DEEP FRIED DRAFT
1/25/18 NORTH PRACTICE
Armani Watts (DS/Texas A&M) looked smooth flipping his hips in the warmup drills. Kemoko Turay (EDGE/Rutgers) was very quick getting around the hoops in the figure-eight drill. Baker Mayfield (QB/Oklahoma) was threading the needle today. Braxton Berrios (WR/Miami-FL) ran some really nice routes and nice hands today. Duke Dawson (CB/Florida) showed some nice ball skills. In 7-on-7, Mayfield split two defenders to hit DaeSean Hamilton (WR/Penn State) for a TD. Berrios against Ja'Whuan Bentley (LB/Purdue) is a complete mismatch. Josh Allen (QB/Wyoming) showed nice placement today. Justin Watson (WR/Penn) made a nice one-handed catch on a well-placed ball. He then split a pair of defenders to complete a pass to Durham Smythe (TE/Notre Dame). After I spent three minutes out of a seven-minute radio spot talking about how bad Allen has been this week, he had his best day of the week. Allen Lazard (WR/Iowa State) got over the top of Duke Dawson on a route. In full team drills, Lazard got stripped from behind by Michael Joseph (CB/Dubuque). Jamarcus King (CB/South Carolina) ran stride-for-stride with Lazard on a go route down the sideline. King was much better today than he was yesterday. DaeSean Hamilton is such a fluid route runner. Akrum Wadley (RB/Iowa) showed some wiggle in the open field on a screen pass. The highlight of this play was Will Hernandez (OG/UTEP) 20-yards downfield punishing defenders.
In the one-on-one drills between the backs and tight ends against the linebackers and safeties, Kalen Ballage stood out. None of the linebackers could handle him. Dewey Jarvis (EDGE/Brown) never stood up in college and it shows. He had no chance trying to cover Jaylen Samuels (RB/NC State). Troy Fumagalli (TE/Wisconsin) dropped too many passes today, letting them get into his chest. Trayvon Henderson (DS/Hawaii) had an interception on a bad pass from Tanner Lee (QB/Nebraska) that was intended for Mike Gesicki (TE/Penn State). Gesicki is such a long strider. The best linebacker in coverage was easily Nick Deluca (LB/North Dakota State). I didn't see a whole lot of Mike McCray (LB/Michigan) but he had a good rep against Jaylen Samuels.
2018 Senior Bowl: Day Three Recap (1-25-18)
It was back to perfect weather for the final day of practice for the 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl. Today I wanted to focus on the backs and tight ends in one-on-one drills. I caught some other things as well but I feel I had given these positions the shaft the last two days. Outside of giving everyone the Okie-Doke on what end of the field the Pit drill was on, I feel the Broncos North practices were far better paced and offered more to evaluate than the Texans South team practices.
More players are out injured for the week. Nathan Shepherd (DL/Fort Hays State) is out after breaking a bone in his wrist. It is a shame too because he was having a tremendous week. Darius Phillips (CB/Western Michigan) and Chad Thomas (EDGE/Miami-FL) are both out as well for the North team. For the South team, Dorian O'Daniel (LB/Clemson), another player that was having an excellent week, is out with a rib injury. Bilal Nichols (DL/Delaware) was brought in to replace Shepherd. Oren Burks (LB/Vanderbilt) was brought in to replace O'Daniel. Nate Andrews (DS/Florida State) who played locally at Fairhope HS was also added to the South roster.
1/25/18 SOUTH PRACTICE
In the full team portion of South practice, LSU WR D.J. Chark got around the edge on a reverse. He also had a nice catch on a slant in front of Chandon Sullivan (CB/Georgia State). Southern CB Danny Johnson had a nice PBU in one rep. He had a nice day today overall. In the hurry-up portion of the drill, Kyle Lauletta (QB/Richmond) had to check it down to Rashaad Penny (RB/San Diego State) twice. Marcus Davenport (EDGE/UTSA) came into the week with a lot of hype but had not lived up to it. In three consecutive reps, Davenport crashed the edge against Joe Noteboom (OT/TCU) for a sack, a hurry, and forced a pass to go straight up in the air. He kneecapped Kurt Benkert (QB/Virginia) in another rep after beating Brandon Parker (OT/North Carolina A&T). Marquis Haynes (EDGE/Penn State) got a cleanup sack during one rep. Tre Williams (LB/Auburn) diagnosed a screen quickly. Deon Yelder (TE/Western Kentucky) bobbled a ball while Kameron Kelly (DS/San Diego State) had tight coverage. Kelly has struggled to recover in space this week. Alex Cappa (OT/Humboldt State) has been one of the best offensive tackles here this week. He stoned Uchenna Nwosu (EDGE/Southern Cal) on back-to-back reps. UCF LB Shaquem Griffin beat him with a slick inside move, however. In the few one-on-one reps that I saw, Siran Neal (DB/Jacksonville State) may have had the best one. He absolutely stoned James Washington (WR/Oklahoma State) in press man coverage. Tre'Quan Smith (WR/UCF) got inside of Jeremy Reaves (DS/South Alabama) on a rep. Benkert got a ball in Chark despite him being interfered with. In our special teams note of the day, Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson nailed a 58-yard field goal that would have been good from 68 yards.
In the one-on-one drills between the backs and tight ends against the linebackers and safeties, Darius Leonard (LB/South Carolina State) stood out in coverage drills. After struggling on day one, he has really impressed the last two days. Leonard tormented Rashaad Penny on a pair of pass pro reps and one coverage rep. He then got to his teammate FB Nick Bawden (San Diego State) as well. Uchenna Nwosu held up well in coverage. Nwosu was a safety in HS and it showed on his coverage of Deon Yelder and Jordan Akins (TE/UCF). Akins has been the star of the South team TEs the last two days. It really sucks South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert got hurt before I could see him in these blocking drills. That is literally the only question mark on his game. LSU RB Darrel Williams shut down Nwosu and Oren Burks (LB/Vanderbilt) in pass pro. Ito Smith (RB/Southern Miss) is a guy I expected a little more from in the route running drill. He didn't get much to work with from his QBs, but I still expected more. Smith did get the best of Darius Leonard in pass pro.
That concludes the practice portion of the 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl. I will have a recap of the game on Saturday night and will release a list the top 5 RISERS and FALLERS from the week on Sunday. Check back for that!