Tim Yotter's Pick : Florida State QB E.J. Manuel
During Monday's initial practice for the Senior Bowl's South squad, former Florida State QB E.J. Manuel looked, in a word, lost. He didn't step into throws and wasn't close to as accurate as he needs to be.
"It was very up-tempo. It really wasn't a surprise. I knew it was going to be like that," Manuel said of Monday's practice. "I felt pretty comfortable (Monday), but obviously today I really got my nose into the playbook. We put a lot more new plays in compared to what we did (Monday). I just studied and it worked out well for me today."
On Tuesday, Manuel was sharp with his play-action fakes, put the ball on the money, even if he wasn't always helped by his receivers dropping on-target passes, and showed a much better sense of timing for different routes. He was hitting on a variety of routes to the outside and in the middle of the field, dropping back and while sprinting out.
Jamie Newberg's Pick: Florida OL Xavier Nixon
Nixon bounced back from a poor outing on Monday with a much better day on Tuesday, day two of the Senior Bowl practices. This is a kid with a lot of natural ability, great feet and very good size (6-5/314) and length. Nixon looked noticeably better in one on one drills against some very good defensive end competition.
John Garcia Jr.'s Pick: Oklahoma OL Lane Johnson
It's not so much about him performing bad on Monday and getting better Tuesday, but Oklahoma offensive lineman Lane Johnson was arguably the best offensive lineman on either roster Tuesday. He was solid before, but really focused on his pass-blocking today with sterling results. He proved strong with his punches on the edge ,all with a good base to neutralize some of the South Team's best pass-rushers. He then showcased his run-blocking ability during the team drills en route to a day that helped his draft stock.
Lindsey Thiry's Pick: Michigan WR Denard Robinson
Michigan's Denard Robinson draws the biggest media crowd after practice and fans can be spotted around Ladd Peebles Stadium sporting the former Wolverines quarterback's No. 16 jersey. Though spectators have come to expect great things from Robinson, this week he's taken a few steps backward. Actually, it's more of a backward leap. Robinson is working out as a receiver at the Senior Bowl, looking to be drafted as such in April. On day one of practice his lack of experience at the position showed. He had trouble getting off the line on time, keeping both feet in bounds, and even struggled to catch the ball. While day two by no means found Robinson as a standout, he did show marked improvement from the first practice. The drops were fewer, he appeared to get off the line better, and his feet were having an easier time staying inside the lines. It was a positive sign for Robinson who appears to be as athletically gifted as most players on the field this week, but simply lacks the experience his competition has.
Bill Huber's Pick: Harding University LB Ty Powell
This is the biggest week of Ty Powell's football life. Powell was a second-team All-American in Division II after tallying 15 tackles for losses, 8.5 sacks and four blocked kicks as a senior defensive end. An under-the-radar outside linebacker prospect, he got the opportunity of a lifetime when he was added to the Senior Bowl's North roster on Sunday. He was limited to spectator status on Monday before lacing up his shoes for Tuesday's full-pads practice. He's getting every opportunity to impress as one of just four healthy linebackers on the team with Kansas State's Arthur Brown and Connecticut's Trevardo Williams sidelined and Ohio State's John Simon not even on the field. During a one-on-one pass-rushing drill, Powell used a quick outside move to beat Harvard fullback Kyle Juszczyk and a swim move to beat Fresno State running back Robbie Rouse. He also was held by Western Kentucky tight end Jack Doyle.
On the Rebound: Day 2 Senior Bowl Turnarounds
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