I had previously written about some players that impressed, and others that didn't at the Senior Bowl practices last week. Since a number of you had questions about prospects not mentioned, I figured I'd just post my full set of notes from the five practices I attended down in Mobile. Hopefully, the Senior Bowl isn't too far in everyone's rear-view mirror by now. It's a looooong read, so if you only care about some specific prospects, allow me to recommend making use of your "Ctrl+F" feature. There's a decent chance I took some sort of note on whoever you're looking for. Otherwise, let's just get right to it.
SOUTH TEAM PRACTICE, January 23, 2012
On the first day of Senior Bowl practices, they held the South Team and North Team practices at the same time. The North Team practiced at Ladd Peebles Stadium, while the South Team headed to a local high school. I opted to go see the South team practice, figuring it would get less attention than the more convenient North Team practice.
WRs/TEs vs DBs
- Janoris Jenkins blankets Jeff Fuller and does a nice job breaking up a pass. Jenkins then starts talking trash to Fuller, saying "SEC, baby!" Except that… you know… Jenkins got kicked off the team at Florida and had to play his senior season at North Alabama.
- Brandon Boykin tries to jam Dwight Jones at the line, but Jones throws him to the ground and gets wide open.
- Joe Adams smokes Casey Hayward down the sideline on a go route, but the ball is overthrown.
- Ryan Steed tries to jam Juron Criner at the line, but is basically just holding him.
- TE Ladarius Green beats Brandon Taylor on an out route. Green is a nice, big target at 6’6.
- Patrick Edwards beats Dwight Bentley over the middle. Drop. And a bad one.
- Jenkins against Fuller again. This time Jenkins gets very physical at the line with Fuller, bordering on holding. Jenkins is chippy.
- Ladarius Green beats DeQuan Menzie pretty easily on an out. It’s a wet, slippery track, but Menzie looks slow.
- Gorgeous diving catch by Joe Adams. Adams reminds me a little bit of DeSean Jackson. A little bit. Jackson is uncoverable in camp when the Eagles run this drill. It’s basically impossible to stay with him. Adams isn’t on that level, but he definitely has some of DeSean’s jukiness.
- Brandon Boykin jams Dwight Jones, stays with him through the route, and breaks up a pass. Gets a round of high 5′s from the other DBs.
- Juron Criner beats Ryan Steed deep.
- Antonio Allen undercuts a pass intended for Deangelo Peterson. Nice breakup.
- Dwight Bentley owns whoever he was covering (couldn’t see who it was), and steps in front of a pass for a Pick 6.
- Dwight Jones beats Boykin deep. Boykin reaches out and grabs Jones for an obvious P.I. No high 5′s this time around for Boykin.
7 on 7's:
- Nick Foles throws a string of incompletions. 3 in a row. Two of them are intended for Jeff Fuller. Fuller has excellent size, but looks a little slow. Foles’ first completion in the drill is a checkdown to Chris Rainey. Checkdowns in 7 on 7′s are wins for the defense.
- Quick slant to Dwight Jones. Solid contact after the catch by Janoris Jenkins. (It’s shells and shorts, so contact is limited.) I mentioned earlier that Jenkins is little chippy.
- Ryan Lindley completes a McNabb-like wormball to Dwight Jones. Jones does a nice job getting his hands under it.
- Nice ball by Lindley on a deep post to Juron Criner.
- Swing pass from Brandon Weeden to Vick Ballard. Nigel Bradham shows good closing speed in chasing him out of bounds.
- Nice catch by Joe Adams on a little out. Adams looks very fast. He’s quickly growing on me.
- Nothing open. Foles runs. It’s always funny when QBs take off and run in 7 on 7 drills.
- Another McNabb ball, this time by Lindley, and not a worm ball. This time it’s a laser from short distance. Chris Rainey can’t handle it.
- Really nice play here: Dwight Jones runs a stop and go, but Brandon Boykin doesn’t bite on the fake and stays right with him. Lindley throws a great ball, which Jones goes up and gets, despite good coverage by Boykin. Excellent football by all involved.
11 on 11's:
- Nice diving catch by Joe Adams over the middle. Did I mention I like Adams yet? Oh, I did? OK.
- Brandon Weeden rolls left to escape pressure and throws on the run, hitting Brad Smelley. Nice play. Weeden is looking like the best QB here early on.
- Lindley throws a deep corner route that goes into the 8th row. He threw a gorgeous deep ball in 7 n 7′s, but this one was way off.
- Jeff Allen is having trouble dealing with Melvin Ingram. Ingram, by the way, is standing out for a reason other than his obvious athleticism – He has a Redskins helmet on for some reason.
- The Skins’ coaching staff is showing both 3-4 and 4-3 looks. Courtney Upshaw is lining up at DE in the 4-3 looks.
- Nice catch by Deangelo Peterson in traffic.
- Looking at Sean Spence, if I didn’t know any better I’d think he was a corner. Kid can play though.
NORTH TEAM PRACTICE, January 24, 2012
- Today’s North Team practice was impressive, from a coaching standpoint. There was almost too much going on at one time to be able to watch everything. The Vikings staff did a really nice job keeping up the tempo and pace of practice. It was much more crisp than yesterday’s South practice led by the Redskins’ staff. In fairness, the South Team was practicing on a very wet surface at a high school stadium. Plus, it was their first practice, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Skins’ staff runs a more efficient practice today or not. (Note - The Redskins' practices never really improved.)
- In pass blocking drills for RBs and TEs, Michael Egnew looked good. A famed scout sitting next me remarked that Missouri TEs in recent years (Chase Coffman, Martin Rucker) have been wussies, probably because they run the spread offense there, and aren’t asked to do much in the way of in-line blocking. Egnew looks like he may be an exception.
- Meanwhile RB Chris Polk struggled mightily in pass protection. He’s a big, tough kid at 5’10, 224, but looked overmatched.
WRs vs. DBs: 1 on 1′s
- Yesterday, the South corners did a nice job on the South receivers. This morning, the North receivers owned the North CBs.
- DeVier Posey juggles a pass on a 10-yard stop route, but Asa Jackson is so far off him, he can’t make a play on the double-catch.
- Marvin McNutt gets held by Leonard Johnson, but still gets wide open on a 10 yard stop route.
- Marvin Jones smokes Alfonso Dennard down the sideline on a deep ball. I read where a few people were questioning Dennard’s ability to turn his hips and go, and it was very evident on this play.
* Quick note on Dennard. He has tree trunks for legs. Very powerful lower body.
- Gerell Robinson beats George Iloka on a deep post. Got wide open. Iloka is a big boy at safety at almost 6’4 and 222. Very big frame. He looks bigger than quite a few linebackers out here on both sides. This is a bad drill for him, as he’s not going to match up well 1-on-1 against wide receivers.
- A couple of little 5-yard quick hitters to Posey and Jones.
- McNutt runs a quick slant against Dennard and gets open again, makes a catch, then runs right past him.
- Asa Jackson is now playing way off the line of scrimmage. Gives up an extremely easy 10 yard stop.
- Robinson beats Iloka once again on a 10 yard out.
- Brian Quick slips coming out of a 10 yard hitch. Donnie Fletcher in coverage. Probably should have had a pick, but couldn’t get a good enough break on the ball to pick it off.
- Asa Jackson gets beat again, this time by McNutt. McNutt is having a nice day so far. He’ll have a couple drops later, but it seems like he has no trouble getting open against these North Team corners. Jackson, meanwhile, is struggling.
- There we go, Alfonso. Dennard makes a nice play on a deep ball.
- Fletcher on Robinson this time. Robinson gets open, but drops the pass.
- Another drop. This time it’s DeVier Posey. Bad one, too. Right in his hands, shoulder high.
- Jones beats Leonard Johnson on a quick slant. Jones (that’s Marvin Jones, again), is the standout among the receivers so far here today, at least in 1-on-1′s. McNutt is right there too.
- Speaking of McNutt, he gets open again on a post. It’s a bad throw by Russell Wilson, a little low and behind, but it’s one that McNutt probably should have had anyway, but he can’t bring it in.
7 on 7's:
- Kellen Moore with 3 consecutive nice balls to Emil Igwenagu, Marvin McNutt, and Gerell Robinson. Moore had a nice day today. That’s how I’d classify it, personally… Nice, as opposed to some other reports I’ve been hearing about him today by a certain ESPN draft expert that said he made himself a ton of money. He looked good throwing in the short-intermediate zones, but I can’t recall him completing anything longer than 15 yards downfield.
- Michael Egnew with a drop from Kirk Cousins.
- I’ve been watching Lavonte David in coverage in these 7 on 7 drills. He looks great. On consecutive plays I watched him blanket DeVier Posey. David is a LB. Posey is a WR. David doesn’t have good size at 6’0, 225, but he can certainly cover.
- Little checkdown to Isaiah Pead. Yesterday, in the North Team practices, the buzz was that Pead looked like the best RB. I didn’t attend that practice. Personally, I liked what I saw from Vick Ballard today. More on him in a bit.
- Russell Wilson hits McNutt on 10 yard out. Nice zip on the throw. McNutt then catches another 10 yard hitch, followed by a deep ball from Kellen Moore that falls incomplete. McNutt just keeps getting open, and the North Team QBs are giving him a ton of targets.
- Really nice pass from Kellen Moore to Brian Quick. His best ball of the day. The big questions about Moore are his size, which is obvious in person, and his arm strength. This was a legitimate pro throw. He put it high where the 6’4 Quick could go get it. Crisp throw down the seam. Well done.
- Another nice pass from Moore to Igwenagu. Drop. That’s his 2nd drop of the day.
- Russell Wilson with a 5 yard stop to Quick. Slow decision making here by Wilson. Stared Quick down, took a beat, then decided to throw. Release was pretty slow as well. That’s a completion in 7 on 7 drills at the Senior Bowl. It’ll be a lot uglier in the NFL.
- Wilson with a better pass this time. Hits a wide open Posey over the middle.
11 on 11's:
- Great penetration by Kendall Reyes from the DT position. Split two offensive linemen and blew up the play. Kirk Cousins was immediately flushed from the pocket.
- Diving interception by George Iloka. Cousins faced immediate pressure again, tried to roll right and fit one in near the sideline, but Iloka dove in front and made the pick. Really well done. I talked about Iloka earlier. He struggled a bit in 1-on-1′s against receivers, but he’s a big boy at 6’4, 222. Showed some nice awareness here.
- Kevin Zeitler is in at center. He’s typically a guard. Zeitler had a low snap in shotgun, and Kellen Moore had to throw the ball away, and later there was another mishandled snap. I didn’t see if the 2nd mishandled snap was on Zeitler or the QB, but it certainly looks like Zeitler isn’t particularly comfortable as a center. But again, it’s not his normal position.
- After a generally very good day, McNutt drops a deep ball from Kirk Cousins. Really good throw from Cousins. 50 yards into the wind, and it was on the mark.
SOUTH TEAM PRACTICE, January 24, 2012
- Zach Brown is excelling in pass coverage in RB vs LB 1-on-1 drills. The NFL has seen an influx of stellar tight ends that make plays. Jimmy Graham in New Orleans. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in New England. Vernon Davis in San Francisco. Jason Witten in Dallas. And on and on. Guys that can cover these elite tight ends are going to become more important players to defenses around the league. Are linebackers going to stop these guys? Safeties? Intriguing player. There’s no tackling here at Senior Bowl practices, so I won’t get to see any of that here. And that’s going to be the big question with Brown. Will he be a liability in the run game? Maybe, maybe not. But the kid can cover.
- Dwight Bentley makes a really nice interception on a drop by Jeff Fuller. Bentley was beaten on the play, but on the drop he stays with it and made a diving catch.
- I haven’t talked a lot about him yet, but Melvin Ingram has played very well so far. Solid tackle on one of the running backs. Threw him to the ground emphatically. Collected a round of head slaps from his defensive teammates.
- Play of the week so far: Juron Criner makes an absolutely gorgeous one handed grab. "Oooohs and ahhhhs" from the scouts/media in the stands. I’m hoping the NFL Network filmed it. Looking forward to seeing that one on tape.
- Markelle Martin with a nice undercut of a pass intended for Ladarius Green. Nice breakup.
- Joe Adams with a leaping grab in heavy traffic. Terrific play. Gets a few more "ooohs and ahhhs" from the media. Adams has become one of my favorite prospects here. He may find his name coming off the board in the 2nd round. Someone is going to fall in love with this kid. I wonder if Joe Adams smells nice. I bet he smells like heaven.
- Jeff Fuller makes a catch with Vandy’s Casey Hayward draped all over him. If he’s going to make it in the NFL, Fuller may have to consistently out-muscle corners, because he simply isn’t getting much separation. Looks very slow. I’ll be shocked if he runs better than a 4.6 at the Combine.
- Weird decision by Lindley on 7 on 7′s. He tries to force a pass in to Fuller, who has 2 defenders draped all over him. In 7 on 7′s, there isn’t exactly much to to understand in reading the defense, and yet he threw to the only guy that was (A) covered well, an (B) covered by two guys. Not good.
- Brandon Weeden with a nice ball to the sidelines to Criner, who is actually covered very well by Janoris Jenkins. Great zip on the ball. Weeden is clearly the best QB down here, and it’s not close.
- Nobody on the South team is blocking anyone, by the way. The South’s DL is completely overmatching the South OL. Jaye Howard and Melvin Ingram combine on a sack.
- Keenan Robinson with a nice pop on Vick Ballard near the sidelines.
- A couple nice runs by Chris Rainey and Vick Ballard. Rainey got about 15 on a LeSean McCoy-esque cutback, and then Ballard hit a hole, got the second level, and put it into an extra gear for a run to the house. Very impressive burst by Ballard.
NORTH TEAM PRACTICE, January 25, 2012
- Kevin Zeitler is one of the higher rated guards in this draft class, and the Vikings staff has been giving him reps at center, as mentioned already. He had a few low snaps earlier in the week, and he air-mailed one over Kellen Moore’s head in warmups. Zeitler can only help his value if he can prove he has the versatility to play both spots, but he’s going to have to work on his shotgun snaps.
- Mike Singletary is running the linebacker drills. Fun to watch. He’s a little crazy. Seems to like Shea McClellin of Boise. James-Michael Johnson, however, is getting lit up by big Mike.
- Doug Martin looked good today. He was routinely winning vs linebackers in receiving drills. Isaiah Pead, too. They’ve both been beating the North Team’s linebackers with relative ease. Pead also had a nice-looking punt return. I haven’t been particularly impressed with Boom Herron or Chris Polk. In fairness to Polk, his game is breaking tackles and getting tough yards, so he’s tough to fairly evaluate without any tackling.
OL vs DL drills:
- Kendall Reyes with a strong bull rush. Reyes has looked good this week.
- Jack Crawford gets OG Kelechi Osemele off balance and gets him to the ground. Strong rush there.
- Cam Johnson absolutely smokes Sednio Kelemete around the edge. Great burst.
- Good rip move by Mike Martin of Michigan. This is Mike Martin, by the way, in case you don’t know what he looks like.
- Cam Johnson beats Mike Adams now. Cam is having a good week here.
- Osemele gets his hands on Vinny Curry and swallows him up.
11 on 11′s:
- Nice pull from Tony Bergstrom from LG across the formation to open up a big hole. Hits a defender with a nice pop, and drives him back.
- Kendall Reyes gets a TFL. He has been impressive at the DT position. The North Team interior linemen have had trouble keeping him out of the backfield.
- Curry looks like he may have been offsides, but holy crap, he has a very impressive first step out of his stance on the edge. He’s kind of a lean, fast DE.
- Nice play by Lavonte David to stuff a run for a loss on a pitch to the outside.
- Kellen Moore with a nice pass to McNutt on the left side, followed by a bad miss to a wide open miss to the FB (Bradie Ewing) running down the right sideline.
- Mike Brewster airmails a snap. Seeing a lot of that this week.
- Cam Johnson smokes Mike Adams around the edge. Really good day for Cam. I think he has helped himself a lot this week.
SOUTH TEAM PRACTICE, January 25, 2012
- Nigel Bradham can’t catch. Just watched him drop 3 consecutive passes in LB drills, and then double-catch a 4th. The other LBs, Zach Brown in particular, are catching passes with ease. Brown looks very smooth with his footwork and ball skills.
- In RB blocking drills, I like the effort from Vick Ballard. I think Ballard has helped himself some this week. Terrance Ganoway, however, is really struggling in pass protection. He was smoked three consecutive times by Zach Brown, Keenan Robinson, and Jake Bequette.
WRs vs DBs:
- Juron Criner is running really nice routes, gets wide open twice, once on a deep post, and once on a deep ball down the sidelines. On a third deep ball, Ryan Steed stays right with Criner and makes a nice pass breakup.
- Janoris Jenkins has a nice pass breakup on Dwight Jones. Jones stood out the first day of practices, butI haven’t noticed him much since.
- My new favorite player Joe Adams with a drop. Come on, Joe.
OL vs DL:
- Melvin Ingram smokes Zebrie Sanders with a nice inside swim move.
- DT Brandon Thompson has had a decent week. Nice rip move.
- OG Cordy Glenn is having a good day. He has handled Quinton Coples and Courtney Upshaw on a number of occasions.
11 on 11′s:
- The South DL is absolutely dominating the South OL. Upshaw gets a sack, and Thompson gets himself a TFL.
- Chris Rainey gets wide open deep. Drop. Not good.
- Ryan Lindley throws nowhere near anybody. Lindley has not looked good, in my opinion. I’d have him ranked last among the QB’s here.
- Weeden runs play action left, turns right and finds Upshaw right in his face. He calmly but quickly dumps it down to Rainey for a decent game. Nice play. Great poise.
- Weeden with play action. Sells it well. Throws a laser to Joe Adams.
- Louisiana Tech RB Lennon Creer is a new participant in practices after some injuries took out some other players. He looks like a hard runner. Impressive day for a guy that was just thrown into practices.
- Lindley keeps missing receivers. It’s just ugly.
So that's it... No clever wrap-up to my post. If you have any questions, please feel free to fire away.
You can follow Jimmy on Twitter: @Jimmy_Beast.