Monday of Senior Bowl week features a lot of players getting used to new schemes and teammates, and a lot of coaching and teaching while player are in shorts and helmets.
It's not an ideal setting for evaluating NFL prospects, but a handful of players clearly got off to fast starts on Day 1, set the tone for the week as they try to separate from the pack and cement their draft status.
D-linemen stand out
The South team defensive line was clearly the most active, dominant unit on Day 1. North Carolina DE Quinton Coples
enters the week at the highest-rated prospect in Mobile, and he lived up to the hype in his first practice. Coples owned the day from start to finish, and you can get a complete breakdown of his performance in out Stock Report to the right.
Alabama DE/OLB Courtney Upshaw
showed power as both a run defender and pass-rusher. Upshaw is not an elite speedstaer, but he used leverage well and consistently won with quickness and power during one-on-one pass-rush drills.
The only mild concern with Upshaw is his insincts and how quickly he diagnoses plays in space. He was recognizing plays on a couple occasions, and at one point it took him a few seconds to see a misdirection play. That's something we'll keep an eye on as the practice week progresses.
South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram
did diagnose plays quickly, and he also used power and quickness to win the majority of his matchups during one-on-one drills and the team period.
Trio of wideouts shine
Arkansas WR Joe Adams
showcased his speed, and showed good quickness off the line and in and out of breaks. Adams also displayed impressive hands, catching everything that was thrown his way.
North Carolina WR Dwight Jones
turned heads during the weigh-in -- checkiing in at a solid 6-foot-3 and 226 pounds -- and he followed that up by using his size effectively as a route-runner.
Jones does not have great suddenness, but his size gives him a build-in ability to separate and he used his frame well within his routes. He also caught the ball well.
Finally, Appalachian State WR Brian Quick
(6-34, 222) needs some polish as a route-runner, but he has quick feet and fluid hips for a big receiver. Quick will round off cuts or take an extra step at times, but he was solid catching the ball, especially over his head on vertical routes.
He was caught off-guard by how quickly Boise State QB Kellen Moore
got the ball out on a quick out route, but later in practice Quick made a nice play on a sideline 9-route in the end zone, turning to find the ball and bringing it down inbounds.
And while Quick isn't a blazer, he did show in a one-on-one matchup with Cal-Poly CB Asa Jackson
the ability to use his long strides to eat up a cushion in a jurry. Quick is looking to show he can handle a higher level of competition, and he got off to a good start in Day 1.
We found out on Day 1 that Baylor WR Kendall Wright (ankle) and Penn State DT Devon Still (toe) have been scratched and will not participate.
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