Senior Bowl Day 1 North Team Practice Report
Love was easily the top QB on the North team and it wasn’t particularly close. A lot of that had to do with how poor the other two North QBs played, but Love overall had a good day. He didn’t match the performance of Herbert from the first practice, but he showed why he’s ranked as a top 50 player with a chance of going in the first round.
His arm strength was evident as he had no problem zipping passes through the high winds down the field. Love also showcased his athletic ability on a number of reps moving around the pocket and buying time for someone to get open. Some of Love’s negative traits were on display as well as he was wild at times overthrowing his intended target. Even some of his on target throws had questionable ball placement. It is important to remember that this was Love’s first practice learning a new offense and working with new receivers. We’ve seen a number of 1st round caliber QBs struggle early in the week of Senior Bowl in the past.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends:
Claypool had a couple poor reps early in practice during 1-on-1 drills, but after that he really came on and had a strong practice. For a receiver his size he was getting open with ease, and he showed good speed on vertical routes. There were one or two passes he double-caught, but for the most part he caught anything close to him (which at times was a struggle). Claypool is definitely showing that he can and should stay at receiver as he is a nightmare match-up for corners.
Pittman was the best receiver of the day, showcasing his route running and speed which were both excellent. He had a couple nice intermediate-to-deep routes where he won easily and would have been big gains or touchdowns in live action. Pittman is probably the highest rated receiver competing at the Senior Bowl this year so he can help himself a lot with a strong week. If he has a couple more performances like this it will go a long way to ensuring he’s a top 50 player.
Mims like a number of receivers had to deal with his fair share of off target passes, but he made the most on his opportunities when the ball came his way. He really excelled in 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 drills getting easy separation a number of times. He also used his size to help make a couple contested catches as well.
Trautman had a really great day and was one of the standout tight ends down here. Despite coming from a smaller school, Trautman had zero issue getting open and competing versus Power 5 guys. His hands were excellent throughout practice as he caught it cleanly every rep I watched him. If he continues performing like this Trautman could end up one of the top 3 or 4 TEs in this draft class.
Hennessy was excellent throughout practice today, as he rarely lost a rep and when he did, he made the defender work for it. His footwork was the most impressive, as he kept a good base that allowed him to react to any pass rush moves defenders tried to attack him with. Hennessy did a nice job with his hand usage as well, he kept defenders away from his body which allowed him to control the point of attack. His run blocking reps looked pretty good as well, and teams should feel pretty confident that Hennessy is a starting caliber center in the NFL.
Jones is the highest rated offensive tackle here in Mobile, and he showed why he has that level of hype. Jones has a strong frame with long arms that he used to re-direct pass rushers on the majority of his reps. There were a couple reps where he lost the rep fairly easily, but overall it was a good day for the Houston tackle. Ben Bratch probably had the best all-around OT day on either squad, but Jones was 2nd and strong in his own right.
Peart came into the day with a good weigh-in numbers and showed that he carried his weight well. He struggled at the start of practice trying to guess which way the defender was going, but he settled down as practice wore on. When he wasn’t over-committing, Peart displayed good feet and agility that allowed him to protect the EDGE and anchor when he needed too. He’s also extremely quick out of his stance which should make it rare that he gets beaten to the EDGE. I think he needs to work on his hand usage and get a little stronger, but otherwise he’s showing that he has starting upside.
Jackson was one of the more entertaining offensive linemen to watch, because he was hyped up throughout the drills. Jackson was hyped for good reason as he consistently won his reps and he new how to finish defenders. His raw power was evident as he was a people mover in running drills. Jackson more than held his own versus interior pass rush. Jackson didn’t come in with the same draft stock as a number of other prospects, but it was a strong first day.
Bredeson had a bit of an up-and-down day. On some reps he looked dominant, while on others he got beat pretty easily. Overall it was a positive day for the Michigan guard, as he won more than he lost. He also showed some versatility playing a little center as well. It’s a solid group of interior offensive linemen down in Mobile this year so Bredeson has to be more consistent the rest of the week as he looks to cement his draft stock.
One of the clear winners of the day was UNC’s Jason Strowbridge. He came in at sub 260 lbs, and is looking to show his versatility as an outside pass rusher. After playing at a listed 285 primarily inside this was a bit of a surprise at the weigh-in. Strowbridge got the chance to play both inside and outside during practice, and he showed at the lighter weight he can make an impact off the EDGE. He won a number of pass rush reps and was stout versus the run. He still held up okay during his interior reps, but was at a disadvantage with losing the weight. Strowbridge looked really good in positional drills with quick feet and an ability to stay low. He earned the coaches praise on a number of his reps.
Up and down day for Robinson. He was used both inside and outside during 1-on-1 drills and actually had a nice rush on a rep from each. Other times though he was completely blocked out of the play. He was a bit more consistent in full team drills where he seemed to be used more on the outside. He got pressure a couple of reps during this segment and played the run decently well. It’s a deep group of pass rushers so Robinson will need to be more consistent the rest of the way.
Agim was a late Senior Bowl add after dominating the East West Shrine game a week ago. He is shorter stockier interior player who is very disruptive in the backfield. He wins with a quick first step to either shoot the gap or get into the offensive linemen before he can get set. Either way on a number of reps Agim was causing problems for the opposing offense. He might not be an every down player at the next level, but at the very least he can be a high motor rotational tackle who will give you quality reps.
Willekes is not going to wow you physically and he’s not going to be the best athlete (though he’s not “bad” either), but today showed once again that he will just find ways to win. He’s a true technician at his craft and won numerous reps in 1-on-1s and full team drills. He uses his hands really well to keep the lineman off of him and it allows him to get free and make plays. His reputation as a high-motor player was on full display at practice.
Baun was used primarily as a linebacker, but he was given the opportunity to rush from the EDGE some as well. During those few EDGE reps, Baun was dominate and showed how he terrorized the Big 10 all season. Hopefully he will get more reps throughout practice and even in the game as an EDGE rusher because that is where he can really showcase his upside to an NFL organization. Baun was also impressive in team drills coming up in run support. He showed early recognition and took good angles to meet the ball carrier.
Gallimore was the most consistent interior defender on the North squad today. He beat Bredson bad on a couple of reps and gave Hennessy his toughest competition. Throughout 1-on-1’s he was playing at a high level. He was a bit quieter in full team drills, but he rarely got blown out of the play. He was able to disrupt a couple pass attempts, but he didn’t have as many “wow” reps as he did during 1-on-1’s.