Senior Bowl Practice: Monday Observations

Even though he's not down in Mobile watching practice live,'s Scott Eklund did take the time to watch the 90 minutes of workouts on the NFL Network and here's what he saw and who he thought looked the best and who struggled...

The Stand-Outs

Boise State CB Kyle Wilson - I've watched a lot of his film and have been very impressed with his quickness and change of direction. He isn't a blazer, so he relies on good technique, quick hips and outstanding instincts. In today's practice he really broke on passes well and used his hands to go up and cause trouble for the receiver as they tried to haul the ball in. His size will scare some teams away, but he's definitely one of the top 10 corners available this year and he had an outstanding day from what I saw.

Massachusetts OL Vladimir Ducasse - Heading into this week, I had heard of him, but had never gotten to see much of Ducasse. Today, watching the one-on-one pass-rush drill, Ducasse showed well. On one of his first tries, he was beaten badly by Wisconsin's O'Brien Schofield. After a quick bit of coaching by Detroit Lions offensive line coach George Yarno, Ducasse used his outstanding athleticism to stop Schofield from getting to the QB. Ducasse has to get used to the athleticism, speed and skills of the top college guys this week and he'll take a while to get used to the pro game. However, there is no reason he can't end up being a late-round steal for whoever decides to take a shot at him. Because of his footwork and size (6-5, 320), he could play inside or outside, but I think he'd be a better fit outside.

Idaho OG Mike Iupati - He almost made my "Stand-Ins" list because of some early struggles in pass-protection. However, he redeemed himself later on stoning one of the top interior defensive linemen in the country -- Penn State's Jared Odrick. Iupati relies on size and strength to overwhelm his man, but at the next level he won't be able to do that. As the day went along he really seemed to focus on good technique and hand placement as well as his footwork and he was able to win the rest of his battles. Iupati is a late-first rounder in my book and should be a player you can put at left or right guard for the next 10 years and be successful.

Rutgers CB Devin McCourty - One of the top cover-men in the country, McCourty showed well in the one-on-ones. He gave a bit of a cushion on most routes, choosing to keep the play in front of him and then breaking on the pass. He's the ability to plant and drive on the ball and uses his outstanding recognition skills to make plays. He's some a blazer, but he has above-average speed and he's much more physical in both coverage and against the run. What you have to love about him is his abilities as a special teams player. He could go late in the first round, but I doubt he will be called before the start of the second round and if that happens, he'll be a huge value at any point thereafter.

California CB Syd'Quan Thompson - Having watched Thompson for the past four years, I've gotten to see him at his best and there's no doubt he'll be a big-time contributor wherever he ends up in the NFL. However, without great top-end speed, I see him as more of a cover-two corner prospect. He re-routes really well, even for a corner his size and he's great at reading and reacting. Another corner prospect without the sub-4.4 speed you're looking for and he's not real big, but he's physical and he's very confident in his abilities.

The Stand-Ins

Cincinnati WR MArdy Gilyard - - Gilyard really fought the ball today. He ran his routes well, but when the ball got there he seemed to struggle locating the ball and making a clean catch. Even when he did catch it, it wasn't clean and that allowed the DB to break on him and make the "tackle". He's very lean, so he needs to be better with his hands the rest of the week.

Oregon State QB Sean Canfield - Very questionable arm-strength was shown by Canfield today and that goes along with what we saw in the Beavers' bowl game where the winds were so strong that he just couldn't do much in the passing game. He seems to aim the ball more than just throwing it.

Arizona State OG Shawn Lauvao - Didn't anchor well at all today. Played a little too high and got pushed back on several one-on-one drills. He's got great upper-body strength, but his legs could use some work. He also seemed to get out of his stance a bit slow, allowing the defensive lineman lined up across from him to get penetration pretty easily. Top Stories