Senior Bowl: South Team Practice Report Day Three

Another good practice from the South team coached by the Washington Redskins staff. Lets get right to my notes from what I saw on NFL Network on day three of practice for the South team.

  • There were some really good and interesting battles going on between the corners and wide receivers in one on one drills. First guy I took note of was corner Janoris Jenkins of North Alabama (after transferring from Florida). Jenkins reminded me a lot of DeAngelo Hall. He was constantly looking to break on the ball, and initially against Texas A&M receiver Jeff Fuller, he looked good. But then they started running post and go routes at him. Dwight Jones of North Carolina ran a post which Jenkins squatted on - meaning he waited for the receiver to make his break so he could then jump it. Jones made a cut, but it was to the post and ran right past him. Jenkins got lucky it was overthrown. Jenkins then squatted on Fuller on a go route, Fuller ran past him and beat him deep (about the only play Fuller made all day).
  • Dwight "Bill" Bentley, the small school corner from Louisiana-Lafayette who we commented on yesterday continued to impress. He looked solid in press-man coverage getting physical at the line of scrimmage, but had the ability to flip his hips and run with the receiver as well. They ran a double move at him, he nearly got his feet tied up, but managed to recover and kept up with the receiver.
  • Sticking with corners, Brandon Boykin from Georgia looked very good. He was all over Fuller when matched up against him, and managed to break up a pass to Jones on a quick comeback where it looked like Jones had boxed him out of it.
  • Dwight Jones had a few up and down plays today. He's a slow accelerator, but if you let him get to speed he can run past you, just ask Jenkins.
  • Juron Criner had another good day. He had one particular deep route where he shielded the defender away from the ball allowing it to drop over his shoulder without the defender being able to make a play, unfortunately the ball was overthrown.
  • Moving onto the lineman one on one drills, and I felt the offensive lineman in general got better from yesterday. They definitely held their own today, whereas the likes of Courtney Upshaw and Melvin Ingram were all over them. That being said, Florida State's Zebrie Sanders saw time at right tackle and struggled initially with Upshaw on a couple rushes, but managed to re-anchor. Ingram was all over him.
  • Will Blackwell, the interior offensive lineman from LSU had one very good block at left guard on Melvin Ingram. Ingram used his speed to get outside, but Blackwell ran him past where the quarterback would have been.
  • Another interior offensive lineman, Baylor's Philip Blake took some snaps at center and generally did a pretty good job.
  • The outstanding offensive lineman of the day for me was undoubtedly Cordy Glenn from Georgia. Glenn say snaps at right guard and tackle yesterday and I slightly over looked him. But today he went up at left tackle against all the big name pass rushers, Upshaw, Ingram and Quinton Couples, and was very rarely beat. He displayed his long arms and was good at getting an initial punch, then getting his hands on the opponent. Mike Mayock said his notes on Glenn from watching tape were that he "understands zone concepts" and that he should be a "right tackle or right guard at the next level because of his feet". He then said he would have to review his notes with more tape after today. Glenn is a big body at 6'5", 346 pounds, which doesn't traditionally translate to a zone blocking scheme, but it will be interesting to see how Glenn turns out during the pre-draft process.
  • The South team finished with offense against defense. A guy that continues to catch the eye is running back/receiver/kick returner Chris Rainey from Florida. The saying 'speed kills' is very relevant when talking about Rainey. A former track star, Rainey has stated that he thinks he could run in the 4.1's in the 40 yard dash at the combine, something that hasn't happened since Deion Sanders. An NFL Network reporter noted that Rainey is extremely efficient when he's running, every motion is streamlined. Rainey caught the eye on a slugo (slant and go) route that got him eight to ten yards open deep, but quarterback Ryan Lindley from San Diego State missed him. Rainey has already drawn comparison to Darren Sproles, a guy that can run with speed, can catch out of the backfield, or could line up in the slot. Just find a way to get him the ball in space and he'll light it up.
  • Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden again looked comfortable and composed, showing pretty good arm strength and accuracy. Weeden is clearly the best quarterback in Mobile for me, and I think he'll probably work his way up to the second round before draft day (at worst early third). From a Redskins point of view, I noticed Weeden and Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan appeared to get along really well, I saw a few clips of them together laughing and smiling while Kyle gave Weeden the play. Kyle looked a lot more serious with Foles and Lindley from what I saw. Also another thing I picked up on - and maybe I'm reading too much into this - was that Criner, Rainey and Weeden all saw time on field together. Every time I saw Weeden come in on offense against defense, Rainey and Criner also came in. Yesterday, JimmyK told us how he saw Redskins scouts talking to both Criner and Rainey. Again, I could be (and probably am) reading too much into it, it could just be that they are all listed as starters on Saturday. But I thought I would share a few things I had picked up on.
  • Now once again I'll throw it over to Steve, in Mobile, for his take on what he saw during the South team practice (remember you can see his full report on his site here)

    -QB Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State: Weeden continued to separate himself from the other South quarterbacks. He’s not perfect out there, but his instincts appear to be the best. I also get the sense that he has the best internal clock of getting rid of the ball.

    -QB Nick Foles, Arizona: I thought Foles was better today, but still not as good as Monday’s practice. He threw behind receivers on a couple of occasions and continues to struggle at throwing to a spot as opposed to an open receiver.

    -QB Ryan Lindley, San Diego State: Lindley’s cannon is unquestionable, but at times it seems like his nickname should be ‘Wild Thing’. The ball sails a lot on him.

    -WR Joe Adams, Arkansas: Adams is lightening fast and changes direction really well. He ran some nice crisp routes I thought, and had a strong practice overall.

    -RB Vic Ballard, Miss. State: Ballard showcases a real nice burst and hits the hole hard. He’s always keeping his legs churning. I was really impressed with his form in blitz pick-up drills. He stonewalled a number of top LB’s.

    -RB Terrance Ganaway, Baylor: Runs really well, but was completely lost in blitz pick-up. He did everything wrong, lunged, lowered his head, didn’t set his feet, etc.

    -C Ben Jones, Georgia: Jones is really struggling at both guard and center, not impressed with his anchor at all. He was allowing pressure in under 2 seconds at times. He also missed an assignment badly in team drills.

    -T/G Jeff Allen, Illinois: Allen looked really good today, especially when asked to play inside. He could still be a RT long term, but versatility is huge for his draft status. He finished a number of blocks and pancaked Coples at one point.

    -T Matt McCants, UAB: McCants gets better with every practice, but he still loses too many battles to the South’s pass rushers.

    -DE Melvin Ingram, South Carolina: His quickness off the snap is apparent on every play, and it really causes a number of linemen to struggle to contain him.

    -DE Malik Jackson, Tennessee: Jackson was a late add, but he is making the most of his opportunity. He generated a number of pressures today, and looked nearly as good as the ‘big 3′ at the defensive end position. Also showed a real good work ethic and was complimented at least once by the D-line coach.

    As I said, don't forget to check out Steve's full report here, and continue to check back in with his site Fanspeak.com for more Senior Bowl updates. Also you can check out his NFL Draft Page for more details and updates throughout the draft season.

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