NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
I finally got a chance to watch the South team practice today and I was impressed. Out of the two teams the South team definitely has the better pro prospects. Here are my notes from the practice.
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North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins is by far the best CB prospect here at the senior bowl. He is such a good coverage CB. He is always in good position, can flip his hips and plays with such a smoothness. He makes great breaks on the ball and has the speed to run with almost anyone. Jenkins looked a little bit rusty and he still was able to stand out. He has generated a ton of buzz down here and there is no doubt in my mind he is going in round 1.
Clemson DT Brandon Thompson has a very good day. He is explosive off the ball, plays with very good leverage and leg drive. He was consistantly blowing up plays in the backfield and was tough to block 1 on 1. I wasn’t very high on Thompson entering this week, but after seeing him play in person I am going to go back to the film and re-evaluate him. He also weighed in at 6’2″ 311, so I think he can play almost any interior position on the defensive line.
Texas OLB Keenan Robinson– Robinson is an impressive prospect from a measurables stand point. Today I was impressed with his play. He good burst off the line and provides a real pop at impact. He does struggle to get off blocks a bit, however he is a smart LB. The play that stood out to me was a bootleg where Robinson had backside coverage 1 on 1 with the RB Leenon Creer. The QB bootlegged to the strongside and everyone on the defense bit, except Robinson who was blanketing Creer and made the play at the LOS. He looked good in coverage all day. Robinson is a LB who could fit multiple systems.
Courtney Upshaw and Quinton Coples both did what they were expected to do. They both looked super talented and super natural out there. Upshaw is the stronger pass rusher, but Coples might be the better all around pass rusher. I liked how both used their arms to get extension. Upshaw can really set the edge. I want to see how Coples does in game competition down here and the rest of the week before I form my final opinion on him.
South Carolina DE Melvin Ingram had a real solid day in pass rush drills. He looks explosive and sudden. He routinely beat the tackle to get into the backfield. He also did a nice job in run support and bumping the running back coming out of the backfield. I’m not sure what his best position will be yet, but he has gotten off to a nice start this week.
I thought Georgia CB Brandon Boykin had a real solid day in coverage. He is such a good athlete, he flips his hips with the best of them. I also loved seeing him go up and high point the ball, the kid has some ups. He also looked really really comfortable and confident returning punts.
LSU S Brandon Taylor is one of the most underrated prospects in this year draft in my opinion. He is a very smart football player, has good size and really likes to hit. He was overshadowed most of the year by the big names in the LSU secondary, but he is a a steady football player.
Furman CB Ryan Steed struggled a bit today and was called out by the Redskins secondary coaches a few times
Louisiana-Lafayette CB Dwight Bentley runs hot and cold. He can make plays is fluid and athletic but he got beat deep a couple times today, and really looked like he bit hard on double moves.
Miami (FL) LB Sean Spence is really really small, but he is instinctive and gets into the backfield. I wouldn’t draft him in the first 3 rounds but, I wouldn’t bet against him being a tackling machine in the pros.