Editor’s note: I wanted to replay my first Senior Bowl experience to help differentiate the rookies that you are drafting as we speak. I hope you enjoy:
I don’t know what it is, but there is something pretty awesome about sitting in a room with hundreds of the best football minds this country has to offer. Looking around and seeing general managers, head coaches, offensive and defensive coordinators, really made me feel lucky to be a part of the Senior Bowl.
My adventure started the day before when I got on my third and final flight of the night from Chicago and as it turned out, I was on the plane with the majority of the Bears coaching staff on their way to Mobile.
Weigh-in/measurements part of the day is a necessary evil, but I was not a fan. They are made to parade in front of 500 scouts/media members/coaching staffs in their underwear. If there was something noteworthy I will mention it in my individual player notes. Now on to my South and North practice notes listed in alphabetical order:
Jared Abbrederis, WR WISC
The powerfully built receiver was physical catching the ball, throwing off a defensive back hanging on him. He runs crisp routes, sinks his hips, and catches the ball out in front in stride with strong hands. There is something about him that reminds me of former Cincinnati Bengal TJ Houshmanzadeh. If anyone could be called the North’s best receiver, it is Abbrederis.
Antonio Andrews, RB WE KY
Move over Bobby Rainey, a better version of you is at the Senior Bowl. The running back is explosive, slippery between the tackles, and has loose hips. He also has good hands which he showed off making a one-handed reception and has a powerful build. I need to watch some of his game tape as I was impressed with this little known ball carrier.
Tajh Boyd, QB CLEM
He throws the ball quickly and mostly concentrated on throws within 15 yards. Boyd has decent footwork, but made an ugly underhanded pass that he should not have thrown. There are quite a few scouts here in Mobile that do not care for him, but I think he has a bit of Russell Wilson magic to be successful in the NFL.
Derek Carr, QB FRES ST
The signal caller has sloppy footwork and throws the ball almost too quickly for his receivers to create space. He is very accurate with the first fifteen yards, but did nothing to improve his draft stock on the first day.
Kain Colter, WR NW
The former quarterback looked comfortable running pass patterns and showed decent hands. Since his conversion is still quite new, it might take time to get a good sense on his progress as a receiver.
Chris Davis, CB AUB
He manhandled almost every receiver who crossed his path. Davis breaks quickly on the ball and keeps the play in front of him at all times. The cornerback is also a good returner who has decent hands. Even on the sidelines, Davis fired up the rest of the secondary to make plays.
Mike Davis, WR TEX
The quite thin Texas wide out did not have a good practice. While he has quick feet, Davis rounded his routes, took too much time to break down and come back to the ball. He also let the ball come into his body instead of attacking the ball in the air. The receiver might be at best a WR4.
Shaquelle Evans, WR UCLA
The receiver catches the ball out in front of his body, and tracks the ball well downfield. He looks more like a WR3 than an every down starter and did slide in my eyes as he made a few more body catches than he should have.
David Fluellen, RB TOL
The back has quick hips, squares his shoulders, and starts/stops on a dime. He has an explosive first step and is a good receiver out of the backfield.
Dee Ford, DE/LB
He is too small to play defensive end, but may transition well to an outside linebacker spot. Ford has a powerful build and looks explosive.
Jimmy Garopollo, QB EA ILL
He did not look as poised as he was at the Shrine Game. The quarterback has good footwork, but seemed overwhelmed with the higher level of competition. Hopefully Garopollo can recover and make the most of his opportunity.
Ryan Grant, WR TUL
The receiver has a good first step, had some concentration issues, but did not show a lot of burst while not distinguishing himself. He also fought the ball on its way to his hands today.
Robert Herron, WR WYO
He moved well side to side, and leapt up to attack the ball in the air. The receiver body caught too much for my taste and had issues creating separation. Many scouts believe in his skill set, so hopefully he will show more tomorrow.
Cody Hoffman, WR BYU
He looked like a stiff athlete who wanted to maul his coverage instead of outmaneuver them. I’m not sure if he has the speed and quickness to be more than a big slot guy at best as he has the hands, but not many moves after that.
Josh Huff, WR ORE
The thick, muscular receiver adjusts well to the ball in the air. He is quick in and out of his breaks, almost came down with a beautiful one-handed grab, and catches the ball well in traffic. Huff looked bigger in person than he did in his bowl game.
DaQuan Jones, DT PENN ST
The defensive lineman has a non-stop motor with good leverage and leg strength. He did his job well in the one-on-one drills. Jones exploded into the offensive line.
Arthur Lynch, TE Georgia
He made a lot of easy catches out in front of his body and looked athletic doing it. Not sure if he will be more than a TE2 in the NFL though.
Jordan Matthews, WR VAN
The wide receiver looked explosive, was smooth, and possessed great body control to contort himself to make difficult catches. Skills such as climbing the ladder,and shielding the ball away from the defensive backs were on display by this receiver. He has a powerful punch to get separation at the line if he needs it. It was obvious with his body language that he hates losing matchups. The only corner that had an effect on him was Auburn’s Chris Davis. They seemed to counteract each other well. The only other person that stopped Matthews the rest of the day was Matthews. He comes from a highly disciplined background and sought out the coaches to help improve his game.
Solomon Patton, WR FLA
Despite being quite small at 5′ 9″ 179 lbs, the wide receiver has glue on his hands as he caught everything his way. He has quick feet, looks like an ideal slot guy, who is great at making people miss. Patton tracks the ball well in the air and got used fielding punts too.
Jalen Saunders, WR OKLA
He is another very small, 5′ 8″ 169 lbs., receiver who is very quick and can gear down or crank up the speed almost instantly. Saunders is very agile, shows toughness in traffic, but got emotional when he missed passes. No way he can be anything more than a slot guy/returner in the NFL with his size as there is not a lot of room to grow.
Charles Sims, RB WV
An explosive back who keeps his feet chopping, fighting for extra yards on every play. He has quick feet with good vision and balance. Sims got a little sloppy with the ball knocking it into the air which almost caused an interception.
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