NFLDraftScout: East-West Shring Game Notes (All 3 Days)

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  1. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif][SIZE=-1]East-West Shrine Monday Practice Report[/SIZE][/FONT] [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]
    By Chad Reuter
    SportsXchange/ Analyst

    January 14, 2008 -
    The first day of East-West practices was not a disappointment. The players worked hard on the practice fields in the shadows of Houston's Reliant Stadium, but also had fun. The coaches really tried to emphasize that apparent dichotomy through their actions and words. East coach Dick Vermeil was smiling and ever-positive; several times he could be heard saying "outstanding job, offense" or the like. He also told Virginia Tech WR Justin Harper something he's not likely to hear in his first pro minicamp: "you don't have to work that hard…I want you fresh".

    Then there's all the NFL scouts and administrators walking the outside of the field, watching players and socializing with their colleagues. Players' agents and some media members also dot the scene. It's not quite the same as the Senior Bowl, but with the limited number of all-star games held this year…it's as close as it's been for a while.

    Seeing teammates like Oklahoma CB Marcus Walker and RB Allen Patrick and Iowa State WR Todd Blythe and Alvin Bowen square off was interesting. Most teams practice ones against twos, so these guys don't always get to scrimmage. For example, Walker tried to strip Patrick as he bounced outside and the back yelled "Uh-oh! Uh-oh!" as he blew past him. Blythe and Bowen also tangled once in 11-on-11's, but "Ace" got there too late to keep Blythe from making the catch.

    The players were not in pads today, just helmets, shirts, and shorts. There was some limited contact, but nothing too crazy. This makes evaluating difficult, but here are some notes by player:

    Brandon Barnes OL 6'3 315 Grand Valley State Detroit, MI
    Moved inside from LT, had some issues with stronger and quicker major program prospects like Richard Clebert and Nick Hayden. Got better as practiced continued, moving his feet a bit more quickly to compensate. Strength may also be an issue, as Hayden moved him pretty easily.

    Caleb Campbell DB 6'2 224 Army Perryton, TX
    This former linebacker will definitely play at strong safety in the pros. He looked good in transition today, and can close on the ball quickly.

    Richard Clebert DL 6'1 312 South Florida Miami, FL
    Has the worst body on the field, with an ample gut sticking out for all to see. And his listed 6'1" height is a stretch, to be sure. But he often gets penetration inside when one-on-one.

    Michael Grant DB 5'11 182 Arkansas Stone Mountain, GA
    Has shown potential all year as a press corner. He played physical today and broke on the ball well, impressively breaking up a pass in 11-on-11's. His backpedal and transition, however, need work before he can stick with pro wideouts.

    BenJarvus GreenEllis RB 5'11 225 Mississippi New Orleans, LA
    This guy runs so low to the ground that the moles are jealous. His shiftiness and stop-start quickness are hard to ignore, as well. We'll see how it translates when the pads come on, but he could make himself enough money this week to keep both those last names.

    Justin Harper WR 6'4 195 Virginia Tech Catawba, NC
    Really impressed today with his hands and body control near the sideline. Ran hard every play and caught everything thrown his way. Created separation using his hands against Michael Grant, quickly getting his hands up to grab the ball.

    Jonathan Hefney DB 5'9 185 Tennessee Rock Hill, SC
    Pretty clearly the most fluid athlete in the secondary. Played safety, but also lined up against slot receivers. He didn't make a ton of plays, but no safeties really did because of the limited contact.

    Paul Hubbard WR 6'4 213 Wisconsin Colorado Springs, CO
    And up-and-down day for Hubbard, similar to his career with the Badgers. On some routes he was smooth and snatched the ball from the air. On one stop route, he got in and out of his break so fast the smaller Jonathan Wilhite was powerless to prevent the catch. He also had a couple of drops and some problems adjusting to the ball if it wasn't perfectly thrown.

    Dexter Jackson WR 5'10 180 Appalachian State Dunwoody, GA
    The smallest guy on the field was also the most explosive. Coach Vermeil stopped one play before it began to ask Jackson to "check the tight end"…the receiver was covering him up, which would be a penalty. On the ensuing play, Jackson crossing over the middle from his slot position, snatched a bullet throw, and out-quicked everyone down a seam for the big play.

    Curtis Johnson LB 6'4 245 ClarkAtlanta Lauderhill, FL
    Clark-Atlanta players aren't usually invited to games like this, but Johnson proved his worth. Converting from hand-down to stand-up player should be possible with Johnson with his closing speed and strength. Lined up inside and outside, looking fairly comfortable in both places. Got kudos from his coach for the use of his hands inside. He can get off blocks with violent hand movements. Johnson even held his lane with a 300 pound O-lineman trying to push him out of it. For a 6'4" guy, he's very flexible and gets low in his stance. He'll need to work on his change of direction skills, staying low throughout the play and moving his feet a bit more quickly.

    Brett Kern P 6'3 201 Toledo Grand Island, NY
    Put up three or four 40-45 yard punts with 4.3 second hangtimes, but he also hit some 30-35 yarders with three second hang when pressure was brought a bit stronger. He also had some issues getting consistent placements right away for Mehlhaff, but that's not unexpected in the limited practice time. He seemed to improve fairly quickly with coaching.

    Robert Lane TE 6'3 240 Mississippi Monroe, LA
    Lane's an H-back prospect, not having great size or speed. He's not a natural hands catcher, but didn't resort to using his body. He struggled getting leverage while blocking against stronger lineman and linebackers, as well.

    Bryan Mattison DL 6'3 272 Iowa Mishawaka, IN
    Did not make much impact today in one-on-one matchups. He just lacks the explosion to get past his man and isn't strong enough to bull rush him.

    Bernard Morris QB 6'4 211 Marshall Orlando, FL
    Looks the part of a QB, but was extremely wild on some short and medium throws today without defenders even in the picture. Flashed nice velocity and a tight spiral. Another potential Hula Bowl hangover victim.

    Jerome Simpson WR 6'2 185 Coastal Carolina Reidsville, NC
    One of the most impressive players on the field. His speed, smoothness off the line, quickness in and out of cuts, and reliable hands were reminiscent of former San Jose State and current Green Bay Packer James Jones at this game last year. He's not as big as Jones, but Small school or not, he should make some money this week.

    Pedro Sosa OL 6'5 290 Rutgers Union City, NJ
    Sosa rarely got beat today, using his nice footwork and extending his long arms to keep ends at bay. His anchor is pretty solid, as well.

    Donald Thomas OL 6'3 300 Connecticut West Haven, CT
    Showed his nice combination of strength and athleticism today. Keilen Dykes tried a spin move on him, which had worked on others, but Thomas had none of it. He kept his feet moving and arms extended to keep Dykes spinning in place.

    Fernando Velasco OL 6'4 328 Georgia Wrens, GA
    One of the more impressive linemen because of his anchor and quick footwork. He just wasn't going to be beat, or even an inch of ground, either in one-on-one drills or while scrimmaging.


    Tommy Blake DL 6'3 252 TCU Aransas Pass, TX
    Blake is getting back into football shape after a touch-and-go season. He can get off the snap very quickly and chased plays more often than needed in a practice like this. Didn't make a lot of plays, though…he'll need to improve that in the next couple of days.

    Alvin Bowen LB 6'2 216 Iowa State East Orange, NJ
    Another guy who may be tried at safety by some team, Bowen showed very nice coverage skills sticking with the quick RB Anthony Alridge. His enthusiasm on the field is contagious.

    Zachary Bowman CB 6'2 200 Nebraska Anchorage, AK
    He was not impressive in some drills, with a sloppy pedal and slow plant-and-drive. He drove very nicely on a weak out route, though, and picked it. Bowman also showed nice vert by making the grab at the high point during jump ball drills.

    Derrick Doggett DB 6'3 210 Oregon State San Diego, CA
    Doggett will be asked to try the Michael Boulware move from outside linebacker to strong safety. He looked like a linebacker during backpedal drills, coming up high and choppy. He's also not explosive coming out of the pedal. He did, however, show the ability to cover tight ends in space…which he could do at linebacker.

    Lionel Dotson DL 6'4 286 Arizona Houston, TX
    Probably the quickest interior lineman here. Penetrated frequently and showed a closing burst, although he had to peel off the QB to allow him to work on connecting with his receivers.

    Joe Jon Finley TE 6'6 260 Oklahoma Arlington, TX
    Had one of the better practices of the day. Ran some outstanding routes today, chopping his legs and getting out quicker than expected. Also had a couple of excellent catches with arms extended. One came with DB Derrick Doggett draped on him (legally) and with the sideline coming into play. On another, he left DB David Roach in his dust, faking inside and heading outside to make the grab.

    William Franklin WR 6'2 205 Missouri St. Louis, MO
    Had the drops in pitch-and-catch drills early on today, but came on with some nice catches later. Showed great YAC potential on one play, catching a ball on a stop pattern and seemingly taking off to the inside in a millisecond. The corner tried to touch up his leftover smoke, but to no avail.

    Mike Gibson OL 6'5 302 California Napa, CA
    Moved inside to right guard and looked pretty good. Generally held his ground, except when DT Frank Okam got leverage.

    Chris Harrington DL 6'5 267 Texas A&M Houston, TX
    He won't be mistaken for a sprinter coming out of his stance, but Harrington can use his hands to put relatively quick pressure on the QB. He also showed the same hustle and chase on the practice field as he does during a game.

    Marcus Henry WR 6'4 210 Kansas Lawton, OK
    His lack of speed and suddenness was obvious today, but so was the way he can make tough catches with exceptional hands. Those mitts can get from his hips to the high ball and back much quicker than you'd think. His height also proved useful against the smaller corners out there.

    Josh Johnson QB 6'3 205 San Diego Oakland, CA
    This small-schooler didn't look out of place at all. A lot of throws did not come out of his hand well, resulting in some wounded ducks. Some touch throws over the LB to the TE were well done, others overthrown. Deep outs weren't on the target often enough. Looked smooth and elusive running with the ball in the open, which teams may try to turn into a return or receiver option if QB doesn't work out (Josh Cribbs?). However, he shows enough promise to get take some snaps.

    Spencer Larsen LB 6'1 240 Arizona Gilbert, AZ
    Clearly in control when on the field, directing teammates and consistently being in the right spot. Played at mike and sam today, filling well against the run in both spots.

    Dwight Lowery DB 6'1 185 San Jose State Santa Cruz, CA
    Lowery failed to make plays on the ball numerous times during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills, even when in position to do so. His coach actually asked him, "You saw he was getting the ball? Then break on it!" His vertical and hands on the jump ball drill were impressive, however.

    Kevin O'Connell QB 6'6 235 San Diego State Carlsbad, CA
    Struggled with throws for most of the day, even in drills where it was just him and the receiver playing pitch and catch. Missed short and medium routes regularly, failing to put much zip on his outs and deep balls. He did have a nice deep left sideline completion to Henry late in practice. May have had a bit of a Hula Bowl travel hangover today.

    Frank Okam DL 6'5 320 Texas Dallas, TX
    Looked like a beast most of the day. He kept his ground when needed and also split double teams, although he fell down afterwards on one occasion. Okam also sniffed out a screen on another play. Occasionally he played too high, which 6'5" DT tend to do. But most times he got into his man's chest and pushed him back into the QB. In fact, the coaches got after him a bit because he was putting his team's QB at risk too often.

    Allen Patrick RB 6'0 191 Oklahoma Conway, SC
    No one in the country runs harder than Patrick, even in practice. You can hear him from the sideline giving the effort as he churns his legs. Since the teams weren't in pads, defenders were just to grab and let go…but I don't think it would have mattered if the pads were on. He was going to get every yard, anyway.

    Kevin Robinson WR 6'0 199 Utah State Fresno, CA
    This Aggie put on a solid showing today. He's not great at any one thing but was solid in everything. His hands were extremely reliable, snatching the ball from the air almost every time. One catch on a stop route was especially nice, grabbing a low-and-hot throw to his left.

    Will Robinson OL 6'6 280 San Diego State Pomona, CA
    Looks like a tight end playing left tackle. Very long and athletic, obviously, but gets pushed back too easily. Will likely end up on the practice squad for a year or two as he tries to fill his frame. He gives good effort to fight and anchor, which is a good sign.

    Craig Stevens TE 6'5 258 California San Pedro, CA
    The least athletic tight end on the field today. Not sudden in or out of breaks. In fact, he was jumping into breaks to hit the preferred spot. When the "live" action started, though, he got position on his man and made the catches when getting the chance.

    Justin Tryon 5'10 180 Arizona State Palmdale, CA
    Smallest of the corners here, Tryon did not show much vertical or explosion out of his breaks. His hands were only adequate, not looking as natural as the other corners.

    Marcus Walker DB 5'11 192 Oklahoma Waco, TX
    Rough day for Walker. Must have dropped four or five interceptions in drills when it was just him and the ball. During 11-on-11, he slipped trying to plant and gave up a big play. He is one of the more fluid corners coming out of the break, however, and can drive hard to the ball.

    Ryan Wendell OL 6'2 285 Fresno State Diamond Bar, CA
    He's very undersized, but holds his ground in pass protection well even against guys like Frank Okam who outweigh him by 50 pounds. He can also position his man to keep him from chasing a play on the back side. ​
  2. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    East-West Shrine Tuesday Practice Report
    By Chad Reuter
    SportsXchange/ Analyst

    January 15, 2008 - The second day of practices at the East-West Shrine Game were held on the rainy day in Houston. The good news: there's a practice bubble and indoor stadium available. The bad news: the practices were held outside. Many NFL scouts and administrators huddled under a shelter between the two practice fields to take in the action.

    Another bit of good news was that the players were in pads today. The popping of pads is one of the best sounds of the game. For the most part, contact was limited but there are always guys who push the envelope.

    The funny thing about watching these practices is that most guys look the same on day two as they did on game one…as they did on tape during the season. In other words, few guys really come out of nowhere to jump up. The exceptions are, of course, guys coming from small schools that finally get a chance to play against major program prospects. They have something to prove.

    Here's some notes on today's performances:

    Drew Atchison TE 6'7 245 William & Mary Charlottesville, VA
    Despite his 6'7 height, Atchison gets low in his three-point stance. It gets a little time to get out of it, though, as he stands up too quickly. He does not have great straight-line speed or quickness, but is a fluid runner. Struggled blocking linebackers and safeties in space. Caught most balls with his hands, only allowing one to get away.

    Gary Barnidge TE 6'6 234 Louisville Middleburg, FL
    Presents a nice target to his quarterback. He does not overcome his 6'6 frame, staying too high when trying to get in and out of routes, as well as blocking at the line. He lumbers a bit down the field, as well. Will catch most everything thrown to him, however. Has also been adequate as a snapper, but would only do that in the pros in an emergency situation.

    Cory Boyd RB 6'1 214 South Carolina Orange, NJ
    Despite his height, Boyd can get his pads down and run tough. Fought the ball a bit catching balls with zip out of the backfield.

    Duane Brown OL 6'5 302 Virginia Tech Richmond, VA
    Brown's playing a solid left tackle this week. He doesn't get beat by bull or edge rushes. Lacks the great athleticism most LT's have and does not have the mobility to get to linebackers.

    Thomas Brown RB 5'8 200 Georgia Tucker, GA
    Injuries took some of his thunder in 2007, but Brown's power-punching running style is coming through in Houston. A very compact body who is tough to get a big hit on. He can also bounce a play outside when the hole closes up.

    Richard Clebert DL 6'1 312 South Florida Miami, FL
    Really flashes some penetration ability, just like on tape. The interior guards in this game have a rough time dealing with his initial quickness and handplay. But watching him complete change of direction skills around dummies is painful.

    Joe Clermond DL 6'3 250 Pittsburgh Tampa, FL
    Flashes an outside rush, especially in one-on-one drills, but generally gets stopped before he gets started. He does not have the strength to get off tackle blocks and was handled by tight ends as well.

    Andrew Crummey OL 6'5 301 Maryland Van Wert, OH
    Has played well this week. Quickly gets into his pass set at right guard. Got his hands up and extended his arms to take Keilen Dykes out of an inside run play during a scrimmage. Showed a nice anchor, as well, giving little ground in drills or scrimmages. He can get to the mike pretty quickly and negate him, as well.

    Jerome Felton FB 6'0 246 Furman Madisonville, TN
    This small-schooler with a strong upper body will really pop someone in the hole and can block on the run. He got a bit of work on special teams, as well, as the guy making the first block for the return man. Once downfield, he was to find the first guy down and pop him to spring the returner. Sometimes he also ran into the returner, but other times he did very well hitting his man in space.

    John Greco OL 6'5 325 Toledo Youngstown, OH
    Looks to have found a home at right tackle this week. He shows good strength in both pass pro and run blocking, extending his hands and getting leverage on the ends he faces. He also made his way to the mike 'backer to create a hole.

    BenJarvus GreenEllis RB 5'11 225 Mississippi New Orleans, LA
    Green-Ellis uses his lack of height to his advantage inside, getting lost among the giants of the offensive line. He also showed patience on a stretch play, turning in on after the hole appeared to him.

    Kenny Iwebema DL 6'4 267 Iowa Arlington, TX
    He just lacks explosion out of his stance in most cases. Stonewalled on most pass plays by left tackles, although he occasionally gets by with a swim move or undercut around the edge. Iwebema needs better awareness, as well, as he failed to contain against one reverse play, then let up instead of sniffing out and wrapping up a back on a draw play.

    Dexter Jackson WR 5'10 180 Appalachian State Dunwoody, GA
    Once again he showed extreme quickness. Not surprisingly, the small receiver showed the ability to get down to grab a low pass. The only balls he doesn't catch with his hands are punts. He caught a few of those running forward, showing nice concentration.

    Brett Kern P 6'3 201 Toledo Grand Island, NY
    The lean punter had some good and bad today. Early in practice he put up several 45-50 yard punts that turned over and had 4.3-4.5 second hangtimes. Later on, he struggled to get 4.0 seconds of hangtime on 35-40 yard punts.

    Kendall Langford DL 6'6 290 Hampton Petersburg, VA
    Tall, angular small school tackle who lacks the strength to play inside in the NFL. Has the length and quick hands to get around the edge, but has a hard time keeping his feet. He stumbled out of his stance and allowed the tackling dummies to get the best of him a couple of times in pass rush drills. Has a long way to go…

    Jameel McClain LB 6'1 256 Syracuse Philadelphia, PA
    Shows potential as a real two-down run-stuffer. Absolutely explodes into the hole and has nice closing speed to bring down a RB. Likes to talk, but takes his work seriously. On one play, WR Paul Hubbard was walking through the defense getting back to the line late. McClain had called the coverage already, then McClain saw Hubbard walking through. He stared the lanky receiver down, like he was trying to steal the defensive signals. He's intense…

    Anthony Morelli QB 6'4 232 Penn State Pittsburgh, PA
    Looks great on the field, even occasionally zipping passes in a way that flashes real potential. But on most throws, he fails to hit his guy on the numbers. During scrimmages, Morelli often holds onto the ball too long because he's hesitant to make a mistake.

    Bernard Morris QB 6'4 211 Marshall Orlando, FL
    Looked better in day two, improving accuracy and maintaining the most consistent tight spiral and velocity among the quarterbacks. He also started to anticipate throws better, getting a ball out and in time before his receiver made his out cut.

    Jamie Silva DB 5'11 208 Boston College East Providence, RI
    Silva had a nice year for the Eagles, but has not been impressive this week so far. He did have one interception on a poorly thrown deep ball. But he lacks the size to handle blocks from linemen, tight ends or even receivers WR Paul Hubbard took him across the field on one play…even his coach asked him to use his hands to get off a block.

    Paul Smith QB 6'2 193 Tulsa Owasso, OK
    The biggest knock on Smith coming into the week was his arm strength. He's done nothing to beat that rap. A number of his passes float, especially when throwing across the field. Had one nice deep throw down the sideline, but that was to the near side under no pressure.

    Donald Thomas OL 6'3 300 Connecticut West Haven, CT
    His anchor and strength in various drills today, as well as scrimmages, was impressive. Exploded from his stance in combo block drills.

    Fernando Velasco OL 6'4 328 Georgia Wrens, GA
    Showed once again today that a power running team will appreciate his skills. Displayed a powerful punch in a punch drill, although he was a bit slow getting his hand up to do so. Also came off the ball very hard in a combo block drill, pounding the guard and smoothly getting to the mike.

    Trae Williams DB 5'10 180 South Florida Plant City, FL
    Showed stiffness in his hips in drills and running with receivers. During one drill, Williams failed to transition quickly and his coach said, "you can't do that against Randy Moss". Better when he plays off and drives on the pattern. Had a pick in practice today, breaking on a short route, but the routes being run were very repetitive. But on the play before, he lost his receiver while trying to watch the quarterback. His coach yelled, "you never have the QB…you have three 200 pounders running at you, you better be watching them!"

    Jeremy Zuttah OL 6'4 295 Rutgers Edison, NJ
    Does not explode from his stance. Lacked the strength to keep his man on his inside shoulder when trying to maintain leverage while running to his right.


    Anthony Alridge RB 5'9 175 Houston Denton, TX
    Small, quick scat back who has showed quicks all week. His lack of strength will hurt him, however, as was showed when he was put on his backside running a short route during 7-on-7's.

    Zachary Bowman CB 6'2 200 Nebraska Anchorage, AK
    He just doesn't have great quickness. In backpedal drills, DBs were supposed to start slow and get a burst on command. You couldn't tell the difference between the beginning and end of the drill with Bowman, however. He does not play as physical as you'd think with his size, either.

    Jed Collins FB 6'2 251 Washington State San Juan Capistrano, CA
    An H-back candidate who has potential to block in-line and on the move. Was surprisingly able to seal the edge against larger defensive ends. Not the quickest guy, but he should be able to get a few yards as a receiver on occasion.

    Joe Jon Finley TE 6'6 260 Oklahoma Arlington, TX
    Again one of the top players on the field. Consistently caught the ball with extended arms, using his size to beat the jam and get separation. Also dominated his defensive end on the edge.

    Mike Gibson OL 6'5 302 California Napa, CA
    The former tackle looked home at guard, showing a great anchor. He just wasn't beat inside on drills or in scrimmages. And he can block-and-move for zone blocking schemes, as well.

    Dennis Keyes DB 6'2 203 UCLA Canoga Park, CA
    The strong safety did fairly well in DB drills, getting low in his pedal and coming out of breaks quickly. When taking on tight ends, though, he got lost trailing them and was inconsistent when trying to jam at the line.

    Derek Lokey (Late Roster Add) 6'2 290 Texas Denton, TX
    Appeared for the first time today and did what was expected. Using his short stature and great strength and leverage, he consistently held his ground against double-teams, making backs bounce outside. Absolutely wasted guards in one-on-one drills with initial quickness, hustle, and hands. Not to mention a nice spin move inside…

    Chris MacDonald P 6'4 215 Texas State Mesa, AZ
    Has a tall, solid build. Consistently hit 40 yard punts with 4.2 second hangtimes, which paled in comparison to Brett Kern's kicks. His punts did not turn over much.

    Jesse Nading DL 6'5 258 Colorado State Highlands Ranch, CO
    A tall, lean end who showed violent hands by beating Geoff Schwartz and Tyler Polumbus with rip moves all afternoon. Hustled and chased down plays throughout the day, as well.

    Kevin O'Connell QB 6'6 235 San Diego State Carlsbad, CA
    Again did not show much of an arm despite his size. Rarely follows through on his throw, even when he has the time and room to do so. Also throws sidearm at times, and had one such throw batted down at the line today.

    Frank Okam DL 6'5 320 Texas Dallas, TX
    One of the more inconsistent players in the country. Did not manage to keep his pads down nearly enough, which costs him his main strength…his strength. No leverage means he gets stonewalled or run out of the play. Looked almost nonchalant at times today.

    Tyler Polumbus OL 6'8 300 Colorado Englewood, CO
    For a 6'8 tackle, Polumbus can get into his pass set quickly. Also walled off the left side for running plays, as well, taking the inside lane away from his man. He needs to be more consistent extending his arms and moving his feet.

    Jason Rivers WR 6'2 192 Hawaii Waipahu, HI
    Rivers has looked average this week. Average quickness in and out of breaks. Inconsistent hands, grabbing some above his head and dropping others right in his hands.

    David Roach DB 6'2 215 TCU Abilene Christian
    Linebacker build, as well as a linebacker backpedal. Another safety who needs to see the play in front of him and react. Would struggle to cover any receiver, but okay against some backs and tight ends in the flat.

    Kevin Robinson WR 6'0 199 Utah State Fresno, CA
    An impressive day for Robinson, grabbing all balls thrown towards him and moving his corner for yards when run blocking. Totally removed the larger Zachary Bowman out of one play, taking him out of bounds. Beat Dennis Keyes on a jump ball, then quickly found his feet to head downfield. Again showed quickness after a stop route to change direction and get YAC.

    Athyba Rubin DL 6'3 321 Iowa State Pensecola, FL
    Rubin is ascending up draft boards this year because of his inside presence. Showed a lot of power at times today, getting under the pads of guards and pushing the pocket.

    Geoff Schwartz OL 6'7 337 Oregon Los Angeles, CA
    Schwartz really struggled on the field today, getting ripped and beat by defensive ends. Would up on the ground multiple times. Played both left and right tackle and did not play well on either side. He has nice size, but is stiff and lacks the upper body strength to dominate. He did not handle speed well, either, resorting to reaching to push his guy around the pocket.

    Marcus Thomas RB 6'1 215 UTEP Phoenix, AZ
    Thomas looks more like a receiver than a running back…and runs like one, too. Runs almost completely upright, and does not show much of a burst.

    David Vobora 6'1 240 Idaho Eugene, OR
    One of the smaller linebackers here, he's been pushed around by lineman and tight ends. Moves pretty well laterally, but has not stuck out on any one play.

    Thomas Williams LB 6'3 235 USC Vacaville, CA
    Versatile player who lined up at mike and sam today. He will be tried at both spots in the pros because of his strength and size. He plugged the middle on run plays a couple of times. Williams lacks great speed but he hustles from one side of the field to another. Made a nice pass breakup on an out to the tight end late in practice.
  3. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    East-West Shrine Wednesday Practice Report
    By Chad Reuter
    SportsXchange/ Analyst

    January 15, 2008 - Day three of the East-West Shrine Game practices will held in the Texans' indoor practice facility, otherwise known as "the bubble". After a night of rain, the outdoor fields needed the rest. So the players, NFL scouts, agents, and media got to walk on the FieldTurf among the bits of recycled tires.

    An all-star game tradition is the sharing of team logos among players. Some guys end up with five or six different team logos on his helmet, confusing the heck out of fans. In an ironic move by Sam Keller, the former Arizona State quarterback put an Arizona "A" on the opposite side of his Nebraska "N". A ironic coincidence or message to the school that he thinks slighted him?

    After seeing the same players for three days straight, it's pretty clear where their talents lie. And I tried to cover most every player on the field this week, so not all of them are covered in today's notes. In fact, a lot of the most impressive players were covered earlier this week, so check out the practice reports from previous days for more information. East-West Shrine: Tues | Monday

    Thursday's practices will be relatively low-impact and only walk-throughs happen on Friday, so there will not be any reports published. Most NFL guys will head out of town before the sun sets Thursday so they can get home for a couple of days before everything starts over again in Mobile for the Senior Bowl. They also have to hit the tapes on the underclassmen who are coming out. And that will take a while considering this year's group…

    Brandon Barnes OL 6'3 315 Grand Valley State Detroit, MI
    Showed some improvement over the week, playing with better strength and leverage. Seemed to pick up coaching on using his hands and punching to keep his man off balance. He still loses his balance at times when technique gets sloppy, but he's shown enough this week to take a chance on him.

    Keilen Dykes DL 6'5 295 West Virginia Youngstown, OH
    One of the few players that could potentially play multiple positions on the D-line…anything except a true pass-rushing 7-technique. Played nose tackle at WVU, doing very well there despite not being 350 pounds. Manages to get under the pads of guys, holding his ground, even at 6'5. He can also get his hands inside and rip to get off blocks and make a play. Also shows some penetrating abilities, with a strong inside swim move.

    Gary Guyton LB 6'2 240 Georgia Tech Hinesville, GA
    Sam backer candidate, sticking with tight ends and playing strong at the line of scrimmage. He even displayed nice hands grabbing a bullet over the middle as the TE run the wrong route, which means he was watching the QB and still staying with the receiver.

    Justin Harper WR 6'4 195 Virginia Tech Catawba, NC
    After a quick start this week, Harper has had problems the past couple of days. He stumbled coming out of a route today, and failed to get separation on most of his routes.

    Jonathan Hefney DB 5'9 185 Tennessee Rock Hill, SC
    Evaluating safeties in this practice environment is very difficult. But Hefney certainly has the quickness and instincts that teams want, even though he lacks size. If a back is in the flat, Hefney will appear from nowhere to cut him down. Very smooth pedal and transition in drills, but got beat by tight ends up the seam a few times.

    Paul Hubbard WR 6'4 213 Wisconsin Colorado Springs, CO
    Has the receiver build and speed but his hands are very inconsistent. Snatched some out of the air nicely on slants, let others into his body for no reason, and flat-out dropped others.

    Curtis Johnson LB 6'4 245 ClarkAtlanta Lauderhill, FL
    Played sam linebacker today. Johnson was playing high too often, especially when trying to drop into coverage. Still shows flashes of great athleticism, and hangs well with the tight ends in space.

    Adam Kraus OL 6'6 296 Michigan New Orleans, LA
    Another guy at this game because he's in between positions. He's been a solid center for Michigan, but lacks the functional strength to be a starter in the pros. Lets tackles too far into his body and loses leverage. It's also not clear that he has the quick feet needed to get out of his stance, reach to get the 1-technique, or to the second level at left guard.

    Jameel McClain LB 6'1 256 Syracuse Philadelphia, PA
    The former defensive end actually did some drills with his hand down. Against Duane Brown in one-on-ones, he first tried to bull rush using his low center of gravity. Brown stoned him. Then the coaches told him to use his speed and hands, and McClain did so…he managed to get around Brown to the outside. But DE is not where he's going to play in the pros.

    Drew Miller OL 6'5 304 Florida Sarasota, FL
    Called a versatile center/left guard prospect, but there's a fine line between being a jack of all trades and a master of none. Hasn't played up to his size this week, and also struggles with speed. Maintained leverage going against the nose at times. Could not reach to get in front of the 1-technique most times.

    Ogemdi Nwagbuo DL 6'4 290 Michigan State San Diego, CA
    A newcomer today, Nwagbuo is another tall DT looking for his chance to shine. Despite a lack of girth, he holds his ground well against the run. Got under his man's pads to push the pocket back a couple of times. He's a hustler who moves down the line, as well.

    D.J. Parker DB 5'11 190 Virginia Tech Hampton, VA
    A bit undersized for a free safety, but Parker showed some of the better cover skills among the group today. He did not bite on a double move, staying low and transitioning well. He also displayed nice range by getting over on a deep ball and making the pick.

    Jerome Simpson WR 6'2 185 Coastal Carolina Reidsville, NC
    This week has put him solidly into the third round of the draft. Dropped a couple out there today, but is still running smooth from the slot and outside. One of the more consistent and motivated run blockers out there, shadowing a safety across the field whenever necessary. Showed nice hustle getting down for a loose ball over the middle of the field, although LB Caleb Campbell almost got rolled up on in the process.

    Fernando Velasco OL 6'4 328 Georgia Wrens, GA
    Played at left guard today and did not really impress there. His feet did not move quickly one-on-one. He lunged on one play to get into his man and fell forward. Still has a really nice punch (when it lands) and explosion from his stance, however.

    Jonathan Wilhite DB 5'11 185 Auburn Monroe, LA
    Another smallish corner who does some good things and some bad things. He struggles breaking on the ball on most plays, often not "believing what he sees" as his coach said, but came up with a nice breakup on a 18-yard in route today. Stayed home on a reverse in practice today, as well, earning the respect of his coaches.

    Trae Williams DB 5'10 180 South Florida Plant City, FL
    Had his most impressive practice today. Improved his backpedal quite a bit, staying down in it longer so he can quickly break on routes when the receiver cuts. Only a perfect Anthony Morelli short out throw kept him from picking one off early on. Shadowed his receiver on an out-and-up double move today, staying low and not turning his hips too early.


    Anthony Alridge RB 5'9 175 Houston Denton, TX
    The small, quick back worked out at receiver at times today. He lined up in the slot in 7-on-7 and also ran drills with WRs. His obvious quickness in short areas is nice for a slot guy, but his hands are a bit questionable. Alridge body-caught most balls on the day. He also got knocked off his route by a linebacker on one play, something he'd have to work on at the next level.

    Tommy Blake DL 6'3 252 TCU Aransas Pass, TX
    Although he turned things on a bit late in the year, Blake's falling stock has not been helped this week. He's still playing heavier than his listed weight, and it's not muscle. Only occasionally does he show much of a burst off the line. He's swallowed up by most left tackles.

    Todd Blythe WR 6'5 209 Iowa State Indianola, IA
    Looking at this guy, you think…is that it? He's a rail. He's not particularly sudden in or out of breaks. He's not fast enough to get separation against even the average corners in practice. But when a ball gets thrown down the seam, he seems to come up with the pass.

    Zachary Bowman CB 6'2 200 Nebraska Anchorage, AK
    Again struggled with lateral movement. In a mirror drill, Bowman was supposed to be shadowing another DB moving back and forth directly in front of him…and doing it with his hands behind his back. Bowman could barely move side-to-side as the guy across from him moved from left to right numerous times.

    Scott Derry LB 6'3 230 Texas Pearland, TX
    This guy has always looked a little odd because his long neck makes his helmet sit several inches above his shoulder pads. Heck, if he wasn't from Austin he may not have been invited as a replacement player this week. And he has a safety/linebacker 'tweener build. But all he does is show up around the ball. He sticks his shoulder into a guard to bring a stretch play back inside. He'll hustle and drop deep in coverage. And he'll make a mark on special teams, which is a must if he wants to make a team. When setting a wedge on returns, Derry brought his hips and used his hands to set a serious block.

    Kyle DeVan OL 6'2 310 Oregon State Vacaville, CA
    Seems to be really overmatched in most situations this week. He lacks great feet and hands, regularly getting beat by inside penetrators with swim and violent arm moves. He's inconsistent with his anchor, as well.

    Derrick Doggett DB 6'3 210 Oregon State San Diego, CA
    Still a player without a position. He worked at both linebacker and safety today, and definitely looked more at home at LB because that's where his experience is. Used his length to cover tight ends like blankets and knock away a pass against Craig Stevens. However, it's tough to see him at sam because of a lack of strength at the point.

    Lionel Dotson DL 6'4 286 Arizona Houston, TX
    May get a look as a 3-4 5-technique (defensive end) because he's pretty clearly the quickest DT here and doesn't have enough girth to play on the nose or the 1-technique. In one D-lineman drill, he was asked to roll on the ground, get up, and chase down a ballcarrier. Dotson looked very smooth doing this, which just added to his solid showing the rest of the week.

    Drew Fowler LB 6'2 240 Air Force Clayton, NC
    He's not the quickest or biggest guy on the field. But he did get his hands into throwing lanes a couple of times this week, and read inside runs well enough to get through trash and make a play.

    Dan Gore OL 6'5 296 Boise State Prosser, WA
    Certainly looks the part of a right tackle, and sometimes plays like one. DE Chase Ortiz made him look bad by taking one step outside and then quickly cutting in, getting Gore off balance. But with some coaching, Gore caught up with the speed of the better ends. Staying over his feet and sitting in the chair in pass protection will help his transition to the pros a lot easier.

    David Hale OL 6'6 305 Weber State Plain City, UT
    Small-schooler who has taken on the challenge of playing the major college guys this week. He isn't the largest right tackle, but showed good explosiveness out of his stance on run plays especially blocking down to seal the edge. Plays a bit high in pass protection so he can be moved back through leverage. Definitely a project worth undertaking.

    Chris Harrington DL 6'5 267 Texas A&M Houston, TX
    His motor is always on, whether in practice or games. He's quicker than expected off the snap, getting up quick into tackles during 1-on-1 drills and live play.

    Josh Johnson QB 6'3 205 San Diego Oakland, CA
    A large number of Johnson's passes come wobbling out of his hands…a couple actually literally slipped out going forward. But somehow most of those throws get where they need to go. Showed the ability today to make a throw on the run, at least to his dominate right side.

    Bryan Kehl LB 6'3 231 Brigham Young Salt Lake City, UT
    Very thin in the hips and legs. Kehl can run with tight ends okay and drop back into coverage. A lack of strength inside may hurt his chances to play regularly, however.

    Sam Keller QB 6'4 230 Nebraska Danville, CA
    Another ho-hum day for Keller. You'd think with his size his arm would better than it is. Even on shorter routes, his accuracy is inconsistent at best. Some fly high out of his hands, others get short-armed and end up putting his receiver on the ground.

    Spencer Larsen LB 6'1 240 Arizona Gilbert, AZ
    A true two-down mike, Larsen explodes into an inside hole and stuffs the guard, fullback or running back, whoever shows up. But he lacks any kind of backpedal and doesn't get deep enough drops to be really effective in coverage.

    Charles Manu OL 6'3 300 Nevada Reno, NV
    Tough guy who needs some work moving inside from tackle. But he showed the strength in his hands and nasty streak, even in practice, that gives teams something to think about. HE can use his lack of height to his advantage, getting under taller players' pads to hold them off.

    Brandon McAnderson FB 6'0 235 Kansas Lawrence, KS
    He made his name as a halfback in the Kansas offense, but he just lacks the quickness to do that in the NFL. Maybe he'll get a few carries in a power offense, but he didn't run much this week. Today he showed fair hands, adjusting to high and wide balls. We'll have to wait until live action to see if he can actually block effectively.

    Shawn Murphy OL 6'5 315 Utah State Alpine, UT
    Played left guard this week, and the story was about the same every day. Occasionally uses his size to hold up the tackle across from him, but regularly gets handled in the upper body or beat by speed inside.

    Chase Ortiz DL 6'3 255 TCU League City, TX
    This lean rush end is all hustle. Brings intensity on every play, and gets off the snap pretty quickly. Despite his lack of size he can violently rip his arms across his man's body to get around him. Someone will bring him in as a pass rush specialist and special teamer.

    Geoff Schwartz OL 6'7 337 Oregon Los Angeles, CA
    Put together a much better effort today. He moved (and stayed on) his feet more, only getting ripped by an end (Chase Ortiz) once. He was impressive when drive blocking, getting his long, powerful arms extended and bringing his hips to push his man back.

    Marcus Walker DB 5'11 192 Oklahoma Waco, TX
    Walker is clearly the best-looking corner in drills because of his athleticism. However, his lack of discipline on tape and poor hands on the practice field this week make it difficult to pick him early.

    David Vobora 6'1 240 Idaho Eugene, OR
    Although he was ultra-productive for the Vandals, Vobora really did not stick out this week. He has adequate lateral movement but does not overwhelm you with athleticism. He lacks real size, but again does not have the skills to play strong safety. Willing to stick his nose inside on runs but never seemed to get off blocks to make a play.
  4. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

    45,816 Messages
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    East-West Shrine Week Review
    By Chad Reuter
    SportsXchange/ Analyst

    January 19, 2008 - Most all-star game practice reviews involve the awakening of media members to the talents of lesser-known players, rather than the rising or falling of players' stock because of their play. Former Arizona head coach Dennis Green would say that, for the most part, the players are who NFL teams thought they were.

    But a couple of prospects, mostly those coming from smaller schools, do help themselves during the week's practices and ensuing game. One example this week was QB Josh Johnson. He's obviously been very productive at San Diego (43 TD vs. 1 INT in '07) but scouts wanted to know if he could handle a higher level of competition. Johnson, along with receivers Jerome Simpson (Coastal Carolina) and Dexter Jackson (Appalachian State), showed they could handle it quite nicely, thank you. And despite what the ESPN2 crew was saying during the game, Football Championship Subdivision players (outside those in the Ivy and Patriot Leagues) are on scholarship.

    It's always interesting to see how practices translate to game play. Receivers who drop balls in games usually also drop them in practice…even without the threat of the big hit. Wisconsin's Paul Hubbard and Cal TE Craig Stevens dropped balls in the game, similar to what they did in helmets and shorts. And quarterbacks who can't get the ball where it needs to be in practice, like Kevin O'Connell and Anthony Morelli, also look inaccurate in live action. So if you're wondering why player X isn't starting or in the game in certain situations, it's probably because they can't get the job done in practice.

    On the other hand, some players make plays during the game but do not look impressive in practice. Tulsa QB Paul Smith falls into that category. He three some longer passes in practice, as he did in the game. But on most routes, he did not appear to have enough arm strength to throw from one side of the field to the other. During the game, he was able to step up in the pocket and put full effort into some throws. He will not have the time and space to make those throws consistently in the NFL. And when he did put full force into the throw, Smith lowered his pad level so it becomes easier to deflect passes already coming from a smaller frame.

    This is not to say Smith won't be drafted or that he can't become an NFL quarterback. He has the football intelligence to perform at a high level, and his college productivity speaks for itself. But it's wise to remember that even the top all-star games do not match the speed and intensity of the NFL.

    This year's East-West Shrine Game roster is reminiscent of the 2005 group, which had about half of its 100+ players selected. The reduced number of all-star games and the continuing decline of the Hula Bowl have concentrated most of the mid-to-late round prospects to this game.

    But the general consensus is that this group is not strong enough to carry 20+ top 125 players like in 2005. Here's one man's take at 50 players who could be selected and where they could go, taking into account that the Combine and pro days will have large effects on the draft landscape. For that reason, the players are listed in alphabetical order within three tiers.

    See the daily practice reports to get my impressions watching these players, as well as the others participating in this weekend's game.

    East-West Shrine: Review | Wed | Tues | Mon | Rosters

    Round Late 2, 3, or 4:

    LB Alvin Bowen (Iowa State): "Ace' plays all out and talks all out. Showed a nice blend of toughness and athleticism in practices and the game. His pick late in the game showed his safety-like ability to get into his drop.

    OT Duane Brown (Virginia Tech): Solid at everything, if not spectacular at anything. Strong anchor in pass protection and can block down to seal the edge. Struggles a bit with lateral movement to shadow speed rushers, which drops him to a mid-round pick.

    RB Thomas Brown (Georgia): Low center of gravity and power make him hard to bring down. Nice inside-out runner nice hands out of the backfield in practice, despite the drop in the game. Will be a bargain because of the deep running back class.

    OT John Greco (Toledo): Tough right tackle who will start by year two, if not earlier. Has the strength to move inside, as well.

    DE Chris Harrington (Texas A&M): High-motor power end who can play three downs. Doesn't have a great initial burst, but can close and hustle.

    S Jonathan Hefney (Tennessee): Small, athletic player who must prove himself as either a nickel back or safety. If he can returns punts like he did during the Combine.

    QB Josh Johnson (San Diego): Raw and a bit wiry, but with more than adequate arm strength and accuracy. Also showed nice touch and very smooth, elusive running in practice and in the game. The ball came out of his hands poorly this week, but that doesn't appear on tape nor did it hurt him in the game.

    CB Dwight Lowery (San Jose State): Good size and excellent ball skills, as shown in the game. Average straight-line and recovery speed will hurt his status. Needs to play off in a zone system, so the play is usually in front of him, to be fully effective.

    DT Frank Okam (Texas): Looks like a beast inside on some days, and disinterested on others. That inconsistency keeps him from breaking into the top two rounds.

    S D.J. Parker (Virginia Tech): Corner size and speed, safety mentality. A lack of size may keep him out of the top three rounds. Coach Frank Beamer enjoyed his guy making a play on special teams in the game, downing a punt inside the one during the game.

    RB Allen Patrick (Oklahoma): Runs as hard as anyone in the country, but scouts aren't sure he will always show up to play. Unfortunately, a "tweaked" knee took him out of the Shrine Game early. His work in practice was noticed, however.

    S Jamie Silva (Boston College): Small in stature, but Silva's football acumen is large. Even scouts are surprised at the plays he makes given his average athletic test results. Solid tackler who will be a beast around the line, in coverage, and on special teams.

    WR Jerome Simpson (Coastal Carolina): Smooth small-schooler with a good chance at going in the top 100…teams won't sleep on him as they did New Orleans star WR Marques Colston. Won't shock anyone with his size or speed, but he runs good routes and catches everything thrown his way using his huge hands.

    OG Donald Thomas (Connecticut): Strong and athletic, he could run sub 5.0 40 and put up excellent strength numbers at the Combine, as well. Anchors well vs. bull rushers and can pull/trap. What's not to like?

    CB Trae Williams (South Florida): Not real big, but he has nice hips to stay with double moves and makes the pick when it's in the area. Needs to work on staying low in his backpedal longer so he can close on the ball better.

    Round 5, Early 6:

    OG Andrew Crummey (Maryland): Technically sound and athletic right guard who is a nice fit for zone-blocking schemes.

    LB Jo-Lonn Dunbar (Boston College): Won't test better than average at Combine or Indy, but he always seems to be around the ball whether in coverage or between the tackles.

    TE Joe Jon Finley (Oklahoma): Solid all-around tight end, but average speed and inconsistent hands keep him from being a higher pick.

    WR William Franklin (Missouri): Size-speed combo receiver who can be a deep threat. Didn't get to play in the game, but showed promise during early practices.

    OL Mike Gibson (California): Strong, versatile player who is a potential starting right guard after playing a very good right tackle at Cal.

    LB Jonathan Goff (Vanderbilt): All-around player inside, stuffing the run and getting around in coverage.

    CB Michael Grant (Arkansas): Press corner with size to handle larger receivers and hands to take advantage of QB's mistakes. Could go higher if he proves he has better-than-average speed.

    WR Paul Hubbard (Wisconsin): Tall, speedy receiver who can use his size to his advantage and run solid routes. His inconsistent hands are just maddening to offensive coordinators, however.

    WR/KR Dexter Jackson (Appalachian State): Very quick slot receiver who may be an interesting return option. Showed nice hands on punt returns during the week. Ran too horizontally during the game, trying to make something happen. He'll get coached up to make the first guy miss and head upfield.

    LB Bryan Kehl (BYU): Tall and thin, but owning long arms to wrap up ballcarriers. Impressive range that covers the entire field.

    DE Kendall Langford (Hampton): Too thin to play DT as he did in college, but he improved all week in using his length and strength to pressure the quarterback from the power end spot. Was every effective with his bull rush during the game Saturday night.

    QB Bernard Morris (Marshall): Real potential with NFL size and arm. The most consistently impressive quarterback in practices in terms of delivery and ball flight. Showed in both practices and games that he needs to work on his touch on short routes.

    WR/KR Kevin Robinson (Utah State): Nice-sized target who showed nice hands throughout the week. In the game, he was willing to go over the middle to make a play and also a threat in the return game with a punt return TD. Robinson's successful as a returner because he runs tough, heads straight upfield, and has the vision to make the cut.

    DT Athyba Rubin (Iowa State): Potential starting nose tackle, this run-stuffer takes up double teams and is athletic enough to chase down the line. Effort is inconsistent, possibly from a lack of stamina, but he'll be valued for his size.

    OT Pedro Sosa (Rutgers): Good size and length for a potential starting left tackle, but he's not an elite athlete at the positon and wasn't always technically sound in practice.

    Round Middle 6, 7:

    RB/WR Anthony Alridge (Houston): A player without a position, his quickness and speed are lost with below-average hands and little experience at slot WR and a lack of size at RB. Had a nice game Saturday night, but still has to prove himself a solid returner to lock down a roster spot.

    DE Tommy Blake (TCU): A pre-season top 20 selection, Blake's off-field issues and his ballooning from 255 to 280 pounds have cost him quite a bit of money. Even if he loses weight to get his burst back before the Combine, teams will have serious concerns about him.

    RB Cory Boyd (South Carolina): Strong runner who could be an excellent one-cut downfield back in the right system. Character concerns are a major negative, however.

    LB Caleb Campbell (Army): Pros love his ability to play an in-the-box strong safety, even though he was used as a linebacker in college. He did not get to show much this week, but Campbell is certainly on teams' radars going into the spring.

    DT Lionel Dotson (Arizona): Tall, quick penetrator who could be 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT.

    DT Keilen Dykes (West Virginia): Another versatile lineman who could hand 3-4 DE responsibilities, as well as nose or 1-technique tackle duties. His ability to play with leverage and maintain his ground will be utilized by his drafting team.

    RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Ole Miss): Short, solid back with good power and initial quickness. A strong RB class and a lack of breakaway speed make him a late-round bargain. Stepped up to handle inside pass rushers in practice and during the game.

    DT Nick Hayden (Wisconsin): Can be a strong inside presence, penetrating and getting off blocks to make plays. But he plays too high, so pro interior linemen will get leverage against him.

    DE Kenny Iwebema (Iowa): Strong power end who can put occasional pressure on the quarterback when fresh. Effort consistency is a question.

    LB Curtis Johnson (Clark Atlanta): Defensive end-turning-linebacker has real potential as a pass-rusher and special teamer, especially after a year in a pro strength and conditioning program.

    P Brett Kern (Toledo): Solidified himself as a top-three punter this week. As was evident during the game, he can turn the ball over, getting 50+ yards and a 4.3-4.5 second hangtime. Needs to speed up his delivery, however, to get off the ball more quickly.

    LB Spencer Larsen (Arizona): Two-down mike 'backer who attacks the line of scrimmage but struggles in space.

    K Taylor Mehlhaff (Wisconsin): Once Mehlhaff and his holder got on the same page, he looked good kicking the ball. Strength to get the ball into the end zone on kickoffs also puts him a leg up on the competition.

    OL Drew Miller (Florida): Teams will not know if he's a versatile reserve guard/center or lacks a position until they get him into training camp. Zone blocking teams could use his position blocking skills to their advantage.

    QB Kevin O'Connell (San Diego State): Has the size and athleticism but needs to get consistency in his delivery, footwork, zip, and accuracy. So he's got some work to do before competing for a starting job.

    WR Jason Rivers (Hawaii): Not remarkable in one any aspect of his game, Rivers simply runs the route he's supposed to and catches the ball more often than not.

    OT Geoff Schwartz (Oregon): Huge body who can drive block on the edge. Struggles with speed and could play stronger in the upper body.

    TE Craig Stevens (California): Good in-line blocker who can make the tough catch. A lack of speed and inconsistent hands hurts his stock and may keep him a career backup.

    CB Justin Tryon (Arizona State): Plays tough for his size, is smooth in transition, and makes plays on the ball. A solid candidate to play in the slot as a nickel back in the pros.

    OL Fernando Velasco (Georgia): A strong punch and anchor could make him a solid center candidate for a power running scheme. Could also play a strong drive blocking guard. Improving his footwork in pass protection could make him a very good pro.

    CB Marcus Walker (Oklahoma): Has the athletic skills to be a starter, but a lack of discipline and unreliable hands hurts his stock. He made an interception during the game by watching the QB…unfortunately, that gambling also gets him beat.

    CB Jonathan Wilhite (Auburn): Small but willing to throw his body around. Improved his closing techniques during the week.

    LB Thomas Williams (USC): Smart player who plays hard. Will probably play in the middle, but could be a sam as he can stuff the run and handle covering tight ends.
  5. Biggems

    Biggems White and Nerdy

    13,480 Messages
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    If Goff was there in the 5th, he would definitely be a nice pick......

    Kevin Robinson could be this year's Marques Colston
  6. Oh_Canada

    Oh_Canada Well-Known Member

    8,335 Messages
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    I think Bowen, Thomas Brown, Okam, Velasco (sure he is a Houck kind of guy), Jason Rivers, Rubin, Goff, Robinson, Hefney, Green-Ellis and Franklin will all be looked at hard by the 'Boys.
  7. dillinger319

    dillinger319 Striped Leopard

    900 Messages
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    Everything Ive read on Thomas Brown has been positive... He seems like a hard worker and even harder runner.. I wouldnt be opposed to taking him in the 3rd or 4th round if we were to address other needs early.. He could definetly be a diamond in the rough..
  8. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    Dexter Jackson WR 5'10 180 Appalachian State Dunwoody, GA
    The smallest guy on the field was also the most explosive. Coach Vermeil stopped one play before it began to ask Jackson to "check the tight end"…the receiver was covering him up, which would be a penalty. On the ensuing play, Jackson crossing over the middle from his slot position, snatched a bullet throw, and out-quicked everyone down a seam for the big play.
  9. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

    45,816 Messages
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    I had forgotten all about him. In that Michigan game, he was amazing. He'll be a steal for somebody -- hopefully us.
  10. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

    57,073 Messages
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    I'm starting to like him and Jerome Simpson, they mentioned that Simpson reminds them of James Jones, I wouldn't mind having a James Jones on the squad
  11. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

    57,073 Messages
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    he's a mini-marion

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