MOBILE, Ala. - Some thoughts from the South practice in Mobile:
- It was good to see Arizona State defensive tackle, Will Sutton live during this practice for a couple of different reasons. On tape he looks quick but I was interested to see how quick he really was. There were several plays were he really got off the ball and was disruptive. When he is on the move, he can be a real pain to deal with because of the lower body power that he plays with. What is a concern for me is his weight. I just feel like that he is too large at his current weight of 315 pounds. I have a strong feeling that once all these All Star games are over with and Sutton has a chance to work out back in Tempe, that he will be closer to 300 pounds for the Combine. There is a reason why this kid was a two time PAC 12 Defensive Player of the Year because he is that type of player that he is but he needs to be lighter.
- What I enjoy about the Senior Bowl is how you can have watched tape on a player and you have an idea of how he played during his final season, then comes to Mobile and totally changes how you feel about him. Arkansas defensive end, Chris Smith has done that for me. There were times watching him play at Arkansas where he didn’t light me up and then there were other times where you saw a nice player. Tuesday was one of those days for me. Smith had his way with these South offensive tackles. There was one time in team period, where he was rushing from the left end and he was working against North Dakota State, Billy Turner who has been practicing very well the last two days. At the snap, Smith was so far up the field that Turner could not reach him. Smith was on Jimmy Garoppolo before he could even slide forward in the pocket. The type of day that Chris Smith had makes me now want to go back and look at some more games to be completely fair to him in my study.
- Another defensive tackle that caught my eye during practice will most likely not be a scheme fit for Monte Kiffin and his defense but I need to mention anyways is California’s Deandre Coleman. At 6-5 and 315 pounds, there were plenty of snaps where the South offensive linemen had no answer for him. This young man was on a mission in the way he played. Very similar build to what we had seen from Ra’Shede Hageman and I would have to say, he out played him on Tuesday. There is more power than explosive quickness and 3-4 teams have to be looking at him as a defensive end but for someone projected as a 6th or 7th round type of player, he looked far better than those projections.
- Was excited to see Vanderbilt’s wide receiver Jordan Matthews get some work in the afternoon practice. When you watch Matthews run routes, you do not see an overally quick or fast player. Matter of fact, you see a guy that has to build up speed as he goes. His size is outstanding but his initial quickness off the line is not. When he comes off the ball, he drops his rear to get going, then he pushes off the line to start the route. Where Matthews is a star, is catching the ball. In pro scouting terms, he plays with “BLUE” hands, which is the best you can have. He is a very natural catcher of the ball and when it is thrown in his direction, you do not see him fight it at all. His hands are in good position and are ready to make the reception. When he has a defender on his back, he has the size to keep him away from the ball. It is no surprise that he is the all time reception leader in SEC history because he does a great job of putting himself in position to make plays.