North Defense Practice Reports: Final

TFY Draft Preview finished evaluating each player on the North squad's defense down in Mobile. Here's their Thursday notes and final analysis of each player's practice performance during Senior Bowl week.

Victor Abiamiri/Notre Dame Ht: 6044  Wt:  271
33 1/2  Hand: 10 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: Gets upfield very well for a player of his size with great reaction to the ball. Does not move very well laterally against the run.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Athletic prospect who shows the ability to change directions well. Dips his shoulder off the edge in his pass rush. Does struggle to get off of blocks when engaged and needs to be quicker on his counter moves in his pass rush. Some teams have inquired about him possibly being a 34 outside linebacker.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Athletically looks the part but had a quiet day. Part of the reason is because he struggled to get off of blocks. Change of direction during pass rush drills was not as stellar as was perceived during yesterday's practice.
Thursday Practice Notes: In pass rushing situation, Abiamiri does not posses the greatest initial moves but did an especially nice job on his countermoves today. One mental breakdown did allow a back to break contain to make a big run to the outside during inside drill.
Analysis: Physically there are not many who are on Abiamiri's level. One of the more impressive looking prospects down in Mobile, his overall play was not as stellar. Inconsistent in many areas of his game as the week progresses, especially struggling with getting off blocks at times. Some teams are looking at him as a possible 34 outside linebacker. A talented prospect who will likely go higher than his play would indicate.
Adam Carriker/Nebraska Ht: 6057  Wt:  292
33  Hand:  9 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: Long arms, but more of a power player at this point in time. Good reaction in the backfield, and rides the hips of defenders well. Needs to find a home between DE and DT.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Arguably the most consistent player among both sides of the lines today. Strong at the point of attack, reads plays very well, uses his long arms well, and even showed some ability to get to the quarterback. Even registered one practice tackle for loss. Does need to fight through trash a little better.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Consistently stellar. Does all the little things rights. Today for example, he is one of the few players who sets up their pass rush moves with an effective initial club. The one area which could improve as this week continues is his overall ability to the get the quarterback, which he has shown an ability to do but is not a premiere pass rusher. Coach Gruden even pointed out Carriker as one of the most impressive on the field during yesterday's press conference.
Thursday Practice Notes: Plays under control at all times. The on area this does hurt him slightly is in his pass rush where he was emphatically told by coaches to finish. Again displayed nice hand play overall.
Analysis: Stellar week of practice and likely raised his stock into the late first round area. Strong at the point of attack, very disciplined, uses his hands and reads plays well; the monster defensive end who just does all the little things right. Carriker is a rare defensive end prospect physically who will be especially attractive to 34 based squads.
Jay Moore/Nebraska Ht: 6045  Wt:  276
32   Hand:  9 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: Guessed a little too much throughout the day on snap counts. When he was on, he was in the backfield. When he was not, easily stopped at the line. His reaction time is subpar.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Another defensive end that showed multiple moves in his pass rush, some athleticism off the edge; but struggled to get off of blocks. One area where he excelled is being very disciplined much like his Nebraska counterpart.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Very quick off the ball but continues to struggle shedding blocks. Even with his quickness, Moore simply did not bring anything on contact. If allowed to move laterally or "run the ring" in his pass rush, then he can make plays; otherwise he has struggled.
Thursday Practice Notes: Played high most of the day and is a bit stiff in the hips. Also did not bring his feet with his pass rush moves and could be a very good reason why he is almost always caught up in blocks. Will work to chop a lineman's hands on initial contact though.
Analysis: The constant question rose all week, "Can he get off a block?" The answer for the most part was no. Moore is very talented physically but just does not play to the level of his athleticism. Will likely make a squad as a special teamer and situational pass rusher.
Anthony Spencer/Purdue Ht: 6024  Wt:  266
32 3/4   Hand:  10
Monday Practice Notes: Shows an inconsistent effort. Looks more comfortable playing downhill than in space. More powerful than quick, but wants to use his quickness on the backside of the line. Once he learns this, he could be a good one this week.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Solid day. Showed some speed off the edge and was able to set up his moves in pass rushing situations. Against both the run and pass showed a competency to get off of blocks.
Wednesday Practice Notes: More of a pass rusher than a run stuffer. Exhibited the ability to stay skinny in his pass rush as well as major quickness off the edge. Against the run he will give effort coming off low and getting underneath the pads of taller linemen.
Thursday Practice Notes: Really did a fantastic job using his speed rush today. Got to the quarterback on a consistent basis. Also exhibits a nice change of direction in drills.
Analysis: The best pure pass rusher down in Mobile. Spencer displayed the ability to get to the quarterback for a multiple of reasons. He comes off the ball with a quick first step; he exemplified many moves, and can keep lineman's hands off of himself. 34 based teams were especially intrigued with this prospect all week as a possible outside linebacker in their system.
LaMarr Woodley/Michigan Ht: 6013  Wt:  269
34 1/4   Hand:  10
Monday Practice Notes: Loves to use his upper body strength almost exclusively, and with his sheer muscle he can get away with it. As a result, he can play high and get pushed back some, but his reaction and hand quickness is excellent.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Did not practice today due to a tweaked hamstring which occurred very early in warmup drills.
Analysis: Draft stock took a major hit.
Brandon Mebane/California Ht: 6010  Wt:  304
32 1/2   Hand:  10
Monday Practice Notes: Quick hands, plays low off the ball, powerful lower body, and could be a two-gap player in the right places. Very good work ethic.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Excelled in passing situations, but struggled against the run. Has nice hands and quickness off the snap and gave some of the interior offensive linemen fits in passing drills. Needed to hold his ground better against the run overall. Looked very much like a one gap defensive tackle today.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Easily the best player on the field today for the North squad. A complete disruptive force which was barely slowed down, let alone stopped at any time. Did all this as a one technique. Fired off the ball hard, used his hands well, and shed blocks. Registered a handful of practice tackles for loss. The single knock from today's practice was his inability on a couple of occasions to anchor on downblocks.
Thursday Practice Notes: After a stellar performance yesterday, struggled some today. Gave up the chest too often and was controlled by opposing linemen because of it. Again showed some nice spin moves in his pass rush.
Analysis: An enigma throughout week. One day he was quiet and did not look especially impressive, the next he was the best player on the field. The question as to whether he is better suited as a one gap penetrator or a two gap defensive tackle was raised most of the week. By all indications, Mebane would excel in a defense where he is allowed to be a disruptive force in a one gap system.
Amobi Okoye/Louisville Ht: 6020  Wt:  287
34   Hand:  10 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: Has a great swim move playing over the center, but leaves his body open for blocking as he uses his hands. Want to see him add a little weight to play nose.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Fires off the ball low and hard and is very quick off of the snap. Really gave some of the interior blocks fits at times this morning. But if he does not beat his man initially he can be overwhelmed at the point of attack especially playing as a 1 technique.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Again, really was coming off the ball at the snap. Despite his perceived lack of size at this point; Okoye really fought against pressure quite well this morning. His initial pass rush moves are effective but needs to work on improving his counters after contact. Did register a practice sack.
Thursday Practice Notes: Impressively quick off the snap for most of the day. Is especially agile in short area drills. Also proved to be athletic enough to be the middle wedge on first team kick return.
Analysis: The most talked about prospect throughout the week. There was an audible buzz among scouts about this physical freak. Fired off the ball so low and hard all week he was a pain for opposing offensive linemen to block. At just nineteen years old, Okoye is still a little inconsistent and will obviously need development; but is an intriguing enough prospect based on potential to be a legit first round prospect.
Dave Patterson/Ohio St. Ht: 6017  Wt:  274
32   Hand:  10 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: Best motor on the team, he never stops. Plays very wide and can take on double teams well keeping his ground. Can get to the backfield quickly as he loves to shoot the gaps.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Again, showed the best motor on the field. Works against pressure and just does not stop. Though at times he can be erratic and that same persistence can get him out of position. Also struggled in pass rushing drills with his overall lack of moves.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Not only does Patterson work his tail off, but he is a fighter. He will not give up on a play. Granted at times today he never gave up on a play, but he was driven outside of his lane. Was pushed off the ball by doubles at times today. Also needs to learn to finish his pass rush moves for them to be most effective.
Thursday Practice Notes: Lot of bluster without much performance. Displays a competency for multiple moves in his pass rush, but rarely follows through on said moves thus proving to be ineffective.
Analysis: If there were an award given to the player who works the hardest during practice, Patterson would receive this award. Unfortunately for Patterson there is no such award and his work ethic did not reflect his overall play. Coming in smaller than expected, Patterson was pushed around a bit and played a little undisciplined in his responsibilities. A mid to late round prospect who was not hurt by this week, but was not exactly helped either.
Quinn Pitcock/Ohio St. Ht: 6023  Wt:  301
32   Hand:  9 3/4 
Monday Practice Notes: Plays smaller than 300 pounds, wants to do too much in too little space. Still, has the potential to be a great one.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Corrected by the staff on multiple occasions for not being able to split double teams. Simply does not dip the shoulder to break through them. Does use his hands well in pass rushing situation though. Very strong at the point of attack and was able to reestablish the line of scrimmage on multiple occasions.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Really struggled with the change of direction drills early in practice. Allowed linemen to turn his shoulders to the play. Pass rush skills are marginal. Will get stuck on blocks and cannot get off of them. Did have one nice place in team which stood out as he burst through the line with a practice tackle for loss.
Thursday Practice Notes: Was much quicker off the ball today especially in pass rush drills when he was allowed to pin his ears back. Also used quite a few second moves to counter offensive lineman. Solid day.
Analysis: Did not see the first round potential which was expected. Pitcock improved as the week progressed but did struggle quite a bit along the way. Fired off the ball well, but just could not get off of blocks at times. Obviously strong as a bull and could be starter from day one, just did not flash the talent in which he was billed.
David Harris/Michigan Ht: 6022  Wt:  239
32 1/2  Hand:  9 3/8
Monday Practice Notes: A powerful player who diagnoses plays quickly and shows power in taking on blockers. He fails to distinguish himself in coverage.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Looked really strong at the point. Also showed good footwork in pass-cover drills though he rarely made any plays on the ball in scrimmage. Showed a lot of range and covered a good amount of area in scrimmage which is a big positive.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Around the ball a lot, though he did not make many plays. Again showed good range and covered a nice amount of area on the field.
Thursday Practice Notes:
Analysis: Looked solid all week and gave scouts more than they expected. Showed better-than-advertised skill in coverage and was very strong at the point.
H.B. Blades/Pittsburgh Ht: 5106  Wt:  237
31 5/8  Hand:  10 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: He is powerful at the point of attack and shows soft hands in coverage. He is very aggressive, but can be too aggressive and run himself out of plays.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Stout and built strong. Looked fluid in drills and was around the ball a lot in scrimmage. Not really quick or explosive for a "smaller" linebacker.
Wednesday Practice Notes:
Thursday Practice Notes: Again- is able to stay on his feet and get to the play but really shows limited speed to the flanks. Beaten on several occasions to the sidelines on running plays.
Analysis: Size is a limiting factor and Blades does not play with much speed. Yet one could see he has a good understanding of what's happening on the field. Solidified himself as a first day pick.
Stewart Bradley/Nebraska Ht: 6035  Wt:  256
32 3/4  Hand:  9 7/8
Monday Practice Notes: Has stiff hips and looks uncomfortable playing in space.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Solid day. Big, strong athlete who played that way. Took on and shed blocks. Did a much better job that expected in pass coverage. Lacks the great change of direction but his smarts and ability to diagnose the action helped him make up for it.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Consistently left a trail of blockers in his wake as he moved towards the action. Stout against the run all morning. Shows marginal speed to the sidelines and struggled cutting off the flanks from ball carriers.
Analysis: Looked big and strong then played that way in every practice. Has limitations in coverage but will be sought out by 3-4 teams late in round two.
Prescott Burgess/Michigan Ht: 6031  Wt:  246
33 1/4  Hand:  10
Monday Practice Notes: He diagnoses plays quickly, maintains good position and shows soft hands when given the opportunity. He is not physical enough at the point of attack.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Solid in run defense and did an adequate job in coverage. Looks strong and plays that way.
Wednesday Practice Notes: More active today making a lot of plays against the run and pass. Does get caught out of position and at times looks stiff but worked hard.
Analysis: Very inconsistent all week. At times forced the action in run defense and did a solid job against the pass yet would disappear for stretches or get caught out of position.
Kevin McLee/West Virginia Ht: 5116  Wt:  239
31 1/4  Hand:  8 3/4
Monday Practice Notes: Is aggressive and shows good speed as an edge rusher. He is a fluid player who is comfortable turning and running with receivers downfield, but looks unnatural catching the football.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Struggled right from the get go. Did not look quick at all during drills and looked even tighter in coverage during scrimmage. Has difficulty trying to shed blocks.
Wednesday Practice Notes: To his credit McLee has given great effort all week but he does not have the speed or strength to hold up. Was beaten several times to the flanks by ball carriers or pass catchers and consistently blocked from the action.
Analysis: Struggled all week but showed enough toughness to be taken in the late round and be used as a special teams ace.
Paul Posluszney/Penn St. Ht: 6012  Wt:  237
32 1/4  Hand:  9 5/8
Monday Practice Notes: He is physical and aggressive with excellent footwork. He never quits on a play but struggles to sift through the garbage inside.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Strong, stout and intelligent but did not show much ability outside the box. Forced the action up the field and made a lot of plays against the run but really struggled in reverse. Several times he was beaten by Scott Chandler in scrimmage and could not cover the tight end off the line.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Did a great job against the run today. On several occasions he over ran blocks by bigger linemen and got to the ball. Very intelligent as well. Struggled a bit in pass coverage though not as much as yesterday.
Analysis: Looked like an enforcer in the box and made a lot of plays up the field. Showed terrific intelligence as well as strength. Has limitations in coverage which will hurt his stock.
Leon Hall/Michigan Ht: 5110  Wt:  193
32  Hand:  9 1/4 
Monday Practice Notes: He is a smooth player with good deep speed, soft hands and the willingness to attack the ball at its highest point. He can be fooled with double-moves and doesn't always get his head around when the ball is in the air.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Has great hands and becomes a receiver once the ball is in the air. He lacks elite speed and although he can maintain tight coverage, he does so only sporadically.
Wednesday Practice Notes: His techniques is impressive; he has terrific footwork and the speed to run stride for stride with receivers downfield. He diagnoses plays quickly and has great anticipation, then becomes a receiver once the ball is in the air. He needs to be more consistent in playing up to his abilities.
Thursday Practice Notes: Got beaten deep a few times in practice.
Analysis: Is an athletic player who needs to improve his consistency. He has the ability to shadow receivers downfield but sometimes gets caught guessing. He becomes a receiver once he locates the ball in the air but needs to get his head around faster.
Daymeion Hughes/California Ht: 5101  Wt:  192
31 3/8  Hand:  8 3/4
Monday Practice Notes: Has terrific speed and suddenness. He is a fluid and aggressive who attacks the ball and breaks up a lot of passes. He has stellar anticipation, too.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Has a tendency to give too big a cushion and can be had on underneath routes. His quickness and closing speed are both elite.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Was injured midway through the practice session.
Thursday Practice Notes: Suffering from a back injury and may not play in the game. Red flags have been raised.
Analysis: His closing speed is incredible and he is aggressive in going after the ball. He shows excellent anticipation and reads quarterbacks well. His footwork and fundamentals are sound but he may lack the deep speed to consistently stay with receivers deep.
Tanard Jackson/Syracuse Ht: 6000  Wt:  192
31  Hand:  8 5/8
Monday Practice Notes: Appears fluid in coverage and can change direction seamlessly. He has soft hands but needs to be more aggressive in attacking the ball.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Gets a good jump on the ball and is aggressive in going after it. He shows good hands but needs to improve his coverage against the deep ball.
Wednesday Practice Notes: He's very aggressive; he's quick out of his break, has terrific closing speed and will attack the ball at its highest point. He is quick in and out of his breaks and is very physical, willing to take on larger receiver. Needs to be careful not interfere with receivers downfield.
Thursday Practice Notes:
Analysis: An aggressive player who is always looking to make a play on the ball. His closing speed is stellar and he is willing to fly up and deliver big hits. His technique can be inconsistent and he will give up some plays when left on an island.
Marcus McCauley/Fresno St. Ht: 6005  Wt:  200
31 1/2  Hand: 10 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: Is physical at the point of attack and has great leaping ability. He lacks closing speed, can be fooled with double-moves and doesn't always attack the ball at its highest point.
Tuesday Practice Notes: He does a good job jamming receivers at the line and is great against quick hitters. However, he lacks acceleration and cannot maintain tight coverage for very long.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Showing the ability to play tight in man coverage. He is very physical at the line of scrimmage and is aggressive in coming forward and attacking underneath routes. He needs to do a better job of getting his head around and looking back for the ball.
Thursday Practice Notes: Reverted back to the form he showed earlier in the week and really could not cover anyone. Let up several receptions.
Analysis: A physical specimen who likes to challenge players at the line of scrimmage. His play can be streaky, but when on his game he can shadow receivers in man coverage and does a good job anticipating routes. He can be exposed by long-developing patterns.
Josh Wilson/Maryland Ht: 5091  Wt:  188
30  Hand:  9 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: Has excellent speed and shows good footwork. He struggles against larger receivers and can play out of control at times; he has a hard time defending underneath routes.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Has soft hands and the ability to stay with receivers deep. He is not often fooled by double-moves but is a sure bet for a pass interference call when it happens.
Wednesday Practice Notes: He really struggles both in the red zone and against taller receivers. He is fast and quick when breaking out of his backpedal, but he takes too long to locate the ball once it's in the air. He is disciplined in his coverage and will not bite on double-moves.
Thursday Practice Notes: Fastest guy on the field and just needs some technique work.
Analysis: An undersized player, Wilson really struggles against taller receivers and in the red zone. He shows quick feet and solid fundamentals, but doesn't make enough plays on the ball. He is a disciplined defender who never bites on double moves.
Josh Gattis/Wake Forest Ht: 6010  Wt:  206
32 1/2  Hand:  9 3/4
Monday Practice Notes: He is a smooth player with the good speed and awareness. Has questionable hands and needs to be more aggressive attacking the ball.
Tuesday Practice Notes: He looks uncomfortable in man coverage and struggles to get a good jam on receivers at the line of scrimmage. He's a leader in the secondary and appears most comfortable patrolling center field.
Wednesday Practice Notes: He is best working in a confined space, in which case he is aggressive in going after the ball. Otherwise, he appears indecisive and is slow in reacting to the ball. He is typically in good position but lacks ball skills and cannot be trusted in man-to-man coverage.
Thursday Practice Notes:
Analysis: He really struggles in man coverage. Although he is typically in good position, he lacks the anticipation and closing speed to make plays on the ball. He looks most comfortable playing center field and functions as a quarterback in the secondary.
Aaron Rouse/Virginia Tech Ht: 6035  Wt:  218
33 3/8  Hand:  9 5/8
Monday Practice Notes: Shows stiff hips and struggles in coverage.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Needs to diagnose plays quicker; he will bite on double-moves. Has the speed to cover receivers downfield but needs to do a better job of looking back for the football.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Is aggressive in going after the ball and shows good hands in attacking it at its highest point. He diagnoses plays quickly and shows great anticipation. He has terrific closing speed but needs to be more disciplined and play more consistently.
Thursday Practice Notes: Consistently improved. Made several good plays on the ball today.
Analysis: A smart player who reads the quarterback's eyes and breaks for the ball quickly, Rouse always seems to be around the ball. He shows good hands and will attack the ball at its highest point, but shows stiff hips and struggles in man coverage.
Eric Weddle/Utah Ht: 5112  Wt:  205
30  Hand:  9 5/8
Monday Practice Notes: He is an aggressive yet disciplined player with good power at the point of attack. He is not a flashy player but shows soft hands in pass defense.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Has a tough time staying with receivers downfield and appears uncomfortable in man coverage. He is much better near the line of scrimmage and is rendered ineffective in space.
Wednesday Practice Notes: He's a smart player with good anticipation. Always in the right position, he is a disciplined defender who does a nice job reading the quarterbacks eyes. He is aggressive in coming forward and is always looking to make a play on the ball. He does struggle in man-to-man coverage, though.
Thursday Practice Notes:
Analysis: He struggles in man coverage, showing stiff hips and a lack of burst coming out of his breaks. He shows great awareness, though, dissecting plays quickly and never biting on play-action fakes. He has versatility as well, capable of playing several positions in the secondary.
Mason Crosby/K/Colorado Ht: 6010  Wt:  214
29 1/2  Hand:  9 3/8
Monday Practice Notes:
Tuesday Practice Notes: Struggled with his kick-offs and never reached the end zone. Hit a 50-yarder at the end of practice with a lot of room to spare.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Did not kick-off in practices today. Did kick field goals and drilled them down the middle from 50-yards late in the session with room to spare. Has a huge leg but poor follow-through. As a result his long field goals had very poor trajectory.
Thursday Practice Notes: Kicked- off into the wind and barely got the ball to the 20-yard line. Kicked field goals with the wind and hit from 54-yards with a lot of room to spare.
Analysis: Showed a strong enough leg kicking at sea level to get consideration in the second round.
Adam Podlesh/P/Maryland Ht: 5106  Wt:  203
29 1/2  Hand:  8 5/8
Monday Practice Notes: His hangtimes are inconsistent but occasionally terrific. He shows good control with a quick one-step delivery.
Tuesday Practice Notes:
Wednesday Practice Notes: Very inconsistent. Booted a moonshot of almost sixty yards early in practice but then really got off some ugly punts later in the day. His ability to get quite a bit of hangtime for the most part was his greatest strength. If he could get the ball to turn over consistently, his average would certainly rise.
Thursday Practice Notes:
Analysis: Has the leg strength to play at the next level and just needs to improve his consistency.

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