John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Live from Mobile, it's Day Three of Senior Bowl practices! Here are my notes from watching the North roster in the morning on Wednesday. My notes on the South roster will be up in the afternoon.
I'm going to just transcribe my notes from Wednesday's practices as I have them written down instead of writing out full sentences and long paragraphs. Cool? Cool. Here's what I have for the North; provided the WiFi cooperates, I'll post my South notes this afternoon when I'm at the Dallas airport waiting for my connecting flight back home to Washington, DC. At the very latest, I'll post my South notes later tonight, with profuse apologies for the delay.
Denard Robinson - WR - Michigan: Still out of his element with transition to WR position, which is to be expected. Looked confused (didn't know where to line up on one play) and dropped more than a few passes. Robinson's got two injured fingers on his left hand, so I'm sure that contributed to his struggles. Still, he's going to have to improve in a hurry to save his draft stock, which is firmly settling in the 4th-7th round range.
Alex Lemon - WR - Syracuse: A couple drops mixed in with lazy routes, didn't sell fakes nearly well enough; slow turn on an out and up caused QB to overthrow him on what would have otherwise been a perfect pass.
Aaron Mellette - WR - Elon: Mellette wasn't nearly as impressive Wednesday as he was Tuesday, showing some traits that raise cause for concern. Way too much body catching on Wednesday, whereas on Tuesday he was snagging the ball with his hands out in front. Lack of explosion out of his breaks; couldn't get any separation from DBs, and that included one time where he was covered by a safety. Did have a nice catch for a TD down the sidelines, but it was more thanks to a perfect throw by Glennon.
Kyle Juszczyk - FB - Harvard: Apparently, his last name is pronounced "Yoos-ick" (Edit: My bad, "Yooz-check"). and his nickname is "Juice." As if it was possible for me to like him any more after watching him practice. Looked really good again on Wednesday and has easily become my favorite player at the Senior Bowl. Versatile, Swiss Army knife type who lined up at FB, RB, TE and even in the slot on a few occasions. Showed soft hands again and is legit threat out of the backfield. On one play where Juzszcyk lined up in the slot, he beat his man clean and made an athletic, remarkable over-the-shoulder catch for a 40-yard TD. During the next drill, he took a handoff and looked like a natural runner by making one quick cut and bursting through the hole before lowering his shoulder into tacklers. This is a guy who wants to dominate his opponent and inflict pain at every opportunity; he's going to make you earn the tackle if you attempt to bring him down. Hell, he even took on Alex Okafor one-on-one in an 11-on-11 drill and blocked him easily to create the hole through which the RB ran. Alex Okafor is a 6'5", 270-pound DE, by the way.
Ryan Nassib - QB - Syracuse: Excellent ball handler, really sold play fakes well and sucked in LBs. Good athlete, had some zip on intermediate throws. His long ball, however, sucks; it's a rainbow that hangs up in the air too long and provides ample time for DBs to recover. Happened consistently.
Mike Glennon - QB - North Carolina State: The type of QB who's going to look like a stud in practice when there's no pressure coming at him. Glennon has by far the best arm talent of any QB here and throws a beautiful deep ball with touch and precision. Put a trash can 40 yards away and I bet he drops the ball in there, say, 8 out of 10 times. Senior Bowl practice is precisely the type of environment in which Glennon will thrive and look all-world, but let's see how he does in game action with pass rushers coming full speed ahead and chaos surrounding him (which was when, during tape study, he started to make poor decisions and got lazy with mechanics).
Marquise Goodwin - WR - Texas: Fastest player here, and it's not even close. Can't wait to see Goodwin's official 40-time. Easy to see how his long jumping skills translate to the football field, as he displayed the same explosion and sudden quickness that he did Tuesday; DBs really have no chance to keep up with him. The only way to contain Goodwin is to take advantage of his small size by jamming him at the line, he had some trouble with that. If you allow him a clean release, however, he's going to burn you every time. Also made a really nice full-extension grab on a quick out.
Chris Harper - WR - Kansas State: NFLDraftScout.com has his unofficial 40-time at 4.46, but Harper isn't that fast. He is, however, a WR with considerable natural ability who could flourish with NFL coaching. Harper is still a raw route runner who can't sell a fake to save his life, but he's big, physical, athletic and flashes the same strong hands that I saw on tape. Made a few really pretty catches where he slightly nudged the DB to create separation before jumping up, twisting his body, making the catch and then tapping his toes on the sideline before falling out of bounds.
Eric Fisher - LT - Central Michigan: Another banner day for Fisher, who had his way with Alex Okafor most of the time when the two were matched up one-on-one. There were a couple times when Okafor got the best of him, namely on an inside rip move where he jab stepped right before slapping Fisher's hands away and leaving the tackle flat-footed as he dipped back to the left; Okafor was able to get the QB and force a fumble. Overall, though, Fisher got the best of that battle.
Michael Buchanan - DE/OLB - Illinois: Showed some nice pass rush and athletic ability, twice setting up an OT by faking outside and then spinning back inside to beat him clean and get to the QB. Didn't really flash too much aside from that. Had a gaggle of Eagles reps interviewing him after practice.
Brandon Williams - DT - Missouri Southern: Looked bad on Tuesday (was put on the ground seemingly every time I focused on him), but looked great on Wednesday -- and I was told he looked good on Monday, too. Stout build, stayed low; used leverage and power to get under blocker and drive him backwards on one play, then quickness off the snap to slip by him on another. Shockingly nimble; varied his moves, kept blocker guessing.
Markus Wheaton - WR - Oregon State: He and the South's Quinton Patton continue to be the best wide receivers in Mobile. There was one notable play where Wheaton showed off an impressive integrated skill by exhibiting superb adjustment and body control, twisting his torso and reaching back to snag a ball thrown behind him in traffic in the middle of the field with three defenders all preparing to hit him at once.
Jonathan Cyprien - S - Florida International: Had a solid day in coverage, very little wasted movement and was able to pick up WRs down the field. Was his typical field general self. Showed good hands in drills.