Both Dustin Vaughan and Kolton Browning had their moments where they flashed confident play, but they also had their moments where they were nowhere as good as they needed to be -- especially considering they didn’t have to deal with consistent pressure. Vaughan has the stronger arm, but he had no clue where the ball was going when he let it go. I would like the opportunity to continue to work with him. After watching Browning, who was here on a tryout basis, I thank him for his effort and move on.
I liked what I saw from Devin Street and what he can bring to the scheme with his ability to make plays. In this camp, he showed ability as a route runner, but I would like to see him run them with a little more zip. That might have to do with his post draft conditioning, which will improve the closer we draw toward camp in Oxnard, California. L’Damian Washington was much better after the first practice, where he wasn’t nearly physical enough. Not really sure how reliable his hands are? If there was a bit of a disappointment, it was Chris Boyd. The year off from football didn’t help him at all, but after watching his tape from Vanderbilt, I did expect more. Hopefully we see a different player as we work through the summer.
Among this group, Jordan Najvar was the best. There are limitations to his game as a blocker, though he can catch the ball. Kane Friel was a tryout guy that did nothing to make me want to sign him and Evan Wilson has the size to be a blocker and we will see if that is the case when the pads come on. No one from this group made me sit up and really take notice.
Ben Malena was my favorite of the group, with Josh Harris as a close second. Glasco Martin is too straight line for me and the front office thought the very same thing in using his spot for newly signed Ryan Williams. Malena has the ability to break down a defense in space with the ball in his hands. I really like the toughness he brings, as well. Harris was here on a tryout and flashed some nice skill but with the addition of Williams, that most likely hurts his opportunity for a spot on the training camp roster. Fullback JC Copeland needs to lose weight and this will help him with his ability to adjust on the move. When the pads come on, that is when he will have a chance to shine.
There were some really nice battles during these practices between guard Zack Martin and defensive tackle Davon Coleman, which gave you an indication of how well Martin handles quickness right off the snap. Coleman tested him plenty and that was a good sign. I really liked what I saw from tackle Jarrod Pughsley from Akron. I had heard rumor that he might be a guard when we open camp in Oxnard, but he looked plenty comfortable play tackle – as he did in college. Like Martin, he had some nice battles, but he was against defensive end Ben Gardner. Keep an eye on Brian Clarke from Bloomsburg, who lined up at guard. Physically, he is not the biggest guy at 6-2, 299, but there is some nastiness to his game. He is one of those guys that battles to the echo of the whistle.