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Senior Bowl Standouts: Defense

Several defenders had trouble curbing their enthusiasm during Day 1 at the Senior Bowl.

Defensive line

Nobody showed better among the defensive linemen than Michigan DL Chris Wormley on Day 1 of Senior Bowl practices. He was a terror at the snap of the ball, routinely beating slower offensive linemen. He is adept at splitting double teams, as his quick first step gets him in position early to do that.

Auburn’s Montravius Adams wasn’t far behind for the South squad. He doesn’t always lock out, allowing blockers to get into his body, but he has AAA quickness, a good swim move and displayed some power to complement that. For those looking for interior pass rushers, he was the standout on Tuesday.

Texas A&M DE Daeshon Hall can get moved off the ball too easily in the run game and will likely need to add bulk to his 6-foot-6, 260-pound frame, but he is a quick pass rusher off the edge with a good spin move.

UCLA DT Eddie Vanderdoes is only 6-3, but he is 325 and doesn’t play heavy. He is good at splitting double teams and showed some solid handwork on the interior to break free.

At 6-1, USC DT Stevie Tu'ikolovatu is the shortest lineman at the Senior Bowl, but he used that to hold his leverage and has good hand movement to try to keep longer offensive linemen with a bigger reach off of him and knows how to extend his arms to help with that as well. He stays low, holds his position and has some aggression and nastiness to him.

Iowa DT Jaleel Johnson doesn’t seem to have a lot of pass-rushing moves, but he can still find ways to get penetration, using angles to his advantage. He is also good at following the action down the line.


It’s not easy for linebackers to standout when it’s a day in shells (helmets, shoulder pads and shorts) with limited contact. But linebackers are linebackers for a reason and several were able to make standout plays over the course of the day.

Florida’s Alex Anzalone and Michigan’s Ben Gedeon were almost clones at the position.

Anzalone met every ball carrier going up the middle with an audible pop of the helmet and shoulder pads, followed by the cries of “Stay Up! Stay Up!” from the coaches who don’t want the players to tackle all the way to the ground, curbing some of the aggression.

Likewise, Gedeon was in on virtually every tackle when the North went 11-on-11. Like Anzalone, Gedeon looked like a rabid, shall we say Wolverine, itching for more contact.

Haason Reddick of Temple also showed well on the day. Listed at 6-1 and 230 pounds, he was eye to eye with Gedeon, who is listed at 6’3, so we’ll have updated heights and weights this week.

Reddick was smooth like a defensive back in his agility work, but he attacked like one might expect out of a linebacker.

Defensive Backs

Safety John Johnson of Syracuse had a standout day for the North team. He was solid in his back-pedal, flipped his hips well in coverage, high-pointed passes well, and looked to be a fluid athlete combined with great instincts.

At corner, it was a White out as Marquez White of Florida State and Tre'Davious White of LSU were the two standouts. The Whites may have had something to do with the inaccuracy of the quarterbacks of the South. The North didn’t have corners that played at that same level on Day 1.

Scott Kennedy contributed to this report.

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