by Tommy Lawlor
* Let’s start with the QBs. Bryce Petty has a lot on the line. He needs to show NFL teams that he can be a good intermediate passer. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen today. Petty struggled when throwing intermediate and deep passes. In his defense, this was Day 1 and he was dealing with a new playbook and receivers he doesn’t know. Still, the throws just didn’t look good. This wasn’t a matter of poor timing and incompletions. These were bad throws.
Petty was very good on short, quick throws. Those passes were accurate and had good velocity. Those throws look natural to him because he threw so many in college.
Petty needs to take a big step forward in the next 2 days.
* QB Shane Carden also struggled. He just doesn’t seem to have an NFL arm. Sean Mannion was the best of the trio. He has a solid arm and is comfortable as a pocket passer.
* Michigan State FS Kurtis Drummond had a good day. He was solid in man coverage during 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 drills. He has good size and looked athletic. He showed good instincts and looked natural in coverage.
* Harvard star Zack Hodges played DE in college, but is getting looked at as a LB. He is very awkward in coverage and playing in space. Hodges is a gifted pass rusher and that’s what he is used to doing.
* Mike Hull was a terrific LB for Penn State. I was curious to see how he would look at practice. Hull struggled mightily in the 1-on-1’s. TEs and RBs were able to get separation from him and make plays. Hull looked better in the team drills, but was disappointing overall.
* RB Jeremy Langford is one of the guys who got the best of Hull. He had a good day, especially as a receiver. Langford showed the ability to get open and looked very good at playing in space.
* Eric Rowe played both S and CB for Utah. He was working with the Safeties today in practice.
* WR Jamison Crowder was one of the smaller players on the field, but he has NFL talent. He was able to get open short and deep. He ran good routes and didn’t seem the least bit bothered by going up against good CBs. Crowder is only 5-8, 174, but don’t think of him as just a slot receiver. He was good inside and outside today.
* WR Antwan Goodley also had a strong showing. He really impressed with his hands. Goodley extends and catches the ball away from his body. He did a good job of getting open and getting separation today.
* Penn State pass rusher Deion Barnes had a solid showing in the 1-on-1’s. He was able to beat blockers off the edge with his burst and agility. I did not get to see if he got any LB reps or was purely a DE today.
* Nate Orchard was the pass rusher who really stood out. He was tough to block in the 1-on-1’s and the team drills. Even when the ball went away initially, Orchard seemed to end up getting in on the tackle. Very active, very disruptive.
* I didn’t get to study OL as much as I wanted. Robert Myers played LT in college but was at OG today. He looked good in pass pro on a few drills.
* RB Ameer Abdullah is absolutely deadly in space. He can make defenders look foolish with his quick cuts and excellent burst. Abdullah is only 5-8, 199 so I don’t know if he’ll start in the NFL, but at the least, he could be a dynamic role player.