Michigan State LB Greg Jones' missed tackle on Tulsa RB Charles Clay showed his limitations and the concerns we have about him in the open field. He needs to do a better job of breaking down and taking better angles. He has not had a great week.
On the other hand, Alabama OT James Carpenter is off to a great start setting the edge in pass protection. He's light on his feet and showing good lateral agility. Carpenter had a very good week and is trying to put a bow on it with a strong game.
OC/OG Rodney Hudson is one of the most underrated players in this draft. He doesn't fit every scheme because he's undersized but teams that don't mind smaller blockers will like Hudson enough to consider him in the second- or early-third-round range. I've been a big fan of his since studying his 2009 tape last summer. He has quick feet, plays with great leverage and uses excellent technique to execute his assignments
Coming up big
Clemson DT Jarvis Jenkins and Baylor NT Phil Taylor are making the lives of the North offensive linemen miserable. Both players are better run stuffers than pass rushers but they've been using quick first steps and brute strength on bull rushes to collapse the pocket on several occasions
Miami's Leonard Hankerson has five catches for 100 yards and we still have five minutes of football remaining. He is clearly the best wide receiver on the field (and he was all week during practices). His route running is much improved from earlier in his career and his massive hands engulf the ball. He has shown the ability to make all the catches (in traffic, over his head, pluck on the run, adjusting to ball away from frame, etc.).
Making a name for himself
San Diego State WR Vincent Brown continues to help his draft stock with a strong showing. He lacks imposing size and has just average speed, but he knows how to separate and has great hands. Brown and Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi had a miscommunication on a third-down incompletion (it seems like Brown was supposed to break outside instead of inside), but those things are common in all-star games. Stanzi connected with Brown twice earlier on the drive. From a big-picture standpoint, Brown has shown NFL scouts and coaches that he's capable of contributing as a sub-package wideout in the NFL
Settling in nicely
Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi is settling into a grove in the second half. He has made three great throws on a fourth-quarter drive. The first throw, to WR Vincent Brown, had great timing and accuracy. His second throw was drilled into a tight window to TE Lance Kendricks. And his third throw had excellent timing and was a very catchable ball on a seam route by Brown. He completed six of his first nine throws. Where's the burst?
USC WR Ronald Johnson has not shown much big-play ability this week. He rarely flashed during practices and as seen on his third-quarter kickoff return, Johnson lacks initial burst and a second-gear in space.
Hold on to the ball
Washington QB Jake Locker has to do a better job with ball security. Mississippi State DEPernell McPhee did a good job to strip the ball but Locker needs to have that football secured. He lost a couple of fumbles during the week of practices and I've seen him get stripped at least three times (that I can remember off the top of my head) on tape during his career at Washington.
Breaking down Kaepernick
Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick is talented, but he needs a lot of work. He has the frame, great athleticism and a strong arm. He's also a great competitor and a winner, which you have to love at the QB position. But the inconsistent play in today's game is a good indicator of how much work he still needs. He comes from a Pistol offense at Nevada and doesn't have a lot of experience as a dropback passer. He is late diagnosing coverage and takes too long going through his progressions. He also has a long delivery, especially on throws outside the numbers and vertically. He's worth a mid-round pick for a team with time to develop him. It's a long-term project but the upside is clearly there with Kaepernick. It will be a project similar to Dennis Dixon (Steelers). Kaepernick doesn't have the durability concerns like Dixon had, though, which is one reason he should come off the board higher than Dixon did in 2008 (fifth round).
Miami LB Colin McCarthy is limited physically but he's an overachiever who uses great instincts to make plays. His tackle of Nebraska RB Roy Helu in the third quarter was a great example. He diagnosed the play quickly and took an excellent angle in pursuit. He loves playing this game and it shows in his motor. McCarthy will be a Day 3 pick but he's the type of player who hangs around the league for 6-8 years. He will need to contribute on special teams early in his career and that shouldn't be a problem. McCarthy has the right mentality and tackling skills to cover kicks.
Burney making plays
North Carolina CB Kendric Burney has played well today. He lacks size (as seen whenLeonard Hankerson boxed him out on his first catch of the second half) and top-end speed, which will keep him out of the first couple rounds of the draft. But he has shown good instincts -- throughout practices and in the game -- and he also has outstanding ball skills. He may turn out to be a solid nickel corner in the NFL.
Miller shows why he's best player here
Texas A&M's Von Miller showed discipline and open-field tackling skills with two tackles on the first drive of the second half. It's hard not to be impressed by how smoothly he is transitioning to OLB. He has been all over the field today versus the run and occasionally as an edge rusher. He is showing scouts that he not only has the physical tools but also the mental capacity to play different roles in multiple schemes. It is obvious that Miller is the best player on the field and he should be the first player drafted from this year's Senior Bowl.
Miami's Leonard Hankerson: Built on a great week showing solid hands and improved routes.
Arizona's Brooks Reed: Showed a non-stop motor and a quick first step. He was consistently causing problems as a pass rusher. Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan: An instinctive and tough player. He shows a quick first step and a wide variety of pass rushing moves. Florida State's Christian Ponder: He was efficient in his drops and got the ball out on time early in the game. Mississippi State's Derek Sherrod: Did a nice job in pass pro as well as moving defenders off the ball in the run game.
Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan used a great spin move to make a sack. He may not be an explosive or gifted athlete, but he sets up blockers well and brings it play in and play out. He's had a good week and is making an impact in this game.
No love for Love
Arkansas OT Demarcus Love is limited athletically and struggles with speed rushers. He is not playing with great balance and really struggled on that last series. He might have to transition to guard at the next level and appears to be a mid-round selection at this point.
Reed keeping good week going
Arizona DE Brooks Reed had a tremendous week and showed a quick first step off the edge and the ability to bend the edge. He's relentless and shows good suddenness. He's played standing up and with his hand in the dirt and Reed displayed enough athleticism to transition to a rush end in a 3-4 if need be as well. He did a great job of freezing Boston College OT Anthony Castonzo before gaining the edge to secure a sack.
Hooked on Brown
Texas DB Curtis Brown has excellent feet and instincts. He displayed both those qualities on the pass breakup on the quick slant to Vincent Brown. He has some limitations in terms of top-end speed and hips in the open field, but he could make a solid cover-2 CB.
Boling coming up big
Georgia G Clint Boling had a good week and showed nice awareness on the screen play to West Virginia RB Noel Devine. He found the defender and peeled back for the block. Boling has shown good inline power and nice awareness all week, especially in the open field where he has done a great job of adjusting on the move to cover up targets. He's made himself some money this week.
What McElroy brings to the table
Alabama QB Greg McElroy has limitations in overall skill set, but he is a coach's dream. He's NFL ready in terms of drops, mechanics and going through progressions. He just understands the game. However, lack of arm strength and overall tools will cause him to drop.
McCarthy making waves
Miami LB Colin McCarthy made a nice stop on a quick screen to Vincent Brown. McCarthy is limited athletically and doesn't have elite range, but he has outstanding instincts and a nose for the ball. He will bring great value early on Day 3.
A Bulldog is barking
Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod is using his big frame and long arms (longest at the game 35½ inches) to handle Ryan Kerrigan off the edge so far. He did a nice job of riding him past the pocket one time, while anchoring against his power move another time. Sherrod has some limitations with lateral agility, but he does show the frame strength and balance to become an effective RT at the next level.
North's tough series
Couple thoughts on the North's last series:
Colorado OT Nate Solder overset and allowed Texas DE Sam Acho to beat him inside, which was very uncharacteristic for a guy who has such good feet. He did not show great balance there. Washington QB Jake Locker missed high again. He is not showing the accuracy to stick the ball in tight windows that we had anticipated seeing. Clemson's DeAndre McDanieldelivered a big hit on Boise State WR Titus Young and showed the physical presence he can bring down the middle of the field. He is tight but displays above-average instincts and excellent ball skills. Quick hits
Kentucky RB Derrick Locke is showing good vision and the quickness to find and hit the hole. He did a nice job of seeing and utilizing his blocks on a fourth-down run.
Baylor OL Danny Watkins did a great job of sealing Notre Dame's Ian Williams on the inside to open up a hole on that fourth-down run. Aside from the holding call earlier this drive, he had a great week and really helped himself. He's now a solid second-round pick.
Miami's Leonard Hankerson continues to stand out. He ran a great route and did a nice job of dropping his weight and gathering at the top of the stem before quickly finding the ball and securing it for a TD.