With the first rookie minicamp practice in the books, here are some of my thoughts:
- Cornerback B.W. Webb is as smooth in person as he is on tape. He is very loose and flexible in the way he covers. He can move sideways and not lose any speed. He is a hard guy to turn and run out of position. His transitions in and out of breaks is very smooth. If he there is one thing that I did notice is that he will need to develop and feel for where the receiver is in the route. He tends to keep his eyes on the quarterback and there was a couple of times where he played like he lost that feel without the ball coming in his direction.
- Tight end Gavin Escobar had several snaps where he was on the back side of the play and will able to make a cut off block positioning himself between the defender on the ball. I didn't observe any work on the front side but what I did see gives me hope that he just isn't a guy that can catch the ball. Speaking of that, only saw one drop in team where he went to the flat out of the wing and just flat miss played it.
- Guard Ronald Leary was moving well and his punch was solid. There were several times in the running game where he was able to get his man secure and off the line. He was solid to adjust and work on the second level. In pass protection, he sat down and made it tough for the rusher to push him back.
- A defensive lineman that stood out this morning was tackle, Nick Johnson of Baylor. When he was on the move, he made it tough on blockers to have to handle him. There were several pass plays where he was able to fight his way up the field and get some push in the middle. His effort was really nice.
- Center Travis Frederick had a nice start in the team run period where he was able to work with Ronald Leary on a combo block and create a seam for Kendial Lawrence to get through. Need to ask but it looked like he had a bust later when linebacker Taylor Reed came through untouched. The way the play was blocked, I had the sense that was his man in the scheme. There was one play where he ended up on the ground where his balance was poor but overall, he played in good position both run and pass.
- A guy that jumped off the screen at me was offensive tackle Edawn Coughman from Fairmont State who is here as a workout player for the weekend. I was surprised how well he moved both run and pass. He should initial quickness and the ability to handle his man. He had a nice back side cut off and then on the front side showed some pop coming off the ball. I saw a player that had a nice punch and position.
- Early in the drills, Terrence Williams didn't look as smooth running his routes and there were several plays where he didn't put himself in a good position to receive the ball. As the practice wore on, he did a much better job of handling what was thrown at him and you could see better results. There was one time where he was matched against Webb and he was able to buy some separation by running his route with some nice sharpness even though the ball did not come his direction.
- Safety J.J. Wilcox is one of those players that on college tape was always around the ball making tackles and today was no exception. Despite the fact that the practice had no pads, you saw Wilcox where the action was. In the group work, he moved how I thought he would. I believe right now he is a much better downhill player than one that is going to drop and be really pretty in coverage. I am not saying that he can learn to do that but he is really going to have to work in that area of his game. Physically he is a large man at 219 so Jerome Henderson and Joe Baker will get him here full time and start to work on that.
- No offense to my Missouri Tigers' friends Mickey Spagnola and Brad Sham but what the heck were you guys thinking not giving the ball to Kendial Lawrence more? Lawrence did a nice job of showing some explosiveness hitting the hole. There was a play where he was going to his right then jumped cut back to his left to get through the hole. As I saw on tape he caught the ball well and during this practice he was able to do the same.