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Shrine Game - East Practice - Day 2

By Joe Everett on Wednesday, 18th January 2012

1326738843674Rookie Draft is LIVE on location for the East-West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Florida with full access to the players, the practices and the big game.

There’s an awful lot of talent down here in Florida and day two of practices saw the players really take their games up a notch to catch the scouts eyes today.

If you have any questions or other players to ask about, go ahead and drop a comment or hit me up on the twitterverse if that’s you’re thing @RookieDraft

↑ CHASE FORD - TE - MIAMI: Chase Ford was an impact player all day today, catching passes with ease and making plays on the football no matter how poor the throw (and there were plenty). Ford twice went airborn to reel in a couple of overthrown passes but the best play he made was on a John Brantley under throw that should have been an interception but Ford jumped over the defender and made a play on the ball over the linebacker’s head.  To top it all off, Ford made a great play in eleven on eleven drills off of a tipped pass that was intended for him but he made the proper adjustment within a split second and turned directly around to churn out more yards after the catch. Should we be surprised that a University Miami Tight End is shining? No but he really stole the show today.

↑ BJ CUNNINGHAM - WR - MICHIGAN STATE: Yesterday was a mixed bag for Cunningham but today he went full bore, making catch after catch on sideline routes and regularly bought himself space on comeback routes.  Cunningham made a few one handed grabs yesterday and turned a repeat performance today with another one handed grab right inside the hash marks. Cunningham uses his body extremely well and did a great job of shielding the ball from the defender, as he made a terrific grab after a big hit by Josh Norman of Coastal Carolina.

↑ TIM BENFORD - WR - TENNESSEE TECH: Benford had a very good day breaking down cornerbacks and creating space with his route running ability. He has the ability to run right by defenses but he also does a great job of using his hands to free himself from defenders. Benford accused some of the East defensivebacks of holding him on a few plays to keep him from making catches, it’s too bad I didn’t bring my spare flag. He’s a big favorite of Cecil Lammey from Footballguys.com who has been a supporter of Benford since Day 1.

↑ EMIL IGWENAGU - TE - UMASS: Igwenagu is more of an H-Back type of player but he was able to display some very nifty footwork and hands today. He stretched over a defender to reel in a one-handed grab in the air and also made a great play to maintain possession with a defender draped all over him. Igwenagu has an extremely strong core and he’s so difficult to bring down because he’s got such a wide build. He isn’t going to be a superstar player but he’s showing off the fact that he belongs in the league with his hands, versatility and blocking.

↑ TYSYN HARTMAN - S - KANSAS STATE: Had a nice day of pressing receivers and blowing up plays with his instincts and reaction speed. Hartman has good explosion and timed speed but it’s his ability to anticipate what’s happening that allows him to make plays on a regular basis. He’s more of a free safety that will play centerfield but don’t let that fool you into thinking he can’t bring the wood because Hartman is capable of delivering punishing blows.

↔ JOSH NORMAN - CB - COASTAL CAROLINA: Norman had a solid day with a few big plays mixed in with some regrettable plays. He was run around too easily by Citadel’s Kevin Hardy early in the day and could not take advantage of a great break on the ball that he made off of a Brantley pass. He did intercept an overthrown Coleman pass and showed nice running awareness, instantly breaking outside to increase the depth of his angle to the sidelines. He’s somebody to monitor because of his long build, speed and instincts.

↔ NAJEE GOODE - LB - WEST VIRGINIA: Goode had a so-so day, making plays against the pass but struggling to hold up at the point of attack. He was hammered by Emil Igwenagu in line rushing drills and was to easily redirected against the run. He did show the ability to anticipate plays in the passing game and he does converge on the ball carrier quickly but he needs to prove that he can shed blocks more efficiently if he wants to help his cause in the next few days.

↓ KEVIN HARDY - WR - CITADEL: Hardy was so up and down yesterday but today he was completely abysmal and at this point, he really needs to find a way to pick his game because his struggles were noted by many in attendance. He had a three drop streak in skeleton drills that prompted him to drop a very audible F-bomb and that wasn’t the only thing he dropped, as the F-bombs and missed opportunities kept on coming. Things really snowballed on him as the day went on so hopefully he can get this thing turned around soon.

↓ JOHN BRANTLEY - QB - FLORIDA: Brantley was just all over the place with his ball placement today even though he did throw some really nice deep balls, they were just few and far between. He often hangs passes in the air on even intermediate throws and the action he puts on the football is terribly inconsistent. He had a lot of overthrows on the wideouts today and was called out by coaches for waiting too long to release the ball in seven on seven drills. It’s doubtful that Brantley

Thanks a ton for reading and please bang out some feedback or comments below. You can also e-mail me questions, comments, and even complaints to joe@rookiedraft.com

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Joe Everett

Joe is an NFL Draft + College Football Analyst for NFLDraftBible.com and is also a featured writer + IDP statistician for InsiderFootball.com. Member of the Pro Football Writers of America + the Football Writers Association of America.

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