Scout.com NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber points out some of the players who stood out during Wednesday morning's North team practice as well as a few that were missing or who were injured during play. Also, which teams were talking with Kansas State WR Jordy Nelson? Find out inside...
Michigan QB Chad Henne continued to shine during the North team's practice on Wednesday morning. He displayed good accuracy and timing, and seems to have a handle on the offense. He showed confidence in his ability to make tough throws. Henne was vocal and congratulated his teammates for their efforts. Henne’s highlight of the day was when he found Cal’s Lavelle Hawkins gliding downfield on a go-route. The ball was placed perfectly as Hawkins leaped and made the reception over Colorado CB Terrence Wheatley.
Not only was Lavelle Hawkins on the receiving end of Henne’s deep ball, but he continues to display great quickness and soft hands. He’s made all the easy catches and the most acrobatic receptions thus far. Hawkins has been all over the field and has been the most talked about receiver in Mobile.
USC DT Sedrick Ellis has been a force inside. He’s an undersized interior defender, but he is quick and plays with leverage. He’s able to get underneath the opposition and drive up field. On one play during live action, Ellis beat his former Trojans teammate Drew Radovich inside and leveled Oklahoma State RB Dantrell Savage in the backfield for a loss.
Another defender with a great motor is Notre Dame DT Trevor Laws. Laws, who some may consider as “Baby Ellis”, is an undersized interior lineman who adds versatility to a D-Line. He has experience playing inside and outside and demonstrated great balance and leverage on Wednesday morning. Laws made a great play against USC RB Chauncey Washington. He got instant penetration up the middle forcing Washington outside. He spinned, turned and chased down Washington for a loss. Laws’ effort made the Raiders coaching staff happy, as he received a warm reception.
LSU RB Chris Johnson, who has displayed great elusiveness and receiving ability so far, didn’t participate in practice this morning. I overheard an official say that Johnson was receiving medical attention on a possible hamstring injury. The severity is unknown at this time.
UNLV LB Beau Bell didn’t participate in practice today. Bell left practice on Tuesday with an apparent leg injury. His status is unknown.
West Virginia FB Owen Schmitt and Michigan LB Shawn Crable left the practice field early and headed for the locker room. The reason for their departure is unknown, but they were grimacing in pain as they left.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999.