NEPD Staff Writer Mike Loyko
Here are my practice notes on the north defense, they may jump around a little bit but they are as I have them written down.
Virginia DE Cam Johnson was impressive today. He was someone I was unsure of heading into the week and watched him closely. He can fire out of his stance low, has good sudden pass rush moves.
I was impressed with how he was able to turn and change direction in pass rush drills. He is also big enough to hold up at the point of attack. As of right now he is the best DE on the North team.
Iowa State CB Leonard Johnson had another really good day in my mind. He started off by getting solid jams on the gunner on punt coverage. Johnson is much more proficient as a press coverage corner right now, but I think he can definitely handle playing zone. He made some tremendous breaks on the ball. He puts his foot in the ground and goes. His hips are fluid and he stays real low in his peddle compared to other players.
Johnson had good coverage on Marvin McNutt on a deep fly pattern where he knocked the ball away at the last moment.
Cal Poly CB Asa Jackson impressed me today with the way he practiced. Also going full speed and playing to the whistle. He his are alright but he is undersized. Most likely a zone CB. Also he was returning punts and looks like one of the faster more agile guys out there.
Notre Dame S Harrison Smith had another very solid practice. He is a smart and cerebral football player. He is very rarely out of position and understands the coverages. I like his speed and his flexibility as well. I saw him take a bad angle a couple of times, but other than that he had a good day. He is a second round guy in my book.
Utah St LB Bobby Wagner was lined up at OLB today. I like his speed and quickness and think he can me an attacking type of linebacker. He isn’t very tall but he looks strong probably best suited for a 4-3 will LB.
Boise State S George Iloka struggled a bit today in 7 on 7 drills. He got beat to the inside a few times due to his technique and hips. However, once the intensity picked up he played much better. He started off 11 on 11 playing the slot and had an interception of Kirk Cousins, which was one of the plays of practice.
Michigan DT Mike Martin is just such a devastating player. He plays with such aggression and strength he is consistently able to push whom every he is going against back. The highlight of practice for me is watching Mike Brewster and Mike Martin battling 1 on 1.
Penn State DE Jack Crawford had a good day in pass rushing drills. He exhibited a nice spin move and has move suddenness to him then some of the other DE prospects. He has great size but questions still remaining for me.
NC State LB Audie Cole is flying under the radar a little bit here. I thought he had a pretty good practice reading and reacting. I liked the way he attacked the LOS. He was able to make a couple plays in the backfield.
Nevada MLB James-Michael Johnson got the 1st team reps at MLB. He looks like a natural leader and always seems to be around the ball. Has to learn to cover a little bit better, but from everything I have heard down here he is a very coachable player. * I have an interview with JMJ which will be posted later tonight.
Marshall DE Vinny Curry has a pretty good ability to dip and bend for a player of his size. He beat Mike Adams will the dip and rip move yesterday and was successful again today. Curry has to get better at the point of attack other wise he might be a situational pass rusher.
A couple other players who I was surprised by were Michigan State S Trenton Robinson who looks like he is going to be a very good special teams player, he is also very quick out of his break. He was consistently beating press coverage as the gunner on special teams and covering the punts very well.
Also UConn DT Kendall Reyes had a terrific day he was almost unblockable at times getting into the backfield and chasing down plays. I have heard a couple scouts say they think Reyes is best fit is as a NT.
Penn State DB D’Anton Lynn has done better than I expected. He is not a flashy play maker, but he is very coachable and a steady player. He is also the son of Jets RB coach Anthony Lynn.
Boise State DT Billy Winn hasn’t done a lot to impress me. He hasn’t been awful, he just hasn’t really stood out.
Oklahoma CB Jamell Fleming looks slow breaking on the ball and his back peddle definitely needs a lot of work.
Who was talking to who after practice:
Raiders and Ark. St. LB Demario Davis
Jets were very active talking to Mike Adams and Kendall Reyes
Ravens were talking to Mike Martin and at length to Bobby Wagner
49ers scouts were also talking to Bobby Wagner
Redskins were very interested in Mike Adams
Eagles had multiple scouts talking to Marvin McNutt
Ravens were talking to James Michael Johnson as well.
Just because I didn’t list your team doesn’t mean they weren’t talking to anyone. There is a ton going on and it’s tough to catch them all.