2014 Senior Bowl: South Practice Notes and Wrap-Up

Coastal Carolina RB Lorenzo Taliaferro stood out at the Senior Bowl

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The last day of Senior Bowl practices consisted of split squad practices between Fairhope Stadium and Ladd-Peebles. As I did last night with North Squad, I’ve aggregated my notes on the South Squad to give everyone a basic report on each players progress during the week. Here is my last article while in Mobile and now it’s onto the next step on the NFL Draft train.

Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty – Aikens is a very good looking CB prospect. Athletic, long build. When I’ve watched him this week he’s been competitive and tough. His stand out play was fighting to the end of a 1 on 1 and slapping the hands of Ryan Grant as he was bringing the ball down, saving a TD. Hasn’t hurt himself this week.

Antonio Andrews, RB, Western Kentucky – Andrews has stood out in pass blocking drills and has always been a very good receiver out of the backfield. Hasn’t wow’d me with any of his runs during full team practice. But, he takes lots of pride in his pass blocking and told me he wants to prove to coaches “I can be someone that can be held accountable.”

Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech – Didn’t flash much during Senior Bowl practices this week. Wasn’t used much as a pass rusher in team drills when I watched. He makes his money by rushing the passer and being disruptive off the edge. Didn’t get to see it in practice. I wouldn’t put much stock in it, as these practices aren’t geared toward OLB-types that rush off edge.

Lamin Barrow, ILB, LSU – Noticed him more than I expected. Looked active and athletic in pass coverage drills. Barrow found himself around the ball a lot and at times took control of the South Huddle. He made an impact in practices this week and helped his stock thus far. In Thursday’s 7 on 7 he was outplayed by the FSU LBs.

Joel Bitino, OT, Nevada – A very impressive prospect. He has been playing LT in practices, but also can play OG in the NFL. Out of all the OL interviews I conducted, he’s one of the guys that stands out. Knows how to use his leverage, get hands on the defender, and control space. Pancaked Daniel McCullers at least once. Understands technique and offensive line schemes.

Terrence Brooks, SAF, Florida State – Looks fluid and fast in coverage. Out of the South Safeties he’s the one that looks the most athletic. Made a few plays on the ball early in the week. Always tough to evaluate the stock of these safeties.

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State – The most impressive QB prospect here. Once again on Thursday he was the most consistent. Knows how to put touch on the ball, anticipates throws (too much sometimes), and even showed some impressive open field speed pulling the ball down and running away from the defense. He’s also a very impressive kid, one that any NFL team would love to have in their locker room.

DeAndre Coleman, DT, California – Coleman had a strong practice on Thursday disrupting passing lanes with his massive length. He tipped two balls and one ended up as an INT. Coleman moves fluidly for such a big guy and has the frame to play as a 3-4 End or 4-3 DT. Coleman is someone I’ve heard scouts talk a bit about in the stands.

Mike Davis, WR, Texas – Davis was up and down during the week. He didn’t show anything new from what he did at Texas. Didn’t show he can run any different routes or that he’s more than just a straight line WR. Davis lacks focus and seems lackadaisical at times. Dropped a number of catchable balls this week. Didn’t help himself this week.

Chris Davis, CB, Auburn – Noticed him getting beat a lot in practices. Undersized to play outside cornerback and the corners took advantage of him because of his size. Didn’t do anything to make me think he can be an NFL starting CB.

IK Enempali, DE, Louisiana Tech – Added late to the game and I didn’t get a chance to notice him.

David Fales, QB, San Jose State – The shakiest of the South QBs. Ball doesn’t come out of his hand with the same zip as Carr and Garoppolo. Has to use more effort to make throws and misses the target with ball placement too much. Looked uncomfortable taking snaps from under center and didn’t get better as the week went on.

Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn – The most explosive edge rusher this week. Gets off the ball with more explosion than the others and is able to dip/bend the edge very well. Seems to keep his arms by his side when bending the corner and can get knocked off balance when OL get hands on. No doubt he’s helped himself this week, starting with the weigh-in where he measured in over 6’2″, exactly what he was listed as on his college website.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois – Thursday wasn’t his best day, but there is no denying he’s helped himself this week. A very impressive kid, showed leadership, face of the franchise potential. His arm is strong enough to make most of the throws, even though he looks a little quirky. Quick, effortless release, and he’s usually on target. A better athlete than David Fales as well. Building a lot of positive momentum right now and he should continue to rise up boards through the combine.

Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State – A late add to the game, but he had a strong practice on Thursday. He beat LB coverage and made some contested catches in the red zone. I was impressed with his hands, but he’s not the most dynamic receiver. Got a response out of the crowd today by dunking the ball over the goalposts after a touchdown.

Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane – His best day today. Continually beat man coverage in the red zone with smooth, sudden double moves, and set up his routes nicely. He made a couple of very tough catches, fading away from defender and getting his feet in bounds.

Jon Halapio, OG, Florida – Halapio stated to me that he “wants to prove he is the same player he was as a junior”. Halapio showed his usual power and toughness in run blocking. He gets constant push off the ball and is more mobile than people give him credit for. Halapio is a player I may rank higher than most. I think he has long term NFL potential.

Marcus Heit, LS, Kansas State – Another Long-snapper.

Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU – Hoffman actually had a great practice on Thursday. He snatched the ball out of the year and showed very good hands. Even made the tough catches in tight coverage. Very worried about his speed in the NFL, don’t think he can get open. Won’t run fast and is a late round pick at best.

Adrian Hubbard, DE, Alabama – Didn’t see much of him today or yesterday. Day one he stood out for his athletic build and the way he moved in coverage. I thought he could really help himself this week and I just didn’t see him do enough.

Gabe Ikard, OC, Oklahoma – Not a great week. Exposed for his lack of strength and ability to anchor vs. power. He’s going to be a team scheme specific player and no matter what needs to improve his upper body strength. Not sure he goes before the 6-7th round if at all.

Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State – Strong week all-around. Came into the game a bit under the radar, but he leaves as one of the winners. He’s so big and strong, that when he gets hands on with leverage he can control his space. Won the majority of his battles and got scouts buzzing with his massive chest at the weigh-in.

Wesley Johnson, OG, Vanderbilt – Honestly haven’t watched him as much as I should have. I noticed him twice this week, once when Dee Ford rag dolled him to the ground and another when he opened a huge running lane in team. Only 290 pounds, so he needs to play OG at the NFL level.

Christian Jones, LB, Florida State – Thursday was a good day for him. Got to showcase his coverage skills all practice in 7 on 7s and 11 on 11s. Had an and ruined at least two more plays by blanketing the TE in team drills. Coaches seemed happy with his improvement, especially when dropping into a deeper middle zone. Athletic LB that can play inside or outside depending on the scheme.

Kenny Ladler, SAF, Vanderbilt – Didn’t show me much in terms of coverage ability, but I didn’t focus on him too much.

Craig Loston, SAF, LSU – After watching him go through 7 on 7s and 11 on 11, it’s even more clear he’s a downhill safety prospect. Thursday he got beat by the TEs in red zone and just look to big and thick to cover in the deeper third vs. dynamic receivers. Didn’t really hurt of help himself.

Arthur Lynch, TE, Georgia – Was the star of Thursday practice. Literally caught every ball, including two fully extended one handed ones. I was most impressed with how he set up LBs when running red zone and seam routes. Showed strength to fight off the defender and get position in red zone. Very good day today.

Cody Mandell, K, Alabama – A kicker.

Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt – Besides one play where Carr and Matthews connected on a back of the endzone fade, Matthews failed to separate down the field and looks like he gets his feet caught in the mud. Very worried about his speed and quickness at the next level. As the underclassmen workout and perform at the combine Matthews will drop.

Daniel McCullers, DT, Tennessee – Rough week for big Dan. He’s not built for this type of setting where he has to go through drills, perform in 1 on 1s, and go after guys like Dee Ford in bag drills. McCullers really struggles to bend at all and can’t do much of anything besides take on blocks and create pile ups.

Keith McGill, CB, Utah – McGill had a great week despite getting bad cramps in his legs for various reasons. He’s a massive corner a 6’3″ and is built like a safety. Today he locked down one side of the field and the QBs refused to challenge him. Throughout the week he was tough to beat in coverage because of his size and vastly underrated athleticism. Big, long CB are en vogue right now and Keith McGill will be a hot commodity.

Jerick McKinnon, RB, Coastal Carolina – Didn’t do much to pique my interest. Short, but thick and strong. Came to the Senior Bowl to learn a new position and didn’t do anything to stand out for the good or bad.

Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia – As Phil Savage called him “The Rock of Gibraltar”. Moses impressed because he is able to mirror defenders and just shut them down when he gets hands on. Was perhaps the toughest OL to beat in one on one drills all week. Stock was pretty high coming into the week and he probably helped himself even more.

Kevin Norwoord, WR, Alabama – A very very good day for Norwood. He’s just a savvy WR that knows how to beat coverage and make plays. Gus Bradley singled him out for his strong play and he shined again today. One on particular route he adjusted his route to sit down in the zone opening. Won’t run very fast, but he’s helped himself a lot this week.

Cody Parkey, PK, Auburn – Another kicker.

Matt Patchan, OT, Boston College – A very late add, wasn’t able to glean much in today’s practice. One thing I did notice was his rocked up physique. Prior to the Senior Bowl I talked to one scout that said Patchan had trouble adding weight at Florida. Looks like he came to BC and did work. A very strong, athletic looking OL.

Solomon Patton, WR, Florida – One of the fastest WR on either team. Good with ball in his hands, can make man miss first man miss on screens. Not sure he is strong enough to be successful in the NFL, JAG.

Jay Prosch, FB, Auburn – Looked good on the first day running routes and catching passes. Haven’t watched him since.

Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton – Plays with violence and mean intentions when going through bag drills. Thought he would get better as the week went on and it didn’t happen. Such a smart, well-spoken kid. I know at least two NFL teams are real high on him.

Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma – Unless he gets significantly strong and bulks up his frame, he’s going to have a tough time finding a home. Made a few tough catches, showcasing a flexible frame, but he’s way too wiry to make impact in NFL.

Telvin Smith, Florida State – Really stood out to me today. Extremely fast to cover the flats and was discipline in coverage, not biting on play-fakes. He needs to add at least 12 pounds to his frame, but his speed in coverage will play at the next level.

Chris Smith, DE, Arkansas – Wasn’t real high on him entering the week, but he really flashed to me. Had the best hands of any South pass rusher. He was a violent hand fighter in 1 on 1s and combined it with a strong upper body to dominate 1 on 1s at time. He’s a strange build, so he still has to figure out if he’s a DE or LB.

Bryan Stork, OC, Florida State – Much more consistent than Gabe Ikard throughout the week. Shorter arms, but plays with a wide base and does his best to keep his hips underneath him.

Will Sutton, Arizona State – Really out of shape at the weigh-in. Can’t seem to figure out what weight to play at. Sutton had his moments during practice with his ability to penetrate and blow up plays. Had an interception off a tipped pass today, but I’m having trouble buying into him as an impact NFL prospect.

Travis Swanson, OC, Arkansas – This is just one player I didn’t get to watch enough during the week. I have to go back and watch his game film to reaffirm ranking.

Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina – Highly impressed with him throughout the week. The top pass blocking RB on both teams, caught everything thrown his way in practice today. Has an NFL body, could end up being this year’s Alfred Morris.

Jemea Thomas, SAF, Georgia Tech – Didn’t stand out in any form or fashion.

Jordan Tripp, LB, Montana – Really liked what I saw on day one. Very fast and fluid in pass coverage, getting hands on a number of passes. He didn’t flash much throughout the rest of the week, but he has helped his NFL stock.

Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State – Played Right Tackle throughout the week and was the definition of a roller coaster. Mixed some dominate reps with some where he just got whooped. Technique is very sloppy and it’s clear he’s a guy that needs sometime with a good OL coach developing the basics.

Brent Urban, DT, Virginia – Dropped out of the Senior Bowl with an ankle injury, but impressed everyone with a his linear athletic frame. Didn’t show me much before the injury, but NFL teams seem to love him.

Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU – Thoroughly impressed by his overall game this week. Very strong in coverage reps throughout the week. He’s someone the NFL scouts believe can come in and make an impact as a rookie. Doesn’t have anything he does at an elite level. He’s just solid across the board. He’ll be higher on my board now than when the week started.

Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida – Started off the week with a bang, looking great in special teams drills and displaying tight coverage in 1 on 1s. Jaguars Coach Gus Bradley took a liking to him, but his play evened out as the week went on.

Lavelle Westbrooks, CB, Georgia Southern – Didn’t notice him much on the practice field. Today was the only day he caught my eye and that was because he has a very good vertical leap, which he used to tip a pass away in the ends. Long, athletic corner. Need to watch more film on the kid.

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34 Responses to “2014 Senior Bowl: South Practice Notes and Wrap-Up”

  1. gatorade says:

    Somewhere people may be happy but there is no joy in Denverville for Mighty Manning, the immobile robot struck out – big time. When the NFL programmed robots are in synch they are tough to beat, but when things go wrong they are useless because they can’t run or even move in the pocket to extend a play because they are freaks not football players. Manning was atrocious just like earles constant tweets. Both pathetic in their own hubris.

  2. tom brady II says:

    -trade brady (getting too old), gronk (too injury prone), and a first rounder (#29) to bucs for Gerald McCoy, revis, lavonte David, donte whitner, Carl nicks, 6 overall pick, and mike williams
    -resign edelman, resign talib, and let everyone else walk
    -sign michael johnson and move chandler jones to left end
    The patriots would have a ridiculous defense with 2 shutdown corners, the leagues best safety tandem, 3 stud linebackers with mayo back, and a loaded d line with two stud ends and an extremely disruptive, all pro Gerald mccoy. On top of that, they stabilize the interior o line and get a playmaking receiver….plus they go from 29 to 6 in the draft and possibly get the next great qb

  3. steve earle says:

    What’s with all the spec that Houston would be interested in Mallett anyway? Have they announced who thay are going to pick and I haven’t heard the news and it’s not a QB ? Unless that’s the case there is zero chance they would part with any draft spot for him. Lets move on guys.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      Houston hinted that they want J.Clowney, to play along side JJ Watt.

      • steve earle says:

        Really? I hadn’t heard. Geeeze no wonder everyone is so excited. Don’t really know what to think just now. Have to consider this. Thanks JH for the heads up.

      • steve earle says:

        Okay, so if Houston does take Clowney and the Rams are not in the QB market but sure puts them in the catbird seat. I’d think to see a scramble with teams in need trying to work a trade up for that second pick. This could be fun.
        Just can’t be sure yet how this might effect our chances of trading Mallett or what we might get? Really it just muddies the waters.

        • Alex (freemanator) says:

          Just to clarify. This hint was the owner saying Clowney is a great player, who they’d have to consider taking. Their owner who is a South Carolina alum and big booster.
          This was after him saying that they would have to consider trading down, and so were open to offers.

          I’m also not sure how much say the owner would have in the pick, and his comments are more likely to see if they can get a great trade offer, than offer any clue as to what they might do.

  4. J H TARBORO says:

    According to Patriots.com, Nick Caserio is in Miami interviewing for the Dolphins GM job, good bye Nick!!!!

    • steve earle says:

      What’s happening with all these guys leaving? Seems far above the norm.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        It could be the best thing in world for them, as far as player personel is concern, With the exodus of of our position coaches, i’m on the verge of feeling that these changes will be for the better and some positive change will come. I could be wrong!

        • steve earle says:

          Good to have a positive outlook of course and as Long as BB and Kraft’s are running things all should be well, I’m just surprised by the number of departures and I do wish them all well. Just not to well in Miami of course.

        • Alex (freemanator) says:

          It’s a blow to lose this much staff talent that’s for sure. But it seems unlikely that Caseiro would take the Miami job, and is just looking for interview experience and to keep his name out there.

          He’s on record saying he loves working here, and although I expect he’ll move on one day, I doubt he’d move within the division. That wouldn’t be taken too kindly.

          Scar leaving was known by BB for a few years, and he stayed longer than he first intended, so nothing to read into there, but still a tough guy to replace. With Pepper Johnson the writing has been on the wall, since Patricia was chosen to call plays on defense over him. He wants to be a DC, and he wouldn’t get that chance until Matt leaves here.

          Then Godsey left because he was an O’Brien recruit when he arrived at the Pats, and clearly has a good relationship. Plus he got a promotion to QB coach, which tends to be the spot below the OC.

          So it will be tough to replace them, and maybe we add some more outside coaching talent, but I don’t think it is the sign of any problems, and it shouldn’t be too surprising.

        • Bpill Spalding says:

          Working in the Patriot organization must look real on a resume, so it’s understandable these guys get interviewed. I hate to see them leave and not give any alternative viewpoints to Belichek. A new guy isn’t going to give any pushback. I understand BB is final authority, but I like other voices.

  5. Eaglefan1 says:

    Jerick McKinnon, RB, is not from Coastal Carolina, and all the other write ups were singing his praises, example: “Georgia Southern’s Jerick McKinnon have accomplished those type of “ooh” moments this week at the Senior Bowl”. Check your FACTS!

  6. JG says:

    Jerick McKinnon is from Georgia Southern, not Coastal Carolina.

  7. Jeff says:

    What can the Patriots realistically expect to get from trading Mallet? A 2nd? A 3rd? A 4th and a 5th? Nothing?
    Trading him for the Texans’ second rounder would be awesome, but what do people think is actually in the realm of possibility?

    • Russell says:

      Trade value for Mallett is a great question, IMO I think a 2nd from the Texans is to high, a 3d is more likely, or maybe the Patriots moving up in the draft. Example; Mallett and the Patriots 2nd,3d to the Texans for thier 2nd and 3d. This would allow the Patriots to move-up 28 picks in each round, and benifit the Texans from not loseing a draft pick.

    • Henry Carmen says:

      Realistic would be Houston’s third. That seems like the best case scenario too. I would love Houston’s second but Mallett really has not done anything to warrant a second rounder.

      • Pete H. says:

        If they can trade Mallet for Houston’s 3rd, and assuming the only FA splash they can afford is Talib, I think a good draft would be:
        1- WR-Allen Robinson
        2- TE-CJ Fiedorowicz
        3 (from Houston)- G-Gabe Jackson
        3- C-Brian Stork
        4- OLB/DE-Adrian Hubbard
        With their 2 6’s, 7, and any late supplemental picks, they can grab developmental/special teams guys at RB, CB, TE, and QB.
        Oh yeah, and they should bring back Fletcher – good backup who will be more valuable to the Pats than other teams.

    • steve earle says:

      Several teams represent possable intrest in Mallett besides Houston who is almost a lock to take a QB in the 1st. Some teams that are not obvious could be : Denver if Mannings neck doesn’t pass a medical exam after the SB. (Exam is contract binding.) Detriot (are they really that happy with Staford?) Oakland ( how happy are they with their QB situation?) Minn if they pass on a QB in the 1st and how about Tampa Bay? These may be long shots but who can say what GM’s are thinking or what they will do? And then there are the more obvious, Cleve, and Tenn. who do not look to be in line for one of the more NFL likely QB’s. Now I’m not saying it will happen I’m just not ruling it out. Something to consider.

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      Houston’s second (33rd overall) would be every Patriot fan’s wet dream. It isn’t likely. But, after a year of horrible misfortune that continues with the retirement of Scarnnechia), perhaps the Pats are due for a little good luck. With the 33rd overall, the Pats should definitely select the best TE available, probably Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

    • Bpill Spalding says:

      Houston’s 2nd is #33. Mallet will never get that high a pick. No experience in NFL and won’ be on a cheap 4-5 year rookie contract. Maybe a 3rd from Houston , or some pick around 75. Have they ever talked about him being heir apparent? Not sure why Bill O’Brien would be interested after being away from Pats for 2 years.

  8. Tim says:

    McKinnon went to Ga Southern, not Coastal Carolina, check your facts. Also, I guess you didn’t see when McKinnon trucked an FSU safety, or broken multiple long runs, or made an aerobatic catch down the sidelines. Just because you didn’t pay attention to them, doesn’t mean they didn’t do anything to stand out.

  9. SSKDKDLDL says:

    Is it possible to replace Hernandez with a player with his measurements and his talent ? It would take a miracle but is it possible ?

    • Pete H. says:

      Best chance for that would be Ebron or Amaro in the first round – they both could potentially go before the Pats are on the clock though.

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      Um…..YES! Jace Amaro, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Eric Ebron in the middle 1st through early second. Colt Lyerla, a 1st round talent that should be available in the 6th due to character concerns, might also fit the bill. To a lesser extent, C. J. Fiedorowicz should be around in the 3rd or even 4th. He can’t run or catch as well, but he can block better and has a build very close to Gronk. The ageless wonder Tony Gonzalez is still an absolute play making stud. He might want to play for a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Recouping some of A-Hern’s money and either cutting or extending Wilfork could free up enough money to grab Graham, if he isn’t extended.

      Tiny, little RB/WR/PR/KR Dri Archer can be had in the 4th, and he has legitimate 4.2 speed. Dude put up 2500 all-purpose yards in a single season, and might be the fastest player in NFL history. Obviously, he can’t block. However, he can well exceed the offensive production of Hernandez.

      Hope that helps.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Daniel R Martin to your point Dri Archer can block pretty well for a small guy, watching Kent St. games last year, Dri did it all, but this year he was more of a decoy. Dri “Lightning” Archer, has a side kick that may go undrafted FB/RB Trayion “Thunder” Durham 6’0 248lbs. one half of thunder and lightning backfield at Kent, would love to see both here in New England.

    • Nuf Ced says:

      Are you going to ask this same TE question on every post from here on out???

  10. Philip says:

    I’d love to see a Vikings-like trade this year and Mallett getting traded to the Texans.

    Martin will be gone at 1/29 and the is no other OG/OC worth to be taken so early IMO.
    Also Hageman, Tuitt and Nix are likely gone.

  11. Jibri says:

    We should get Keith McGill or Danny Jean-Baptiste

    • Jibri says:

      “Correction” Patriots should really draft Keith McGill(6’3) &/or Stanley Jean-Baptiste(6’2) big physical Corners

    • steve earle says:

      I like McGill far better then Jean-Baptiste. McGill appears far more NFL ready whereas Stanley sometimes has a disconnect. jmo

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