MOBILE, Ala. – Some thoughts from the third and, for all intents and purposes, final day of practices here at the Senior Bowl.
Starting tonight and through tomorrow morning, NFL personnel will scatter across the country since the most intense practices are over and all their interviews are done with the prospects.
Some impressions from today’s two sessions:
- At QB, another good day from Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick and another up and down day from Jake Locker. I didn’t watch a ton of college football this year – especially from the Pac 10 – so I don’t know if Locker is always this inaccurate or perhaps he’s working on some things that are throwing his rhythm out of whack. Just doesn’t look very comfortable. The ball comes out of Christian Ponder’s hands very nicely and effortlessly. But the FSU QB makes some questionable reads
- The more I see of Nebraska WR Niles Paul, the more I like. Catches some tough balls.
- Boise State WR Titus Young got some looks at kick returner today and showed more of the explosion we’ve seen at WR. Very intriguing at 5-11, 174.
- Boston College OT Anthony Costanzo had his best day of the week. Was solid with everything he did. Very comfortable. Seems to have moved ahead of Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi.
- Impressive Iowa DE Christian Ballard (6-4, 288) got some looks out of a two-point stance and showed some promise as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Good player.
- Cal DE Cameron Jordan (6-4, 287) wasn’t terrific but he’s still one of the best players on either squad. I’ll have more on him and some others in a story for Friday’s paper.
- Still getting mixed reports on scouts on Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan. Some think he can play 3-4 OLB with some more work – he said he’s trying to improve the flexibility in his hips to help in coverage – others think he’s just a 4-3 end in the Aaron Kampman mold.
- Most scouts think Boston College LB Mark Herzlich won’t be the pass rusher he looked like earlier in his college career. Not a great week for him.
- I was blown away by Clay Matthews when he was here two years ago and was similarly impressed with younger brother Casey. But everyone agrees the younger Matthews is a completely different player than his brother and will be an inside linebacker. I don’t put anything past those Matthews boys, though. Just like two years ago, Casey Sr. and brother Bruce have been in a fixture in Mobile all week.
- Mississippi State OT Derek Sherrod looked much better today. Better balance.
- Hearing some good buzz on Baylor OL Danny Watkins (6-3 ½, 312). Strong and doesn’t move very easily.
- Arizona DE/OLB Brook Reed dropped into coverage more today and did fine. Good athletic ability.
- Baylor DL Phil Taylor (6-3 ½, 337) is just one of several solid DE prospects on the South squad. One college scouting director told me there are a ton of 3-4 DEs in this year’s draft and a team like the Patriots should be able to get them up and down the draft. Key is targeting the guys that show a knack for rushing the passer. Taylor is tough to handle.
- Texas A&M LB Von Miller looks like the real deal in any scheme. He’s 6-2 ½, 237 right now but should be able to get over 250. He’s by far the best player here and I’m sure Bill Belichick could find a way to make use of his great pass rush. From what I’m hearing, the Patriots learned a little bit by passing on Matthews, who didn’t quite fit what they were looking for at the time. They’d probably be more willing to take a physical risk this year.
- Mississippi State OLB K.J. Wright (6-3, 246) has long arms and looks the part. I’m told he has a high ceiling and that’s he’s far from a polished prospect. Would take coaching well and needs it.
- Texas CB Curtis Brown is one of the few guys here worth a look.
We’ll have much more on Senior Bowl week in Friday’s paper, and also in Sunday’s NFL notes.