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It’s Senior Bowl’s Day One here in Mobile, Alabama.  The town is abuzz with all thirty-two teams in attendance.  The first day of practice is always a slow one as players are getting familiar with the coaching staffs and their new teammates.  Here are some initial thoughts from today’s practices (I have listed them alphabetically and separated them by squad).

North

RB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

The muscular, athletic back got small in the hole using good wiggle to avoid contact.  Abdullah caught the ball well out of the backfield, looked good in the open field showing good burst, and straddled the sideline well, keeping his balance.  He doesn’t appear big enough to handle an NFL workload.

RB David Cobb, Minnesota

The young back had quick feet, exploded thru the line of scrimmage, and showed off decent hands.

WR Justin Hardy, East Carolina

The skinny wide out catches the ball in stride, creates separation despite tight coverage, and tracks the ball well in the air. He looks like a good slot receiver prospect.

OLB Jordan Hicks, Texas

The linebacker showed good vision finding the ball, and moved quickly laterally towards it.  He appears versatile enough to play on the inside or outside.

TE Ben Koyack, Notre Dame

This practice was the most that I had ever seen him catching the ball.  He has soft hands, but rounds off most of his routes.  Koyack has a small upper body which demonstrates why he struggled with physical coverage.

WR Tony Lippett, Michigan State

Lippett reminds me a bit of Titan’s Nate Washington despite his skinny build.  He adjusts well to the ball in the air, and can create separation with tight coverage.  The receiver seemed to get more confident and relaxed as the practice wore on.

WR Ty Montgomery, Stanford

The wide out started off the day with a few concentration issues and let the ball into his body quite a bit.  The powerfully built receiver showed off his quick feet and caught the ball a bit better as the practice wore on.

WR Devin Smith, Ohio State

The long limbed receiver let some targets into his body before securing the catch.  He made a nice reception in the end zone, keeping his feet in bounds.

DE Za’Darius Smith, Kentucky

This Shrine Game vet kept his positive momentum going with his showing today.  Smith has quick feet, has a lot of fluidity, and is explosive off the ball.  I hope they try him out at OLB as well this week as I believe he is athletic enough to play either position.
South

WR Sammie Coates, Auburn

He had a mixed bag type of day.  The receiver was quick off the ball, has powerful leg drive, and can create separation with his upper body.  Coates is a long strider that takes time to build up speed, has concentration issues with physical coverage which culminated with a deep drop that went right thru his hands.

WR Devante Davis, UNLV

The receiver had a tough day.  He dropped the ball early, rebounded, and then got outmuscled by smaller defenders.

RB David Johnson, Northern Iowa

The back has quick feet, shows good balance, and decent vision getting thru the line of scrimmage.  He has soft hands out of the backfield and uses a combination of jump cuts and stutter steps to create space.

WR Dezmin Lewis, Central Arkansas

His fantastic day came as a big surprise to me. The receiver adjusts well to the ball in the air, made crisp cuts on routes, and caught the ball well in stride.  He showed good concentration and always asked questions of his teammates.  There was a one-handed catch that he didn’t make, but he continued to make improvements throughout the practice.

WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

This slight receiver has a powerful trunk.  Other than getting disrupted by physical coverage, Lockett had a very good day.  He looked like a natural fielding punts and catching the ball cleanly away from his body.  Lockett has good vision, is quite shifty, tracks the ball well in the air, and dives for long passes.  The wide out juked a corner out of his shoes in drills.  I like him as a third receiver/returner at the next level.

WR Donatella Luckett, Harding

The small school prospect won over me and a lot of the crowd on Tuesday.  He showed a lot of hustle working back to the ball, while making it look smooth and effortless.  Luckett uses his hands well to keep defenders away from him, catches the ball in traffic, and makes the first guy miss.

LB Denzel Perryman, Miami

The linebacker drops into coverage quickly, breaks immediately on the ball, and came within inches of making an interception during the first practice.

S Cody Prewitt, Mississippi

The safety broke up a Coates target in the middle of the field, and got physical against tight ends and receivers.  He tracks the ball well in the air and caught the ball for an interception.

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