Plenty of fast starts on Day 1
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Senior Bowl Stock Up
Utah State LB Bobby Wagner
Wagner is flying under the radar coming into the week, but he began to make some noise on Day 1. He checked in at 241 pounds and lined up on the strong side, doing an excellent job jamming tight ends off the line, and showed discipline and quickness getting outside and covering backs when he was not responsible for the tight end. And as far as I could tell in shorts, Wagner appears to have good instincts to locate the ball as a run defender. I'd like to see him get off blocks a bit better, but he did do a good job locking his arms out and setting the edge, and he did a nice job staying home when the play went away from him. Wagner is bigger than expected and does not seem intimidated at all by the level of competition. He currently carries a fringe grade, and while we have gotten only limited looks at Wagner, he continues to improve every time we see him.
-- Steve Muench
North Carolina DE Quinton Coples
Coples had a somewhat pedestrian 2011 season given his talent and measurables, and plenty of scouts had questions about his motor and effort coming into Senior Bowl week. He needs a strong showing to lock down a spot in the top 10, and Coples got off on the right foot on Day 1. He was clearly the best player on the field during the South team practice. He made everything look easy, getting off the ball smoothly and showing quick hands, and it's clear the game has slowed down for him. Coples beat Florida State OT Zebrie Sanders -- a late-first-round prospect -- cleanly on more than one occasion, and no other offensive tackle had a chance either. Coples' most impressive move was a quick inside swim, and he clearly won five of the size one-on-one matchups he had during practice. He lined up inside and outside, and what we saw on Day 1 was more like the dominant player we saw on his junior film from 2010. If he keeps this up, Coples will cement a top-10 grade.
-- Kevin Weidl
Senior Bowl Stock Down
Ohio State C Mike Brewster
Brewster played some tackle in college, but his 31-inch arms will prevent him from lining up outside in the NFL and limit his versatility. He was forced inside to center on Day 1 and struggled to hold his ground, especially in the run period against Washington DT Alameda Ta'amu. He was able to get decent initial positioning, but once that happened Ta'amu drove Brewster back and was also able to use his hand to club and swim past him. The same thing happened in pass protection drills. The biggest issue for Brewster is his inability to be flexible and sink his hips adequately when trying to anchor, or re-anchor when beaten initially. And while he also showed good angles and quickness when attacking the second level, questions remain about his athleticism and ability to change directions. There's still a long way to go in the week, but it was not a good start for Brewster.
-- Steve Muench
Houston WR Pat Edwards
Edwards lacked focus, especially as a route-runner. He rounded off his breaks and did not show much suddenness, and he telegraphed routes enough that defensive backs were able to read him and pick off two passes over the course of the practice. He also did not catch the ball well, dropping a couple of passes and allowing too many balls to get into his chest. Edwards comes from a run-and-shoot system, so it's even more important for him to run good routes this week, but he is clearly a work in progress. He's a fringe prospect, and Edwards will have to improve in the coming days to make his case for late-round consideration.
-- Kevin Weidl