Jacoby Brissett began his college career at Florida before transferring to NC State. He started at QB for the Wolfpack for the past 2 seasons and showed a lot of potential. He didn’t really catch my eye in Mobile until Thursday.
There was no single play or moment. I was actually focusing on DBs and WRs and would note “that’s a good throw”. I would notice Jacoby happened to be the QB. That happened often enough I started to pay attention to him.
There is no question that Brissett has the physical ability to play in the NFL. He runs very well and has a strong arm. The question is whether he can be a consistently good passer. Clearly, we don’t have an answer for that, but he helped himself on Thursday. Brissett was accurate. Some throws had good velocity, others had good touch. It will be interesting to see how he plays in the game.
Noah Spence was the best player on the field. He regularly beat his blocker and was in the backfield. This happened in 1-on-1 drills and team sessions. He played RDE and LDE. This wasn’t a case of Spence getting the best of one favorable matchup. He flew off the ball and used a very good rip move to beat blockers.
I tried focusing on Dadi Nicolas at times. He’s only 6-3, 235, but he is a gifted pass rusher. They had him rush as a stand-up LB as well as a DE with his hand in the dirt. I thought he was more effective as a DE in a 3-point stance. Teams have to figure out where he fits on their roster and depth chart, but there will be room for a good pass rusher like Nicolas.
I watched Jeremy Cash, the Duke SS, for part of the day. He looked a bit stiff just going through some basic drills. There was one where the DB was supposed to turn, jump up and snatch a ball lobbed to them. Most DBs nailed that drill. Cash stayed on the ground and caught the ball flat-footed. That may not sound like a big deal, but Cash only had 6 INTs and 15 PBUs in 3 years as a starter. You want to know what kind of ball skills he really has. Cash did not impress. He also wasn’t impressive in some Red Zone coverage drills. He didn’t show good instincts or athleticism.
Kevin Byard wasn’t able to break up passes in the RZ drill, but he showed good instincts and came close to getting a couple of passes. Byard is only 5-11, but he has 33 1/2 inch arms and uses them to try and get to the ball. I had concerns with Byard’s coverage skills coming into the week. He still is better as a hitter/tackler, but showed some promise in terms of coverage.
Sean Davis has played S and CB. He was being moved around in Mobile, even playing in the slot. I didn’t think he did well in the slot. He was up and down at CB. After practice, Davis said he’s much more comfortable at S. You could see that he is an agile athlete with a lot of physical ability. I think he is best suited to playing S in the NFL.
CB James Bradberry wasn’t impressive. He was too physical in coverage. He looked a bit stiff on a couple of plays. He was burned by one receiver when Bradberry turned the wrong way and had no chance to play the ball.
Jalen Mills was up and down. There were a couple of plays where he got a good break on the ball when playing off. There were some other times when he didn’t come close to the receiver before the ball got there. Another guy with S and CB experience.
Harlan Miller looked terrific in some of the drills. He’s athletic and has good ball skills. He was up and down in the RZ coverage drill. The thing you like, as with Byard, he really competed on every snap. He might not get the ball, but he was sure going to try.
OG Cody Whitehair had another good day, except for 2 plays. He tried to drive DT Jarran Reed off the ball. That didn’t go well. Reed didn’t give an inch. Later, Whitehair went up against Charles Tapper. On the first rep, Tapper exploded off the ball and knocked the crap out of Whitehair, driving him back. On the next rep, Whitehair stoned him.
Reed has had a strong showing. Tapper has been somewhat quiet.
Paul McRoberts made a pair of impressive catches. The small school WR (SE Missouri State) hauled in an over-the-shoulder catch that was tough to make. He later went up high to snare a pass. That showed good body control and awareness, as well as impressive hands.
TE Jerrell Adams had a very good day. He did a good job of getting open and made some nice grabs. He’s only a 244-pound TE so he better be able to cat h the ball.
John Theus didn’t have a good day. He has the kind of size you want in an OT, but his pass protection skills are not what you want. Theus is too slow off the ball. A defender with any kind of a good burst is going to consistently beat him. OTs who lack ideal athleticism have to win by doing the little things well. It is hard to do that in the practices. The game will be important for Theus, as he tries to show the NFL he can be an effective blocker.
Javon Hargrave was a late addition to the Senior Bowl. He opened a lot of eyes last week down at the Shrine Game. He did some good things in practice on Thursday. Hargrave was quick off the ball and also flashed good power. There was one rep where he drove Vadal Alexander backward.
Brandon Kaufusi needs to play with better pad level. He has pretty good body control for being such a long, tall player, but needs to play lower.
WR Jay Lee had another good day, making some impressive grabs and showing off good hands.