MOBILE, Ala. - It was a cool morning as the North squad returned to the field. Tuesday's first practice was much crisper than Monday afternoon's. Some players who struggled the day before stood out today.
The Kansas City Chiefs had a large contingency of scouts and coaches viewing the morning sessions, including President Carl Peterson. Some local kids really stood out again as the Big 12 had a strong showing. The offense was the talk of the morning session.
John David Booty (USC) - He was the surprise of the morning session and was far more comfortable in the pocket today. Booty connected on a long pass to Kansas State wide receiver Jordy Nelson and threw the short routes with accuracy, showing a much stronger arm than we had previously seen.
Joe Flacco (Delaware) – After looking like the top quarterback Monday, Flacco wasn't particularly strong this morning. He struggled to find sync with his wide receivers as he threw a lot of balls wide and off target. However, he did pull the ball down and run a couple of times, showing great pocket awareness. He is on Kansas City's radar and so is Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, despite the fact he came in twenty pounds under weight yesterday. I'll get to see him for the first time this afternoon.
John Sullivan (Notre Dame), – He was solid this morning, though he couldn't stop USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis (but neither could anyone else in one-on-one drills). Against lesser competition Sullivan was physical, however, and he had outstanding leverage and moved his feet very well.
Roy Schuening (Oregon State) – He's another big kid – 6-foot-4 and 310 pounds - with some upside. He was a bit overmatched at times but he never gave up on any play. He looks like the kind of player who has some strong upside. I was impressed with the way he moved his feet.
Gosder Cherilus (Boston College) – The Chiefs scouts were all over him after practice. He was solid at left tackle and has the kind of frame (6-foot-7) that helps in fending off any pass rusher. He plays a bit upright but he's very physical and has a mean streak that would be an asset to KC's offensive line.
Kirk Barton (Ohio State) – I wasn't sold on him prior to this draft but he did a solid job in drills. He's not as much of a tackle prospect as some think as he had trouble keeping his hands inside. Too often he would grab the pass rusher on the outside of his shoulder pads, and that's a sign he's not as strong as he needs to be.
Sam Baker (USC) – He showed a lot of quickness and great technique. He benefited from working against talented defensive lines throughout the year, and I think that might give him an advantage over a guy like Barton.
Carl Nicks (Nebraska) – Probably the best offensive lineman on the North squad. He has great instincts and is extremely physical. Nicks does an outstanding job using his hands and keeping them inside his body. After practice the Ravens, Browns, Jaguars and Jets were all trying to set up some personal face time. He might be available in the second round when the Chiefs are on the clock.
Adarius Bowman (Oklahoma State) – Finally the guy that lit up most Big 12 secondaries showed up today. He did fumble once after a nice reception, but his routes were sharp and crisp. I'm not sure what the problem was, but after Monday's practice I was worried about him. He redeemed himself Tuesday morning. Still, he wasn't attracting too many scouts after practice and that's not a good sign for a guy who hopes to be taken in the second round.
Jordy Nelson (Kansas State) – Had another solid showing today. He caught the long pass from Booty and ran great routes. A couple of scouts told me they were surprised by his speed. Warpaint Illustrated is going to follow Nelson every week through the NFL Draft and get his thoughts on the entire process.
Chris Johnson (East Carolina) –He stands a digit under six foot but has everything you want in a change of pace running back. He reminds me of Maurice Jones-Drew, only smaller. He's going to make one NFL team happy to draft him.
Karl Dorrell - As we first reported yesterday the Chiefs had thought they had Dorrell in the fold to become the new wide receivers coach, but the Miami Dolphins swooped in and made him a promise that he would be elevated to offensive coordinator after the 2008 season. He could not pass it up.
Eric Price - It appears UTEP offensive coordinator Eric Price is leaving the college ranks and will join KC's coaching staff as either the wide receivers coach or quarterbacks coach. It's not official yet but signs are pointing towards him joining the staff very soon.
Senior Bowl: Tuesday AM
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