NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
It is perfectly clear to anyone who knows even the slightest bit about football that the South squad for this year’s senior bowl is an incredibly talented squad. A couple players really stood out to me today; Here are my practice notes.
North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins was once again the star of the South practice for me. I know my job was supposed to be to watch the offense but Jenkins just keep standing out in 7 on 7 drills. He shut down whomever he covered today.
Jeff Fuller had no shot against him. Dwight Jones beat him off the line but while the ball was in the air Jenkins used his make up speed to swat the ball away at the last second.
The way he breaks on the ball when he sees it is on another level. One three separate occasions today it looked like he was beaten inside, but all three times he was able to get there exactly when the ball got there to swat it away. As I told Doug Kyed on the ride back from practice. Jenkins might be the best player in Mobile. The kid has top 10 talent no doubt about it, whether he goes that high remains to be seen.
The other player that really shined today in my eyes was Arkansas WR Joe Adams. Adams has tremendous athletic ability and has the speed to run by anyone of the CBs down here. While he does need to refine some of this route running, his ability to stop and go on a dime makes him very tough to cover.
What I like best about Adams is that he catches the ball in tight areas better than anyone else down here this week. He has shown the willingness to go over the middle and lay out for the ball. Adam’s body control is also a thing of beauty. He is able to find the ball, go up and get it and still get his feet in bounds. Adams played both slot and outside WR today, so he has some versatility to him.
Adams is a player that should interest the Patriots very very much in their quest to find another WR. He’s not very big and he’s pretty skinny, but he makes up for that with his athleticism.
Florida RB/WR Chris Rainey looked super explosive today. The south coaches are having him play both WR and RB, but where ever they put him he makes plays. He is able to run by defenders with such ease and is able to make them miss without losing speed. Rainey is not a natural pass catcher and had some drops today, but with consistent work those hands will get better. Rainey will be attractive to alot of teams as a all purpose player.
I also like Houston WR Patrick Edwards he is super small, but has really solid hands. He can get in and out of his breaks quickly. As a slot WR I think he can play in the league. His body control is the best down here.
A lot of the receivers on the South team struggled today. Jeff Fuller failed to create seperation and when he did he doesn’t catch the ball with ease. He looks like his confidence is shaken a bit.
Dwight Jones also failed to standout today. He beat Jenkins on one play and ran by him about 5 yards, but while the ball was in the air Jenkins caught up to him and knocked it away. Jones needs to be able to seperate especially if he’s giving a little bit of room. Juron Criner also didn’t look too good today. He dropped at least two balls that I counted and just doesn’t look really explosive. He’s a mid-late round WR.
On the offensive line I thought Cordy Glenn had another good solid practice. He really stood out against everyone except Quenton Coples, who has been eating everyone alive. Glenn in my mind is a better guard prospect, and I have been saying it all year he reminds me a lot of Marcus Cannon; I think the comparason is apt. Also Jeff Allen had another good solid day, he showed he can be versatile by moving inside to LG as well as play LT. He is someone who has really stood out unexpectedly and could really see a boost of his draft stock.
The one area where I think the North team has the advantage would have to be the running back spot. None of the north RBs are really standing out too much. Vick Ballard has been pretty solid all week and has shown good vision and bust. He is a humble kid who works hard and seems like he really wants to improve. His hands need some work though. Today I was presently surprised by La Tech RB Lennon Creer, he really looked good in pass protection drills and caught the ball nicely out of the backfield.
Quarterback wise for me its Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weedon and everyone else. He throws a different ball from the other QBs down here. More velocity and pretty good accuracy. He has also shown tremendous leadership qualities and the ability to run the show. If not for his age he would be in the discussion for a top 15 pick.
Tommorrow I will be working to will in some holes in my coverage as well as see who stands out. If you are looking for any particular information or interviews follow me on twitter @NEPD_Loyko