The last day of full-pads practice at the Senior Bowl closed with the South squad trying to make strides on offense and displaying some solid defenders.
While Matt Ryan, widely considered the best quarterback in the draft, isn't at the Senior Bowl – "I believe that Matt Ryan is a franchise quarterback," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said – the North squad appears to have the better quarterbacks.
Of the South quarterbacks, Kentucky's Andre Woodson appears to have the strongest arm.
Hawaii's Colt Brennan has a sidearm release, and longer hitches or multiple hitches will turn off some scouts. Mike Martz, the San Francisco 49ers new offensive coordinator, was wired for sound and continued to work on Brennan's mechanical flaws. Brennan also had some troubles receiving the snap, which might be due to his run-and-shoot tendencies in college.
Martz worked with Eric Ainge to take a deeper drop, and Ainge also threw some wobbly passes. On the positive side, Ainge looks like he makes good decisions.
Tulane's Matt Forte shows good quickness, but he didn't look too willing to stick his body in there to pick up a blitz on one play.
LSU's Jacob Hester does a good job as a lead blocker, further proof that he might have to be a fullback at the NFL level. Following his block nicely on one play was Tashard Choice.
Rafael Little showed he can run downhill between the tackles and attack the hole.
Limas Sweed of Texas aggravated a wrist injury that gave him problems during the season and will be out the rest of the week. WR Dexter Jackson from Appalachian State is taking his place. "Dexter Jackson separated, exploded, couldn't be pressed at the line of scrimmage (at the East-West Shrine game)," Mayock said. In his first practice in Mobile, Jackson got separation from Senior Bowl cornerbacks and made a few nice catches.
Houston's Donnie Avery is a quick receiver – "If he gets a crease, he's gone," Mayock said – but he let go of the ball too easily in traffic after taking a reverse.
D.J. Hall can get some separation with a subtle hand check, but he didn't complete one play, as he let the ball get through his hands.
Tennessee's Brad Cottam is a huge target at 6-foot-8 and looks to have decent straight-line speed. On one play, he also made a nice leaping grab in traffic during team drills.
UTEP's Oniel Cousins is a big body who locks onto a defender and gets good leverage. He looks like he gets his hands up a little high on the defender at times.
Arkansas' Robert Felton can engage a defender, but was seen releasing him too soon on one play.
Clemson's Barry Richardson isn't ranked as one of the top tackles in the draft, but he looks pretty disciplined in pass protection.
Maryland's Dre Moore is a big defensive tackle that gets low and stays low to drive an offensive lineman back. He could be a disruptive force in the middle.
Iowa State's Ahtyba Rubin looks strong and quick. He might be a late-round pick, but he can push the pocket or get to a running back moving laterally and doesn't give up easily.
LSU's Ali Highsmith looked strong in coverage of a running back, staying with him stride for stride and knocking down the pass.
Leodis McKelvin of Troy continued to show that he can keep up with deep speed and jump in front of receivers cutting off their routes to knock down the ball. He's been a consistent disruptor for the South team and probably the best cover cornerback at the Senior Bowl.
LSU cornerback Chevis Jackson can lay a big hit on a running back or a wide receiver and shows good skills to the ball. "There is one of the guys that I think is one of the most underrated guys in the draft," Mayock said. "He's not going to run a great time and I really don't care. … When I watch tape, I see a guy that can play Cover-2 corner and play it well."
Tennessee State's Domonique Rogers-Cromartie is a tall cornerback, but he appears to have pretty good feet to stay with smaller receivers when they make a break on a route. On the longer routes, however, he didn't always locate the ball or extend his hands to get them in the way of the pass.
Auburn's Patrick Lee made one really nice break on a ball during one-on-ones and came away with an interception.
Texas safety Marcus Griffin doesn't mind getting physical and picked off one pass during Wednesday's practice.