January 25, 2006 Senior Bowl - Wednesday South Practice Scott Wright President, NFL Draft Countdown We had beautiful weather for the South practice this morning, with the sun out and a real nice breeze. First let's start off with notes and the big news was that L.S.U. WR Skyler Green and Florida St. DT Brodrick Bunkley sat the day out with injuries. Green hurt his hamstring and was in street clothes while Bunkley was in shorts but for some reason had his jersey and helmet on. I spoke with Bunkley afterwards and he said it was just a mild concussion and that even though he wanted to go today they were playing it safe but he will definitely play in the game. I also got a chance to talk with Auburn OT Marcus McNeill and tried to get to the bottom of rumors about a possible back problem. Marcus told me that he hasn't had any trouble with it in 2 1/2 years and that the initial problem was that during two-a-day's he landed wrong on his hip and because it was so close to the start of the season he wasn't able to rest it properly. McNeill is playing this week despite the death of his Grandmother and he hopes to answer all the questions scouts might have about him. On a side note Marcus was a real nice, soft-spoken guy and seems to really have his head on straight so I wish him the best. He is a big guy too, with some of the longest arms I have seen in a while. One final thing to mention is that the South quarterbacks and DeAngelo Williams were working on trick reverses and flea flickers early in practice so don't be surprised if they break that out during the game on Saturday. Now on to the action! At quarterback Brodie Croyle was once again the class of the position, although I'm not sure how much that is saying considering Darrell Hackney has not stood out and D.J. Shockley continues to really struggle. At running back DeAngelo Williams has been excellent all week long and that didn't change today, while Jerious Norwood showed exceptional hands as a receiver out of the backfield. Garrett Mills also made an impression as a receiver today, which isn't surprising considering that is what he was known for at Tulsa. At wide receiver Sinorice Moss stood out again and beat Kelly Jennings on a deep route across the middle and Devin Aromashodu did a good job of getting off the line. On a down note Hank Baskett continued to struggle, especially with his route running, and drew the ire of coaches while Anthony Mix seemed to fight the ball a bit. At tight end Marcedes Lewis is only average as a blocker but was getting coached up in that aspect of the game while T.J. Williams wasn't as good as he was in yesterday's session. I watched the offensive linemen for a bit and overall I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be, especially considering the reputations some of those guys have. This was not Jon Scott's best performance of the week as he struggled a bit, getting beaten by Kamerion Wimbley on one play. Marcus McNeill was okay and he did a good job versus Elvis Dumervil but I think he plays too high while Eric Winston moves real well and was probably the best of the group today as he really handled Mark Anderson. On the interior Max-Jean Gilles was beaten badly in a drill by Kyle Williams but he did bounce back the next time around. This was not the o-line's best day today though and I am sure others, like myself, had higher hopes for them. One of the biggest stories of the week has been the emergence of Manny Lawson and that continued today as he showed freakish ability and even picked off a screen pass from Darrell Hackney. The guy really is a marvel and is making himself a lot of cash in Mobile. Also along the defensive line Kyle Williams of L.S.U. looked the best he has all week and really stood out today, making a lot of plays. At linebacker I really wanted to take a long look at Alabama's DeMeco Ryans and when I watched him in 7-on-7's he was almost invisible. That changed in a hurry though when they went to 11-on-11's and Ryans was simply everywhere and was seemingly in on every play. Based on what I saw there he is a hard guy not to really like because he made a lot of plays. Also at linebacker, Thomas Howard looked real fast and athletic, Gerris Wilkinson was not very smooth in coverage and Spencer Havner moved well but did not show good field awareness and got beat by Joseph Addai in coverage. I made a point to check out the defensive backs at length today and the guy who really stood out in my eyes was Pat Watkins of Florida St., who looked big, smooth and athletic while showing excellent range and ball skills. DeMario Minter was smooth in his backpedal and very fluid while Cedric Griffin changes directions well. On the downside Roman Harper does not change directions well and Greg Blue of Georgia did not look natural in coverage at all which is surprising considering he has the measurables of a cornerback. I took a look at kicker Stephen Gostkowski of Memphis as well and while he was missing 54 yarders by about 10 yards he was consistently nailing 45 yarders with room to spare. This time around there doesn't seem to be nearly as many agents and underclassmen players as there was here a year ago. It's never officially a Senior Bowl week until you see Drew Rosenhaus and I did catch a glimpse him today so everyone can now rest easy. The Kansas City Chiefs couldn't have shown any more interest in Jonathan Scott, cornering him for almost the entire time between the end of practice and when he had to catch his bus. The Chiefs also had three scouts talking to Manny Lawson, four with Pat Watkins, two with Kamerion Wimbley and were seen with Marcus McNeill, Marcedes Lewis, and Mark Anderson as well. The New York Giants were seen with T.J. Williams, DeMario Minter and showed a ton of interest in Marcus Hudson, with Tom Coughlin even walking him off the field. Brodie Croyle spoke with San Diego, Kansas City and Cleveland while the Browns also chatted up Eric Winston, Mark Anderson, Cody Douglas, Cedric Griffin, and Tim Jennings. Cincinnati went linebacker heavy and mingled with Freddie Roach, Travis Williams and Gerris Wilkinson while San Diego talked with Thomas Howard and the Bucs with Ben Obomanu. Finally, the Carolina Panthers were seen with Spencer Havner and Will Allen while Baltimore showed interest in DeMario Minter. This was the last day of practicing in pads and it was everyone's last chance to really show what they can do before the scouts start heading home so those who made a positive impression today might really have helped themselves.