Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl are blogging from the Senior Bowl. Keep checking in to see who is playing well and who's struggling during the second Senior Bowl practice.
Jekyll and Hyde
Hawaii WR Gregory Salas had the most up-and-down practice I've seen in a long time. He had some early drops and at one point he tried to make a cut and came out of his left cleat. He was frustrated and nothing was going right during drills. But the second the players got to the teams, he was getting open and catching everything. It was strange to see such a difference in his play, but we'd rather see him light it up and catch everything in team drills as opposed to performing well during individual drills but struggling in game situations.
It was not a good day for Allen Bailey. On the first play during the team period, he was unable to stay balanced and was rolled to the ground by Mississippi State's Derek Sherrod. It was a tough start and it never got better. He had a tough time winning at one-on-ones in pass protection. He is all power and no quickness. There is no suddenness to countermoves and he really struggled to get off blocks or create penetration as a run-blocker. It was just a bad day for him.
Arizona's Brooks Reed had another good day. He has heavy, violent hands. You can hear the difference in bag drills between him and other D-linemen. He used his hands really well in one-on-ones and during team periods and disengaged defenders to keep them from shooting inside. He showed a variety of pass-rushing moves from outside pass rush to inside countermoves to a great spin move to beat Georgia's Clint Boling during the team period. Just love the way the guy plays the game. He hustles, chases the ball downfield and is relentless off the edge as a pass-rusher.
Miller time again
Texas A&M LB Von Miller went down with the linemen to rush the passer in one-on-ones and was lights out. He's so quick around the corner and the blockers had no chance. On the flip side, NC State LB Nate Irving also went down to rush the passer and followed Miller and you could see the difference. He didn't have the same first-step quickness and was unable to turn the corner as a result.
Georgia Tech RB Anthony Allen runs hard, but can he get around the corner? The concern with him today is that he lost his balance and had too much forward lean. He has to do a better job of keeping his pads over his feet.
Baylor OG Danny Watkins is a technician on the inside. He is very good at sliding and mirroring defenders to stay in front of them. He got a little chippy at the end of plays, too.
Tale of a Tiger
LSU LB Kelvin Sheppard has good straight-line speed, especially for his size (6-3, 240 pounds), but he takes too long to regain momentum when forced to change direction quickly. He's quicker than he is fast.
Texas DT Sam Acho lacks quickness and power. He was shut out in one-on-ones, going 0-for-7 in the drill. Tough session for him.
Wind it down
Alabama TE Preston Dial is a tough blocker, but there's too much windup in his punch and it allows defenders to shoot their hands inside.
More on Williams
Arkansas' D.J. Williams is a great player. He shows good hands and is running better routes, but at 236 pounds, he looks more like a fullback than a tight end.
TCU WR Jeremy Kerley is having a good day and he's catching everything. He's quicker than he is fast.
Bilal Powell is running hard but we'd like to see better vision from him. He missed a cutback lane in one drill and he needs to see the field better.
Williams moving well
The South team is off to a slow start today. Arkansas' D.J. Williams is athletic, quick and catches the ball well, but he rounds off his routes.
Miami LB Colin McCarthy moved well and snatched the ball out of the air during cover drills.
Purdue DT Ryan Kerrigan isn't standing out, but he's playing well and remember, he's going against the top two OTs here in Colorado's Nate Solder and Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi. He showed quickness and power but didn't demonstrate the ability to counter once he got caught by those two.
Not in a zone
UConn LB Lawrence Wilson showed good instincts earlier, but he didn't look as sure of himself dropping into zone coverage. He got caught drifting with one route that took him out of position and allowed another receiver to come in behind him.
Wisconsin TE Lance Kendricks did not have a good day. He showed no pop or power as a blocker and as a receiver he was trapping everything against his pads. You could hear the ball thudding off his pads. The other North TEs had good days, so his poor performance stood out a little more.
Slippery Rock's in the house
Slippery Rock OL Brandon Fusco showed good inline strength and good core strength, but the problem is he is very stiff in his lower and upper body. He does not bend well at the knees and really struggles with quickness. He isn't good at recovering and redirecting. He was beat in one-on-ones when defenders exposed his lack of lateral quickness.
Indiana's James Brewer had an awful day. He plays very high and doesn't bend at the knees well. He's a waist bender and struggles moving laterally. I didn't see a strong punch either. Also, he had two blown assignments during team periods.
Cal DE Cameron Jordan is a beast today. He has long arms and is killing blockers with his swim move during the one-on-ones.
Indiana OT James Brewer plays high, which limits his ability to anchor and affects his inline power. He's also struggling to move laterally.
Ohio State WR Dane Sanzenbacher and Stanford CB Richard Sherman were added to the North roster. Sherman is overmatched by most wide receivers' quickness. Sanzenbacher is small but he's quick and has shown good hands so far.
Boise State WR Titus Young is having a much better day today. He's quick and catching the ball consistently.
Stanford RB Owen Marecic caught two passes during team period. While he could extend and snatch better, he looks the ball in without breaking stride.
Stuffing the run
Michigan State LB Greg Jones did not look good during passing drills. Too many drops in the individual drills. He's a little stiff and misplayed the ball. But he made a nice read and wrap on a play during the run period.
Making a change
Nebraska TE Mike NcNeill lined up at fullback and did a good job of getting into position at the second level. He took good angles and made the blocks.
Marshall's Lee Smith is helping himself. He's very strong at the point of attack.
StruggLing to catch the ball
Linebackers Mason Foster (UCLA), Mark Herzlich (Boston College) and Lawrence Wilson (Connecticut) are fighting the ball during individual drills. Ohio State's Ross Homan made a clean catch on one pass, but dropped the next one.
Marshall TE Lee Smith is stiff and slow off the line, but he has a big frame, long arms and can snatch the ball out of the air.