NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
After three practices things are starting to take shape on both teams. I’ve gotten a lot of questions and comments on a bunch of players that are down in Mobile. Instead of doing a traditional notes and listing the winners and losers, I’ve tried to come up with some notes on each player on the North Squad. Here is a quick run down on today’s practice, including 1 on 1 results, and a thought on each player through three days at the Reese’s Senior Bowl.
OL/DL One on One Results
Michael Sam beats Seantrel Henderson bad on first rep. Speed ruses his and dips inside shoulder. Seantrel can’t get his hands on.
Brandon Linder beat Shamar Stephen, anchoring and stonewalling him at the line.
Aaron Donald beats Brandon Linder, gets under his pads and uses his power and leverage to disrupt.
James Gayle wins against Weston Richburg with a power swim more. Richburg got his weight forward and was beat with the swim.
Weston Richburg tied with Justin Ellis. Ellis got push with strength, but Richburg sustained block to beat him.
DaQuan Jones beat Cyril Richardson with ease shooting outside gap and driving inside shoulder through. Cyril stuck in the mud.
On the very next rep Aaron Donald beat Richardson even worse by getting off the ball and shooting gap.
Zack Martin finished off Michael Sam, holding his block and as Sam tried to turn the corner he planted him.
Martin’s next rep consisted of him beating Trent Murphy easily, as Martin moved his feet and redirected.
Jack Mewhort beat James Gayle soundly by keeping a wide, balanced base and getting his hands on him.
Mewhort also beat Will Clarke soundly, not giving up much ground off the edge.
Shamar Stephen and Michael Schofield battled to a draw with neither man giving much ground.
Aaron Donald beats Michael Schofield with his usual quick, powerful, disruptive move.
Brandon Thomas beat Kareem Martin by riding him up and out of the play.
Trent Murphy beat Brandon Thomas. Too much strength/power to handle to the outside.
Michael Schofield beats Michael Sam. Sam doesn’t use his hands and can’t get off the block.
Shamar Stephen beat Brandon Linder with power swim move to the outside gap.
Zack Martin was able to beat Aaron Donald when Donald lined up outside. This was Donald’s only sound loss.
Seantrel Henderson got caught lunging on the outside and got off balance. Kareem Martin gets the victory.
Michael Schofield beats Trent Murphy. Good base and hand placement, swallows up Murphy.
Final rep of 1 on 1s – Jack Mewhort pancaked Ra’Shede Hageman who was rushing from a left end position. Mewhort rode him out and got Hageman turned and then planted him on his backside.
A Few Words on Each Player
Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin – Best WR on the North Squad. On another level with his route running ability and catches everything thrown to him. Great kid, polite, and loves football. He’s helped himself.
Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin – My DMVP pick before the Senior Bowl is looking good. Yet another INT in team drills today, which makes at least two. Strong in coverage, quick to diagnose, and always finds the football. Forget the size.
Chris Boswell, K, Rice – Looked good on the first day and was horrible kicking into a strong head wind. Had no idea where the ball was going.
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – Might be the best QB on the North team by default. Erratic and sloppy at times. Will flash with a crisp throw and comeback with a dude. Needs to know when to scramble or hang in to make a throw.
Jonathan Brown, LB, Illinois – Hasn’t jumped out much. Got handled in rush drills and has been outplayed by other linebackers. Has a very athletic build and shows quickness to the edge.
Deone Buccanon, SAF, Washington State – Finally showed up a bit today with some very strong coverage on the TE. Stayed tight to the hip on a jerk route, out-muscled the TE and made a play on the ball. Is going to have trouble turning and running in coverage, because he’s not real fluid. In the box, covering the TE, and bringing the edge type of Safety.
Mike Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest – He’s a guy that gets overlooked everywhere, including down here. Prototypical slot WR that has created separation out of his breaks and gets open on the underneath routes. Has shown good hands and toe-tap ability.
Will Clarke, DE, West Virginia – Tough week for him. Hasn’t looked good in one on one’s and has really been handled by the majority of the offensive linemen. Doesn’t seem to have a go to rush move and lacks the burst to win off the edge.
Kain Colter, WR, Northwestern – Struggles with the more complex routes as he is sloppy out of breaks, but he has flashed down the field with ability to make contested catch. He’s got good hands and looks more natural at WR than Denard Robinson last year.
Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood – By far his best day today. Fought through picks, looked good playing from the line of scrimmage. Size and length is impressive. Looked hesitant when playing off coverage, but someone that has gotten better as week progressed.
Ahmad Dixon, SAF, Baylor – It’s always tough to evaluate safeties without watching all the film, but Dixon has lacked impact this week. His physicality shows up, but he hasn’t flashed in coverage like he needs to. Not many plays on the ball.
Kadeem Edwards, OG, Tennessee State – This is an interesting prospect. Up and down this week as he’s been beaten soundly a couple times, but he’s also one of the only OG I’ve seen handle Aaron Donald 1 on 1. Athletic OG that can slide feet and get to shaded defender. Needs lots of technique refinement, has been one of the players Mike Tice is coaching up.
Justin Ellis, DT, Louisiana Tech – Stout, strong nose tackle that is tough to move off the ball. Creates a pile up at the line of scrimmage forcing RB to adjust. A 1st and 2nd down run defender that has helped his stock this week.
Shaquelle Evans, WR, UCLA – Doesn’t look out of place on the field. The one thing he can do is extend away from his body to make a catch. Has been average all-around in my opinion, but will get a chance to play in NFL camps next summer.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa – Just a ferocious run blocker and has shown good movement skills when asked to catch passes. One of the few players that can come in an make immediate impact as run blocker. Once again opening up massive running lanes on the edge and beat LB coverage consistently today when running drag or crossing routes. The safest prospect in Mobile.
David Fluellen, RB, Toledo – Well-built physical looking back. Couldn’t get open much when running passing routes today. Haven’t watched him close enough to make an in depth evaluation.
James Gayle, DE/OLB, Virginia Tech – Looked like he hurt his shoulder today, left practice early. Has flashed once or twice during rush drills, winning with outside speed and not much more. Hasn’t done much to move my opinion of him.
Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota – Hageman has played most of the week at 3-Tech. Has been a bit underwhelming, didn’t do well in outside pass rush drills, but that’s not his thing. Despite not making a ton of plays, he’s a guy NFL teams covet for ability to play the 5-Tech with such an athletic frame.
Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami(FL) – Look dominate in one rep and gets beat because he lacks technique and balance on the next. Without a doubt the best frame and highest upside of any OT here. Some NFL team will fall in love with his measurables and think they can develop him. Can they, I don’t know. Was on the sideline a couple times today with various looking ailments.
Robert Herron, WR, Wyoming – Dropped an early pass after struggling to catch the ball yesterday, but after that really turned it on. Tough to cover out of the slot, catches the ball better when he’s being contested. Not afraid to leave his feet to make catch. Has been held and interfered with all week, but stil makes the catch.
Ryan Hewitt, FB, Stanford – Hasn’t stood out to me. Did have a touchdown in 7 on 7 today, taking a checkdown into the endzone.
Gator Hoskins, TE, Marshall – Undersized for a TE, caught a few balls today. Hasn’t looked great in blitz pick up drills. Hands look alright in my limited viewings.
Josh Huff, WR, Oregon – Looks like the fastest player on the field. Can run by defenders and create separation. Makes the over the shoulder catch. Has big play potential and has helped himself this week.
Marqueston Huff, SAF, Wyoming – Played a lot of CB this week, but his future is at Safety. Has held and grabbed WR way too much in coverage. Going to need to learn how to cover downfield without grabbing.
Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley – His size and build stand out. Hasn’t looked out of place, but at the same time hasn’t jumped out. Catches the ball a little close to his body and I haven’t see him create much separation with his speed. Will probably get drafted of be a priority FA because he has raw potential.
Stanley Jean-Baptist, CB, Nebraska – His best day by far today. Out of all the big, tall CB he’s been the best. Shadowed and pressed the receivers well when playing from the line and broke up at least two passes today down the field. Has the best hips of the tall CB.
Dontae Johnson, DB, North Carolina State – Hasn’t stood out one way or another. In drills he’s not as fluid as Jean-Baptist and I haven’t noticed him breaking up plays in coverage.
DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State – Very disruptive today in 1 on 1s and team. Keeps his weight low and uses his leverage to drive offensive lineman forwards. Created havoc in the backfield on multiple occasions. Doesn’t have many moves and doesn’t use his hands real well, but he can get push with is lower half. He’s been one of the better DTs here.
Christian Kirksey, LB, Iowa – Perhaps the player that has improved his stock the most. Has been a standout in all facets. Continues to whoop RBs in blitzing drills, showing quick, sudden moves. And he’s flying sideline to sideline to chase the ball in coverage. At this point I feel comfortable saying he’s a day two pick.
Tyler Larsen, OC, Utah State – Had his best day today, holding up well in 1 on 1s. Slid his feet and didn’t lunge when the defender tried to counter. He’s a draftable center on day three.
Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State – Flashes in drills. One of the most fluid cornerbacks here and is built very well. I’d call him raw at this point, but there is something there to work with.
Isaiah Lewis, SAF, Michigan State – Has really struggled in coverage this week. Gets beaten a lot and just can’t keep up when a receiver makes a cut. Looks out of his league, which is surprising coming from a great MSU defense.
Brandon Linder, OG, Miami(FL) – Running with the starters as the RG. Has been inconsistent, winning one rep with a solid base and losing the next rep because he can’t counter or redirect.
Zach Martin, OT/OG, Notre Dame – Once again the best overall OL. Moves his feet well and can recover if initially beaten. Hasn’t been beaten much. I’m impressed with how at ease he is when pass blocking. Smooth, patient, and confident.
Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina – Struggles to win as a pass rusher. Has been blocked way too much and can’t get off blocks when OL gets hands on. Just another overrated North Carolina defender in my opinion.
Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State – Had an outstanding day in pass protection. Plays with wide base, was able to anchor when guys like Aaron Donald tried to convert to power. Future starting RT in the NFL in my opinion and a more impressive Senior Bowl than Mike Adams.
Stephen Morris, QB, Miami(FL) – Really poor week. Inaccurate and struggling with his ball placement. Looks like he’s going through the motions at times. Don’t see how this kid is an NFL QB right now.
Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford – While he can beat OL with his effort, motor, and power, his concerns have been reinforced this week. Lack of explosion and speed are major concerns. Can bend some, but it looks like it takes some effort. Tall, linear frame for defenders to target.
Tyler Ott, LS, Harvard – He’s a Long snapper.
Jacob Pedersen, TE, Wisconsin – Surprised me on a couple reps as a run blocker today. Not afraid to get his nose dirty. Has caught the ball well and looks to have a defined role as a #2 TE carved out in the NFL.
Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor – Can be dominate when the man is head up and he can road-grade. Really struggles when the defender is shaded and he has to move laterally. Not a fit for all teams and probably has to lose some weight to become a better side to side athlete.
Weston Richburg, OC, Colorado State – Strong, steady, reliable center. Has competed and won the majority of his one on ones. Like to see him get more aggressive with his hands and not give as much ground on initial contact.
Michael Sam, OLB, Missouri – Sam has been blocked way too easily this week. He can’t get off blocks and hasn’t shown the violence needed to get OL hands off of him. Every now and then he will flash, like when speed rushed Seantrel Henderson, who couldn’t get a hand on him. We don’t see it enough though.
Michael Schofield, OT/OG, Michigan – The most versatile OL here. Has lined up at RT, RG, LG. Definitely holds his one in 1 on 1 matchups, refuses to give in easily. The type of OL that NFL teams love to carry on the roster.
Charles Sims, RB, WVU – Once again impressed with his vision and acceleration off the third step. Makes one cut and gets through the hole. Catches the ball extremely well, but needs work as a pass blocker. Was beaten by Jordan Zumwalt today.
Marcus Smith, OLB, Louisville – I expected more this week. Hasn’t flashed as a pass rusher and has looked fluid, but non-impactful in pass defense. This kid is a raw athlete, who can do a lot of things, just needs time to make it happen.
Dez Southward, CB/SAF, Wisconsin – Once again struggled in coverage. Seems to always get beaten. Just not fluid or quick enough to keep up with the majority of these WRs and mediocre ones at best. His coverage ability is a major liability at next level.
Shamar Stephen, DT, UConn – Made a few plays today by clogging the run lane with his large body. He’s a run defender first, but won his 1 on 1 matchups today. Seems to be coming on as the week progresses.
Logan Thomas, QB, VT – Like Morris, inaccurate, inconsistent, unimpressive. Strong arm and will always look good getting off the bus. His accuracy and decision making when facing a live rush have once again been exposed down here. I haven’t seen improvement.
Brandon Thomas, OT/OG, Clemson – The 2nd team LT, wins the majority of his battles. Not sure he has the feet to stay at LT in the pros.
Kirby Van Der Kampp, P, Iowa State – Not good.
Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois – The best S on the North roster. Moves like a CB and not afraid to light people up. Mobile native came to play this week. This year’s Jonathan Cyprien.
James White, RB, Wisconsin – White was up and down for much of the day. He’s made strides as a pass blocker, but still got beat a few times. Seems a bit behind Charles Sims in terms of getting to the line and through the hole. More effort needed to catch pass and get open.
Jordan Zumwalt, LB, UCLA – Once again set the physical tone. Was embarrassing RB in blitz pick up drills. Displayed excellent coverage on David Fluellen in downfield coverage, completely blanketing him and forcing the QB to pull down and run.