- Steve Muench, Scouts Inc.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rain forced the East to practice inside and, unfortunately, denied those players an opportunity to show NFL evaluators what they can do. It was a frustrating development for scouts who traveled down here to get a look, but it's important to keep things in perspective. Player safety trumps us getting another quality look.
The weather cleared in time for the West to practice in full pads, and the wet field gave teams that play in poor weather such as Buffalo and Chicago a chance to see how prospects handled the conditions.
Weather aside, starting with the quarterbacks, there was plenty to take away from today's West team practice.
Ball State QB Keith Wenning continues to separate himself from the other two West team QBs. At 6-foot-2⅜, 219 pounds, Wenning has 10-inch hands and spins the ball well. His sound footwork translates into above-average accuracy and he continues to put good zip on the ball.
Notre Dame's 6-1⅜, 214-pound Tommy Rees looked better and did a nice job of hitting receivers in stride. Washington's Keith Price finished the practice on a strong note, delivering a strike to 5-8⅝, 180-pound San Jose State wide receiver Chandler Jones. Unfortunately, the 6-foot, 196-pound signal caller was also erratic as inconsistent footwork played a role.
Oregon State cornerback Rashaad Reynolds tracked the ball well on an over-the-shoulder catch during individual drills. Though he slipped transitioning out of his backpedal on one rep during one-on-ones, for the most part, the 5-9¾, 191-pound Reynolds showed good balance and fluidity.
Arizona's 6-0⅛ 194-pound corner Shaquille Richardson has 10-inch hands and made it look easy, snatching the ball out of the air during position-specific drills. He also timed a hit on Jones well and broke up a pass during the team period.
There were several other defensive backs that didn't field the ball as cleanly, including 5-11½, 196-pound safety Oklahoma State safety Daytawion Lowe and 5-11½, 180-pound Texas corner Carrington Byndom.
Several small school players also stood out today, starting with Furman offensive guard Dakota Dozier during the one-on-one pass protection drill. The 6-3¾, 312-pound Dozier did a nice job of anchoring and staying in front of 5-11⅝, 321-pound Virginia Tech defensive tackle Derrick Hopkins. He's also capable of improving in pass protection by making better use of his long arms as he frequently locked out with only one arm instead of getting both hands on the defender.
At 5-10, 175 pounds, Pittsburg State wide receiver John Brown makes up for his smaller frame with above-average burst and footwork. He beat Richardson with a fluid double move for a long touchdown during the team period. It also helps Brown that Richardson practiced well otherwise.
Valdosta State wide receiver Seantavious Jones looks the part, measuring 6-3 ⅛, 209 pounds. He also has a wide catching radius and can catch the ball away from his frame. One area where he can improve is consistency. He caught the ball with his body more and more as the practice progressed.
Montana's Dan Kistler played with an edge and flashed during the one-on-one pass protection drill. The 6-6⅝, 318-pound offensive tackle has the long arms to ride edge rushers past the pocket and he's big enough to hold his ground even though he doesn't sink well.
However, Kistler did get beaten by 6-5½, 276-pound Stanford defensive end Josh Mauro when he took too long to redirect one snap. Mauro showed active hands and a good motor during the drill. Kistler also had a hard time keeping his pads down as a run-blocker. He struggled to get under 6-4, 254-pound UCLA defensive end Cassius Marsh, who quickly slipped his blocks during the team period.
449dTodd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl