South Practice – Day 3

It is always important to judge players on the whole week of practice. WR Josh Reynolds is a great example of that. He struggled early on Tuesday. He got better as the practice went along. Reynolds was outstanding the rest of the week.

The thing that really stood out for me was Reynolds ability to extend his arms and catch the ball away from his body. With a 6-3 frame and 31 1/2-inch arms, that’s a big catch radius. He didn’t make one or two extended grabs, he made them on all 3 days of practice. And he made it look natural.

Reynolds made a terrific over-the-shoulder catch on a downfield throw. That took good focus, hands and body control. It was interesting to see him make a grab like that after plucking the ball with his hands for most of the day. Reynolds is a versatile, talented pass catcher.

*****

RB Matt Dayes caught my eye on Thursday. He is a shade under 5-9 and uses that size to his advantage. Dayes stays low and hides behind his blockers until he has a hole and then he uses a good burst to get upfield. He had a couple of good runs like this in the final practice. He made a nice cut and burst upfield for a long gain in the 11-on-11 period.

Dayes averaged more than 5 yards per carry for his career. His patience, vision and burst give him the ability to break off good gains on a regular basis. Dayes isn’t a household name, but he has NFL ability.

*****

I can’t go a day without saying something about DE Tanoh Kpassagnon. He lined up at LDE and beat the RT for a “sack”. He later lined up at RDE. Kpassagnon used his length and burst to get to the LT in a hurry, but he was blocked at that point. Kpassagnon must learn to convert speed to power. He also will need to get stronger.

If he works on that, Kpassagnon will really be tough on OTs. He can’t run to them, he’s got to run through them. With his size, speed and his power, he can really become a force off the edge.

*****

Davis Webb is the best of the South QBs. He has a good motion and a solid arm. He has excellent size at 6-5, 229.

Josh Dobbs is the mystery man. There are some plays where he is really impressive. Then there are other moments when is borderline awful. Dobbs has solid size at 6-3, 216. He has a good arm and is athletic. Dobbs has the physical traits to be an NFL QB, but he is highly inconsistent and is a developmental prospect.

Antonio Pipkin looked raw. He showed talent, but was a notch behind the other QBs. I was hoping to see more out of him.

It will be interesting to see if the game brings the best out of any of these QBs.

*****

RB Jamaal Williams was expected to weigh in at 220-225 pounds. Instead he showed up at only 211. I was disappointed by him being smaller, but he did appear to be faster. He showed good speed on some runs that got him to the outside in Thursday’s practice.

It will be interesting to see how much he weighs at the Combine. I hope he doesn’t drop more weight, in the pursuit of a good 40-time. One of Williams’ big selling points is that he’s got some size and is a physical runner.

*****

I thought CB Demontae Kazee was up and down on Wednesday. He was better on Thursday. He covered more tightly and did a better job of breaking on the ball. Kazee had 17 career picks, but we didn’t get to see his ball skills in action in Mobile.

CB Cam Sutton had a solid week. One thing that really stood out to me is how competitive he was. He wanted to make a play on every rep. Even if the receiver caught the ball, he was going to get a hand on it to try and knock it loose.

*****

WR Taywan Taylor had another strong showing. He did have one drop, but countered that by catching pass after pass. He has good hands and really plucks the ball cleanly most of the time.

*****

OL Will Holden was added to the South team due to some injuries. He was playing OG on Thursday and looked good. He won multiple battles in the 1-on-1 drills with DL. Maybe he was fresh. Or maybe he’s just good. Holden impressed me at the Shrine Game. He is 6074, 312 and has 33-inch arms.

*****

QUICK HITS

Chad Williams ran right by a CB and hauled in a long TD. There is no question about his deep speed.

Evan Engram lists as a TE, but he looks like a WR when he runs down the field and just casually snares passes. A creative offensive coach is going to love him.

DT Eddie Vanderdoes had a TFL on a run play and also looked good in the 1-on-1 drills. He is a powerful man.

ILB Duke Riley showed good speed when he flew out wide to tackle a RB on an outside run play.

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