Best Players: Bill Swancutt, North DE- Oh man, this kid absolutely dominated. Swancutt was getting constant pressure, and had they let him play the whole game he might have ended up with 5 or 6 sacks. The fact that he was so effective is only made more impressive by the amount of time he was held, which looked to be every other play. Charlie Frye, North QB- Frye really showed a lot of scouts that he can do the same things he did at Akron against the top competition, and its safe to say we’ll be hearing a lot of comparisons to the other MAC QBs in the future. He had some incredible touch, and put some heat on it when he had to; very similar to a healthy Chad Pennington. Darren Sproles, North RB- This kid sure can run. After he measured in at 5 foot 5 and a half inches during the week, I figured his stock would plummet, then he comes out and shreds the South defense. He showed the same burst and agility he had at KSU, and really made a statement about some of the things he can do for an NFL team. Mike Nugent, North Kicker- There’s absolutely no doubt in the world that he’s going to make a kick when he steps on the field. He knows it, the coaches know it, and the fans know it. Don’t know how/why he kicked his last kickoff out of bounds, so I’ll try not to think about it. Worst Players: Kyle Orton, North QB- Did not have his best stuff out there. He was under-throwing the deeper passes, and putting too much on the short ones. The fact that his counterpart Charlie Frye came out and tore up the South D will hurt. He couldn’t even get it going with his Boilermaker teammate Taylor Stubblefield. Khalif Barnes, North OT- For a guy that supposedly had a nice week of practice he laid a major egg in the game. He was getting taught a serious lesson by Demarcus Ware for the majority of the day; he could barely even stop him when he deliberately held. Later on he got absolutely run over by George Gause. Jimmy Parquet, South OT- Pretty much repeat the piece in Barnes, but replace Demarcus Ware and George Gause by Matt Roth and, well.. Matt Roth. Parquet was getting pushed all over the field by Roth, on one play nearly knocking down the QB himself. Vincent Jackson, North WR- After all that hype, we got nothing. Couldn’t even make one catch… He did make a special teams tackle, so there’s something. Other players of note: James Butler, South Safety- He made a beautiful interception on a Kyle Orton pass in the first quarter, had tight coverage and just broke right in front of the WR. His size, speed, and tackling ability make him a complete safety prospect. He should really shoot up the draft boards. Cedric Houston, South RB- Quietly had one of the better games of anyone. He didn’t break a huge signature run, but was consistently eating up 7 or 8 yards a carry, similar in style to Curtis Martin. Bryan McFadden, South CB- One of the better tackling, physical corners in the game. He was excellent covering the receivers on the short routes, whether it was outside or going across the middle. Fred Gibson, South WR- Really came out and stepped up. He knew when to make his cuts and when to come back to the Quarterback, and it was one of the first times in his career that he didn’t look afraid to catch the ball. He was even able to use his body to catch a few balls, which really says a lot if he’s able to add some weight. Dustin Colquitt, South Punter- Despite a rush and a bad, bouncing snap he was able to kick a nice 45 yarder at the start of the first. He continued to do pretty well, putting one 47 yards just barely into the end zone. Chris Myers, OG South- His versatility is going to make him a very good day 2 pick. He plays guard very well most of his college career, played well at right tackle before an injury his senior year, and more than held his own at center in this game. Kirk Morrison, North LB- He has some amazing speed when he’s out in the open field, whether its in coverage or going into the backfield. He put a great hit out in the open field in the first on a RB and came back the next play and knocked away a short pass. Plus, he looks in the best shape of just about anyone there. Alex Holmes, North TE- For a guy that wasn’t expected to make that big of an impact, Holmes blocked and caught the ball very well. There were some plays I thought he was an OT he pushed the DE so far back; then he carried three guys to a first down on one catch. Marcus Spears, DE South- Didn’t really light it up like he did in practice, but played well enough. We already knew that he’s a legit first rounder. Vincent Fuller, South CB- Not only did he get run over by Darren Sproles, but he was dragged for 2 or 3 extra yards by him. That was really his only noticeable bad play, but that just can’t happen. Jason Campbell, South QB- He was really accurate, thanks to the commentating crew and Campbell himself for that note. Seriously though he looked pretty good, especially when he was able to get outside the pocket; but that’s mainly because the South QBs were getting no time to throw at all. Matt Jones, South WR/TE- Jones really was able to show some things in the game as a WR that most people didn’t think he’d be able to, namely his route running. Still, I think he’d best be used at Tight End in the NFL, he has the frame to add weight and the speed to be a serious threat. Reggie Brown, South WR- Showed some nice hands on the shorter routes he was running, and really plays bigger than he looks. Darrent Williams, North CB- Williams made some mistakes early on, leaving too far of a cushion on Fred Gibson a few times, but recovered as the game went on. Didn’t really hurt himself, but didn’t help either. Mark Clayton, North WR- Clayton will be remembered mostly for what he did during the week at practice, but made a few really nice plays during this one, including a kick return. He has the skills to be a Steve Smith type player at the next level. George Gause, South DE- He didn’t make as many plays as the other DEs, but his best was a great move to just knock Khalif Barnes over and take Frye down pretty much just as he started to drop back. Junior Rosegreen, South Safety- Rosegreen proved he was one of the bigger hitters at safety by making a couple of big tackles at the line of scrimmage, but he also was decent in coverage, including one very nice play against Alex Smith in the end zone (bogus pass interference call). Sean Considine, North DB- Probably one of the least touted of any players at the senior bowl, Considine was all over the place. He was always one of the first men down on special teams, and didn’t mind coming up close to the line of scrimmage and making a hit. Demarcus Ware, South DE- Definitely had a better game than some people are giving him credit for. He is a pure pass rusher, but is a smart player, recognizing a late toss and stuffing it early in the game. Matt Roth, North DE- Roth’s performance was overshadowed by that of the DE opposite him Bill Swancutt, but he was still pretty dominant in his own right. He’s got some excellent speed getting around the corner, and deserves a pick in the first round. Antaaj Hawthorne, North DT- Really won’t get the publicity for his performance because it was the guys on the outside racking up the stats, but they wouldn’t have done as well without Antaaj in the middle. Ray Willis, South OT- He started off the game getting destroyed by Bill Swancutt, but eventually turned it around and stabilized himself. Kay Jay Harris, South RB- For a power back, he really was hesitant hitting the holes on shorter runs. Then again, for a power back he showed some good hands and agility in the open field. Marcus Johnson, South OG- Marcus was a guy that probably got overlooked based on the poor play of the rest of his South linemates, but he was very good in the middle. He looks like he’ll be a solid Guard down the line. Manuel White, North FB- He should be getting a lot of credit for some of the longer runs by Darren Sproles. He has some good speed, and knows how to use the defenders own momentum against them in the open field. Alex Smith, North TE- For a guy that took a lot of heat for his blocking skills, Smith did pretty well. Of course, the key part of his game is catching the ball, and he was all over the place in that regard. He made a beautiful over the shoulder catch on an equally beautiful Charlie Frye pass, and was a force over the middle. Dave Greene, South QB- Didn’t really tear up the field, but made the throws when he had to. His pass to Jones at the end was perfect, and he spread the ball around pretty well. He didn’t have to rely on his own WRs from UGA to do well. Cody McCarty, South TE- McCarty continued the excellent day by the TEs in the Senior Bowl. McCarty made some nice catches out in space and got a few first downs. At the very least he drew some attention his way. Leroy Hill, South LB- Doesn’t have the ideal size for an NFL linebacker, but the kid shows no fear going after the ball carrier. His speed and strength will make him a quality NFL player. Michael Roos, North OT- Roos proved for the most part that he could deal with the size and speed on major D1 players, and looked really comfortable at Right Tackle. Jamaal Brimmer, North Safety- Brimmer was able to hold his own out in coverage, and that’s all the NFL teams were looking for to go with his excellent tackling ability. Robert McCune, South LB- McCune has always been able to use his speed to his advantage, and this game was no different. He also was effective blitzing through the center of the line. Ronald Bartell, North CB- He had some early issues adjusting to the speed of the players. Later on he made up for it by stripping Fred Gibson on a later 2nd quarter kick return. Dave Baas, North OG- Just one of the best, most underappreciated players in the draft. Baas does all the little things, block inside, run downfield, pull, everything. Alfred Fincher, North LB- Fincher didn’t have the huge impact that I expected, but he made the plays when he had to. There’s always room for fast, intelligent football players on the first day. Jonathan Nichols, South K- Hit one perfect FG, then hit a line drive that barely snuck into the bottom right corner. I guess it’s better than missing. Courtney Roby, North WR- Courtney had a real nice game despite not getting a ton of opportunities. He just knows how to get up-field. Brock Berlin, South QB- Saved Brock for last, because that’s probably what the NFL teams will do. Brock wasn’t bad, but he had the same problems he did at Miami, held onto the ball too long, poor accuracy, and doing whatever the opposite of instilling confidence is. Best Moments (on the field): Halfway through the first, Fred Gibson sees a scrambling Jason Campbell and comes back to him and makes a beautiful sideline grab for a 15-20 yard gain. These two seem to have a formed a good chemistry in the week of practice. Three minutes and change to play in the first, South has a 3rd and goal. There were three freakishly obvious should-be-holding penalties on the North OL (one on Jimmy Parquet, two on Ray Willis), but none are called. The officiating so far has been pretty bad, the refs don’t even seem to be taking it seriously. To end the first, Bill Swancutt sacked Dave Greene despite being held (again) by OT Michael Watson. However, his poor sack dance may cost him some spots in the draft. He followed that up with another sack on the first play of the 2nd. Charlie Frye threw a perfect pass over Junior Rosegreen to Alex Smith in stride before James Butler could come over in to help. That pass was the definition of touch. I understand that Fred Gibson isn’t a regular kick returner, but he has to know to change his ball hand to the outside when he’s getting chased like that. Ronald Bartell predictably tore the ball away from him setting up an easy three for Mike Nugent. Darren Sproles’ 23 yard touchdown run in the second was just picture perfect. He was sprung into the secondary by an excellent block by Dave Baas on Robert McCune, and just ran by Travis Daniels into the end zone. But, the best part was after the play when he was walked past a group of probably 12 or 13 year old kids, all of which were taller than him. Before a fourth and one in North territory, Brock Berlin goes over to Gruden but misses the play call. Gruden didn’t react well, and probably got even angrier after the pass play actually lost yards thanks to one hell of a shot by Jamaal Brimmer on the receiver. Jimmy Parquet and Khalif Barnes must have set some kind of record for most uncalled holds in a game. The refs continued to officiate terribly when they called pass interference on what was beautiful coverage by Junior Rosegreen on Alex Smith in the end zone. It’s actually pretty amazing Frye was even able to get that pass off because he got run over by Marcus Spears as he let it go. Charlie Frye connects with Noah Herron on only the 2nd TD of the game with 4 minutes to go; and had to avoid a heavy rush to do so. It looked like Herron may have actually dropped the ball, but no replay was shown by ESPN, and rewinding to watch the original camera angle proved inconclusive. With a minute and change to go in the 4th, Dave Greene throws a perfect pass to Matt Jones who puts himself between the ball and the defender and makes the TD catch. Very impressive from a college QB. More on this a little later. Best Random Moments (not directly football related): Early in the first we hear the first Mel Kiper vs. Trev Alberts argument. The point is really lost considering its Mel’s JOB to know draft stuff, and we don’t really expect Trev to do much besides break down players based on their college careers. Either way, they were both wrong. Jason Campbell used his interview to take some shots at the scouts that were doubting him, plus he had the numbers in mind to back it up. You have to love a kid that’s always prepared. Trev Alberts questioned Charlie Frye’s pocket awareness on a play that he had exactly 1.5 seconds to throw before getting blindsided by George Gause. Craig James’s response reflected that of everyone in America, “What are you talking about?” By Halftime, Alberts had said “That’s the one knock on this guy…” close to ten times. I’d really like to see the 3 dollar draft guide he got all his information from. The fact that he’s there and Chris Fowler is halfway around the world commentating the women’s Australian Open is a travesty of epic proportions. Based on his interview, Darren Sproles just “don’t know”. But who cares if he can’t give a good interview, he can run fast, and that’s all that matters. James and Alberts are just shredding Mel Kiper when they start jokingly throwing insults back and forth at each other; it almost makes me feel sorry for Mel (key word there being almost). After Matt Jones’ TD, Craig James calls Matt slow and makes fun of the way he talks, as a joke I guess, causing Trev Alberts to come in and try and clarify what Craig means. If Trev Alberts has to rescue you from saying something stupid, congratulations, you’ve hit another level.