West practice featured a padded practice that had a very identifiable intensity with the added element of contact. The lack of a full 40 minutes of stretching was also a refreshing change and made for much more drills, one on ones, 7 on 7 and live scrimmages.
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WR DAN BUCKNER, ARIZONA - Buckner is off to a super week on the whole, as he’s received a bulk of the targets in 7 on 7 drills and in the live scrimmages, converting on a majority of his opportunities. In both days he has displayed excellent concentration but he is the one receiver that has a visible chemistry with all three west quarterbacks. He locates the ball very quickly and is a major threat in possession on back shoulder fades, curls and outs where he can use his strength and size to beat his man. Buckner is a definitely a player that will be selected on Saturday but will likely end up starting a lot of games in the NFL.
S SHAMARKO THOMAS, SYRACUSE - I had to check and see if this guy had wings because he literally appears to fly around the field. He has legit 4.40 speed and is a natural leader on and off the field, as he’s been supporting his five younger siblings since the death of both of his parents. He reads and reacts to quarterbacks like a real pro and two instances today, arrived before the ball and was forced to pull up and NOT deliver the knockout blow. Thomas is going to thrive at the next level as an outside of the box safety that delivers punishing blows to ball carriers and excels in pass coverage.
LB ALBERT ROSETTE, NEVADA - Rosette is a disciplined defender that understands coverages and anticipates quarterbacks so well. Simply put, he has a knack for finding the football. He excels at diagnosing plays, shedding blocks and breaking up runs. He has been breaking the huddle and calling out audibles in scrimmages and in 7 on 7 drills. With the history of Nevada linebackers in the NFL, you can be sure to see Albert on Sundays making plays in an NFL stadium near you.
KEENAN DAVIS, IOWA - Had an impressive day today with some highlight reel catches and double moves that left defensive backs twisting in the wind. He had a tremendous over the shoulder catch that he was able to haul into the endzone. Davis lets a lot of footballs into his body and is not a consistent hands catcher but the body catches he makes, are almost always converted. While he had a standout performance today, I’m still not convinced that he’s a starter in the league and his languid change of direction speed will haunt him in the pros when he’s trying to separate from NFL corners.
CB MICAH HYDE, IOWA - Hyde is yet another Hawkeye who had an impressive day two with a number of routes identified and great fundamental play. He made an outstanding diving interception on a pass intended for Dan Buckner on a curl route that he broke on, showing off his fabulous recovery speed when he sees the play. While some scouts view him as a safety, he certainly can survive in a predominant zone defense where he can read and react within the scheme.
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