Senior Bowl Day 2: South Practice Review

Day Two of Senior Bowl practices are in the books. Inside the Pylon staff writers Michael Nuttle, Matty Brown, Nick Falato, Andrew Jordan, Joseph Ferraiola and Mark Schofield are down in Mobile covering the week, and have their thoughts on the first day of practices. Here are their notes on the South team practice.

Perhaps the player who helped himself the most today for the South squad was none other than Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson. During the special teams session Daniel drilled a 53-yard field goal into the breeze, with a lot of room to spare.

Regarding quarterbacks, we saw some of the inconsistencies from the South squad that were present on Day One, but Kyle Lauletta continued to stand out. He made a number of nice throws, particularly on a slant route in a red zone 11-on-11 session. If this level of play keeps up, Lauletta will have really helped himself this week. Kurt Benkert made some impressive throws at times, including in the deep passing game, but he’ll need to be more consistent over the rest of the week to truly improve his draft stock. Mike White produces some upper-level throws at times, but processing speed has been an issue for him over the first two practices. As noted by Benjamin Solak from NDT Scouting and Locked On Eagles, you can almost see White’s thought processing unfold on almost every single rep in the passing game. Brandon Silvers had a better day then he did on Tuesday, but I would like to see him clean up his mechanics and release point.

The South group of cornerbacks was once again led by a very strong day from North Carolina’s M.J. Stewart. He dominated the 1 on 1 drills both with very clean footwork as well as being able to get his hands on the receiver and control their route with strength with his hands. He was able to defend through the deep part of the field but still didn’t show a strong ability to turn his head and locate the ball deep. Siran Neal of Jacksonville State continues to flash a lot of things to like but he still is relying heavily on getting his hands on the receiver or else he was allowing separation and can get too grabby when the receiver begins his breaks. Lined up against D.J. Chark, he had a very impressive rep from press alignment showing good patience at the line of scrimmage, good hip turn, and ran stride for stride with Chark. Chandon Sullivan of Georgia State and Danny Johnson of Southern both had tough afternoons with slow hips and choppy feet through breaks. The South wide receivers were able to get consistent separation against Sullivan and Johnson throughout all of the drills.

Though Quin Blanding of Virginia adjusts to balls thrown behind him, he was flatfooted and slow in coverage. Blanding also took a business decision late on, not fully breaking on an interceptable post route after gaining the right depth. Tray Matthews of Auburn improved in one-on-ones from yesterday, staying on the receivers backside hip following the cut. Jeremy Reaves from South Alabama struggled out of receiver breaks. He sank his hips well, but often gets boxed out by bigger guys.

On the wide receivers, Joseph Ferraiola has you covered. Oklahoma State’s James Washington was the best wide receiver on the field today. He surprised me with his ability to separate showing explosiveness and suddenness while breaking into his routes. He excelled at what he’s shown to do best: go’s, posts and  strong hands on contested catches in traffic. I’m going to have to go back to the tape and study Washington some more.

Tre’Quan Smith WR UCF is good at winning with his hands through contact against pressing cornerbacks, but shows inconsistencies in his hands. He’s also only a solid route runner.

LSU’s D.J. Chark had another excellent day. He destroyed all of the corners he faced today creating separation with suddenness and quickness. He also stayed flat on his crossing route to maintain separation. He’s really improved his stock this week.

Byron Pringle, Kansas State, is great at creating separation with his quickness and sharp breaks. He’s done a great job creating separation downfield as well as in the short and intermediate game.

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