills. He's got really good athleticism and is playing far better this week than his senior year at USC.
My attention is on a WR in the 1st round and we have at least one prospect for that #14 pick, Terrence Williams:
2013 Senior Bowl: South Team Practice Day 3 Led by Terrance Williams | FanSpeak's NFL Draft Blog
Quinton Patton, LA Tech: Patton had a really strong day, he was very fluid and showed nice short area quickness. He also showed nice awareness and strong hands. Patton made a number of highlight reel catches and is challenging Williams for the best receiver on this squad.
Terrance Williams, Baylor: Terrance Williams running routes at South practice. Had by far the best practice of any receiver. Only guy who was consistently able to get behind the coverage and gain separation throughout the practice. He made a number of highly acrobatic catches and tracked the ball well on long passes. Williams looks to be the whole package and will definitely be someone to watch going forward.
If you prefer a pass rusher, how about the DE (and more on Jenkins):
2013 Senior Bowl: Practice Report Day One: South Team | FanSpeak's NFL Draft Blog
Ezekial Ansah, BYU: Up-and-down practice, looked very quick in individual drills and and 1-on-1's, but struggled some in team drills he didn't win as many battles as you'd hope. Showed some natural bust and edge ability, but needs to get more wins with that talent level.
John Jenkins, Georgia: Jenkins was a monster in middle, nearly impossible to block 1-on-1, and disrupting a number of plays with his penetration. He plays with excellent leverage, and despite his size he's very quick off the ball getting into defender's pads.
The consensus seems to be that John Jenkins is a beast.
On the other side of the ball here's a OT sure to be a 1st round pick
2013 Senior Bowl: Practice Report Day 1 North Team Led by Eric Fisher | FanSpeak's NFL Draft Blog
-Most impressive today was Eric Fisher. He was an absolute rock today. He first started by stoning Datone Jones, later he destroyed Michael Buchanan. The next time vs. Datone Jones he initially got rocked back a bit by a strong punch but recovered beautifully to deny him. The next time Fisher battled Buchanan he again easily got the better of him. The coaches then put Okafor on Fisher’s side where Okafor tried a speed rush around the outside but was easily pushed wide of the pocket. Fisher definitely helped himself today, if he continues to have days like this there should be no reason he gets past San Diego at #11.
Back to the DTs:
2013 Senior Bowl: Day Two Practice Report - North Led by Alex Okafor | FanSpeak's NFL Draft Blog
Defensive Line: Michael Buchanan, Illinois: Buchanan shows some nice edge speed, but he's not strong enough or have any counter moves to get past any of the better tackles. Really looks to be only a situational player right now.
Kawann Short, Purdue: Very strong practice, liked how he got off the ball quickly, showed excellent power and strength inside. Showed nice pursuit and hustle on plays that went away from him.
Jordan Hill, Penn State: Hill looks the part and was very quick off the snap, but too often lost leverage by playing too high. When he stayed low he usually won inside and got penetration, when he stood up he was pretty ineffective.
Margus Hunt, SMU: You can tell that there is a rawness to his game, but you can also quickly see that he has dominant potential. He has a lot of athletic ability and really good strength. Some times his play recognition or technique is off, but overall the potential is through the roof.
Datone Jones, UCLA: Really had a nice day for the most part. He had by far the best run versus Eric Fisher, running right over him. He also had some nice runs versus Quesenberry and Pugh where he showed his strength. He also got handled at times, and was quieter in the scrimmage portion of the practice.
Alex Okafor, Texas: Okafor had the best day of any defender, consistently beating his man, getting a ton of penetration/pressure. He definitely looks like he can handle staying a 4-3 defensive end, and should go in the late first round.
Short is a guy to watch in the 2nd for the Panthers.
Last but not least, the WRs:
Markus Wheaton, Oregon State: Wheaton had a strong day, showcasing really nice speed and agility. He did have one bad drop, but other than that he caught just about everything he got his hands on. He struggled a little with the press coverage, but not enough to really knock his performance.
Aaron Mellette, Elon: Mellette is a small school guy, but he definitely is playing like he belongs. He was probably the best receiver on the North squad, showing good speed, route running and hands. He was good about coming back to the ball aggressively and not waiting for it to come to him. He also tracked a couple deep balls despite being in tight coverage. Given that he's one of the taller receivers out there, the fact that he displayed good speed and quickness makes you believe he could start on the outside.
Mellette is an interesting prospect. He could be another Brian Quick if he impresses at the combine.