This was my first chance to see the North squad and it would be an understatement to say I was impressed. There is a lot of talent on this team. As is legally required by the Constitution, let’s start with the QBs.
Zac Dysert is my favorite player in the group. The Miami OH stud threw for 12,000 yards in his career and made some sensational throws. Just about any game featured “wow” throws. I didn’t see that today, but Senior Bowl practice isn’t the best format for wow throws. Dysert did make one throw while rolling to his right that really caught my eye. He has a strong arm and good mobility. My complaint with him today was erratic passes. The ball sailed on him a few times. I’m not sure if the wind was an issue or he was just trying to impress the scouts/coaches, but several throws were too high.
I stood up close to him and Dysert looks the part of an NFL QB. He has a good build. He has a good presence. I’m a bit curious about his team having losing seasons in 3 of his 4 years.
Ryan Nassib was also erratic. Just like Dysert, he had some throws go high. Nassib is highly regarded by a lot of people and you can see why. He has a good arm. He ran a pro style system at Syracuse and looks comfortable here at the Senior Bowl. His Syracuse tape doesn’t show a regular amount of erratic throws so that isn’t something to worry about too much. Nassib isn’t a runner, but is more mobile than some realize.
Mike Glennon threw some gorgeous deep balls. He put good touch on them and showed a strong arm. He wasn’t pressured on those plays and it was purely a case of him putting the ball downfield for his receivers to make a play. Glennon doesn’t always handle pressure in game situations well. He was picked off 31 times over the last 2 years. Glennon measured in at 6-7, which is not ideal. 6-5 is where you’d like a QB to max out.
* Let’s talk about the RBs and pass protection. Jonathan Franklin was easily the best in this area. He was aggressive and tough. The effort from Kenjon Barner was fine, but the results erratic. Robbie Rouse was just overwhelmed, time and again. All 3 guys ran the ball well at times.
* Denard Robinson played WR. He was okay. He caught the ball with his hands and out away from his body. He used a great double move to get open for a deep ball. I need to study the practice video to see just how good his route-running was. He might not be a natural WR, but he’s embraced the role and worked hard to impress. He’s also 196 pounds. That’s enough bulk to take hits, but won’t hurt his speed.
Markus Wheaton had a terrific day. He has big time speed, but is also a gifted pass catcher. He hauled in one deep ball, where the pass was out of bounds. I like the fact he still wanted to make the catch and did that. Looked very natural at catching the ball. That’s not always true for speed guys.
Aaron Mallette had a good downfield catch. He doesn’t have the speed to separate, but is able to catch the ball when tightly covered. That’s critical for a big guy like Mallette.
Marquise Goodwin put a wicked move on a CB that sent him to the ground. Goodwin has explosive speed. He needs to show he can get open with quick moves and be an effective underneath receiver as well so that was good for him.
* The best OL in Mobile is Eric Fisher of CMU. He played LT for the North. He did not disappoint. Fisher handled his business in pass pro. He’s actually a better run blocker than pass blocker, but did well vs Alex Okafor. Fisher did get beaten once that I saw, but that was an inside move where the DE just took a chance and fired to the inside.
David Quessenberry played LT at San Jose State, but saw action at both OG and RT today. There was one play where he put Margus Hunt on the ground. Quessenberry isn’t LT material, but is a solid blocker.
Justin Pugh of Syracuse did some good things at LT, but he’s had a disastrous week already. What happened? His arms measured in at less than 31.5 inches. 33 is okay for a LT. 35 inches is what teams love. Barely over 31? Not good. Pugh might have to move inside to OG.
* LB Ty Powell from Harding caught my eye. He was outstanding in the pass rush drills. He also did a good job vs the run in the group drills. I didn’t get a chance to see him in coverage.
Khaseem Greene impressed me by weighing 236 pounds. He’s a former Safety and I didn’t expect that size. He was solid today.
* Jonathan Cyprien is the Safety that everyone is talking about. He looks the part of an NFL player. He goes full speed in coverage. Good run defender. He came up and hit a RB today in a thud drill and let the guy know that could have been a huge hit if live. Cyprien has a thick build. Cyprien has plenty of speed and covers ground well. He broke up a downfield pass today.
Phillip Thomas led the nation in INTs and you can see why. He has great hands. He loves to sit back deep and be the centerfielder. Thomas is an inconsistent tackler and that’s something we’ll check out in the game on Saturday. At times, Thomas looks like a stud.
* I’m a big fan of CB Jamar Taylor, but he’s got to dial back the physicality. In college you can ride receivers all over the field. In the NFL, you have 5 yards and then it is supposed to be hands off. Taylor loves to be physical. He broke up a couple of passes today, but did get burned when Goodwin put the move on him and Taylor hit the deck.
Desmond Trufant had an excellent day in coverage. He was good in press or playing off. He got in the receiver’s hip pocket and wasn’t moving. He understands how to cover and has the athleticism to get the job done. Real impressed with him. Definitely need to study more tape.
Jordan Poyer had a good day. He loves to play off, but showed the ability to really jam. He planted his hand in the chest of a receiver and really re-routed the guy. Poyer has excellent ball skills. I didn’t see any picks today, but he almost made one diving grab.
* PR was an adventure. Poyer was easily the best. Denard Robinson had no confidence at all and it showed. He dropped 2 of 3 that I saw. Taylor wasn’t any better.