Wednesday Practice Report

Apr. 22 -- UCLA had a light morning on Wednesday, with the team practicing without pads...

Alright, guys, get ready for this: Josh Rosen did not have a great day on Wednesday. In his first period of 11-on-11, he was 0 for his first 5 throws, and it seemed like his mechanics might have been a bit off, with throws either going a few yards in front or a few yards behind receivers. He figured it out and the latter half of his 11-on-11 series was good, and then he was very good during 1-on-1s, but he had a rough first five throws, so there you go.

It was actually a pretty light day. The players were without pads, with most of them in shorts or sweatpants, so there wasn't a whole lot to glean from it. One interesting note is that we saw Myles Jack taking reps at kick returner again, and he actually looks really good and natural there, as he does at most positions. Jack and Ishmael Adams were the only two players who took reps at kick returner.

Jaleel Wadood was among the injured on Wednesday, and we'll hear later in the week what happened to him. In his stead, Tahaan Goodman took reps with the ones at safety. Honestly, between Goodman and Nathan Meadors, we might be inclined to have Meadors as the next safety off the bench. He's probably had a better spring than Goodman, and given the relative difference in age, there might be more upside in giving Meadors more time.

Mossi Johnson also was among the injured again after making it back to practice on Monday. We think it's a fairly minor issue, likely hamstring, but we'll find out more later this week. Interestingly, Devin Fuller stayed mostly on the outside even with Johnson out of practice.

Nate Starks
Nate Starks and Paul Perkins both had nice runs during 11-on-11, but it's really difficult to assess too much from a padless practice where the offensive and defensive lines really aren't getting too physical with each other. Perkins and Starks both look really good physically, though, and seem poised to be a nice tandem this season.

Adarius Pickett had a few nice moments in one-on-ones, and he puts in a ton of effort at safety, but we still get the feeling he's a running back playing a position he's not perfectly suited for. Obviously, UCLA has a nice depth chart of running backs right now, but once Paul Perkins is gone (which could happen as soon as next season), we wouldn't be completely opposed to Pickett getting another shot on offense.

Myles Jack looked very good again during one-on-ones, and it's just freaky how well he's able to move at his size. We've written it so many times that it's a little boring to say, but he is probably among the top two or three cover guys on the team. He had one excellent rep against Thomas Duarte where he matched him step for step and then reacted to the ball so much quicker than Duarte that he was able to accelerate and bat it away.

Asiantii Woulard had a nice series of 7-on-7, looking good against the zone coverage. He's really made some strides this spring, and looks much more comfortable going against different coverages. He struggles more when there's a pass rush, but it's at least looking like he's developing as a player, which is nice to see. If we had to organize the depth chart right now, he'd probably be our No. 2 guy. It'd be ideal to get him reps at the ends of games just to get him used to game action so that if something happened to Josh Rosen, he'd have at least some of the comfort level necessary to start a game.

Mike Fafaul had another rough day, and it might simply be the case that he's suffering from a little bit of dead arm at the end of spring. Jerry Neuheisel was about the same as he has been most of the spring. He managed his series of 11-on-11 well, but he also threw a few ducks.

The receivers generally won the one-on-ones today. Darren Andrews has had a couple of nice practices over the last week, looking a little too quick to deal with. Fuller continued to work out mostly at outside receiver, and corners had a tough time staying with him. Fabian Moreau was about the only defensive back who put together a couple of nice reps. As we've said a few times, he's playing the ball a good deal better this spring than he did during the season last year.

UCLA switched up its kicking routine at the end of practice, starting with the deep kicks and finishing with the shorter ones. It seemed to be effective. From what we could tell, Ka'imi Fairbairn looked like he was a perfect 6-6, though, again, we didn't have the best angle. Stefan Flintoft was about as good, connecting on 4 of 6.

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