Good and Bad of North Team Practice

The North team practiced Tuesday morning for the Senior Bowl, and for the first time was in full pads. See who looked good and who has much more proving to do.

While NFL network spent a fair amount of time continuing to analyze the quarterbacks during Tuesday morning's North team practice, the wide receivers and linemen seemed to offer more good tape for analyzing.

A couple of receivers stood out for good and bad while a few offensive and defensive linemen showed their strengths.

Here is what we saw and heard from the NFL Network crew and what we observed from the Tuesday morning practice.

QUARTERBACKS

  • Michigan's Chad Henne showed he has a strong arm when he steps into throws, and looked the most comfortable under center.

  • Delaware's Joe Flacco spent most of his collegiate career in the spread offense and therefore could be more of a project to get used to the NFL drops required in a pro quarterback.

    "His footwork is a little bit deliberate for me," said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, but otherwise Flacco seems to have the skills and frame to become a solid QB.

    Flacco did show good pocket presence and the ability to pull the ball down and run when the middle lanes were open.

  • USC's John David Booty looked good with a ball fake and bootleg.

    "I see touch and accuracy with him. I'd like to see more pocket presence, consistency," Mayock said.

  • Mayock's top five draftable quarterbacks: Boston College's Matt Ryan, Michigan's Chad Henne, Louisville's Brian Brohm, Kentucky's Andre Woodson, and Delaware's Joe Flacco.

    "The more tape I watch, the more I saw of what I consider an NFL style quarterback," Mayock said in explaining why he has moved Henne ahead of Brohm. "He can step into the throw. He can get it outside the numbers, he's got a big overhand delivery. He's got touch and accuracy."

  • Brohm is still fighting a lower leg injury, according to NFL Network. Brohm skipped the Senior Bowl, as Scout.com's Adam Caplan reported on Sunday.

    WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Oklahoma State's Adarius Bowman struggled for much of the practice. He has good quickness to get cornerbacks to bite on his fakes, but his hands are very suspect. He was caught dropping the ball and fighting the ball when catching it. The TV analysts pointed out that he has dropped too many easy ones over the first two days. He also had one ball stripped from him after making a catch. He might also have a lack of concentration, as he jumped offsides on one play.

  • Kansas State's Jordy Nelson didn't get a lot of separation from the defensive backs he worked against.

  • California's Lavelle Hawkins may have had the best practice among wide receivers. He displayed good quickness, excellent sideline body control and locates the ball in a hurry. He was also very impressive getting separation.

  • Virginia Tech's Eddie Royal looked very quick and has potential as a punt returner as well.

    TIGHT END

  • USC's Fred Davis looks like the cream of the pass-catching tight end crop, and Scout.com has him ranked as the top overall tight end in the draft this year. He is good with a double move, getting defenders to bite and has a burst in and out of his cuts. He is a former wide receiver and it shows. However, he showed a weakness at picking up a pass rusher on one occasion.

  • Michigan State's Kellen Davis is a tall target but looks a bit stiff when he runs. He does extend nicely for the ball. Davis was suspended in his junior season.

  • Missouri's Martin Rucker needs to prove he can block. He is more of a pass-catcher and doesn't create a lot of separation in and out of cuts. He dropped one pass he should have had.

  • Mayock's top five tight ends: Notre Dame's John Carlson (not at the Senior Bowl because of illness), USC's Fred Davis, Purdue's Dustin Keller, Texas A&M's Martellus Bennett and Texas's Jermichael Finley.

    RUNNING BACKS

  • East Carolina's Chris Johnson drew strong reviews and showed that he is very good at making people miss and has great speed in open space. However, he could be limited at the next level. "The only thing he doesn't have is he doesn't want to run the football in the middle," Mayock said. "And if he doesn't have that, that tells me he's not a three-down back. If he's not a three-down back, to me he's not a first-round pick."

    Johnson is the seventh-ranked running back on Scout.com's list.

  • The same is probably true of Oklahoma State's Dantrell Savage, who appears to be a third-down back as well. Savage show impressive ability to cut back and nice balance while bouncing off would-be tacklers.

  • USC's Chauncey Washington was solid at picking up coverage and finishing plays.

  • California's Justin Forsett hits hole with authority.

    OFFENSIVE LINE

  • Northern Iowa's Rinehart is "probably best in a phone booth," according to Mayock, meaning playing guard instead of tackle.

  • Oregon State's Roy Scheuning continued a strong week of practice. He keeps the moves of good defensive linemen in front of him.

  • Gosder Cherilus had another good day of practice in one-on-one drills, often handling the defensive linemen that tried to use their quickness against his big frame.

  • Nebraska's Carl Nicks threw down Chris Ellis, showing his strength on one play.

  • Ohio State's Kirk Barton stonewalled a defensive end twice in a row.

  • USC's Sam Baker was an All-American left tackle who maybe could be a guard at the NFL level.

  • Notre Dame center John Sullivan showed good hands and had one of the best series against talented USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis.

  • USC guard Drew Radovich showed solid skills in getting out in front of a screen and burying a defender in space.

    DEFENSIVE LINE

  • Sedrick Ellis repeated his strong Monday performance by showing more explosiveness Tuesday and the ability to get the offensive linemen to lung into him and then step away and around them.

    "When you're talking about these two kids, (LSU's Glenn) Dorsey and Ellis, they're never on the ground. They're completely relentless," said Mayock, who noted he really had the two tied atop his defensive tackle draft board.

    Said Charles Davis: "You talk about two high-quality kids too. You talk about their relentless motor and you talk about their play on the football field. Off the field, you're getting a terrific package with both of these men too, and I know that's what NFL guys are looking forward to coming into the league."

    Dorsey had a knee injury from a chop block and back spasms in his senior year.

  • Notre Dame defensive tackle Trevor Law proved he can get off the ball and creates good angles to the quarterback.

  • USC defensive end Lawrence Jackson has a quick spin move, but he didn't always translate that to getting to the quarterback. He sometimes spun without advancing.

  • Mayock's top five defensive tackles: Glenn Dorsey, Sedrick Ellis, Kentwan Balmer, Letroy Guion, Marcus Harrison.

    LINEBACKERS

  • Colorado's Jordon Dizon had repeated bouquets thrown his way by the NFL Network crew. He may be able to play multiple linebacker spots.

  • Michigan's Shawn Crable looked "a bit stiff in the hips," according to Mayock.

    DEFENSIVE BACKS

  • Indiana's Tracy Porter did a good job on press coverage and also could be a kick returner.

  • USC cornerback Terrell Thomas missed on one press attempt at the line of scrimmage.

  • California's Thomas Decoub may have had the most impressive practice among the North defensive backs. He looked good in coverage with surprising quickness for a safety. He generally kept the defender in front of him and moved well to the ball.




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