Day 1 Senior Bowl South Team Notes: Jordan Matthews and Dee Ford Top the List
*These will be a little shorter today as I need to head out to media night
Today I mainly focused on quarterbacks, receivers and defensive backs, but will share additional notes as well
Derek Carr, Fresno State-
-good first day for Carr overall, I thought he had the best all-around day. The ball comes out fairly quickly and typically he delivered it with nice accuracy and touch. He seemed to do well taking the ball under center and his footwork didn’t seem choppy or hesitant at all. There were a couple poor throws, but all-in-all it was a strong start to the week.
David Fales, San Jose State-
-Fales moves well in the pocket and was accurate on short and intermediate throws. He struggled some on deeper routes or throwing across the field outside the numbers. On quick pass outside the numbers across the field, Fales threw it quickly, but it took a long time for the ball to get there. The defender was on the wide receiver easily and had they been playing any tighter it probably would have been going the other way for 6. A couple other times Fales was indecisive with the football and waited to long to throw the ball leading to either a contested catch or defensed pass. In the NFL you won’t get away with those as much.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois-
-Not the strongest of practices for Garoppolo. He had some trouble with the center exchange (not shocking given that he hasn’t worked with him) and it happened multiple times. He also missed on some early throws during one-on-ones and the coaches needed to make corrections. His accuracy improved somewhat, but we still saw some errant throws. His arm didn’t wow that much either, struggled with some deeper passes that should have been completed.
Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt-
-Had one of the best all-around practices. Caught the ball well for the most part, including multiple highlight reel catches that were contested. He showed nice deep speed and the ability to separate. On one play during 7-on-7 work, he was late on the snap count, yet despite the late start he was able to accelerate and beat the corner deep (ball wasn’t thrown his way though). Matthews did well when faced with press coverage and used both his size and speed well throughout the day.
Kevin Norwood, Alabama-
-Norwood showed really nice hands for most of practice. Caught the ball cleanly and didn’t really double-catch or drop much. He’s a bigger receiver, but he’s not the type of guy who knows how to use his size just yet. Norwood needed a lot of work in trying to get off press coverage, was struggling even against some of the smaller/weaker corners. Still he shows some nice potential and could be a late round developmental type guy.
Mike Davis, Texas-
-Really rough day for Mike Davis. First he came in just over 6’0″ and then he went out and had a poor practice. He dropped multiple passes throughout the day in every drill. He did show some nice separation skills with his quickness and speed, but the drops were killer today.
Cody Hoffman, BYU-
-Hoffman had an up and down day catching the football. He cleaned it up after a few drops, but you want to see more consistency. I thought he carried his size well and looked pretty fluid. Didn’t see him get much deep separation, but in the intermediate he did well.
Ryan Grant, Tulane-
-Herron displays a lot of natural speed and quickness. His hands were just okay today, but he did well challenging defenders down the field.
Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma-
-Colvin had a good strong practice, easily one of the better players on this team. He was aggressive with press coverage and was able to disrupt routes quite a bit. He showed good speed and quickness and was able to run with every receiver.
Jaylen Watkins, Florida-
-Pretty good day for Watkins, didn’t show much physicality and struggled to press bigger receivers, but other than that he was pretty good. He played the ball well in the air and showed a nice break on the football. He was quick enough to run with everyone and he constantly challenged receivers. Some bigger ones got the better of him at times, but he never allowed them easy catches.
Chris Davis, Auburn-
-Not the best day for Davis, he really struggled in a number of drills and looked flat out lost at times. He came in shorter than expected, and he used his hands a little too much. A couple times coaches talked to him about it, and clearly he would have drawn multiple penalties throughout the practice.
Keith McGill, Utah-
-Impressive size and length. Has the best size of any defensive back (corner or safety), and still plays pretty smoothly. He might not be the fastest corner (will be interesting to watch at the combine), but he plays with nice instincts and uses his strengths well. He’s impressive in press coverage (and it’s a great use of his size) and can use his reach to protect the jump ball.
Walt Aikens, Liberty-
-Small school guy, but he fared okay throughout practice. Aikens has nice speed and length and challenged a number of receivers. A couple times he did get too aggressive which would have led to a penalty, but you can see some nice potential.
Lavelle Westbrooks, Georgia Southern-
-Westbrooks didn’t standout too much today, but I liked his technique the few times I watched him. He displayed good positioning and covered pretty well. Saw him get beat a couple times, but it didn’t seem to be too much of a habit.
Terrence Brooks, Florida State-
-Brooks played well throughout practice, but in full team work late in practice he did get trucked one time trying to make a tackle on a running back. That’s going to have to be a big part of his game at the next level and it bears watching the rest of the week.
DE Dee Ford, Auburn-
-Didn’t get the chance to watch the line as much as I wanted, but everytime I did Dee Ford stood out. He showed great burst off the line and was the toughest guy for linemen to block. He might be undersized, but he’s definitely a gifted pass rusher. A big week could really boost his draft stock and he’s off to a great start.
OT Ja’Wuan James, Tennessee-
-Of the tackle play I did watch, James impressed me the most. He was very physical at the point of attack and showed nice drive in run blocking. On one play he blocked his man to the ground then went and found a linebacker to hit. His pass blocking was good overall, with nice footwork and a strong punch standing out the most from what I saw.
C Travis Swanson, Arkansas-
-Swanson was the best interior lineman from what I saw. He showed a nice anchor and really good awareness helping out which ever guard seemed to be in more trouble if he didn’t have an assignment. His run blocking looked pretty good as well from what I saw.