2016 Senior Bowl: North Day Three Practice Notes

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Biggest winners from the Senior Bowl North Practice on Day Three were Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon, Cincinnati’s Chris Moore, Indiana’s Jason Spriggs, Utah’s Jason Fanaika, and West Virginia’s KJ Dillion.

Charles McDonald (@SundayFiasco) covered the OL/DL and Christian Page (@Cpage2911) covered the QB/RB/WR/DB


Jeff Driskel has not put together the best set of practices this week struggling with accuracy and ability to drive the ball downfield as the wind has factored into his velocity. Not running any drills involving deep throws today, the quarterbacks operated in more of a redzone setting. Driskel went through progressions and generally made the right decision but was slow to get the ball out quickly. Some of his reps would surpass four seconds mostly involving check downs.

-Carson Wentz is still viewed as the best quarterback in Mobile and continues to carry the leadership role on the North squad. Wentz’s footwork and accuracy stood out most today compared to Stanford’s Kevin Hogan and USC’s Cody Kessler.

Running Backs

Kenneth Dixon stood out more today compared to Wednesday’s practice. Dixon looked great when carrying the ball in between the tackles showing quick cuts and superb vision. Dixon continues to be a decisive runner seeing the field well and being built low to the ground he can put away would be tacklers.

-USC fullback Soma Vainuku had a rough go today not being able to withstand contact in one on one drills versus linebackers and defensive backs getting put on roller skates twice and eventually being put to the turf. Vainuku also did not catch the ball well today as I noted three drops.


Receivers/Tight Ends

Braxton Miller was showing out before he injured his leg today, nothing too serious, as he was abusing defensive backs constantly in the redzone. He showed quick bursts in and out of cuts to gain separation and even when not gaining the preferred separation he put his physicality to work and came away with the battle tested balls. Miller put together a nice week and now a good game Saturday would be the cherry on top.

-Cincinnati’s Chris Moore had a dropped touchdown early in practice today but since looked impressive getting an ample amount of reps when Miller went out. Moore looks the ball in and comes down with the majority of jump balls and did so in the corner flag routes today.

Offensive/Defensive Linemen

Jason Spriggs has easily been the best offensive tackle in Mobile. He’s a slender 300 pounder, but he packs a punch blocking the run. No one has been able to get by him in pass protection save for Jason Fanaika from Utah who’s repeatedly beat him with spin moves.

Josh Garnett continues to have a strong week. He’s been a bully in run and pass game and continues to display ridiculous upper body strength.

Lawrence Thomas had a nice spin move on Willie Beavers. Beavers doesn’t look like a draftable talent based on this week.

-Notre Dame defensive lineman Sheldon Day spent almost all his reps at defensive end. He looked surprisingly good rushing off the edge. The Cowboys rushed him from a two point stance he looked comfortable bending around the edge. Even though he’s not a long player, he has enough explosiveness to play edge. It was his strongest practice of the week.

Carl Nassib had a strong day of practice. He looked very fluid coming in and out of his cuts during the bag drills and stuffed the run effectively in team period.

Adophus Washington continues to have a mediocre week. His pad level and block recognition has been subpar and he looked lost at times during inside run periods.

Vernon Butler is an imposing figure, but the weight he added for the Senior Bowl has been a detriment for him. He doesn’t his length well and seems intent on bull rushing every pass rush rep.

Jihad Ward looked explosive and smooth running through the bag drills. He’s done a ton of help his stock this week and Rod Marinelli has spent a lot of time coaching him up.



-Blake Martinez showed off nice instincts and range attacking runs headed towards the perimeter.


Defensive Backs

Maurice Canady completed a nice week with today’s practice performance. His positioning was what was most notable today and his length was effective in the endzone with a couple of pass breakups. Aaron Burbridge caught a beautiful throw over him from Wentz but Canady held the tight coverage but just a better throw and catch. Him and Boise State safety worked as a great tag team today.

KJ Dillon was one of the stars of the day as he gained some buzz in the stands. He laid the wood today in the run game thumping Arizona State’s DJ Foster gaining a roar from everyone in attendance. Dillon has not taken this opportunity for granted as he gives all he’s got on each and every play. He displayed some nice ball skills today in the individual defensive back drills high pointing the football and getting two feet down on the sideline. Dillon has only helped his draft stock this week.

-Darian Thompson has been one of the more impressive prospects this whole week as he put together another complete practice checking all the boxes. He continuously makes plays on the ball most notably in seven on seven drills closing in on the ball and not losing balance to any counter move of the receiver. He completed a clean pass breakup in the middle of the field in the seven on seven drill today gaining some praise from the Cowboys coaching staff.


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