South Defense Practice Reports: Final

TFY Draft Previews provides their final analysis of the South defense's roster of players based on this week's practices in Mobile at the Senior Bowl.

DEFENSIVE LINE
Quentin Moses/Georgia Ht: 6047  Wt:  249
Arm:
33 1/2  Hand: 9 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: Indecisive most of the day in his pass rush. At times Moses slowed down so much during his possible countermove, you could almost read what he was thinking. Can be engulfed at the point of attack in the run game and did not make much of a presence their either.
Tuesday Practice Notes: A lot of flash with not much substance. Tends to overwork his pass rush moves, thus accomplishing nothing. Did show some very nice quickness off the ball and laterally. Held his own against bigger offensive linemen in the running game.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Let me repeat myself, a whole lot of flash without much substance. Moses has not excelled in any one area. Plays too high, has trouble fighting pressure from offensive lineman, and gives up his body to those blocking him. Only once did he finally put a good pass rush move during drills.
Thursday Practice Notes: Pass rush consisted basically of a speed rush today and was ineffective for the most part.
Analysis: A common theme ran rampant throughout the week, Moses did not live up to his potential. Much like his overall senior season, Moses never lived up to potential while down in Mobile. The quickness and ability to be a pass rusher is there and can be developed but just did not end up in results. When it is all said and done, Moses is the most likely to be drafted by a 34 based defensive team and play outside linebacker.
Chase Pittman/LSU Ht: 6044  Wt:  272
Arm:
32 3/4  Hand:  10 7/8
Monday Practice Notes: Looked like he wasn't working hard in drills. Does not have the strength at the point of attack to handle double teams by a tackle and tight end. Overall was basically invisible for most of the day.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Just not a great athlete and compounds the situation, especially in his pass rush, but taking too wide of a route to the quarterback. Likes to use his hands though and does so well.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Showed some strength at the point of attack today as well as in his pass rush. Started using his long arms to his advantage. Athletically limited prospect who has struggled against superior talent to this point.
Analysis: Pittman is what he is, an athletically limited defensive end prospect with some size and strength but a low ceiling on potential. He will be drafted in the late rounds and will have to work his hardest to make a roster.
Tim Crowder/Texas Ht: 6037  Wt:  271
Arm:
33   Hand:  9 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: The only defensive linemen today to show a competency for pass rush moves. He showed the ability to set up and use a variety of moves, as well as counter the lineman's initial punch. Was corrected though on his overall lack of hand usage.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Very quick off the edge, even registering a practice "sack". While he has shown quite an aptitude for rushing the passer, he tends to struggle with getting linemen's hands off of him once they are established.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Again, the most consistent pass rusher on the South unit. Crowder uses his long arms very well when getting after the quarterback and actually displays counter moves on a consistent basis as well. Has not made many plays against the run, but flashes enough strength to hold up at the point of attack. Also displayed a nice motor today hustling after plays were past him.
Analysis: The best pure pass rusher of the entire Senior Bowl group. Crowder is very polished coming off the edge; using his hands and long arms well, using multiple moves, and counter initial contact by the offensive linemen. Will need to work a little harder against the run to be the complete defensive end prospect he can be.
Ray McDonald/Florida Ht: 6033  Wt:  282
Arm:
33 1/4   Hand:  10
Monday Practice Notes: The bionic man. McDonald walks on the practice field with a large brace on both knees, as well as his right elbow. Early in the practice his head was not into it and jumped offside on multiple occasions. Had trouble keeping his feet on numerous occasions. Played at left defensive end all day, and struggled in his pass rush because of a lack of overall moves.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Strong for his size and comes off the ball hard. Today McDonald let defenders into his body, could not get off of blocks, and lost his footing a few times. Finally saw a couple reps as a defensive tackle.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Every day so far has had the bad habit of jumping offsides and anticipating too much instead of making proper reads and reacting. Powerful as a defensive end, throwing the opposing tight end around on a few occasions. Rushed the passer some from defensive tackle. Absolutely loves power moves when getting after the quarterback.
Thursday Practice Notes: Very active overall and was around the ball quite a bit.
Analysis: The man without a position. McDonald is not athletic enough to be a full time defensive end, nor is he big enough to be a full time defensive tackle. Of the two, McDonald would be smart to put on weight and work as a defensive tackle since he excels at the point of attack. A major concern as the offseason progresses for McDonald will be his physicals and that will be the major determinate of where he will be drafted.
Antonio Johnson/Mississippi St. Ht: 6027  Wt:  305
Arm:
33 3/4   Hand:  9 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: Solid day overall. Used his hands very well, and was able to beat interior blockers in pass rush drills. Very quick off the ball today.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Fantastic job today with his pass rush. Broke off two picture perfect spin moves to frustrate the opposing blocker. Received reps as both a three and one technique. The one area of concern today was Johnson's ability to feel a downblock and was driven down on a couple of occasions.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Disappointing practice after two very solid days. Had trouble getting off blocks all practice. Also struggled with recognizing and fighting pressure. Never gives up on a play though and always fires off the ball hard.
Analysis: A player who basically came out of nowhere to impress many scouts this week. Johnson did a very nice job most of the week getting off blocks and to the quarterback as an interior pass rusher. No doubt he has done well raising his draft stock.
DeMarcus Tyler/NC State Ht: 6021  Wt:  323
Arm:
33   Hand:  9 3/4
Monday Practice Notes: All power and no finesse. Showed no moves to get off of blocks in either the running game or in his pass rush. Was corrected multiple times on his gap and making the right read.
Tuesday Practice Notes: The nickname of Tank certainly applies, it is always straight ahead while trying to overpower everything in front of him. The one nice thing was his ability to get extension, but was never able to get off blocks after doing so.
Wednesday Practice Notes: FINALLY showed some pass rush moves. He coupled this with great burst off of the snap during today's practice. Solid day and starting to show improvement.
Analysis: A large man who is hard to move around at the point of attack. This strength also proved to be weakness since Tyler tends to use only his strength, lowering his head, and bulling his way through the line of scrimmage. As such he greatly struggles getting off of blocks at times. As the week progressed he did get a little better in that regard. A potential two gap prospect if he learns to uses his hands better.
Ryan McBean/Oklahoma St. Ht: 6045  Wt:  277
Arm:
32 1/2   Hand:  10 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: Makes up for his lack of size with very good quickness off the ball. Did have trouble making his proper reads and was corrected on it. Does some of the little things right. For example, just getting his hands up to disrupt a quarterback.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Once a lineman got his paws on McBean, he was done. At times during the practice his head did not seem into it as he jumped offsides on numerous occasions. Even got a couple reps as a defensive end, only in pass rushing situations though.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Received action from his traditional defensive tackle position, as well as lining up as a defensive end in some pass rush drills. Today was much better using his hands to shed blockers. Because of his size, McBean has trouble anchoring against downblocks.
Analysis: Size will always be an issue for McBean at 277 lbs. as a defensive tackle. He is tall, lean, and very quick off the ball; but his lack of size prevents him from being able to shed blocks and anchor at the point of attack. Solid week overall for a mid level prospect.
Kareem Brown/Miami (Fla.)  Ht: 6040  Wt:  303
Arm:
33 1/4   Hand:  10 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: Often came off the ball low and hard, but showed no ability to counter, get off blocks and redirect. Was able to get a semblance of a pass rush with his own bulrush.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Works very hard, but his overall play does not always equal results. At times he will give up his chest to opposing linemen. Saw action as both a one and three technique as the practice progressed.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Really struggles with getting off any and all blocks. This inability has really hindered his overall play. The talent is there and you see it when he fires off the ball so hard an offensive lineman cannot make a proper block, but more often than not Brown is usually ends up in a wrestling match against the opposing lineman.
Analysis: Never lived up to his potential at Miami, and continued that trend this week. Brown extremely struggled getting off blocks and did not make many plays. Did nothing to really help his stock.
LINEBACKERS
Buster Davis/Florida St. Ht: 5093  Wt:  244
Arm:
31 1/8  Hand:  10 1/2
Monday Practice Notes: Very explosive and quick. Covers a lot of area. On one particular play Davis had his helmet knocked clean off, literally popping into the air after contact with Alabama FB Le'Ron McClain.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Did a terrific job leading the defense today and getting his teammates in proper position. Plays with a lot of quickness firing up the gaps to penetrate the backfield or immediately getting to the sidelines. Does get caught up in the trash and can be easily blocked from the action.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Best practice of the week. Very explosive and fast to the action. Did a great job reading plays and quickly getting to the spot. Took great angles to the play.
Thursday Practice Notes:
Analysis: Impressed scouts with his intelligence and gutsy performance. Size is a limiting factor and was all week. Likely a second day pick who could slide into the late part of round three.
Patrick Willis/Mississippi Ht: 6010  Wt:  240
Arm:
32 3/4  Hand:  9 3/4
Monday Practice Notes: Vocal leader on field. Made sure everyone was in the right spot. Tough in run defense. Looked strong at the point but stiff in coverage and lacked sideline to sideline speed.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Once again Willis was very stout in run defense and excels in the box. His change of direction is slow and his hips are stiff. He has not played like the first rounder everyone has anointed him to be.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Did not distinguish himself in coverage. Did more turning and running in coverage than backpedaling. Lacks skills in pursuit.
Thursday Practice Notes: The leader of the defense this week as evidenced by setting up the defense on multiple occasions when defensive linemen were positioned incorrectly.
Analysis: Did not look like a first round pick. Ineffective outside the box and rarely made plays in coverage or pursuit.
Tony Taylor/Georgia Ht: 6005  Wt:  237
Arm:
32   Hand:  9
Monday Practice Notes: Looked very stiff all day.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Taylor really struggles to get outside the box and make plays. He has limited mobility and skill in coverage.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Showed a little more mobility today and gave effort yet rarely made plays on the ball.
Analysis: Stiff and short two-down defender.
Earl Everett/Florida Ht: 6021  Wt:  235
Arm:
32 1/4  Hand:  9 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: Athletic and showed good sideline to sideline range. Easily blocked. Does not play to his size. Inconsistent.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Was chastised by coaches early in the day for playing with poor technique. When he finally employed the proper fundamentals his playing speed and quickness reduced by one-third. Really did not make many plays on the field today.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Again; did more chasing than actual play making.
Thursday Practice Notes: Made quick reads today and put himself into position to make tackles.
Analysis: Solid athlete but a very ordinary football player. Struggled with basic fundamentals and did not make many plays in practice.
Juwan Simpson/Alabama Ht: 6023  Wt:  223
Arm:
33  Hand:  10 1/4
Tuesday Practice Notes: Simpson is a solid athlete who covers a lot of area on the field and plays with terrific quickness. That said something is lost in the translation of reading the action and getting to the play as he was usually a half-step late arriving to the spot, especially in coverage.
Wednesday Practice Notes: While this was his best practice Simpson is constantly late getting to the ball.
Analysis: Showed a lot of athleticism but lacks the instincts and very slow reacting.
Rufus Alexander/Oklahoma Ht: 6007  Wt:  227
Arm:
33  Hand:  9 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: Looked solid in run coverage, solid in pass coverage. Showed explosion in run defense but cannot get off blocks.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Very athletic and covers a tremendous amount of area on the field. Showed terrific speed to the flanks in coverage and a lot of quickness up the field in run support. That said he is easily caught up in the wash or blocked from the action. All and all you've got to say Alexander has helped himself today.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Solid session; looked explosive and made a number of plays on the ball.
Analysis: Solid weak-side prospect who was effective. Looks like he fits into the late part of the second round.
DEFENSIVE BACKS
A.J. Davis Ht: 5095  Wt:  192
Arm:
30 1/4  Hand:  8 1/4 
Monday Practice Notes: Looked bad. Gave up a lot of receptions. Showed some quickness in his break but got beat most of the day.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Tends too leave too generous a cushion and needs to close on passes much faster. He shows good recognition skills and does a good job of anticipating the play. His technique is solid but as a prospect he seems unspectacular.
Wednesday Practice Notes: A slower player who is often late to break for the ball, Davis must do a better job getting in front of receivers. He lacks the anticipation and play recognition necessary to be an elite defender. He is a fluid athlete, though, and his fundamentals are sound.
Analysis: Tends to leave too large a cushion and fails to close it quickly enough. He is a heady player who rarely gives up the big play but doesn't make many plays on the ball, either. He is slow coming out of his breaks and needs to show better anticipation.
David Irons/Auburn Ht: 5107  Wt:  198
Arm:
31  Hand:  8 3/4
Monday Practice Notes: Terrific Practice. Arguably the best DB on the South all day. Showed a lot of quickness and speed. Several nice plays on the ball. Was commended by the coaches for the effort he gave.
Tuesday Practice Notes: He has the potential to be a shutdown corner. He has good speed and consistently maintains tight coverage. He makes aggressive breaks to the ball and will challenge for interceptions, but his aggressiveness also makes him penalty prone.
Wednesday Practice Notes: He's a fast player, capable of shadowing receivers downfield. He tends to throttle down too much when changing direction and has a tendency to hand-check players downfield. Still, his awareness and ball skills are excellent and he is willing to get physical at the line of scrimmage.
Analysis: Is a complete defender. He will get physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage and has the ability to open up his hips and run with them downfield. He sometimes gets too aggressive downfield but will challenge for the ball and never give up an easy reception.
Fred Bennett/South Carolina Ht: 6007  Wt:  196
Arm:
33  Hand:  9 1/4
Monday Practice Notes: Struggled all day. No quickness. Lacks ball skills. Late in location of ball. Lot of passes completed against him.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Does a poor job of redirecting players at the line. He seems most comfortable playing center field but his reaction time is sub-par. His balls skills are lacking and he needs to do a better job of distinguishing himself.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Does a poor job of redirecting players at the line. He struggles in man-to-man coverage and is fooled too often by double-moves. His balls skills are lacking and he needs to do a better job of distinguishing himself.
Analysis: Does a poor job of redirecting players at the line. He seems most comfortable playing center field but his closing speed is inadequate. He struggles in man coverage and needs to do a better job of distinguishing himself and making plays on the ball.
Aaron Ross/Texas Ht: 6004  Wt:  192
Arm:
31 1/4  Hand: 9
Monday Practice Notes: Inconsistent. Athletically looks very good. Good footwork. Shows the ability to plant and break. Struggled in drills. One play Courtney Taylor run away from him and another Taylor won out on a jumpball; but then came back to make a great pick in full scrimmage.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Is very comfortable in man coverage. He is powerful and near-dominant when jamming receivers at the line. He has excellent speed and consistently shadows receivers downfield. He is aggressive in going after the ball and has the potential to be a shutdown cornerback.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Is very comfortable in man coverage. He is powerful and near-dominant when jamming receivers at the line. He has excellent speed and consistently shadows receivers downfield. He is aggressive in going after the ball and has the potential to be a shutdown cornerback.
Thursday Practice Notes:
Analysis: Is a physical player who loves to play press coverage. He does a good job anticipating routes and challenging receivers for every reception. He has excellent closing speed but tends to play the receiver rather than the ball.
Kevin Payne/Louisiana-Monroe Ht: 6001  Wt:  215
Arm:
30  Hand:  8 7/8
Monday Practice Notes: Technically sound, but struggled due to lack of quickness and speed against superior talent.
Tuesday Practice Notes: He's a steady player who needs to do more to distinguish himself. He has solid hands and takes good angles to the ball but appears slow in and out of his cuts and looks uncomfortable given too much space. He appears penalty prone, too.
Wednesday Practice Notes: He is aggressive in going after the ball and will challenge receivers over the middle of the field. He is a bit slow and does not get out of his breaks quickly enough. He is a physical player who appears better covering underneath routes.
Thursday Practice Notes: He is aggressive in going after the ball and will challenge receivers over the middle of the field. He takes good angles to the ball but appears slow out of his cuts and looks uncomfortable given too much space. He is a physical player; however, he appears penalty prone.
Analysis:
Brandon Meriweather/Miami (Fla.) Ht: 5105  Wt:  192
Arm:
30  Hand:  8 5/8
Monday Practice Notes: Inconsistent day. Constantly corrected early in the day on poor fundamentals. Really did not make a lot of plays.
Tuesday Practice Notes: He shows terrific quickness. His technique is solid and he is always around the ball. He looks crisp coming in and out of breaks but will sometimes be caught guessing. He has the confident attitude you would expect from a Miami player.
Wednesday Practice Notes: He shows terrific anticipation. He reads the quarterback's eyes and makes breaks on the ball at an incredible speed. His footwork is very solid and he is extremely aggressive in going after turnover. He's also a talker with no shortage of confidence.
Analysis: His anticipation skills have no parallel and he is remarkably fast out of his breaks. He struggles to maintain good position in man coverage but always finds a way to be around the ball. He is a confident player who is always looking to make a big play.
Michael Griffin/Texas Ht: 5114  Wt:  195
Arm:
31 7/8  Hand:  10 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: Solid sideline to sideline range. Made a very nice play on Kenny Irons in run defense. Showed good ball skills. Solid day overall.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Does a good job of disguising coverage. He will attack the ball at its highest point, but needs to make more assertive breaks and increase his playing speed if he wants more opportunities to do so. His coverage is solid but he needs to author more big plays.
Wednesday Practice Notes: He's a physical player who is equally capable against the run and pass. In run defense, he diagnoses plays quickly and is eager to deliver the big hit. In pass defense, he shows good discipline and a nose for the ball, although his quickness leaves something to be desired.
Analysis: An excellent two-way defender who is comfortable both in the box and in coverage. He is a bit slow for man coverage but has good instincts and knows how to get between the receiver and the ball. He diagnoses plays quickly and is rarely caught out of position.
Jonathan Wade/Tennessee Ht: 5097  Wt:  192
Arm:
30 1/4  Hand:  9 1/8
Monday Practice Notes: Athleticism on field was apparent as he could run with anybody, but mechanically and mentally he's just not there. Gave up many receptions . Better athlete than football player.
Tuesday Practice Notes: Shows playmaking potential, although the consistency isn't quite there yet. He is sharp coming in and out of his break and is aggressive in going after the ball. He is quick to diagnose plays and has stellar anticipation. His quickness is admirable.
Wednesday Practice Notes: Is an aggressive player who's always looking to make a play on the ball. He is quick coming in and out of his breaks and has excellent anticipation. His ball skills are impressive and he has the ability to shadow receivers downfield.
Thursday Practice Notes: Sat on a route and made a nice pick after a bad throw.
Analysis: A quick player who is always going after the ball, Wade shows impressive speed and can keep with receivers downfield but must be more consistent. He will challenge receivers and his technique is admirable.
SPECIAL TEAMS
Daniel Sepulveda/Baylor Ht: 6021  Wt:  228
Arm:
31 1/4  Hand:  10
Monday Practice Notes: Big leg. Kicking fifty yards with ease and had great hang time.
Tuesday Practice Notes:
Wednesday Practice Notes: Displayed skill when asked to pooch punt and directional kick.
Thursday Practice Notes:
Analysis: Showed enough skill to get consideration in the middle rounds.
Nick Folk/K/Arizona Ht: 6011  Wt:  220
Arm:
31 1/8  Hand:  9
Analysis: Does not have the leg to play in the NFL.

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