2015 Senior Bowl

By: Alex Khvatov

 



1/23

Senior Bowl Day 3 South Practice

 
By: Sanjay Kirpalani

 
After two days of mild temps and sunny skies, the chilly weather and clouds hovered over the action at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile for day three of the South squad’s practice.
With Friday’s practice scheduled to be a walk through, it was the last session in full pads before Saturday’s Reese’s Senior Bowl.
Thursday’s practice was a chance for some players to put a stamp on a solid week’s worth of work, while it was a shot for others to make up some ground lost in the earlier sessions.
Which players stood out on Thursday and which players have helped themselves the most less than 48 hours before the game? 

 
Thursday’s Notes 
The three biggest standouts on Thursday were Norfolk State outside linebacker Lynden Trail, TCU corner Kevin White and Auburn receiver Sammie Coates.
Trail—who took some snaps at tight end during the red zone scrimmage portion of practice—caught two touchdown passes and looked good doing it. His motions were fluid and he had experience with playing situational offense during his final year at Norfolk State.
He switched sides in the drill and promptly recorded an interception when he dropped into coverage, read the quarterback’s eyes and snared the pick out of thin air. 
White struggled in the opening practice, but he came on strong Wednesday. On Thursday, he looked dominant. He was sticky in coverage and he recorded an interception off Blake Sims on a deep pass intended for Miami receiver Phillip Dorsett—who was another player that enjoyed a strong day. 
Similar to White, Coates was strong on Wednesday and pushed his play to another level on Thursday. He was doing his best Odell Beckham Jr. impression in warmups by snaring passes with one hand.
In red zone drills, he was impossible to stop. He caught a fade over tight coverage from college teammate Nick Marshall, and then ran back-to-back slant routes in which he essentially boxed out the defender and caught the scoring passes with his hands. Dorsett also impressed, but Coates was the best skill player on the field on this day.
 
Offensive MVP
This is a toss up between Coates and Miami tight end Clive Walford—who had another strong day before leaving the field with what looked to be an ankle injury.
Coates gets the nod here because he was able to show that he was far from a one-trick pony who could only run a go route. He flashed the ability to effectively run the route tree, and he dispelled any thoughts of his hands being suspect.
On top of that, he showed up to Mobile in great shape, weighing in at 213 pounds. He’s got elite speed, and that should help him build a strong case to be considered among the top receiving prospects in this draft class.
 
Defensive MVP
With Auburn’s Gabe Wright sitting out today’s practice, Trail once again rose to the forefront with his play on Thursday.
The plays he made at tight end were simply icing on the cake for the 6’6" 1/4, 262-pound Trail—who capped a strong week by showcasing his versatility to play outside linebacker or defensive end at the next level.
He’s got an intriguing skill set as a pass-rusher who can beat linemen with speed or power, and he’s got the length to be a nuisance in pass coverage and clog up passing lanes. 
 
 
Top 5 Risers
5. Gabe Wright – despite missing Thursday’s practice for unspecified reasons, Wright was probably the most consistent defensive lineman for the South on Tuesday and Wednesday. He spent most of those days in the backfield thanks to a quick first step and his ability to get good balance and leverage when he’s pushing upfield.
4. Jaquiski Tartt – the Samford safety had perhaps the best highlight of Thursday’s practice as he leaped to pick off a Sims pass in the end zone, and got his feet down to boot. The interception ended the two-minute drill portion and closed the practice itself. It was a fitting conclusion for Tartt—who has proved day in and day out that he belongs here and has the range and instincts necessary to be a middle round draft choice.
3. Clive Walford – Walford wasn’t as dominant on Thursday, but for the most part, he was simply unstoppable for a majority of the week. His basketball background is apparent in the way he can get separation in routes and use his big body to shield defenders. 
2. Cody Prewitt – Prewitt dropped an interception today, but that was a minor snafu for the former Ole Miss Rebels standout. He’s been all over the field throughout the week, and he’s showcased the type of range that many people wondered if he had. 
1. Lynden Trail – expect Trail to be one of the names that leaves Mobile with the biggest buzz surrounding his stock. He’s far from a finished product, but he delivered more than his share of “wow” plays. That type of potential is likely to have NFL personnel salivating if he continues to handle events such as the combine and his pro day in similar fashion.
 
Honorable Mention
Nick Marshall – the former Auburn quarterback made the transition to corner this week, and he steadily improved with each rep. He was always in good position even when he got beat on routes. His highlight came on Thursday when he stripped a receiver who caught a short pass in front of him and pounced on the ball to complete the turnover. His versatility is sure to catch the attention of NFL teams as this process continues.
Tyler Lockett – Lockett had another filthy highlight reel cut in Thursday’s practice. It was a strong week overall for Lockett—who was smooth in his routes and a handful to deal with in space.
Phillip Dorsett – similar to Coates, Dorsett entered the week with questions about his ability to be more than just a deep threat. Consider his mission accomplished. Dorsett did the entire route tree and looked good doing so. It doesn’t hurt that he’s probably the fastest player present at the event this year.
Grady Jarrett – Jarrett won’t wow anyone with his size, but he’s a guy who seemed to always be in the middle of the action. He won more than his share of reps in individual drills and he was a consistent penetrator in scrimmage action.
 
 
Sliders 
Reese Dismukes – Dismukes entered the event considered as one of the top center prospects in the draft. However, he has had his hands full dealing with a stout crop of defensive linemen on the South squad. In fairness, most of the interior offensive linemen for the South are in the same boat as Dismukes with their play this week. The good news for the Auburn standout is that his tape should help quell any long-term concerns about his ability to hold up in the trenches at the next level. 
QB Group – while Southeastern Louisiana’s Bryan Bennett created some buzz on Wednesday, he was unable to follow up with another strong day on Thursday. His passes were erratic all day long. But the same could be said for Blake Sims and Garrett Grayson. Overall, none of the quarterbacks have seized the opportunity to make a strong impression on the horde of NFL personnel in attendance.

 

 

 

North Team
 
Day Three
 
By: Alex Khvatov
 
 
Quarterbacks
 
This has been a frustrating group to watch this week.  No one was able to distinguish himself on Thursday.  Today, I thought that Sean Mannion from Oregon State had the best day.  He made better decisions and was more accurate than the previous two days.  Baylor's Bryce Petty struggled with his decision-making and accuracy.  His field vision was below average.  He threw two INT's during practice.  Shane Carden from East Carolina had the worst day.  He threw three INT's and two of them were in the redzone.  He locked on to his primary read and forced throws into tight coverage.  
 
Running Backs/Fullbacks
 
Minnesota's RB David Cobb is not flashy, but he is a complete back.  He is a tough, hard-nosed runner.  He showed good vision and he was able to find the open creases.  He also did a much better job in pass protection today.  Yale's Tyler Varga continued to display great hands.  He made a terrific diving catch near the sideline.       
 
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
 
Spartans Tony Lippett shows a knack for getting open.  He used his quickness to get off the line and was able to defeat press coverage.  He also runs very good routes.  Jamison Crowder from Duke has shown terrific hands throughout this week.  Devin Smith from Ohio State made a fantastic TD grab in the endzone by snatching the ball out of the air.  But he has struggled when corners have gotten physical with him at the line of scrimmage.  Justin Hardy from East Carolina had a tough time getting a clean release against press coverage.  Stanford's Ty Montgomery needs to improve his route running and Baylor's Atwan Goodley continued his struggle catching the ball.  
 
Irish TE Ben Koyack had a good day in terms of his blocking.  He showed aggressiveness while run blocking.  He also sustained his blocks well. 
 
Offensive Linemen
 
The offensive lineman that stood out to me the most was OG Laken Tomlinson from Duke.  He has a good build and is strong.  He did a good job holding his ground at the point of attack especially against Danny Shelton from Washington.  He showed good knee bend and nimble feet.  Pitt's T.J. Clemmings struggled in pass protection on day three.  At times, he is late coming out of his stance and has average lateral quickness.  He also doesn't have quick feet. 
 
Defensive Linemen
 
Utah's Nate Orchard had a great day on Thursday.  He beat Clemmings on an inside move and then followed that up with a speed rush to the outside on another play.  He showed active hands and was able to shed blocks.  I was also impressed with his ability to diagnose plays quickly.  He blew up an end around play by staying home and containing the backside.  During the scrimmage session, he read the RB screen.  He sat in the passing lane and intercepted Petty's pass.  
 
Linebackers
 
Longhorns Jordan Hicks looked fluid in pass coverage against RB's and TE's.  He changed directions well and displayed good discipline.  He came up with an INT.  Huskies Hau'oli Kikaha had a tough day in coverage.  He doesn't look comfortable dropping back and struggled in space.  He has stiffness in his hips.   
 
Defensive Backs
 
Doran Grant from Ohio State came up with a pick on day three.  He is an aggressive corner with terrific speed and quick feet.  Eric Rowe from Utah continued to practice at safety.  He intercepted a pass for the second day in a row.  He stands out because of his size and speed.  He likes to get physical and has shown sound footwork throughout this week.  Northwestern's Ibraheim Campbell stood out to me at safety.  He is a physical player that matched up well in man-to-man coverage.  He has displayed great instincts and good ball skills.  He intercepted Shane Carden's pass during the scrimmage.       
 

 

 

1/22


 

Senior Bowl Day 2 South Practice 

 
By: Sanjay Kirpalani

 
The South team got their first look at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Wednesday, as they went through their second practice in preparations for Saturday’s Senior Bowl.
It was also the first practice in full pads, which put some added value to each player’s performance in front of the legions of NFL personnel on hand.
The second day was highlighted by a pair of dominant performances—one from on an offensive player and one from a defensive player—as well as the play of Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett, who was just added to the roster yesterday. 
Which players stood out at each position, and which players built on strong performances from Tuesday’s practice?
 
Alpha Male 
Today, there were two performers—one on each side of the ball—worth of claiming the title of “alpha male” for Wednesday’s practice.
Miami tight end Clive Walford drew repeated “oohs” and “aahs” from the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff for the show he put on in individual drills.
The 6’4”, 263-pounder—who has a basketball background like previous great tight ends such as Antonio GatesTony Gonzalez and Jimmy Graham—displayed great hands, freakish athleticism and superb route-running skills.
None of the linebackers could come close to covering him, and he caught everything thrown his way. He also showed that he can be a physical presence as a blocker in the run game.
He’s another player who could create a serious buzz if he continues his strong play throughout the week. 
Not to be outdone, Auburn defensive tackle Gabe Wright was a standout for the second day in a row.
In one-on-one drills, he put together a strong performance that highlighted his strength, technique and athleticism.
Perhaps his biggest victim was Alabama offensive guard Arie Kouandjio—who he powered through on one rep and then hit with a filthy spin move one play later.
Wright was a menace and a big reason why the interior offensive linemen struggled throughout the day.
 
 
Position Breakdown

 
Quarterbacks 

 
Both Garrett Grayson and Blake Sims looked much more comfortable on day 2.
Grayson showed off a live arm, but his ball placement was still off. Wednesday will be a key day for him, as he needs to show better accuracy and the ability to step up into the pocket and make good decisions with where to go with the ball.
Sims flashed some of the skills that helped him enjoy a banner senior season. He was accurate with his short throws and he was more decisive with his reads. His nimbleness outside of the pocket was also on display, as he’s most comfortable throwing on the run. 
Bennett—who originally went to Oregon out of high school—drew some buzz after a solid first practice. He showed good touch and accuracy on a handful of deep passes and he also displayed the ability to make plays happen with his legs.

 
Running Backs

 
The best running back on Wednesday was Northern Iowa rusher David Johnson. He weighed-in at 6’0 3/4 and 224 pounds and was very effective as a receiver, consistently winning his matchups against linebackers and showing the ability to be elusive in space.
 
Alabama’s Jalston Fowler continued to showcase his versatility as a potential fullback or H-back at the next level.
 

 
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

 
Auburn’s Sammie Coates stood out among the pass catchers. He checked in at 6'1 3/4 and 213 pounds at Tuesday's weigh-in.  He showed great improvement in his route running and he caught everything thrown his way. He’s got elite speed, and that was on display as he put together a strong showing.
Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett was right behind Coates as a standout performer. He hit one defensive back with a nasty stutter step on a double move that stood out as one of the top plays of the day.
Miami’s Phillip Dorsett may be the fastest player here this week. However, while he’s a weapon as a deep threat, he hasn’t been able to prove himself as a complete receiver, at least up to this point. 
While Dezmin Lewis of Central Arkansas had a strong opening practice, he wasn’t able to build on that on Wednesday. He struggled catching the ball and couldn’t get the same type of separation when the pads came on.
Walford was the only tight end who separated himself as a pro-caliber weapon.

 
Offensive Line
 
Outside of La’el Collins—who was the alpha male of Tuesday’s practice—Wednesday was a struggle for the offensive line group.
The next best tackle was Alabama’s Austin Shepherd.  He weighed-in at 6'4 1/2 and 324 pounds.  He was solid in his footwork and he was able to have enough strength and flexibility to gain the upper hand in most of his individual matchups. 
Among the interior linemen, Kouandjio, Georgia Tech’s Shaq Mason and FSU’s Tre Jackson didn’t have their finest days.
All three weren’t able to get a strong base set in pass protection, and each player had times when they were overpowered by the defensive line. 
 
Defensive Line

 
While Wright was the cream of the crop, fellow defensive tackles Grady Jarrett of Clemson and Joey Mbu of Houston each enjoyed solid performances. 
Jarrett is a bit on the short side at 6’0 7/8” and 288, but he plays with great leverage. He beat Mason with a quick first step for a sack on Sims during the scrimmage portion of practice. 
At 6’2 3/4”, 315 pounds, Mbu was consistently getting penetration thanks to his power and the use of his hands to fend off blocks. 
At defensive end, Missouri’s Markus Golden, UCLA’s Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Arkansas’s Trey Flowers all showed flashes of brilliance. Of the three, Odighizuwa was the most impressive. His power got the best of Shepherd in one-on-one drills and he consistently kept his opponents off balance thanks to his strength. 

 
Linebackers

 
Yesterday, Norfolk State’s Lynden Trail had the most eye-opening performance. Trail wasn’t as dominant today, but he was still solid. 
His movements weren’t as fluid when he was being instructed to drop by the Jaguars staff. However, he’s still got a ton of raw ability and could be a better candidate to play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.
The two best linebackers on Wednesday were Louisville’s Lorenzo Mauldin and Oklahoma’s Genoe Grissom.
Mauldin, in particular, shined in coverage. He showed great instincts and looked comfortable matching up against backs and tight ends in space. He also flashed some pass-rushing skills in individual drills.
Grissom flashed as an athletic defender at 6’3”, 264-pounds who can play standing up or with his hand in the dirt. He consistently found himself around the football during the scrimmage portion of practice.

 
Secondary

 
Safeties Cody Prewitt of Ole Miss and Jaquiski Tartt of Samford were once again the headliners at the safety spot.
Prewitt continues to show that he’s a better cover guy than most gave him credit for entering the week, while Tartt is shedding any doubts of his ability to be a complete safety after stepping up a few levels in competition.
The biggest story of the day was the continued transition of Auburn’s Nick Marshall at corner. He showed the kind of natural instincts required to play the position. As Alex and I were leaving the field, he remarked to me that Marshall is making this transition “look easier than it actually is.” 
He definitely looked more comfortable today and his performance is opening some eyes here among the NFL community.
On a slightly related note, the weirdest sight of the day was when Marshall—who threw four touchdown passes to Coates this season—lined up over his college teammate in an effort to prevent him from making a big play.


 

North Team
 
Day Two
 
By: Alex Khvatov
 
It was another beautiful and sunny day here in Mobile, Alabama.  The players practiced in full pads on Wednesday. 
 
Quarterbacks
 
Baylor's Bryce Petty had an average day.  Overall, he showed better field vision and improved his footwork on Wednesday.  However, he misfired on some short throws and threw a pick.  His ball placement was shaky.  He also struggled with snaps from under center.  I can't say that Shane Carden from East Carolina or Beavers' Sean Mannion were better during the second day of practice.  Carden showed good footwork and worked through his progressions.  But his accuracy was average at best to all areas of the field.  Mannion throws a nice deep ball.  However, his ball placement and decision-making were horrendous at times.  He threw two interceptions today.     
 
Running Backs/Fullbacks
 
Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah and Minnesota's David Cobb struggled in pass protection.  Abdullah was overpowered at the point of attack by linebackers.  Cobb had a tough time with his technique.  He needs to stay low and improve his hand placement.  Yale's Tyler Varga stood out as a receiver on Wednesday.  He showed reliable hands out of the backfield.   
 
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
 
East Carolina's Justin Hardy had the best day out of the receivers.  He is a precise route runner.  He is more quick than fast.  He was able to track the ball over his shoulder.  He showed reliable hands and only had one drop.  Spartans Tony Lippett is a skinny guy especially in the lower body.  But I was impressed with his route running and body control.  He extended his arms and caught the ball away from his frame.  Once again, he stood out at the gauntlet.  He also did a good job blocking in the drills.  Jamison Crowder from Duke adjusts well to poorly thrown passes.  He is so quick in and out of his breaks.  He had a drop, but he continued his strong play.  Devin Smith from Ohio State had an up and down day.  He made plays in the 7 on 7's.  He struggled locating the ball on a downfield throw.  He also had a few drops.  He is not a polished receiver and needs to improve his route running.  Baylor's Antwan Goodley continued to struggle with drops.  He is also an average route runner. 
Irish TE Ben Koyack stood out as a receiver.  He was a favorite target in the passing game today.  He caught everything that was thrown his way.  He displayed soft hands, good body control and the ability to create separation. 
 
Offensive Linemen
 
The offensive lineman that stood out to me the most today was OG Robert Myers from Tennessee State.  He has terrific size and long arms.  He displayed very good strength.  He is a good knee bender and he held up well at the point of attack.  OT Rob Havenstein from Wisconsin is a big, powerful run blocker.  He has average lateral quickness and heavy feet.  He struggled against speed rushers.  OT Donovan Smith from Penn State has great size and a large wingspan.  However, he was exposed in pass pro on Wednesday.  He was slow out of his stance and didn't move his feet well in pass pro.     
 
Defensive Linemen
 
Kentucky's DE Za'Darius Smith was impressive on Wednesday.  He was the defensive MVP at the East/West Shrine Game.  He has good size.  He excels as a run defender, but he showed the ability to rush the passer today.  He displayed a variety of pass rush moves and terrific hand usage during the one-on-one battles against the O-line.  Stanford's Henry Anderson is a five-technique at the next level.  He is an extremely underrated player.  He wreaked havoc in the backfield.  He is also very strong at the point of attack.   
 
Linebackers
 
Trojans Hayes Pullard has emerged as the leader of the defensive unit.  He is extremely competitive.  He is an undersized LB, but he has a nose for the ball.  He took good angles to the ball and was an active run defender.  He is a LB that has impressed me this week. 
 
Defensive Backs
 
Quinten Rollins from Miami, Ohio and Eric Rowe from Utah stood out during Wednesday's practice.  Rollins is a former basketball player.  He only played one-year of football in college.  He an athletic corner with great closing speed.  He has quick feet and displayed good discipline in coverage.  Rowe is a versatile player with very good speed.  He moved to safety today and came up with an interception.         
 
Specialists
 
These guys always get left out.  Punter Kyle Loomis from Portland State displayed a very strong leg.  Tom Obarski from Concordia – St.Paul showed great accuracy and easily nailed the kick from over 50+yards.  Ameer Abdullah, Jamison Crowder, Ty Montgomery and Vince Mayle returned kicks during practice.   

 

 

 

1/21

2015 Senior Bowl
 
There are 29 total players that are missing the Senior Bowl for various reasons this week.  Some of the big names are:  LB Vic Beasley (Clemson), OT Brandon Scherff (Iowa), DT Michael Bennett (Ohio State), WR Rashad Greene (Florida State), QB Brett Hundley (UCLA), OT Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M), WR Kevin White (West Virginia) and DE/LB Bud Dupree (Kentucky).  We also have fourth-year juniors again this year in WR Sammie Coates (Auburn), OT Donovan Smith (Penn State) and DE/LB Deion Barnes (Penn State).
 
 
North Team
 
Day One
 
By: Alex Khvatov
 
It was a beautiful day in the upper 60's in Mobile, Alabama.  The North team was led by Ken Whisenhunt and the Titans' coaching staff.  The players practiced in shorts and shoulder pads on Tuesday. 
 
Quarterbacks
 
Not a great group this year.  All three of them struggled on day one.  But Baylor's Bryce Petty had a pretty good day.  He displayed a quick release.  He was accurate on short throws and made quick decisions.  His receivers didn't help him on Tuesday, I counted four drops.  He needs to improve his intermediate/deep ball accuracy, field vision and his footwork wasn't pretty at times.  Shane Carden from East Carolina is undersized and has an average arm, but he was accurate on short passes.  He displayed a nice touch.  As practice progressed, he showed the ability to go through his progressions.  Beavers' Sean Mannion had the worst day out of the QB's.  He is tall and showed a great touch on the deep ball.  However, he missed a number of short and intermediate throws.  His ball placement and accuracy was erratic.        
 
Running Backs/Fullbacks
 
I really like the running backs for the North team.  Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah weighed in at 5'8 ¼ and 198 pounds.  He is a quick back.  He excelled as a receiver out of the backfield on day one.  He showed soft hands and ran very good routes.  David Cobb from Minnesota is a physical inside runner.  He showed good hands and excelled in pass pro.       
 
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
 
WR Jamison Crowder from Duke weighed-in at 5'8 1/8 and 174 pounds.  He also has very small hands (8 3/8 inches).  But he played much bigger than that on Tuesday.  He excelled in the one-on-one's against the DB's.  He was quick in and out of his breaks.  He was able to get separation and beat CB Quinten Rollins deep on one particular play.  Cougars Vince Mayle has very good size and hands.  He caught the ball away from his frame.  He made a terrific catch in the 7 on 7's.  After catching the WR screen pass, he made a nice juke move and made Quinten Rollins from Miami, Ohio miss an open field tackle.  Spartans Tony Lippett stood out in the beginning of practice.  He showed soft hands, good COD and displayed quickness in the gauntlet drill.  Antwan Goodley from Baylor is built like a RB.  He struggled in the gauntlet drill in the early part of practice.  He failed to keep his balance and slipped in and out of his cuts.  He dropped three passes on day one.  But he bounced back.  He got physical and showed the ability to beat press coverage.  He was able to get separation in the one-one's.  Devin Smith from Ohio State showed his speed and the ability to stretch the field vertically.  But he needs to improve his overall route running ability.  East Carolina's Justin Hardy ran good routes, but he had two drops on Tuesday.  Ty Montgomery from Stanford had a disappointing day.  He displayed inconsistent hands and wasn't able to locate the ball on downfield throws.  He also needs to improve as a route runner.    
 
Irish TE Ben Koyack certainly looks the part.  He weighed in at 6'4 ¾ and 249 pounds.  He has big hands a huge wingspan.  He showed the ability to make plays in the passing game.  He made a great diving grab in the one-on-one's against the linebackers, but also dropped an easy catch.  TE Casey Pierce from Kent State made a great one-handed grab in the beginning of practice.  He ran good routes, but he let the ball get into his body.   He dropped a catchable ball that hit him right in the numbers.  TE Nick Boyle from Delaware couldn't get much separation and was slow out of his breaks.  He dropped a couple of passes in traffic. 
 
Offensive Linemen
 
Rob Havenstein from Wisconsin struggled in the one-on-one's against the quicker defensive linemen.  He is a big guy (6'7 3/8, 332 pounds at weigh-in), but he plays too tall.  He is not a good knee bender and he overextended a few times.  Pitt's OT TJ Clemmings needs to work on his hand placement.  Ali Marpet from a Divison III Hobart College played exclusively at left tackle.  But he also showed versatility by working at center in the beginning of practice.  He was working with the QB's on the shotgun snaps.    
 
Defensive Linemen
 
Huskies Danny Shelton would be an ideal fit as a NT in a 3-4 defense.  He weighed-in at 6'1 ¾ and 343 pounds.  He showed good movement skills in drills.  He displayed a quick first step and used his power to shed blocks.  He was able to drive the offensive linemen back.  He lived up to the hype.  Stanford's Henry Anderson has great size.  He weighed-in at 6'6 3/8 and 287 pounds.  He displayed strength and power.  He used his hands well.  He had success in the one-on-one battles against the O-linemen.        
 
Linebackers
 
Trojans Hayes Pullard had a solid day in pass coverage against RB's and TE's.  He was able to change directions well.  Jeff Luc from Cincinnati showed stiff hips and struggled in coverage.     
 
Defensive Backs
 
The two corners that stood out to me were Steven Nelson from Oregon State and Quandre Diggs from Texas.  Diggs is an undersized guy.  But he was smooth in his backpedal, showed quick feet and good instincts.  He had a pass breakup on a downfield throw.  Nelson is a physical, feisty corner.  He showed good awareness in coverage. 
 
 
S Adrian Amos from Penn State was slow in his backpedal and played too high.  He also dropped an INT that hit him right in the numbers.



South Practice Day 1 

By: Sanjay Kirpalani

It was a picturesque backdrop at Fairhope Municipal Stadium, site of the first practice for the South squad in preparations for the 2015 Senior Bowl.  Sunny skies and cool and crisp temps in the mid 60's greeted the players and the throng of media, fans and NFL personnel on hand on the Alabama gulf coast. 
Players were in shells and shorts, and were being directed by the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching staff. 
With a ton of energy and a hint of nerves on display, the play was sloppy at times.  However, there were still some players who managed to make a strong first impression.  Which players stood out and who surprised on day one?
 
Alpha Male

Many of the top-rated prospects who had committed to play in the game backed out for various reasons.
LSU offensive lineman La'el Collins—widely projected as a first round pick—not only showed up, but made a statement that he's the best lineman present in the trenches of this year's game.  The 6'5", 321-pounder consistently drove his man off the line and displayed great footwork and power at the point of attack.  He has the athleticism to handle speed rushers and the strength to fend off ends with power. There was some talk that he could be a better guard at the next level. His strong first day is an indicator that he can play tackle in the NFL.  Afterward, I asked him about his decision to play instead of opting to sit out.  "Pass up an opportunity to compete and learn from NFL coaches, who would do that," Collins replied.  That response, much like his play, speaks volumes to his ability and his competitive mentality.
 
Other Top Performers

OLB Lynden Trail - at 6'6 1/4, 262 pounds, Trail's size alone makes him intriguing. The Norfolk State standout, who originally signed with Florida out of high school, displayed freakish athleticism and the ability to drop into coverage. He consistently was able to get around the edge and held up well in run support. I told Alex this walking off the field, but if he keeps this up, he has a shot to create some first-round buzz. 

Cody Prewitt - the former Ole Miss Rebel headlined a solid group of safeties for the South squad. He showed quick feet in drills and snared an interception in the scrimmage portion of the day. He narrowly edged out Samford S Jaquiski Tartt and UCF S Clayton Geathers, both of whom had nice days. 

DE Markus Golden - the Missouri pass rusher is the latest stud defensive lineman to emerge from Gary Pinkel's program. He's a little light at 6'2 1/4, 255 pounds, but he's a blur off the edge and showed enough agility to be effective in pass coverage. He's got a high motor and consistently found himself around the ball and put heat on quarterbacks in the scrimmage portion of the day.
 
News and Notes

The quarterbacks, Alabama's Blake Sims and Colorado State's Garrett Grayson, both struggled on the first day.

Sims was at his best when he was rolling out and throwing on the run.
Grayson struggled with his accuracy all day and looked to be pressing for deep passes with minimal success.

Auburn's Nick Marshall, who arrived expecting to play quarterback, switched to corner. Marshall, who originally signed with Georgia as a defensive back, was clearly rusty. However, he flashed enough natural athleticism to show that he has some intriguing long-term potential at that spot.

Marshall's college teammate, defensive tackle Gabe Wright, was among the most pleasant surprises on the first day. Wright was consistently able to penetrate into the backfield and he was stout at the point of attack against impressive offensive linemen such as Georgia Tech's Shaq Mason and FSU's Tre Jackson.

Northwestern State corner Imoan Claiborne and Central Arkansas receiver Dezmin Lewis were arguably the best players at their respective positions. The "small school" standouts wasted little time proving they belonged on the big stage.

At 6'3 1/2, 215 pounds, Lewis is a big target who showed off surprising short-area quickness and the ability to separate from tight coverage.

Claiborne may not have won every rep, but he always seemed to be in good position. He's got great instincts and he's fluid in and out of his breaks.
 
Faces in the Crowd

As he's been accustomed to in recent years, Alabama head coach Nick Saban made a grand entrance to the practice fields. His SUV pulled up just as practice was starting. From that point, Saban walked over to the far sideline and held a presser that lasted 10-15 into the practice.

Former Alabama great and college football Hall of Fame member Lee Roy Jordan was on hand taking in the festivities. The former Cowboys linebacker has a home in the Mobile area.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables were on hand, likely to support former Tigers linebacker Stephone Anthony and DT Grady Jarrett.

Among the NFL personnel spotted were Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and his new defensive coordinator, Keith Butler. Arizona Cardinals offensive line coach Tom Moore was present and taking a look at a talented crop of offensive linemen for the South squad.

49ers general manager Trent Baalke was also taking in the practice. He was spotted speaking with Jaguars assistants during the stretching period shortly before practices began.
 

 

 

1/20

2015 Senior Bowl weigh-in results

Measurements example

Height - 6037 = 6'3 7/8
Hand - 838 = 8 3/8
Arm - 2978 = 29 7/8
Wingspan - 7238 = 72 3/8

North Roster                
                 
Last name First name Position College Height Weight Hand Arm Wingspan
                 
Abdullah Ameer RB Nebraska 5082 198 838    2978    7238   
Amos Adrian S Penn State 6004 214 938 3200 7628
Anderson Henry DE Stanford 6063 287 1000 3268 7900
Barnes Deion DE Penn State 6037 260 1000 3228 8058
Boyle Nick TE Delaware 6044 267 1058 3338 8128
Brown Trenton OT Florida 6084 376 1078 3548 8648
Campbell Ibraheim S Northwestern 5114 210 1000 3000 7448
Carden Shane QB East Carolina 6016 218 958 3248 7938
Cardona Joe LS Navy 6015 241 928 3100 7548
Clemmings T.J. OT Pittsburgh 6045 307 1038 3478 8528
Cobb David RB Minnesota 5106 229 938 3158 7600
Crowder Jamison WR Duke 5081 174 838 3028 7348
Davis Carl DT Iowa 6045 321 1100 3448 8448
Diggs Quandre CB Texas 5086 196 928 2948 7100
Douglas Jamil OT Arizona State 6040 307 1068 3218 7900
Drummond Kurtis S Michigan State 6005 205 1038 3168 7778
Garcia Max C Florida 6044 305 1028 3268 8178
Goodley Antwan WR Baylor 5104 210 928 3178 7718
Grant Doran CB Ohio State 5103 199 938 3000 7338
Hardison Marcus DE/DT Arizona State 6031 311 1048 3348 8318
Hardy Justin WR East Carolina 5104 190 1000 3228 7678
Havenstein Rob OT Wisconsin 6073 332 1000 3358 8148
Hicks Jordan OLB Texas 6014 241 978 3168 7800
Hodges Zack OLB Harvard 6025 242 948 3358 8168
Hull Mike OLB Penn State 6000 231 928 3018 7348
Jasperse Chris C Marshall 6033 297 918 3148 7648
Kikaha Hau'oli DE Washington 6024 246 958 3148 7668
Koyack Ben TE Notre Dame 6046 249 1048 3338 8058
Langford Jeremy RB Michigan State 5115 211 878 3100 7518
Lippett Tony WR Michigan State 6024 192 948 3278 7800
Loomis Kyle P Portland State 6014 222 958 3168 7800
Luc Jeff ILB Cincinnati 5116 263 1038 3200 7668
Mannion Sean QB Oregon State 6054 229 900 3358 8000
Marpet Ali OT Hobart 6036 307 1018 3278 8000
Mayle Vince WR Washington State 6020 219 878 R 900 L 3178 7738
Montgomery Ty WR Stanford 5116 216 1018 3068 7658
Myers Robert OG Tennessee State 6050 329 938 3378 8068
Nelson Steven CB Oregon State 5100 199 948 3038 7300
Obarski Tom K Concordia-St. Paul 5101 177 828 2828 6928
Orchard Nate DE Utah 6032 251 1018 3300 7938
Petty Bryce QB Baylor 6026 230 1000 3248 7668
Pierce Casey TE Kent State 6034 244 938 3158 7600
Pullard Hayes ILB USC 6002 236 968 3078 7448
Randall Damarious S Arizona State 5105 194 828 3018 7378
Rollins Quinten CB Miami, Ohio 5110 193 878 2938 7300
Rowe Eric CB Utah 6005 204 918 3248 7748
Shaw Josh CB USC 6004 198 900 3078 7500
Shelton Danny DT Washington 6016 343 1000 3168 7768
Smith Devin WR Ohio State 6003 190 900 3138 7468
Smith Donovan OT Penn State 6056 341 1048 3428 8300
Smith Za'Darius DE Kentucky 6045 270 978 3248 8000
Tomlinson Laken OG Duke 6032 323 1028 3348 8248
Trinca-Pasat Louis DT Iowa 6012 291 1000 3138 7668
Varga Tyler FB Yale 5102 227 1058 2968 7200

 

 

South Roster                
                 
Last name First name Position College Height Weight Hand Arm Wingspan
                 
Anthony Stephone ILB Clemson 6023 245 1018 3228 7848
Artis-Payne Cameron RB Auburn 5095 212 848 3000 7258
Claiborne Imoan CB Northwestern St. LA 5095 189 918 3200 7728
Coates Sammie WR Auburn 6016 213 948 3348 7848
Collins La'el OT LSU 6045 308 1068 3328 8178
Davis Devante WR UNLV 6030 220 958 3278 7958
Day Dillon C Mississippi State  6036 305 928 3200 7900
Dismukes Reese C Auburn 6027 295 818 R 838 L 3200 7648
Dorsett Phillip WR Miami, FL 5095 183 918 3100 7428
East Andrew LS Vanderbilt 6015 239 918 3078 7628
Eulls Kaleb DT Mississippi State  6030 305 1100 3348 8168
Fabuluje Tayo OT TCU 6065 353 938 3368 8200
Flowers Trey DE Arkansas 6022 268 948 3378 8428
Fowler Jalston FB Alabama 5110 264 1048 3228 7848
Geathers Clayton S Central Florida 6012 212 828 R 878 L 3100 7648
Golden Markus DE Missouri 6022 255 1068 3100 7668
Golson Senquez CB Ole Miss 5084 178 948 2948 7348
Grayson Garrett QB Colorado State 6022 215 1028 3048 7528
Grissom Geneo LB Oklahoma 6031 264 958 3378 8158
Gunter Ladarius CB Miami, FL 6013 200 968 3178 7758
Hall Rannell WR Central Florida 6003 193 828 3058 7378
Harper Josh WR Fresno State 6006 189 868 3168 7548
Herrera Amarlo LB Georgia 6003 243 958 3238 7828
Jackson Tre' OG Florida State 6037 323 1118 3218 7928
Jarrett Grady DT Clemson 6007 288 978 3168 7838
Jefferson Anthony S UCLA 6011 194 828 3078 7528
Johnson David RB Northern Iowa 6006 224 958 3138 7658
Kouandjio Arie OG Alabama 6047 318 1128 3468 8448
Lewis Dezmin WR Central Arkansas 6034 215 968 3268 7800
Lockett Tyler WR Kansas State 5095 181 838 2918 7068
Luckett Donatella WR Harding 5116 206 838 3078 7548
Mahina Devin TE BYU 6057 256 1028 3368 7968
Manton Justin K Louisiana-Monroe 6024 196 858 3168 7718
Marshall Nick QB Auburn 6014 205 938 3100 7618
Mason Shaq OG Georgia Tech 6015 310 948 3118 7748
Mauldin Lorenzo LB Louisville 6035 256 1000 3218 8000
Mbu Joey DT Houston 6026 315 948 3448 8228
Neighbors Connor FB LSU 5102 242 900 3000 7258
Odighizuwa Owamagbe DE UCLA 6034 266 1118 3318 8168
Perryman Denzel LB Miami, FL 5105 242 968 3128 7438
Prewitt Cody S Ole Miss 6021 212 878 3300 7918
Sambrailo Ty OT Colorado State 6056 309 1000 3318 8028
Shepherd Austin OT Alabama 6044 324 1000 3268 8000
Shepherd JaCorey CB Kansas 5106 199 848 3100 7548
Sims Blake QB Alabama 5114 223 900 3138 7400
Smith D'Joun CB Florida Atlantic 5101 189 838 3058 7468
Smith Preston DE Mississippi State  6046 270 1058 3400 8218
Spaight Martrell LB Arkansas 5117 232 900 3268 7758
Tartt Jaquiski S Samford 6013 220 1018 3258 7848
Trail Lynden LB Norfolk State 6062 262 1028 3478 8228
Uzomah C.J. TE Auburn 6051 263 938 3418 8200
Walford Clive TE Miami, FL 6041 254 1048 3400 8118
White Kevin CB TCU 5093 180 838 2978 7068
Williams Daryl OT Oklahoma 6053 334 958 3468 8248
Wright Gabe DT Auburn 6027 299 1100 3268 7800

 

 

1/19

South Team

 

Quarterbacks

 

 

Garrett Grayson (Colorado State)

Nick Marshall (Auburn)

Blake Sims (Alabama)

 

Running Backs/ Fullbacks

 

Cameron Artis-Payne (Auburn)

Jalston Fowler (Alabama)

David Johnson (Northern Iowa)

Connor Neighbors (LSU)

 

Wide Receivers

 

Sammie Coates (Auburn)

Devante Davis (UNLV)

Phillip Dorsett (Miami, FL)

Rashad Greene (Florida State)

Justin Hardy (East Carolina)

Josh Harper (Fresno State)

Dezmin Lewis (Central Arkansas)

Tyler Lockett (Kansas State)

Donatella Luckett (Harding)

 

Tight Ends

 

Nick O'Leary (Florida State)

Clive Walford (Miami, FL)

C.J. Uzomah (Auburn)

 

Offensive Linemen

 

La'el Collins (LSU)

Dillon Day (Mississippi State)

Reese Dismukes (Auburn)

Tayo Fabuluje (TCU)

Tre' Jackson (Florida State)

Arie Kouandjio (Alabama)

Shaq Mason (Georgia Tech)

Ty Sambrailo (Colorado State)

Austin Shepherd (Alabama)

Daryl Williams (Oklahoma)

 

Defensive Linemen

 

Kaleb Eulls (Mississippi State)

Trey Flowers (Arkansas)

Markus Golden (Missouri)

Grady Jarrett (Clemson)

Joey Mbu (Houston)

Owamagbe Odighizuwa (UCLA)

Preston Smith (Mississippi State)

Gabe Wright (Auburn)

 

Linebackers

 

Stephone Anthony (Clemson)

Geneo Grissom (Oklahoma)

Lorenzo Mauldin (Louisville)

Denzel Perryman (Miami, FL)

Hayes Pullard (USC)

Martrell Spaight (Arkansas)

Lynden Trail (Norfolk State)

 

Cornerbacks

 

Imoan Claiborne (Northwestern State LA)

Senquez Golson (Ole Miss)

Ladarius Gunter (Miami, FL)

JaCorey Shepherd (Kansas)

D'Joun Smith (Florida Atlantic)

 

Safeties

 

Clayton Geathers (Central Florida)

Anthony Jefferson (UCLA)

Cody Prewitt (Ole Miss)

Jaquiski Tartt (Samford)

 

 

Kickers/Punters/Long Snappers

 

Andrew East (Vanderbilt)

Justin Manton (Louisiana Monroe)

 

Coaching Staff

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 


North Team

 

Quarterbacks

Shane Carden (East Carolina) 

Bryce Petty (Baylor)

Sean Mannion (Oregon State)

 

Running Backs/ Fullbacks

 

Ameer Abdullah (Nebraska)

David Cobb (Minnesota)

Jeremy Langford (Michigan State)

Tyler Varga (Yale)

 

Wide Receivers

 

Jamison Crowder (Duke)

Antwan Goodley (Baylor)

Tony Lippett (Michigan State)

Vince Mayle (Washington State)

Ty Montgomery (Stanford)

Devin Smith (Ohio State)

 

Tight Ends

 

Nick Boyle (Delaware)

Ben Koyack (Notre Dame)

Casey Pierce (Kent State)

 

Offensive Linemen

 

Trenton Brown (Florida)

T.J. Clemmings (Pittsburgh)

Jamil Douglas (Arizona State)

Max Garcia (Florida)

Rob Havenstein (Wisconsin)

Chris Jasperse (Marshall)

Ali Marpet (Hobart)

Robert Myers (Tennessee State)

Donovan Smith (Penn State)

Laken Tomlinson (Duke)

 

Defensive Linemen

 

Henry Anderson (Stanford)

Deion Barnes (Penn State)

Carl Davis (Iowa)

Marcus Hardison (Arizona State)

Hau'oli Kikaha (Washington)

Nate Orchard (Utah)

Danny Shelton (Washington)

Za'Darius Smith (Kentucky)

Louis Trinca-Pasat (Iowa)

 

Linebackers

 

Jordan Hicks (Texas)

Zach Hodges (Harvard)

Mike Hull (Penn State)

Jeff Luc (Cincinnati)

 

Cornerbacks

 

Quandre Diggs (Texas)

Doran Grant (Ohio State)

Steven Nelson (Oregon State)

Quinten Rollins (Miami, OH)

Eric Rowe (Utah)

Kevin White (TCU)

 

Safeties

 

Adrian Amos (Penn State)

Ibraheim Campbell (Northwestern)

Kurtis Drummond (Michigan State)

Damarious Randall (Arizona State)

 

Kickers/Punters/Long Snappers

 

Joe Cardona (Navy)

Kyle Loomis (Portland State)

Tom Obarski (Concordia-St.Paul)

 

Coaching Staff

 

Tennessee Titans