MOBILE, Ala. – Here's a handful of notes from our first day at Senior Bowl practices.
- Of the defensive ends that practiced here at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, I would have to say the onethat stood out to me over the others was Nate Orchard from Utah. At 6-3, 251, he is not the most physically impressive player -- but athletically he is.
These tackles on the North roster had a difficult time handling his rush. He was explosive in his movements and didn't give these blockers any hitting surface, so it was hard for them to stop his charge. The way he practiced gave me a different impression of what his skill level is. His practice was much better than his tape.
- Ameer Abdullah is the best running back on the North squad, but the back that caught my eye in the practice was Jeremy Langford from Michigan State. I was expecting to see more from David Cobb of Minnesota. With the team practicing in full pads on Wednesday, I am curious if Langford will once again be better than Cobb or if it was just a slow start. There will be periods during the practice where these backs are going to have to deal with some
aggressive defenders due to them trying to perform for these scouts. I continue to hear that Cobb is better overall when you watch the tape, but it was his Big Ten counterpart got the upper hand.
I am always on the lookout for safety help when it comes to the Cowboys. I think that this defense would be better if they had a guy they could use in coverage -- not only out of the slot occasionally, but also playing deep out of the middle.
- Anthony Jefferson from UCLA is a player that just might fit that bill. Jefferson is a converted corner that can line up at safety, and from what I observed on Tuesday, he needs further study. I was impressed by his range and his ability to play the ball. Where Jefferson also caught my eye was when they ran him on the blitz. He has a feel for not only how to beat the blocker with movement, but he can be physical too.
- Call it nerves or a little rust, but I thought it was -- as my scouting buddy Dane Brugler called it -- a mixed bag of a day for Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty. I have to agree with Dane, because I thought there were times where Petty's accuracy was all over the map. Even in the periods of practice where he wasn't facing any type of rush, he still struggled to be on the mark. There was no consistency in the way he threw the ball. It was high at times and then others badly wide. His ball down the field had no pace and it was obvious that the receivers were working to try hard just to locate the ball. If there was a positive sign, it was that Petty's footwork under center and on his drops was solid and that was an area that I believed he would have struggled the most.
- If you were a team that was looking for guard help in this draft you might want to take a peek at Alabama's Arie Kouandijo. This kid showed some serious power in each snap that he took. I was studying these South squad defensive tackles and the hardest matchup that they had to deal with was when Kouandijo was lined up across from them. What was really surprising is that, for a guy that played with so much power, his technique was outstanding. His hands and footwork worked very well both run and pass.