Our own David Syvertsen is in Mobile, Alabama for the 2010 Senior Bowl. Here is his report from Day 1 at the North practice.
North Practice Report
With both the North and South teams practicing simultaneously at different locations, I was forced to choose just one to watch. I opted for the North squad because I knew it would be less crowded. The 90 minute session was a warm up for the show we get to watch on Tuesday and Wednesday. There were in uppers only, thus the contact was not one hundred percent but the guys were still flying around in an effort to impress the hundreds of talent evaluators on hand. I’ll dive right in to it by discussing each position. There were a few guys I did not get a good look at simply because of time, but I plan on getting my notes down on every player before I depart on Thursday.
-Vladimir Ducasse (Massachusetts) is very light on his feet and considering he is moving around with a 326 pound frame, he is going to receive a lot of attention when it comes to his future as an NFL left tackle.
-I saw a lot of disparity when it came to certain players in drills vs. what they looked like in live action. Sam Young (Notre Dame) looked great in drills. He kept his knees bent and his rear low while moving very quickly. However once he was put in to live action, he struggled to mirror the defensive ends. On the contrary, Mike Iupati (Idaho) was struggling with his technique from head to toe in drill work. He was constantly being corrected on his footwork and shoulder alignment but when he was put in the live action, he was completely overwhelming some very good defensive tackles.
-Ed Wang (Virginia Tech) was the worst of the group today. He certainly looks the part, but his feet are slow and heavy. On top of that, he constantly bends at the knees and he was often on the receiving end of some choice words from the Lions coaching staff.
TIGHT ENDS/WIDE RECEIVERS
-Garrett Graham (Wisconsin) appears to be the most NFL ready tight end among the three man group. He is a smooth athlete that showed some surprising power as a blocker. Mike Hoomanawanui (Illinois) does not look pretty, but he caught everything thrown his way. The 270 pounder enters the Senior Bowl with the reputation of being a strong blocker, but if he can continue to make the acrobatic catches he did today, he could move in to the middle rounds on draft day.
-There were not any receivers that stood out today. There were a couple things from Danario Alexander (Missouri) I liked however. While he did drop a couple of easy passes, he is a reliable target with big, soft hands. He is a tough runner with and if he can get in to open space, he is very hard to catch from behind.
-Ohio’s Taylor Price made the catch of the day on a go route where he tracked the ball well and used only one hands to haul it in over Ohio State’s Kurt Coleman.
-Really impressed by the athleticism showed by LeGarrette Blount (Oregon). He has arguably the most to gain of any player here, and he got off to a nice start. He showed some breakaway speed in space, but also some nice cutting ability.
-Tony Pike looked awkward to me at times. Granted he is coming from a system that always had him in the shotgun formation, but his throwing motion appeared to be all arm. Southpaw Sean Canfield (Oregon State) was throwing nice balls from start to finish. While he lacks the power on those ever-so-important deep outs, he is very precise. Similar to Chad Pennington in more ways than one.
-The first body I noticed belonged to Jared Odrick (Penn State). He is very well put together, strong frame from top to bottom. He was getting off the ball quicker than any of his fellow defensive linemen play in and play out. He jumps the snap and gets in to the blocker’s body in a blink. He then used his hands to get off the blocker and his ability to flow to the ball kept on disrupting the offense’s attempt at practicing their running game.
-Brandon Graham (Michigan) looks very small and stout. But he uses it to his advantage, as me makes himself even smaller to blockers and because of his immense strength, he too was always found in the opposing backfield.
-Sean Weatherspoon (Missouri) is a character. Being so close to the field, you can hear every word that comes out of his mouth. He is constantly yapping away, but he can back up his talk. He is a strong filler that plays downhill from the middle very effectively. He struggled to move laterally in tight space however, he downright looked silly on the outside at times.
-The top linebacker on the field was by far Daryl Washington (TCU). His speed is a force, as he appeared to be moving faster than most of the safeties on the field. He diagnoses well and gets going, true sideline-to-sideline linebacker that is in on a lot of action.
-AJ Edds (Iowa) appears to be the top cover linebacker on the team. At 245 pounds, Edds moves so smoothly in space. Excellent today in coverage against Graham.
-One cornerback stood out today as a man to man cover man. Kyle Wilson (Boise State) was sticking with wide recivers short, intermediate, and deep with ease. But the thing that really impressed me was his ability to track the ball better than the receiver. He showed nice timing on his breaks and came away with a couple interceptions that were up there on the difficulty scale.
-Terrell Skinner (Maryland) was on the wrong side of the coaching staffs frustrations. He was called out on more than once occasion for “not listening” and “doing what he wanted to do”.
Mike Iupati – G – Idaho
The dominance at the point of attack he showed this year in the WAC was put on display today against much better competition. I can see where he is considered raw technique-wise, but he is a gamer that can win pretty much any one-on-one battle that is placed in front of him.
Daryl Washington – LB – TCU
Played the weak side and middle today. Didn’t matter where he started, he was constantly ending near the ball. Big time speed here but plays with enough power to hold up in traffic.
Ed Wang – OT – Virginia Tech
Was being ridiculed for his lack of technique by the coaches, and it may have even been worse when he was up against the competition. Was beat in almost every way by almost every guy he was up against.
Dorin Dickerson – WR – Pittsburgh
Dickerson is struggling to find a position for the next level. Way too small for tight end, way too slow for wide receiver. He is not a fluid athlete and he could not get any separation today. And when he did have an opportunity to come down with the ball, he dropped one of the best passes of the day.
Keep up with David’s Senior Bowl reports on Twitter @NewEraSyvertsen