Note from Josh Norris: Rotoworld is happy to partner with The Sideline View's Lance Zierlein, John Harris, and James MacPherson for Senior Bowl week. Each will focus on certain positional groups during practice and share their daily observations. To avoid confusion, I have attached the author’s name to their section. If I have anything to add, a clear distinction will be made.
Be sure to visit The Sideline View, as they have extended reports on many of these prospects on their site.
Lance Zierlein’s Monday Notes
OL Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt - Played stouter than his Senior Bowl weight of 290 and did a nice job of utilizing technique (brought his feet with him and kept defenders squared up) in all of his one-on-one drills. With his weight and short arms it will be interesting to see if he gets snaps at center this week.
DL DeAndre Coleman, Cal - Coleman was impressive in run and pass drills using good leverage and quickness off the snap. Coleman is an interesting follow this week because I see a ton of scheme flexibility with him.
T Ja’Wuan James, Tennessee - Smaller lower body than I expected and had some issues early on in one-on-one running drills with Virginia’s Brent Urban rag-dolling him on one rep, but he improved in pass pro drills including a lock-down effort on SEC running mate, Arkansas DE Chris Smith.
DE Chris Smith, Arkansas - Smith is much shorter than teams would like at DE (6’1) and doesn’t possess much length, but he had some very physical snaps and was very difficult for the South’s offensive linemen to block in run blocking drills. Smith also had one of the biggest collisions of the day in oline/dline drills with Joel Bitonio from Nevada where Smith thumped him.
DL Brent Urban, Virginia - This guy looks good in the uniform and can play too. The only problem I saw is that he looked like a world-beater in the first part of practice and appeared to gas a little bit over the 2nd half of practice. Urban has outstanding size, but looked too much like a straight-line guy this week. I need to see more counter moves this week.
OL Billy Turner, North Dakota State - Jaguars offensive line coach George Yarno got into Turner with a butt-chewing a couple of times as Turner failed to execute basic functions of the one-on-one drill. Turner bounced back with good one-on-one pass pro reps against Deandre Coleman and Brent Urban and handled himself well in the scrimmage portion at tackle and guard. I’m excited to see how Turner continues to progress under the watchful eye of Yarno.
C Travis Swanson and Brian Stork - Arkansas center Swanson had a pretty average day and had trouble getting reach blocks on Will Sutton and Deandre Coleman in run drills. I saw Swanson miss what looked like a fairly easy second level block on a MLB in the scrimmage portion. I’m expecting a bounce back day from Swanson.
Stork was actually much more consistent than I expected. I didn’t expect much from him headed into Monday’s practice, but he showed a nice, strong base and was able to hole up physically against Coleman on two different reps. I also noticed Stork took coaching from George Yarno and did a better job later in practice at keeping his head out of his blocks in pass protection.
DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee - McCullers is massive, but it doesn’t really translate to consistency on the field. He’s was more sluggish than powerful.
G Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State - Jackson flashed the in-line power than will have some teams excited, but I simply don’t like him as much at 339 which is what he weighed in at today. If he can get his weight down about 10 more pounds he will make himself some money. Jackson buried Coleman on one rep during scrimmage portion.
DT Will Sutton, Arizona State - Will Sutton has been falling down the draft boards this year with NFL teams who don’t like the extra weight he’s added. Sutton came into the Senior Bowl at 315 pounds which is heavier than he needs to be, but he had a really good practice today. Wesley Johnson struggled against him in one-on-one drills as did Joel Bitonio from Nevada. Sutton looked quick off the snap and played with natural leverage. This is a huge week for Sutton who needs to flash and show his 2012 form.
OG Kadeem Edwards, Tennessee State - The Tennessee State guard played with energy, but looked a little overwhelmed from a talent standpoint. He spent too much team leaning on defenders and needs work with technique.
DL Ra’Shede Hagemen, Minnesota - Active hands and looked to get up the field on every snap. I liked how active he was, but I want to see him get up the field more consistently and defeat the man in front of him more quickly.
T Seantrel Henderson, Miami - As someone who has a much lower grade on Henderson than most, I was very pleasantly surprised with the way that he used his long arms and natural athletic ability to keep Stanford DE Trent Murphy locked up. Henderson did fall flat on his face after leaning face first into a run block and that has to be corrected on his part.
C Tyler Larsen, Utah State - One of the problems I had on film with Larsen is that he doesn’t bend or play with as much leverage as I would like and that got him in some trouble against UConn’s DT Shamar Stephen who bull rushed him. Larsen looked a little out of control at times and will need to tighten that up as the week progresses.
OL Zack Martin, Notre Dame - Martin was outstanding today and showed excellent hand placement, a wide base and good core strength. Martin shut down Stanford’s Trent Murphy time and time again.
Edge rusher Trent Murphy, Stanford - I was a big fan of Murphy’s pass rushing skills including his outstanding hands, but we didn’t see much of that on Monday as he had trouble dealing with Zach Martin (who I project down to guard) and Seantrel Henderson who is the longest offensive lineman at the Senior Bowl.
G Cyril Richardson, Baylor - Cyril Richardson had to be praying that the coaches would take Pitt DT Aaron Donald off of him in one-on-ones as it was a problematic matchup for the burly Baylor guard. Richardson had issues moving Donald off of his spot in one-on-one run block drills and was beaten with speed and a bull rush by Donald. Richardson needs to come ready to play on Tuesday.
OL Brandon Thomas, Clemson - Thomas is one of my favorite oline prospects because of his strong hands and ability to stone defenders when he gets them in his sights. I did see Thomas struggle with change of direction on one snap when his feet got completely out of whack. Thomas ended up having a solid practice including his patented wrestling-style toss where he dominates the defender’s shoulder and leverages him to the ground.