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Sr. Bowl: South Practice - Day 2

By Joe Everett on Wednesday, 25th January 2012

criner-vs-steedThe South team got its first shot to practice at Ladd Peebles after putting up with the soaked field at Fairhope Stadium yesterday and they looked a lot sharper as a result with the improved conditions and new found chemistry.

Rookie Draft will be LIVE on location in Mobile all week for full coverage on the players, the practices and the big game.

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

↑ ANTONIO ALLEN - S - SOUTH CAROLINA: Allen is an impressive prospect from an athletic perspective with his extremely long wingspan and frame to go along with his terrific speed for a 200 pounder. He combines his ability with a high football IQ and great instincts to break on the football and blow plays up. He started off the practice with a bang by redirecting Jeff Fuller in the first five yards with a shot right to the beak and followed it up by predicting the slant route and cut him underneath. Allen also rocked Louisiana-Lafayette TE Ladarius Green on a short out that he sniffed out just as Foles wound up but he ate up the yardage quickly to get there from his safety position and deliver one of the few big hits of the day that sparked many reactions from the scouts in attendance.

↑ CASEY HAYWARD - CB - VANDERBILT: Speaking of physical defensive backs, Hayward had a very nice outing on the day and showed the ability to get into his receiver’s head by anticipating so well. He disrupted another pass by getting into Jeff Fuller on a quick slant and Ryan Lindley couldn’t connect because Fuller’s route wasn’t on time. The Commodore is proving to scouts why he could be a third round pick after a strong week in Mobile to go along with some favorable combine results.

↑ CHRIS RAINEY - RB/WR - FLORIDA: Rainey ran a ton of routes and although they list him as a runningback, he played more wide receiver than runningback today but what’s more important is that he equipped himself extremely well on the outside. He torched North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins on a basic nine route and made a terrific adjustment on a pass that was thrown a little too close to the sidelines but was able to haul in the pass. Rainey has a very slight build and doesn’t appear to be much of a back but he should be able to help an NFL team and contribute to their committee of backs because he brings so much value as a pass catcher.

↑ DWIGHT JONES - WR - NORTH CAROLINA: Jones was less of a mixed bag today thanks to some very impressive grabs and matchups that he decidedly won in day two. Jones certainly looks the part with his tall frame and great range of movement but he’s proving he belongs in the league here in Mobile with his ability to convert plays. He reeled in a one handed grab on the sidelines and also made a very nice adjustment on a Nick Foles throw that was well behind him. Jones is definitely a player that’s helping his stock here at the Senior Bowl.

↔ PATRICK EDWARDS - WR - HOUSTON: Edwards rebounded quite nicely today with a number of bigtime catches and victorious matchups against the South corners. Houston once again flashed his trademark speed and super quickness in his one on one matchups and he had no issues getting open but more importantly, he was able to capitalize on his chances and convert his targets into receptions today. As I mentioned yesterday, he’s very easy to root for considering his back story and after his continued improvement he’s going to be very enticing for an NFL team in the mid rounds.

↓ NICK FOLES - QB - ARIZONA: Foles has major issues with his ball placement and while he may have a pro style delivery and release, his deliberate passing motion tips off defensive backs to easily. The Wildcats’ QB definitely has adequate arm strength but the number of underthrows was staggering today, prompting our good friend @Andrew_Garda to lean over and tell me that he’s seen enough of “Foles and his Worm Burners”. Priceless! The lowlight of the day came when Foles overthrew an out route right into the fence around the sidelines and it’s really a shame that he’s squandering this opportunity.

↓ JANORIS JENKINS - CB - NORTH ALABAMA: Jenkins did not have a great day and there’s certainly some issues with deep speed and ball location, as he was beaten by former teammate Chris Rainey on a nine route thanks to great over the shoulder catch by Rainey and Jenkins was also torched by Patrick Edwards on another deep nine route that Jenkins was not even close on. The former Gator definitely has a good football IQ and understanding of the game but he’s had a lot of regrettable matchups thus far.

↓ SEAN SPENCE - LB - MIAMI: Spence is a very intriguing linebacker because of the program that he comes from and his athletic ability but he’s had some issues out in coverage especially today. He did a great job of playing position on Ladarius Green but simply couldn’t locate the football after he cut underneath Green’s out route. He also took a terrible angle on another running back in the flat and was unable to make play because he was out of position. Spence needs to pick up his performance in coverage because a lot of his value comes from being able to cover up space in zones and stick on tight ends in man coverage.

DRAFT NOTES: Of all the South team receivers, Juron Criner has been targeted the most through two days by the south quarterbacks but he’s also been very heavily contested after practice by the NFL scouts with the Raiders, 49ers and Redskins grilling the big receiver at the end of the day today.

OT Matt McCants from nearby UAB has been standing out in practice with his physical play and towering stature and after making a few comments on McCants to the local Fox New affiliate here in Mobile, I ended up on the news tonight talking UAB football. CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT

Texas A&M RB Cyrus Gray won’t be participating in the Senior Bowl week due to a failed physical and has been replaced by Louisiana Tech runningback Lennon Creer who I got a good look at during the Shrine Game week. Creer had some difficulty picking it back up today as a late invite with a big drop that hit him in the hands but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt here but will look for more from him the next couple of practices.

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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