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2012 Senior Bowl: Wednesday North Practice Notes

Marvin JonesCouldn’t finish up before practice because of an extended seafood-filled lunch talking about the prospects this week with Josh Norris (@JoshNorris on twitter), and honestly it wasn’t my best practice of evaluations. Still, got some great notes on some of the receivers and offensive linemen who impressed in days past.

I thought the biggest winners were Marvin Jones, Lavonte David, Kevin Zeitler, and Alameda Ta’Amu. 

-While Kirk Cousins of Michigan State is still the clear cut best quarterback on the North roster, I’m still impressed with how consistent Russell Wilson has been with his intermediate touch and deep accuracy. Both are generally great indicators of early success in the NFL at the quarterback position, and while he’s not the most physically gifted at the position, he’s at least worth a mid-late round pick to see what he can do.

-As I stated previously, Kirk Cousins is THE guy at the North Practices at quarterback. He’s consistency showing an NFL arm in drills, reading the defense well in 7 on 7s, and overall looks confident. Kellen Moore of Boise State also seems a bit confident and today seemed to be a bit more on time with his throws, but he still has that rocking motion to get any velocity and really doesn’t have the arm strength to fit into tight windows. Sad to say that he may be an undrafted guy now.  

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
-Watching Marvin Jones of California closely today based on all the great things I heard from yesterday, and overall he didn’t let down. He show great decisiveness in his routes, is crisp in all of his motions, and as Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) pointed out, he has very little wasted motion.

TJ Graham of NC State is a deep play guy and has some fantastic deep speed, but he’s wasn’t physical at all in blocking drills and can get knocked off his route fairly easily down the field when he does have contact. DeVier Posey of Ohio State showed his deep play ability as well today, but he continues to be more of a body-catcher in almost every opportunity he gets. He was, however, quite physical in run blocking drills as well.

Gerrell Robinson of Arizona isn’t a guy I really liked all that much on film, and he doesn’t look very explosive or quick in his routes this week with a lot of wasted motion especially today. He’s got the size and at times can use it well along the sideline, but he’s nothing more than a potential outside receiver to a better slot option in the NFL and a later round pick.  

Offensive Linemen
-I’ve heard some good things about Mitchell Schwartz of California at times this week, and he did flash some NFL skills today, showing a very strong anchor and keeping his base well. But as a pass blocker, he’s a bit stiff and slow in his kick slide, needing to over-extend and leaving himself too easily to inside counter rushes. He looks, like Optimum Scouting’s Mark Dulgarian said, to be a power run right tackle in the NFL with his natural power, but not a top two rounder in my eyes.

-Kevin Zeitler of Wisconsin continues to impress me. He doesn’t jump out as a down field blocker with great athletic ability. But he holds his point so well and can keep his hands inside versus almost any pass rusher he’s gone against. He does really struggle when he doesn’t get that initial hand placement, but so do most offensive guards.

Senio Kelemete of Washington doesn’t show a lot of natural kick slide ability that translates to the NFL and likely will really struggle to stay outside in the NFL. But he also seems to lose leverage battles against power rushers, possibly limiting his NFL future to more of a finesse blocking scheme in the NFL.
Defensive Linemen
-Thought it was interesting to see Vinny Curry of Marshall playing some 5-technique in drills today. He seems based off these practices as a lesser version of Melvin Ingram in many ways, except a more crafty rusher with less physical ability and versatility. Still, he told me teams have looked at him mostly as a 4-3 defensive end, so if teams feel he can play either/both, that will increase his value.

Mike Martin of Michigan has made a believer out of some this week, and looks far more effective in one-on-one drills this week. On film and at times this week, he hasn’t been effective in getting through double teams. But when he is one-on-one in pass rushing drills, he’s been able to quickly shoot off the ball, get low and get inside leverage, and drive well in his pass rushes. As a 3-technique, he’s showing why he’s been the a Top 6 defensive tackle on our board all year.

-In the little I saw of him today, I was impressed with Washington nose tackle Alameda Ta’Amu. He was quick off the snap pretty consistently and showed some quicker, more athletic rushes than he showed on film at times. He also got some good extension in one on ones and in team drills after his initial rush and seemed to get separation with his hands well as a perpetrator.    

Lavonte David is as aggressive to the ball as I’ve seen in a linebacker prospect. He read and reacts very quickly, breaks smoothly and can get around traffic better than most without too much wasted motion, as he can’t go through or shed as well thanks to his size. He’s impressive, not a fit for every team, but hard to pass up in second round to me.

Audie Cole of NC State continues to look more flexible and balanced than I thought on film. Still not a huge fan and he did struggle to stay tight with running backs out of the backfield, but he’ll be another guy I re-watch a little. Also, James Michael-Johnson made a few mistakes and seemed to really get nervous early in practice after getting yelled at by Mike Singletary. Wouldn’t make much out of it, but it was pretty interesting to watch him struggle in a fairly easy drill and then go through it slow and with terrible technique afterwards. Just a note…    

Defensive Backs
-Alfonso Dennard of Nebraska is “struggling” this week, and I’ll be the first to point out that I wasn’t a fan of him as more than a late second round pick on film. But he has not had the “terrible” Senior Bowl that many are saying. In off-coverage, he’s struggled, but that’s not something he has the NFL ability to do. He NEEDS to play close to the line and get his hands on receivers. Now he has been beat in that role at times this week and on film, which is why I’m not sold, but in a scheme like the Packers, he could thrive. 

Jamell Fleming has had the similar “issues” as Dennard this week, and he as well is more of a physical cornerback who can use his size well initially and down the field.    


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