9. Marshall WR Aaron Dobson really rebounded well on day two. On day one it looked like he wasn’t fully settled in and looked a bit unsure at times. That led to a couple drops, poor routes and playing less physical than usual. However, today was a new day.
He started the day practice off on the right foot by making a great catch in which he adjusted his route, tracked the ball and caught it with his hands. He consistently showed the ability to make plays in the deeper third of the field, although that might be all he can do. Compared to day one, it was a much better performance.
10. I thought USC Safety TJ McDonald had a good day. I believed that McDonald was a little miss used these last couple years in the cover two defense. Today, he was used in coverage vs. the tight end a lot and he fared much much better. What stands out about McDonald is how big and physical he can be. He’s high cut but, his ability to come forward get hands on the TE and then run with him is a trait that not many safeties have.
With the tight end becoming a bigger priority to NFL offenses McDonald could find himself in a similar role in the NFL. That’s not to say McDonald can’t do much more than that, because he can. I just really like him in that role.
11. Purdue DT Kawann Short had himself a nice practice. He was used in a couple different spots and continued to get a push from each spot. He looked really good on the nose and at 3-tech where he was able to create penetration and disrupt.
It appeared Short really was one of the most disruptive players during team drills and continually disrupted the offenses rhythm. His presence on the nose may have been one of the reasons so many snaps were getting fumbled.
12. Florida International SAF made a ton of good plays from his deep safety position. On one particular play he was a single high safety in the middle of the field, he looked good in his back-peddle, read the QB and then made a very athletic break to the sideline to make a play on the ball. We have seen the physical side to Cyprien, but this was a good chance to see his range and instincts. He has definitely been one of the top safeties on either team this week. Cyprien is a natural leader and the other players on the team feed off his emotion.
13. An under the radar performer today was San Jose State OT David Quessenberry. He acquited himself well in pass rush drills by showing some of the better feet out of all the OL here. Quessenberry was a prospect that didn’t have as much national exposure as other linemen in this class. I thought he has handled himself well and continues to look composed in tough one on one situations.
14. Southern Methodist DE Margus Hunt has really struggled to play with leverage throughout the week. He is so tall it’s just tough for him to bend. His tendency is to stand up out of his first stance and makes himself and easy target. He gets handled too vs. the run and needs to show better lower body power.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Hunt after his Bowl game, but some of the tendencies that plagued him during the season have surfaced this week. One thing that I do like about Hunt is that he told me he “was trying to work on his football IQ” and better understand the game. For a player that is as big as he is, it’s going to be tough to correct the leverage problem.
15. It’s tough to mention all the players that I thought stood out in today’s practice since it’s tough to watch everyone. I thought Utah State CB Will Davis showed good hips, recovery and athleticism. Colorado TE Nick Kasa showed his tough to cover athleticism down the middle of the field by burning linebackers consistently, he’s definitely an impressive “upside” prospect. Nevada S Duke Williams also had a strong practice and showed his versatility by coming down to the line of scrimmage and covering the slot.
Stay tuned for the South Practice notes to follow.