MOBILE, Ala. – As we get set to begin Day 2 of our Senior Bowl coverage, I have a few leftover notes from yesterday. More importantly, I've got some preview notes of things I'll be watching as we get set for some fully-padded practices at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
A few thoughts:
- These coaches on both staffs are doing a nice job of getting these quarterbacks reps during practice. I especially thought the North group with Jason Garrett and the way they ran their drills showed the various throws each of these quarterbacks can make. The one-on-one drills had each quarterback alternating from a receiver, to a running back, to a tight end. The different platforms were helpful to all watching.
- Didn't know much about UCLA wide receiver Jordan Payton before these practices, but I was impressed with the way he was able to step up and take a lead role for the North squad during Tuesday's practice. He appears to be a consistent route runner with good hands. What is also interesting is that Jason Garrett and his staff are using him on both sides and out of the slot, which is showcasing his mental abilities.
- I can see why the ball goes over the top of Alabama cornerback Cyrus Jones on tape. He looks short on tape and in person he looks even shorter. He is a physical player and a willing tackler, but I do believe he is going to have problems with size at the next level. His best bet is to develop into a third or fourth corner and be a club's primary punt returner where he can excel.
- Notre Dame offensive lineman Nick Martin is not as strong or as powerful as his brother Zack. But like Zack, he does a nice job of playing on his feet. He is a position/wall-off type of blocker that manages to keep himself between the defender and the ball with effort and technique. Depending on who you like, it's between him and Alabama's Ryan Kelly as the first center off the board.
- With the pads coming on for Wednesday's practices, keep an eye on Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich -- especially in the 9-on-7 drills. Matakevich and Missouri's Kentrell Brothers are tackling machines. I can almost guarantee that, when they're on the field, both of these players will be in the pile the majority of the snaps.
- A defensive linemen that jumped out from Tuesday's practice that I need to keep an eye on today is Temple defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis. Ioannidis measured in at 6-4, 303 pounds and was extremely active during the North practice. There were several snaps where he was in the backfield playing the run as well as working off blocks rushing the passer. Like his teammate, Ohio State's Adolphus Washington, both were extremely disruptive.