I am happy to report that the South squad was improved from Monday to Tuesday. QB Tyler Wilson was impressive. His short and intermediate passes had good zip and were generally accurate. He looked much more like the QB I saw at Arkansas than the guy who played on Monday.
EJ Manuel had another up and down showing. He would throw one really impressive pass and then follow it up with a ball that sailed or bounced to the receiver. There is no rhyme or reason. He would make a good throw to the TE over the middle. He’d gun a ball to a WR on the sideline. Then he’d make bad throws to other targets in similar areas. Manuel just isn’t consistently good.
Landry Jones had his moments, but he’s simply not physically impressive. He is smart. He’s mechanically sound. He just doesn’t have a live arm and his movement skills are pedestrian. I don’t project him as an NFL starter.
* RB Stepfan Taylor is typical Stanford. He’s not flashy in anyway, but has looked good. He gets the job done and he’s tough as nails. He stays low and runs well in traffic. You do have to be careful about getting a false positive with him. There is no real tackling going on and he’ll fight for every yard. This format helps him. Still, you can’t ignore his ability to find the hole and get upfield.
RB Mike Gillislee has really looked good on cutbacks. When he’s able to hit one, he delivers a big run. Zone blocking teams will love him. Mike has pretty good vision and footwork. He’s been better than I expected.
* The best WRs were Quinton Patton and Tavarres King. Patton did it all, catching the ball short and creating big plays or simply catching the ball downfield for the big play. He showed RAC ability. He caught the ball well. Patton was fast and athletic.
King was the most polished receiver. He consistently got open by using quick cuts and good moves. He had DBs lunging and guessing all day long. King made one terrific catch when he fully extended for a ball and was able to make a great hands catch. I thought he showed pretty good speed as well.
Terrance Williams was disappointing. He had a couple of drops and failed to catch some balls that got in his catch radius.
Cobi Hamilton was up and down. He started slow and got better, but wasn’t impressive in any way.
* TE Vance McDonald had a busy and outstanding day. He seemed to catch a ton of passes. McDonald isn’t a typical TE though. He was comfortable catching the ball short, but also deep. One catch was 30 to 40 yards downfield. TEs don’t always look comfortable doing that.
* I thought OT Lane Johnson had another impressive day in pass pro. He gets a wide base and uses his hands well to engage the rusher. He’s able to re-set and anchor if the rusher tries to use power. Johnson can slide left or right as the rusher tries to get by him. Looks like a 1st round pick.
Xavier Nixon had a solid day. I’m not sure if he’s a LT in the NFL, but he just might be. He is a pretty good athlete. I also like the fact he is smart and takes good angles.
Oday Aboushi is more talented than Nixon, but will not use his hands. He keeps them in by his body rather than trying to engage the rusher. Drives me nuts. Washington beat him cleanly with an inside move, but Aboushi won the next rep between them.
Garrett Gilkey is impressive. He had a terrific run block in the group drills that sprung a RB for a good gain. Gilkey battles on every snap. He isn’t intimidated at all. He uses his hands well. He gets low and does everything he can to get his defender blocked. Need to see some of his game tape.
Brian Schwenke has played both C and G. He doesn’t pass the eye test. He’s got long hair and a sloppy body. Just doesn’t inspire confidence. Then you see him block and he goes all out to take out his guy. He’ll battle someone bigger or more athletic. Doesn’t matter. Brian will battle. Okay athlete. Just not a guy who will have many style points.
* Ziggy Ansah remains an interesting guy. He used a spin move to fly by the RT in one drill. The next rep he drove the guy straight back. That combination of power and athleticism is incredibly impressive. Ansah isn’t a dominant performer, though. He’s still learning how to play football. BYU used him all over the place. The raw potential is there, but he needs a lot of work.
Montori Hughes practiced today and did some good things. He is massive and powerful. When he gets off the ball quickly, Hughes is tough to block.
I’m not sure what to make of Cornelius Washington. He’s got a huge upper body. There are times when he’s quick off the ball. He’s not a great athlete, but has some ability. I don’t see a guy who is going to be a pass rushing RDE. I don’t see a guy who looks like a LDE. Doesn’t look like a 3-4 OLB. You can’t dismiss him, but finding the right role for Washington isn’t easy.
* Chase Thomas looked more natural at 4-3 LB today. He has some pop when he hits in the drills. He played the run well in the group drills. I didn’t get a chance to check him out in coverage.
* JJ Wilcox struggled in the coverage drills, but did a better job in the team drills. He is a Safety that is know more for hitting than coverage so it wasn’t expected for him to shine.
Shawn Williams had some good “hits”. DBs aren’t laying anyone out, but Williams came the closest when he floored a receiver with a shoulder hit. Williams intentionally took it easy on other plays, but his emotions got the best of him again and he popped a receiver later on.
* CB Leon McFadden had another strong showing. He has the size, speed, and cover skills to stick with receivers short and deep. He plays the ball well. He’s tough and instinctive. He was all over receivers all day long.
BW Webb from William & Mary had a good day. He wasn’t bothered by the step up in competition. He broke up a couple of passes.