There was a new face in Mobile on Wednesday…QB Bryan Bennett from SE Louisiana. He was added after Auburn star Nick Marshall decided to play CB instead of QB. Bennett measured in at 6022, 210. Good frame, but he’s a bit on the lean side.
Bennett got everyone’s attention right away. He threw the ball better than the other QBs and looked natural at practice. Some guys take time to adjust to the situation. Bennett was ready to go.
He is noteworthy in part because he started his career at Oregon. When Bennett lost the battle for the starting QB job to some kid named Marcus Mariota, he decided to go somewhere that he could get on the field. Bennett was a dual-threat QB for SE La and led them to a pair of BCS playoff berths.
I watched him making simple warm-up throws and liked what I saw. He has a smooth motion and quick release. Once in drills, he showed the ability to drive the ball downfield on intermediate passes and also threw some good deep balls. He ran a couple of times and showed good mobility and speed. He’s not going in the 1st round or anything like that, but Bennett showed himself to be an intriguing option in a weak QB class.
* Miami TE Clive Walford had an outstanding day. He caught a ton of passes and made lots of plays. He showed the ability to make catches while going to the ground (a benefit of the sloppy passing). Walford showed good speed in getting down the field. He got into the end zone several times. I need to watch tape on him.
* CB Kevin White might be the most natural cover man in Mobile. Unfortunately he’s 5-9, 180 and it doesn’t look like he’s got top speed. WRs got behind him a couple of times on Wednesday. White was able to recover and break up the passes, but mainly because they were bad throws. White is very good at pressing and getting in the hip pocket of the receiver on short stuff, but I’m not sure about his long speed.
* QB Blake Sims has not impressed me. I kept my expectations limited so this isn’t a case of me thinking he would stand out. Receivers had to slow down and wait for deep throws from him. Sims didn’t look good on intermediate throws. He still has one more day to get going, but Sims hasn’t done much to sell himself as the #3 QB in this class.
* Garrett Grayson is the other QB in Mobile. He is inconsistent, but his good moments are impressive. He has a solid arm and will connect on some deep balls. I think his motion is awkward and a bit slow, which affects him on short, quick throws.
* LB/DE Lynden Trail is an interesting player. He’s huge at 6-6, 262. He was once a star recruit for the Florida Gators, but then moved on to Norfolk State, where he was a dominant player. You see him on one drill or rep and he looks really good. Then you see another and he looks stiff and gangly. Trail was a terrific pass rusher for NSU. He played LB and DE. 3-4 teams should be very interested in him, but so far Trail hasn’t been all that impressive when playing in space.
* Phillip Dorsett had another strong day. He is really impressive. Tyler Lockett also had a very good day. He’s tough to evaluate. though. Lockett isn’t explosive like Dorsett and he’s also not a big guy. Lockett just seems to have a knack for getting open and he does have good hands.
* DE/LB Markus Golden had a good showing. He was at LDE when I watched him make a couple of plays. He was able to use a quick burst off the ball and really good pad level to get by blockers. Golden is only 6-2 so when he stays low it can be tough for blockers to get their hands on him cleanly.
* I didn’t focus on ILB Stephone Anthony but he was around the ball play after play. That’s a key trait for good LBs. It shows a combination of instincts, vision, speed and the ability to move through traffic. I’ll be checking Anthony out more closely today.
* Owamagbe Odighizuwa was the most disruptive DL from what I could tell. He moved all over the line and gave everyone fits. He is 6-3 1/2 and 266 pounds. Odighizuwa plays bigger and stronger than that. He is a powerful, physical. nasty guy to go up against. 4-3 teams will love him as a DE. 3-4 teams have to decide if he should be an OLB or add a few pounds and be a DE.