The beginning of player evaluation season is underway as NFL scouts and coaches have headed to Mobile, Alabama, to get a look at the best college seniors in the country at the annual Senior Bowl. I was able to attend today’s practice, and came up with a few thoughts regarding the performance of some of the players today.
Here are some of my observations from Day One of Senior Bowl practice:
- The receivers probably had the better of the defensive backs today, but that’s to be expected since they knew where they were going and it was the first day out for everyone. Jared Abbrederis from Wisconsin and Michael Campanaro from Wake Forest were phenomenal in my opinion. Josh Huff from Oregon also stood out as well. The guy has flat out fantastic speed. He really showed electricity on the outside.
- Defensive lineman Aaron Donald from Pittsburgh completely dominated from start to finish during one-on-one drills today, no matter which offensive lineman he faced. It wasn’t that surprising though given his production this year.
- Though we didn’t get to see much of the South practice, defensive lineman Brent Urban really looks to be a man among boys with his great size, standing tall at 6’7. Also, South tight end C.J Fiedorowicz from Iowa has nice size and athleticism, which is what you love to have at that position.
- A surprise guy that stood out on the offensive line for me was Brandon Thomas from Clemson. He was playing left tackle during practice today, but is more projected as an inside lineman, probably at left guard. He’s very quick and relentless, and one of the guys that never gives up on the play.
- During the week I’ll be looking for guys who can catch the ball well in the secondary, especially at the safety position. Stanley Jean-Baptiste from Nebraska is one of those type of players. I thought he had a nice practice and did a good job of moving in space in the secondary. Dezmen Southward from Wisconsin played pretty well today as well, and had an interception during practice.
- It was great to see defensive tackle Justin Ellis from Louisiana Tech out there today, fresh off of playing in one of the other college all-star games, the East/West Shrine Game. He’s a guy who’s got great brute strength, and should be an interesting watch as the week progresses.
- I thought offensive tackle Zack Martin from Notre Dame moved around pretty well today, and we’ll probably hear a whole lot more about him, as he’s been thrown around as a projected first round pick.
- Besides Donald, defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman from Minnesota and DaQuan Jones from Penn State jumped off the page a bit today, though it seemed to be a dead heat between the offensive and defensive lines as a whole on day one.
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