On The Clock NFL Mock Draft from Fanspeak.com

Senior Bowl Recap: Creating a Line-up from Senior Bowl prospects

January 25, 2015 in 2015 Senior Bowl

To recap the Senior Bowl week (Game plus practices) I thought i would create a line-up with starters and key back-ups at every position. There will be a few extra "starters" given how teams use various offensive and defensive packages.

QB: starter- Garrett Grayson, back-up- Bryce Petty

-Not much to say here for the quarterbacks as none of them were great. Grayson had some issues, but was probably the most consistent QB of the week. Petty was inconsistent but may have the most talent of the bunch. Honestly though it is tough to consider any of these guys before the 4th round (and even then that is a push).

RB: starter- David Cobb, back-up: David Johnson, 3rd down back- Ameer Abdullah, Fullback- Tyler Varga

-A lot of good running back talent down here. Cobb was the most complete back of the week. He's not a game breaker, but he is a guy who will keep the chains moving. Johnson had a similar week and a similar skill set though maybe a bit more athletic. If you do want a game breaker, Abdullah is your guy and he fits perfectly in a 3rd down back type of role. If you are a team looking for a playmaker who can pick up chunks of yards both on the ground and through the air, Abullah is your guy. He's not a guy who is going to run the ball 17-20 times a game, but 8-10 carries and 4-7 catches a game is where you want him. Varga isn't really a natural fullback, but he played here this week and he showed some nice lead blocking ability as well as some rushing ability. He's a guy you want on your team and will help you in a variety of ways.

TE: starter- Clive Walford, back-up- Nick Boyle

-Walford and Boyle were clearly the top two tight ends down here this week. both are all around players who can help as in line blockers and are quality receivers as well. Walford has more athleticism and is a guy who could even split out in a Joker role.

WR: starters- Tony Lippett, Phillip Dorsett, slot receiver- Tyler Lockett, back-ups: Dezmin Lewis and Jamison Crowder

-Lippett, Dorsett and Lockett all had really strong weeks and it was pretty clear they were the most consistent receivers down here (though there were a number of solid guys). Dorsett and Lockett are guys with great speed who are playmakers. Lippett brings a good size/speed combo and is a very good route runner. As for the back-ups small school Dez Lewis really impressed this week and he's a guy who has a ton of upside. He should find his way into the top 125 picks and could be a riser to watch. Crowder is undersized, but all he did was catch the ball and make plays this week. His size will limit his draft stock, but he will get a shot on the third day to be a slot receiver special teamer.

Offensive tackle: starters-  La'el Collins and Rob Havenstein, back-up-Ali Marpet (better as a guard though)

-Collins had an up-and-down practice week, but played much better in the game. I still think he is similar to a Zack Martin or Joel Bitonio from a year ago where he could play LT and probably be above average there or he could kick inside to guard and quickly become elite. Either way he's a good football player and a guy who should go in the top half of the first round. Havenstein is a guy who won't come close to going in the first round, but day-in-day out he proved he could play at the next level. He probably won't go until the 3rd day, but he had a very good week of practice. Marpet is best suited at guard at the next level and practiced there a lot, but he was listed on the game day program at tackle so I'm fitting him in there. He comes from a small school and played LT there, and could probably back-up the tackle spots as an emergency option at the next level. As a guard though he could be a very good starter as he already has excellent technique and does a great job using leverage.

Offensive guard: starters- Laken Tomlinson and Tre Jackson, back-up- Arie Kouandjio

-Tomlins and Jackson were the best guard from each team and both showed very similar skill sets of strong power, good feet and an ability to anchor. Kouandjjio is another similar offensive guard, but was just a tick behind the rest. All three of these guards should go in the top 75 picks and should quickly become starters.

Center: starter- Max Garcia, back-up: Reese Dismukes

-It was not a strong week for centers, but I thought Max Garcia did the best job of the week. He was a tough blocker and did a nice job anchoring against Danny Shelton. He doesn't have the best prospect status, but expect his name to be called sometime during the 3rd day of the draft. Reese Dismukes is thought to be the top center in the class though based on this week he hasn't played up to that level. He was much better in the game and that definitely helped some, but he needs to do a better job anchoring vs power.

Defensive end: starters- Preston Smith and Owamagbe Odighizuwa, back-up- Henry Anderson

-Now most edge rushers lined up as outside linebackers this week so we didn't see as much of them. With a weaker slate of ends, Preston Smith really looked the best of the bunch. He excelled at both pass rush and run defense drills and did so without much in the way of refined technique. He's a guy that NFL teams will look at as a guy who can get solid production now, but if they really develop him he could become a very good starter. Odighizuwa got a lot of hype this week from a lot of people and some of it was deserved. For me I saw a solid-to-good week, but not a lot to really rave about. Odighizuwa is a physical specimen, and there is some potential, but I am not sure if it will ever click with him. Anderson was hit or miss this week. Some reps he got pushed around like he wasn't even there and other reps he looked fantastic. Two things that stuck out for me is he's really only a 5 tech guy, when he lined up in some other sets he got more easily pushed around. Also his pass rush is ahead of his run defense. A lot of times where he lost was in run blocking when he couldn't hold his ground. He may need to be a situational guy early in his career who plays in pass sets, until he gets stronger.

Defensive tackle: starters- Carl Davis and Danny Shelton, back-up- Grady Jarrett

-Between the game and the week of practice Carl Davis was the most dominant defensive tackle. He was quick off the line and extremely disruptive in the back-field. He plays with excellent power as well and can hold his ground even vs a double team. Shelton had the most hype and for most of the practice week he lived up to it, but he did not have a strong game. He was getting handled by offensive guards and centers that didn't even play well during the week. One of the biggest problems with Shelton during the game was he was slow to get off the line. That is a bad trait to have as a defensive tackle and it can lead to you losing the leverage battle. Shelton is still a really good prospect, but the game raised some concerns. For the back-up spot it came down to either Grady Jarrett or Gabe Wright, both had strong weeks, but Jarrett's was slightly better so he gets the nod.

Outside linebacker: starter- Lyden Trail and Nate Orchard, back-up- Hau'oli Kikaha

-Trail had one of the best weeks of any player as he showed a complete range of skills (including some offensive ones). He's a raw guy, but the upside is there so teams will be highly intrigued with him. He might not go as high as some of the other guys in the draft, but the upside is there for him to be very good at the next level. Orchard followed up his break-out senior year with a really strong week of practice. He needs to work on coverage and run defense more, but he showed up where it mattered most; rushing the passer. He was relentless throughout the week and would have had a number of pressures/sacks if they were live game situations. Kikaha had a similar week to Orchard, but I felt he was slightly behind him. Still he's a very good rusher and should go in the top 50 picks.

Inside linebacker: starters- Denzel Perryman and Stephone Anthony, back-up- Hayes Pullard

-This was one of the toughest groups to decide. Perryman for me was the best ILB coming in and though his practice time was cut short I think he flashed that talent when he was on the field. Anthony was the best ILB who played throughout the week and he shows up as a very violent hitter with good instincts. Pullard I thought had a solid week, though he didn't do anything extra flashy that really made him stand out. He also didn't do anything really negative either.

Cornerback: starters- Josh Shaw and Ladarius Gunter, slot corner- Kevin White, back-ups- Quinten Rollins and Eric Rowe

-For me Josh Shaw had a great week of practice at corner for the North team. He's physical at the line and doesn't allow receivers to get a free release. When he's in off coverage he can still run with the top receivers and he does a nice job playing the football. The best corner on the South team was Kevin White who probably could play outside in a number of schemes but fits well here as the slot corner. For the other starter corner I thought Gunter from Miami had a really strong week. He's another big corner who can run pretty well. A number of the north receivers mentioned him as one of the tougher guys to face this week (Shaw was another guy who got a lot of mentions), and you could see how he competed throughout the week. For the back-ups I went with the high upside Rollins and the utility guy Rowe. Rollins has a ton of potential, but he's still raw overall, Rowe I actually like more of as a safety, but he's another who can be physical off the line and match-up vs bigger receivers.

Safety: starters- Cody Prewitt and Jaquiski Tartt, back-up- Clayton Geathers

-This is an all South line-up as I felt their safety play was superior this week as a whole. Prewitt was the best all-around safety down here, and Tartt has excellent size and the potential to be an in the box safety (and great special teamer) at the next level. Geathers strong week as well and shows the versatility to play either safety spot. North teamers Kurtis Drummond and Adrian Amos had solid weeks as well and definitely deserve a mention.

2015 Senior Bowl Gameday Twitter Notes

January 24, 2015 in 2015 Senior Bowl

Fanspeak.com is covering the 2015 Reese's Senior Bowl LIVE today in Mobile! Stay tuned for postgame recap & photos here tomorrow! But during the game, check out Steve Shoup's thoughts on the game & players:    reeses-senior-bowl-logojpg-a7309e4d0d54c5e5

 

@Steveospeak

2015 Senior Bowl Interview – OLB Nate Orchard

January 24, 2015 in 2015 Senior Bowl

 

Nate Orchard – OLB (Utah)

Measurables:  Hgt:  6’3”

Wgt:  251lbs.

Hand:  10 1/8”

Arm:  33”

 

PROFILE:

All-American his Senior year … won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s top defensive end … set a Utah single-season record with 18.5 sacks … led the nation in sacks per game (1.46) … finished fourth in the nation in tackles for loss per game (1.6) and fifth in total tackles for loss (21.0).

 

On what it means to him to have been invited to play in the Senior Bowl

 

Oh man, it’s a huge honor. You look back in the day, the names that have been a part of this bowl, it’s a huge honor.  Words can’t express how grateful I am to be here.

 

On what one or two things he really wants to showcase to scouts here at the Senior Bowl

 

My versatility. Being able to drop back in coverage and rush the passer. Having my hand down on the ground and playing the run really well.

 

On what areas he thinks he needs to work on as he goes through this draft process

 

Holding my ground on the run and dropping back in coverage. Those are kinda the two things that I lacked a little bit and just need to improve more.

 

On what kind of feedback he has been getting from scouts as to whether they see him as more of a down guy or one who can be versatile

 

A little bit of both. Some teams say if I can bulk up a little bit I can play with my hand down. But then there’s 3-4 teams that like me at outside linebacker. So getting a little bit of both in feedback right now.

 

On what advice his college coaches gave him about entering the draft process

 

Enjoy it. You only get drafted once and the moment will fly by really fast. Just relish it, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

 

On his Senior Bowl experience of working with NFL coaches for the first time

 

It’s great.  It’s a huge honor to be here and be a part of this – working with them. The Titans have been great to us.  My defensive line coach, Coach Smith, he’s awesome, his assistant has been great to us. Loving every second.

 

On how he approaches the fact that there are a lot of good pass rushers at the Senior Bowl with whom he is competing but yet for this one week they are also his teammates

 

I’m used to it. I’ve had it over the years at Utah with Trevor Reilly there. This year with Hunter Dimick. Hunter was a great competitor. Being here with all these guys, the best in the nation. I know you’re on the same team, but at the same time you want to do your job and just be successful.

 

On who was the best offensive lineman he went up against in college

 

I wish I could actually give you his name, but he was the left tackle at Colorado, I want to say two years ago and he’s playing for the Green Bay Packers now, starting for them. He was definitely the best. (David Bakhtiari)

 

On what he will bring to an NFL team beyond the technical/fundamental aspects of the game

 

Passion and energy. I love my job, I love what I’m doing. You know, there’s guys who love it but at the same time dread it. I live and breathe it every second. I take advantage of every opportunity and every moment that I’m playing this game.

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Senior Bowl Interview – CB Josh Shaw

January 24, 2015 in 2015 Senior Bowl

Josh Shaw – CB  (USC)

Measurables:  Hgt:  6’

Wgt:  198lbs.

Hand:  9”

Arm:  30 7/8”

 

PROFILE:

3-year college career at Florida and USC … combined he had 119 tackles (including 8.5 for losses), 14 deflections and six interceptions with 22 starts … at USC, he had 97 tackles, including 7.5 for losses, plus 13 deflections and six interceptions while starting 21 games.

 

 

On what it means to him to have been invited to play in the Senior Bowl

 

It means a lot.  This is the premier college all-star game. So being able to be here and showcase my talent in front of all 32 teams – it’s really a blessing.

 

On the significance of being invited to the Senior Bowl after putting in a solid performance the week before at the East-West Shrine Game

 

It means that I’m doing something right. That guys wanted to see more of me, which is good. I just want an opportunity to go out and showcase myself and show these guys that I’d be a good asset to their organization.

 

On what he thinks he can bring to an NFL team

 

I think that I’m a corner who can play safety and nickel so I’m a guy that can be on someone’s roster that can play multiple positions at any given time. The coaches can feel comfortable that if a safety goes down I can move to safety and there will be no drop-off. Also, that I can play on special teams. I think I can be a key guy on every organization’s special teams.

 

On the fact that, as a bigger cornerback in college he enjoyed success playing with some physicality, and how he will approach playing against the big, physical receivers in the NFL like a Dez Bryant or Calvin Johnson

 

It starts with watching a lot of film. You get out there on gameday, you got to trust your preparation and trust everything the coaches have been telling you. You gotta have a plan each and every down you line up. If you’re in press coverage, you don’t want to show the receiver the same thing every time. You want to be able to have a toolbox and mix things up.

 

On coming from a storied college program that has produced numerous NFL players and any feedback he has gotten from USC guys who have made the jump to the next level

 

The feedback I always get is they come back and tell me that I can play in that league. At USC we got a lot of talent there. Most of the guys that come there are probably 5-stars coming out of high school, or at least a good majority of the guys. So year in and year out, I’ve faced guys from Robert Woods to Marquise Lee to now Nelson Aguilar, guys like that. So I think that has definitely prepared me for the next level.

 

On which of those top USC receivers was the toughest to cover

 

You know what, they’re all different, so I couldn’t even say one over the other. Because they’re all different, they all have different skill sets, they all possess a different challenge for every corner. 

 

On which receiver outside of USC was the toughest to cover and why

 

Brandin Cooks. Brandin Cooks of Oregon State. He’s really so explosive.  You really don’t see guys like him come around too often. He’s a smart player and he’s physical also. Usually when you get smaller receivers, they don’t like to be touched. You know, Brandin Cooks, he’s the type of receiver that he’ll bring the party to you. So I had a great time matching up against him.

 

On what experience he has playing special teams and if he feels that he can do that immediately in the NFL

 

Yes, I definitely think I can do it Day 1. I’ve had to do it throughout my collegiate career. It’s something you do especially being at the colleges that was at – one, at Florida and then the other at USC. Your key guys, your starters, you play special teams. They treat it like the NFL – you see starters in the NFL playing on special teams, so it would be no different.

 

On what kind of advice he’s gotten from the NFL coaches here at the Senior Bowl

 

They like how long I am and what I can do in press coverage. So I think now it’s about fine tuning some things and playing the technique they want me to play as opposed to what I have been taught all these years and what’s comfortable for me. So, it’s being able to show them that I can adjust to what they want out of me.

 

 

 

 

 

30 Players from the Senior Bowl Who Helped Their Draft Stock

January 24, 2015 in 2015 Senior Bowl

*Note: Danny Shelton isn't included because he just reaffirmed his first round status. Also the order isn't important all these players boosted their stock with a strong week:

1. David Cobb-RB, Minnesota:

-Cobb was the best back on either team and looks to be the complete package for the next level. He can run, catch, and block and should quickly become an every down back for some team. He runs with nice vision and patience to fit in a zone scheme, but he also runs with some power as well.

2. Jamison Crowder-WR, Duke:

-Crowder is undersized at 5'8" 174 lbs, but he just kept making plays throughout the week. He's going to have to be a slot guy and probably limited in some of the things he can do, but he showed some ability to be a playmaker and valuable weapon in the NFL.

3. Quinten Rollins-CB, Miami (Ohio):

-Rollins is one of the more interesting cases down here as he has just one year of football experience (played college basketball before), but he showed the skills to be a good cover corner at the next level.

4. Ali Marpet- OG, Hobart:

-Marpet comes from a small school, but he quickly showed that he belong on the same field as Big 10, ACC, and Pac-12 guys. Marpet displayed the best technique of any offensive lineman on the North squad and he used that to win battles vs a number of North DT's. He did struggle some vs power guys, and may be best suited in a zone scheme, but he is a very intriguing guy to watch. He probably won't go until the 4th round and he represents a nice project.

5. Max Garcia- C/G, Florida:

-Garcia was considered an afterthought entering the week, but have a pretty decent week of practice (including good reps versus Danny Shelton) and the versatility to play multiple positions, Garcia should be moving up draft boards. At the very least he would represent a good utility offensive lineman, and in a weak center class he could develop into a starter down the line.

6. Laken Tomlinson- G, Duke:

-Tomlinson got better as the week went on and he ended up being the best guard prospect vs the top two North defensive tackles (Shelton and Carl Davis) thoughout the week. He needs to work on his technique and hand usage some, but overall he displays nice power and a strong base to build upon.

7. Rob Havenstein- T, Wisconsin:

-Though not a highly rated prospect, Havenstein had a great week from a consistency perspective. Whether in 1-on-1's or team work, he constantly was winning his battles and engulfing defenders. Now this doesn't make him into a top 100 prospect by any means, but he shows some promise of having a future at RT in the NFL.

8. Carl Davis- DT, Iowa:

-Davis weighed in at 321 and showed great quickness and production throughout the week. He didn't have a big career at Iowa, but after this week he will force some teams to go back and do some extra work on him to see if it was a fluke or more of a sign of his future at the next level.

9. Hau'oli Kikaha- OLB, Washington:

-Kikaha had some questions surrounding him despite his production these past two years, but he came through the Senior Bowl in a real positive light. He's very quick off the edge and shows the movement skills to drop into coverage as well. He's an excellent fit for a 3-4 team as an edge rusher.

10. Nate Orchard- OLB, Utah:

-Orchard had a breakout Senior campaign, but there were going to be questions about whether or not he was a one year wonder. Down here at the Senior Bowl Orchard started answering those questions by having a really good week in practice. Orchard is not as strong in coverage and his run support is a bit weak, but boy does he get after the quarterback. He displays nice speed and quickness and does a nice job setting up offensive linemen.

11. Josh Shaw- CB, USC:

-After a big Shrine Game week last week, Shaw followed it up with another strong week at the Senior Bowl. He's tall, long corner who is excellent in press coverage. He does a nice job in transition and can run with most guys. Some teams will look for him at safety and he could play there as well, but corner looks like his best position for now.

12. Eric Rowe- CB/S, Utah:

-Rowe looked good playing both safety and corner and will definitely get looks at teams in both spots. Either way you have a guy with good size and length, who is very good in coverage and has nice range and physicality.

13. David Johnson- RB, Northern Iowa:

-Johnson showed well as a small school back and opened eyes as a complete back down in Moblie. He fared well in pass protection (which is huge at the next level) and caught the ball well out of the backfield. He had a couple really nice runs as well.

14. Phillip Dorsett- WR, Miami:

-Dorsett is probably the fastest receiver not only down in Mobile, but in this draft. He was timed at a 4.21 40 at Miami, whether that holds up at the combine or not is meaningless as this kid can fly. Though deep balls were his primary focus at Miami, Dorsett showed good route running and fluid movements to create separation on other routes.

15. Dezmin Lewis- WR, Central Arkansas:

-Lewis is a small school receiver, but he showed up extremely well this week. He has excellent size and uses it well to his advantage. He doesn't have elite speed, or route running, but he's good in both areas. If you are looking for a mid-round receiver with big time upside, Lewis is going to be your guy.

16. Tyler Lockett- WR, Kansas State:

-Lockett might be undersized, but man can he fly. He's electric with the ball in his hands and he showed an excellent ability to track the football and win jump balls. Lockett is going to be a good receiver who can help inside, but also be a vertical threat and special teamer.

17. Clive Walford- TE, Miami:

-Walford was clearly the best tight end on either team and helped himself quite a bit showing well as both a receiver and blocker. Few tight ends are the complete package in today's NFL so Walford is going to appeal to all 32 NFL teams in some capacity.

18. Tre Jackson- G, Florida State:

-Jackson was probably the most consistent offensive guard on the South squad (which was a very impressive group), he displays good power and a strong anchor. He's very tough to move and once he gets his hands on you it is pretty much over.

19. Shaq Mason- G, Georgia Tech:

-As a run blocker Mason's game is already NFL ready, as a pass blocker Mason leaves something to be desired, but he helped himself this week. Though raw as a pass blocker, Mason improved throughout the week and overall did a nice job. He will still likely struggle to pick up pass blocking assignments early in his career, but he showed he has the potential to be very good here.

20. Arie Kouandjio- G, Alabama:

-Kouandjio early in the week had some issue anchoring vs power moves, but he improved as the week went on and was one of the fiercest interior offensive linemen in Mobile. He had some of the best battles of the week, and he's a guy who could start quickly at the next level.

21. Daryl Williams- T, Oklahoma:

-Williams was not the most highly rated OT down in Mobile, but he was clearly the most consistent on the South squad. He's a guy who is limited to RT, but he shows nice length, strength and a good base. He's not going to wow you and probably isn't ever going to be a Pro Bowl player at the next level, but he can play and probably start at RT in the future. He's also not much of a project so at worst he could be a solid back-up and be that early in his career.

22. Gabe Wright- DT, Auburn:

-Wright's week was cut short, but before his practice week ended he showed he could be a very good 3 tech penetrating defensive tackle at the next level. He maybe could get some 5 tech looks as well, but his strength is going to be getting after the quarterback with a quick first step.

23. Preston Smith- DL, Mississippi State:

-Smith is a raw pass rusher overall and kind of a tweener as he's undersized to play DT or a 5 tech, but probably too big to be a full edge rusher. He also doesn't play with the most consistent technique. What he does well though is produce. Smith consistently gave OT's problems and he's the type of guy who if you have a game plan (either get him to add or drop weight) and can coach him up a little bit he can be a good player at the next level. His draft stock is a bit up and down because of the uncertainty, but a smart team will find a way to use him.

24. Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson:

-Jarrett may be undersized, and some teams will knock him for that, but the kid can flat out play. He was disruptive throughout the week and was relentless on every snap. He's the type of guy who goes non-stop and is a vocal leader on the field. He's very quick off the snap which allows him to penetrate quickly and make plays in the backfield. Though his size will remain an issue, he proved he can make an impact at this size and NFL teams will take notice of that.

25. Joey Mbu, DT, Houston:

-Mbu quietly had one of the better Senior Bowl weeks among defensive linemen. Though not as hyped as many of his fellow DT's Mbu just consistently showed good reps in both 1-on-1 and team drills. Mbu isn't going to get a lot of sacks or blow up a lot of plays in the backfield, but where he wins is pushing back the interior of the line in pass rushing, limiting the QB from stepping up and holding up at the POA in run defense.

26. Lynden Trail, OLB, Norfolk State:

-One of the most impressive players down here this week, Trail was a small school guy who came in with a lot of intrigue but little certainty. Trail has impressive length and athleticism, and he used that to show case his pass rushing skills and even some nice coverage skills. He even got some work at TE showing some extra versatility. Overall this was a big week for a small school guy, he wasn't overwhelmed playing against a higher level of competition and he took to NFL coaching well. While he still probably is a 5th rounder type, Trail is a guy who made a positive impression on NFL teams.

27. Stephone Anthony- ILB, Clemson:

-It can be tough for non-pass rushing linebackers to really shine in these practices as there isn't full hitting and 1-on-1 coverage drills typically favor the TE's and backs vs ILBs. Anthony though held his own in coverage drills while looking good in blitzing drills and full team work. Anthony maybe wasn't allowed to fully hit running backs, but he showed good instincts and angles of pursuit.

28. Kevin White- CB, TCU:

-White is a smaller undersized corner, but that doesn't stop him from being one of the toughest cover guys down here. He's very smooth in transition and has nice speed to go along with good coverage skills. Despite his size he's probably not completely limited to the slot (though some teams will pass given their type of defense). White covered a number of the South's top receivers very well throughout the week and definitely helped his overall stock.

29. Cody Prewitt- S, Ole Miss:

-Prewitt came into this week trying to show he had the versatility, instincts, and speed to play safety at the next level and he passed that test with flying colors. Prewitt showed well both in the box and in a free safety role. His instincts, reaction time, and angles of pursuit were all top notch. He's not going to be the most athletically gifted safety, but I think he showed he deserves consideration at either safety spot. Prewitt is also a team leader and a special teamer so there is added value there.

30. Ladarius Gunter- CB, Miami:

-Gunter was a corner who hadn't impressed me much in the games I'd seen of his. He had size and length and it looked like he could run okay,but his game didn't seem overly special. This week though I think his potential really shined through and he looks like a corner who could develop into a starter down the road. He showed nice coverage and ball skills to go along with his size. He ran better on deeper routes than I expected, and stayed with some of the burners on the South squad.

Bonus: 31. Nick Marshall- CB, Auburn:

-Marshall came to the Senior Bowl as a quarterback and at the opening press conference the head of the Senior Bowl Phil Savage talked about him wanting to try QB before any possible position switch. The next day Marshall decided to make the move to corner before the first practice. Though some have questioned if he made the right move, I think he absolutely made the correct decision. At QB even in a weak class he was maybe a 6th-7th rounder at best, and a guy who would get drafted mainly because of his exceptional athleticism more than anything else. At 6'1", 205 he was undersized as a quarterback, but he's excellent size for a corner, add in that athletic ability and his potential is really high. By making the switch now, not only did Marshall get the chance to show off to scouts this week (and he did pretty well considering), but he now can spend the next 4 months working on developing as a corner so he is ready when Rookie Mini-camp happens right after the draft. Marshall probably rose his draft stock by at least a round, and increased his chances of sticking in the NFL.

Day 3 Senior Bowl Practice Notes:

January 23, 2015 in 2015 Senior Bowl

I'm going to combine notes for the North and South squads. This time I won't break it up by position, but rather team and just list some guys who stood out:

North:

-It's always tough for a running back to stand out at these practices because since there isn't full hitting you don't always know if the RB would make the play or if the defender would . That being said David Cobb continued to flash in practice. Whatever he was asked to do he did it and he did it well. One thing you can notice in practice though is a player's vision and cutting ability, Cobb looked really good in both areas and has all the makings of a feature back at the next level.

-With Jeremy Langford dealing with an injury the other back to watch was Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah. Now Abdullah is definitely not an every down back, but from a quickness/speed perspective he brings a lot to the table. He can develop as a good change of pace/receiving option out of the backfield and looked the part in practice.

-Bryce Petty may win the "top QB" honor of the week (definitely on the North squad), but it is more by default than anything else. The only South quarterback who really showed himself this week was Garrett Grayson so the competition wasn't exactly fierce. Petty was very inconsistent in this final practice and missed on a number of targets. He had some issues handling the snap (which isn't surprising) and he was late on just too many throws. While Petty will still get drafted, he is clearly going to be a project as a team tries to get him NFL ready.

-Nick Boyle is the most complete tight end on the North squad. He's got great size, good speed and is a relentless blocker. He's not going to be a Jimmy Graham type of TE, but he can play and he routinely gave linebackers and safeties problems in coverage. Notre Dame's Ben Koyack has similar size and will intrigue teams the same way, but I feel he's a touch behind Boyle in every area except national exposure (and level of competition).

-There is a lot of good solid receiver play this week from the North squad, but two guys that I thought had a good last day were Tony Lippett and Antwan Goodley. Lippett is a great combo of size, speed and route running. There are no wasted movements when he's running a route and it helps him to create a lot of separation against opposing DB's. He had a strong week overall, but this final day was the icing on the cake for him. Goodley was a guy who didn't stand out to me earlier in the week, but I thought did well this final day. He isn't built like a traditional receiver which may give some people pause, but he still shows the requisite speed, quickness and fluidity to play the position. He was able to get open at a good rate, but at times it was wasted due to poor QB play.

-T.J. Clemmings is the best tackle on the North Squad from a draft perspective, but he really struggled in this final practice. He is of course a raw prospect overall with only 2 years on the OL, but you saw some issues creep up throughout the practice. Though he has the size, strength and quickness to play the position, he struggled with his consistency and technique. He was slow off the snap on multiple reps, which indicates that he's probably thinking more than just doing. When he did use good technique though you could easily see why he's earning himself consideration in the first round as he can finish blocks and take on the most talented pass rushers the North team has.

-One tackle that did continually stand out is Rob Havenstein from Wisconsin. Havenstein is not going to be a highly valued prospect, but was consistently solid throughout the week and handled the best DL the North had to offer. He might be the dreaded "RT only" type of prospect, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have some value.

-Three interior offensive linemen stood out in practice: G Laken Tomlinson, G Ali Marpet and C Max Garcia. Garcia really impressed as the best center of the week and had mostly clean snaps while showing a good anchor in pass protection. Tomlinson opened a lot of people's eyes with how physical he was versus NT Danny Shelton who was giving OL all sorts of problems. Tomlinson needs some work with using his hands better, but he showed a really nice base to go along with power to move even the biggest defensive linemen in drills. Marpet is a small school guy who quickly showed he belonged playing with the big boys. He's a bit undersized and with him moving inside to guard he could probably stand to add 10-15 lbs, but he is a true technician at the position that would fit perfectly in zone schemes. If he adds the weight and some strength (and there is no reason that he can't) he would be a good fit for power teams as well.

-Along the defensive line the two standouts again were Carl Davis and Danny Shelton. A couple other guys though had good final days of practice. Nate Orchard looks every bit the pass rusher you want him to be. And Hau'oli Kikaha has the athleticism to be the edge rusher from a stand-up role. But one guy who I really liked in practice was Za'Darius Smith from Kentucky. Smith shined at the Shrine Game last week and got the invite to play at the Senior Bowl. Early on in the week their was a noticeable drop in his performance, but he had a good 3rd day. He showed the ability to win with both speed and power, giving linemen problems thoughout the practice. He wasn't making "splash plays" and it probably best suited for a left end role in a 4-3, but he showed some nice things today.

-Two defensive backs that stood out for me today were Quandre Diggs from Texas and Josh Shaw from USC. Shaw has had now two great weeks of practice at All-Star games and has had to have impressed a number of NFL scouts. He checks all the boxes you are looking for, and though he maybe lacks elite speed you don't see him get torched that often. Diggs is a shorter corner and probably more of a slot guy in the NFL, but he came up with a number of nice plays in both one-on-ones and team drills. His size will limit his prospects, but he showed great quickness and ball skills today that will intrigue a number of teams in the mid-rounds looking for a slot corner.

South Team:

-Though I though Garrett Grayson was arguably the best quarterback of the week this wasn't his finest hour so to speak. He did have some nice throws, but he had too many throws making you wonder what was he thinking exactly. Blake Sims had probably his best practice of the week and it's good to see him get better each and every day, but he still misses far too many throws. South QB Bryan Bennett was only making his 2nd practice and has plenty of issues of his own, but one thing I liked was how well he threw the ball on the run and his velocity in general. A lot of the quarterbacks struggled to put anything on the ball and be accurate when they were moving, but Bennett did a nice job rolling out and hitting his target.

-David Johnson of Northern Iowa had a really nice day running the football. He runs with a nice combo of speed and power and he accelerates through the hole. As a smaller school guy he showed well down here.

-Tight end Clive Walford is still the best tight end down here, he was owning most linebackers and safeties down here and just putting on a show in receiving drills. Walford had one of the best all-around weeks down here and definitely helped himself in a weaker tight end class.

-Among offensive linemen I think the two most impressive of the day were Shaq Mason and Arie Kouandjio. Both are guards with a lot of power and routinely would just shutdown the defender they were facing. Kouandjio is probably a bit more complete and balanced right now, as Mason still struggles at times in pass blocking sets, but Mason is a good prospect as well. At tackle Daryl Williams remains the most consistent player on the South squad. He has good strength and for the most part handled his assignments in individual and team drills.

-Along the defensive line In addition to Grady Jarrett and Preston Smith, I liked what I saw from Joey Mbu from Houston. He doesn't have the hype of some other guys, but he plays with good power and was tough for guards to block one-on-one. At times he will play too high so he needs to work on maintaining leverage, but there is a lot of promise in his game as a run stopper. Owamagbe Odighizuwa is a good DE, and did some nice work on the edge, but I do question his consistency. At times in team drills he disappeared despite going up against OT's who were struggling.

-Lyden Trail was one of the biggest winners of the week, but really had a nice final day of practice. He's a long pass rusher, who shows nice quickness off the edge. He continued to excel in both pass rushing and coverage drills, but he got his chance to showcase his skill set on the other side of the ball in some tight end drills. Trail used his size and length to make a couple nice catches and while overall he's better as a pass rusher some teams may be intrigued at a conversion.

-Kevin White from TCU remains one of the more impressive defensive backs down here, but a guy who really showed well today was Ladarius Gunther from Miami. Gunther is a longer corner, but he did a real nice job running with speedier receivers in coverage and using his size and length to his advantage.

2015 Senior Bowl Practice Day 3 – Twitter Notes

January 22, 2015 in 2015 Senior Bowl

Fanspeak.com's Steve Shoup is covering the 2015 Reese's Senior Bowl LIVE in Mobile, AL all week for practices, game & more!            SBpractice02

Here are Steve's tweets for both the North & South practices on Day 3:

 

@Steveospeak

Senior Bowl Day 2 South Team Practice Report

January 22, 2015 in 2015 Senior Bowl

Quarterbacks:

-Not a lot here, Blake Sims continues to underwhelm me in practice. He was better in day 2, but still missing some easy throws and not a lot of zip, particularly when moving in the pocket. It's not all bad by any means, and he should get a shot in the late rounds, but I don't think there is a lot of potential or progression there. Bryan Bennett took over for Nick Marshall as the 3rd team QB and he had a nice first day throwing the football. HIs footwork is raw, but he had some nice zip on his throws for the most part. The best quarterback of the bunch continues to be Garrett Grayson from Colorado State. By no means a top prospect, Grayson shows a real nice deep ball and does a good job with the intermediate routes. A couple times in team drills he stared down receivers which allowed the DB to break-up the pass, but overall it was a good day for him.

Running backs:

-No real running back notes today, didn't watch them as much and what I did see no one really stood out.

Wide Receivers:

-This is a strong WR group on the South squad and we are starting to see some guys pull away from the pack. Tyler Lockett and Phillip Dorsett are smaller receivers, but both show incredible burst and top end speed. Both had really good practices and were extremely tough match-ups for opposing DB's in practice. Small school guy Dez Lewis has a great combination of height and speed. He is a little raw with the route running and creating separation, but the upside is there and he could be a riser in this group. Sammie Coates has been a mixed bag, he shows well on one rep and then on the next rep he loses position to the DB or drops the pass. Consistency is going to be very important for him going forward.

Tight Ends:

-Clive Walford was just putting on a show today, whether he was catching sideline passes against air, facing LB's in 1-on-1's or working in team drills, Walford was making highlight catches, and wowing the Jaguars coaching staff. There was consistent praise among the Jaguars staff for Walford's performance and it was easy to see why. He was clearly the best tight end on the field, and it wasn't particularly close. After Walford yesterday showed good blocking ability, having a receiving day like this points to him be a complete every down TE, which every team should be looking for.

Offensive linemen:

-A rough day for a couple of highly touted offensive linemen. OT Ty Sambrailo and C Reese Dismukes both had major struggles today in both pass blocking and run blocking drills. There performance didn't improve much in full team work either. That is not to say every single rep for these players was poor, but rather that there was more bad reps than there should have been, and their stock may have taken a hit. Another top OL prospect La'El Collins had a mixed day, considering he's getting some top 20 hype you probably want to see him win, and win convincingly more of his battles. Collins struggled with some speed rushers and didn't show good feet that had him losing battles. He can't afford to do that at the next level, particularly if he was to be tried at LT. Shaq Mason isn't as highly rated as Collins but he had a similar day where he had some really bad reps mixed in with good reps.

A couple OL that really did impress were OT Daryl Williams, OT/OG Austin Shepherd, G Tre Jackson and G Arie Kouandjio. Williams has really been the most consistent OT down here on the South squad as he shows himself to be a classic power right tackle who just envelops defenders. Even when he'd "lose" battles, he typically got a hand on the defender to slow him down slightly so in a real game it would have been more like allowing a pressure vs a sack. Shepherd shows nice versatility being able to play inside or outside. He probably is better suited at guard in the NFL, but he held his own in some tackle reps. Jackson started out practice slow with a couple bad reps in a row, but he really improved throughout practice. I liked his drive and power in run blocking, and he had a nice punch in pass block drills that stunned the defender. Kouandjio had a really nice practice as well (though he did get a little chippy with a couple DT's), showing a really strong base and nice hand usage. He is very strong and he finishes blocks as well as anyone down here.

Defensive linemen:

-Gabe Wright, Grady Jarrett and Preston Smith were my big winners of the day. All three consistently won their battles in one-on-one drills and in team drills. Wright is very quick of the snap an gets nice leverage on the defender. He's got good strength to take advantage of OL who aren't in the proper position, but he's not going to win a ton of battles in the run game. Jarrett is similar to Wright as he's undersized, but he's a little less of a pass rusher and does more vs the run.Both are guys who will cause havoc in the middle of a defense. Smith is a long edge rusher and he had a really nice day today vs the top South OT's.

Linebackers:

-I haven't gotten the chance to say much on Clemson's Stephone Anthony so far, but he is a player that is really fun to watch. He shows really nice recognition and has a nice quick first step. This allows him to be in position to make a lot of plays. It's not live full hitting, but you can see how violently he attacks the ball carrier and how he's going to be a sure tackler. Lynden Trail is a small school guy and really he's a 3-4 edge rusher, but he handles himself adequately in coverage (which NFL teams will like). He doesn't take many false steps and can stay with most tight ends/backs.

Defensive backs:

-Kevin White continues to be one of the best cover guys here. He's so smooth in transition that he doesn't lose a lot of speed and it allows him to close any gaps fast. All around he's been the best corner of this group. Ladarius Gunter is a bigger more physical corner, but he showed well today being able to run with some of the speedier receivers of the South squad. If eh can prove he can run well at his size he's going to have a lot of teams interested. Safety Clayton Geathers is very quick and smooth out of his breaks and looks like he could be a free safety at the next level. Cody Prewitt is one of those guys who just always makes plays and is around the football. He had a great all-around practice today and was praised a fair amount by the Jaguars coaching staff. He played both SS and FS today, and made nice plays showcasing why he could do either at the next level. On one play where he was lined up at SS, about 10 yards off the LOS on the right side, the offense tried a reverse. As soon as the running back handed the ball off to the ultra fast Tyler Lockett, Prewitt changed direction and tore off after the ball carrier from the middle of the field, he got to the backfield before Lockett got back across the field and easily would have had him for a big 8 yard loss if it was full hitting. On that play Prewitt showed everything you are looking for in a SS in run support (and skills that apply elsewhere as well), reaction time, change of direction, speed, angle of pursuit and breaking down the play to make a proper tackle (he easily could have over ran it). Later in practice on two passes Prewitt was playing FS and closed nicely on a couple of passes (didn't get the chance to make a play on the ball though) by reading the QB.

Senior Bowl Day 2 North Practice Notes:

January 21, 2015 in 2015 Senior Bowl

These will be brief and i will go with more in depth notes tonight as the 2nd practice is within the hour:

Quarterbacks:

-Bryce Petty was clearly the top QB on the North squad and I don't think it's very close. Petty isn't a great QB prospect right now, but he's head and shoulders above the competition on this squad. He had a couple really nice passes today in some tighter windows. Shane Carden struggled throwing the ball down the field for much of practice.

Running backs:

-Didn't watch the running backs as much today, but David Cobb stood out every time I did. He did a nice job finding the hole and accelerating through it in team drills. Also did well in receiving and pass blocking drills. Didn't see as many Jeremy Langford reps, but I saw a couple nice runs from him as well.

Wide Receivers:

-Justin Hardy gets open a lot, but he did have a couple bad drops that set his day back. I liked seeing Devin Smith run a lot of underneath routes to expand his game, he still needs to get some polish there, but it was a solid practice for him. Vince Mayle from Washington State had some really nice catches over the middle and down the field.

Tight Ends:

-Will get more in depth later, but I've liked what I've seen out of Nick Boyle from Delaware. Real physical blocker, strong at POA and can move people with ease. Receiving may need some work, but he's not just a plodder out there. He can move some in the intermediate range.

Offensive line:

T.J. Clemmings from Pitt showed that he was the best OL on the North squad today (and arguably on either squad) In the first group of 1-on-1's and double team drills he showed great power and finish to his blocks. He did well both in run and pass blocking sets. His 2nd set of 1-on-1's he struggled a little bit, but he bounced back in team drills. One note I do have is he did seem more comfortable at RT than LT (not surprising) this could give some team's pause who are projecting a quick transition to the left side. Laken Tomlinson fared well when he wasn't facing off vs Danny Shelton or Carl Davis, when he faced one of them though he lost a couple of battles pretty bad. Robert Myers from Tennessee State flashed for me today, I liked the power and base from what I saw.

Defensive Line:

Danny Shelton plays with great strength and leverage. He's nearly impossible to block 1-on-1, and was disruptive in both run and pass block drills. When he was facing double teams he wasn't pushing the pocket and was pretty well handled. Now this might seem like nit-picking, but as a NT at the next level double team's are going to be a major part of what he faces, Shelton will need to show that like other top NT's he can will his fair share of battles against two OL. After Shelton Carl Davis was probably the best DL from the North squad, he was giving OL fits all throughout the day. Deion Barnes had a rough day, he did win a couple of battles with nice inside moves, but overall the OL handled him. Marcus Hardison similarly had a rough go of it today, too often he lost the initial battle and was out of the play.

Linebackers:

I will have more notes on LB's later but two pass rushers Hau'oli Kikaha and Nate Orchard really stood out today. Kikaha is the more athletically gifted of the two and probably has a better chance of being a right side rusher. Both both edge players did well for themselves today. Orchard didn't do as well versus the run, but he showed some nice burst and closing speed off the edge. A couple of times he played too upright and wasn't able to counter the OT/TE but overall a good day.

Defensive backs:

-I am very impressed with Josh Shaw, Steven Nelson  and Doran Grant among the corners. Shaw is so physical in press, but he also runs well down the field. I didn't see him have too many issues on vertical routes. Also think he does a nice job of knowing when he has help over the top. Grant and Nelson both did some nice things today and had some of the best WR/CB match-ups of the day. Eric Rowe from Utah was playing more safety today, he's a nice versatile player who you will find a spot for on your team. Kurtis Drummond looked good as safety as well and made some nice plays. He shows good range and finds the football well. I liked the angles he was taking in pursuit.

2015 Senior Bowl Practice Twitter Practice Notes – Day 2

January 21, 2015 in 2015 Senior Bowl

Fanspeak.com's Steve Shoup is covering the 2015 Reese's Senior Bowl LIVE in Mobile, AL all week at practices, Media Night, and the game of course!      SBPractice01

Here are Steve's tweets for both the North & South practices on Day 2:

 

@Steveospeak