NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko
The final day of padded Senior Bowl practice wrapped up today and it was another physical, competitive affair. As is the case with every Senior Bowl practice there was a lot of information to gather and lots of interesting observations. Through three practices scouts have been able to get an in depth look at many prospects and some have really made the most of their opportunity. Here’s what happend at the North Practice and what stood out to me.
1) With Michigan State RB Jeremy Langford sidelined with lower back tightness Minnesota’s David Cobb got the majority of the carries. Cobb has gotten better as the week has gone on and has really emerged for me as a better looking NFL back than Ameer Abdullah. Cobb is a more complete runner, is better in pass protection, runs really hard, and can catch the ball. In Abdullah’s case he checks in at under 200 pounds and only 5’8″. While he’s explosive and gets to the edge, his pass protection skills will really hinder his ability to play in some situations. David Cobb’s stock has definitely risen this week.
2) It was a rough practice for ECU QB Shane Carden. He started it off by throwing an INT in walk-through to Eric Rowe (SAF) and followed it up with a similar INT in live 11-on-11. Carden locks onto his first read often and struggles to read the coverage. Multiple times he’s failed to look off the Safety, which resulted in them reading the eyes and making a play. Carden nearly through another pick in the Red Zone when USC LB Hayes Pullard read his eyes and jumped a route.
3) Northwestern Safety Ibraheim Campbell has the look of a Safety the Patriots may like. Campbell fared extremely well in Red Zone coverage and excelled in the man to man coverage drills. On one play particularly he was matched up with OSU WR Devin Smith, ran step for step with him, and anticipated his comeback route. In team drills he made a great read jumping a Shane Carden route. Campbell has a thick, physical build and the word down here is he’s an extremely high character guy.
4) Nate Orchard might be a one trick pony in terms of pass rush moves, but today he showed he can make plays in a number of ways. Orchard had success beating TJ Clemmings on one play with speed to the outside, but his best play of the day was maintaining backside contain, and was able to blow up a reverse for what would have been a huge loss. During the final set of team drills Orchard read a Bryce Petty screen pass, peeled off his coverage, and sat in the passing lane. He’s definitely helped himself this week.
5) Danny Shelton continued to “do what he does” today in practice. I think his play is being devalued a little bit because there is a lot of scan scouting going on and people in the stands are just looking for the flashy plays and that’s not what Danny Shelton does. When you watch him in team drills he’s always creating some type of trouble for the Offensive Line. When the OL dedicates only one OL to him, he gets push, flows to the hole and creates a pile at the line. Even when the OL doubles him, he’s difficult to push back.
6) One Tight End to keep an eye on for Day Three of the Draft is Delaware’s Nick Boyle. He’s really come on over the course of three days and I actually think he might be the best TE on the North Roster. He caught the ball well again today and definitely has the size to play on the line of scrimmage in the pros.
7) Penn State OT Donovan Smith has been up and down all week. He’ll string together good reps and look like a top prospect, then five minutes later he gets beat badly. After watching him for three days I think there is enough raw material there for an NFL to mold him into a solid NFL OT.
8) I’ve given prospects a lot of grief for dropping out of this game and pulling out with the slightest indication of tightness. So, it was nice to see Harvard DE/OLB Zach Hodges really battle through practice despite not being 100%. He told me he “came down here to compete, so he wanted to play”. The injury is minor, but it says a lot about his love of the game, willingness to play through pain, and compete level.
9) Devin Smith got chewed out by the Titans WR for not blocking on a perimeter run play, which could have gone for a big gain. Smith made a more concerted every to block from there on out, but you can tell it’s not something he has much experience doing.
10) It’s really tough to distinguish who the best North QB was today. Maybe it was Bryce Petty, but it wasn’t by much. Brett Hundley’s decision to not show up was probably a mistake, but he could end up moving up the QB rankings by default.
11) Titans WR Coach spent a lot of extra time with Jamison Crowder at the end of drills working on some details. It appears they took a real liking to him throughout the week.