As always, I attended the Fairhope Stadium Practice to get a closer look at the players and an early head start on the interviews. The South team actually had some moments of crispness, coupled with a lot of miscues but the yearly appearance by Nick Saban and a number of other coaches made it the practice to attend.
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
LIKED WHAT I SAW
WR QUINTON PATTON, LOUISIANA TECH – It’s hard not to like this guy, regardless of what his forty time may read or thinking about his ridiculous stats. He was in and out of his routes quickly and showed off his fabulous feet today, both during drills and in the seven on seven/scrimmage portions of the day. He is a true hands catcher, with only one ball getting into his chest during the practice that I noticed. He also checked in at over 200 pounds today, which is a question mark I had going into the process. All in all Patton was as advertised, a great player that has the makings of a long time starter in the league.
QB TYLER WILSON, ARKANSAS – This guy can spin a football with amazing consistency and shows the ability to place the football on a receiver in a variety of angles. Wilson displayed accuracy, timing and necessary torque on his throws today. It’s not that he has the strongest arm on the South team, he just has the nicest rotation of any of the south quarterbacks. He did miss on a few throws to the far hash but nobody’s saying he’s perfect but as far as who had the best first impression, it’s going to Wilson and that’s coming from a Landry Jones supporter.
CB LEON MCFADDEN, SAN DIEGO STATE – McFadden entered this event as a corner of note but after today, he’ll be a hot topic of conversation for talent evaluators on the sidelines tomorrow and going forward. He appeared to know the exact route of his opposition at times in the one on ones and was able to disrupt two attempts thanks to his phenomenal recovery speed. More than any other player on the sidelines that drew praise, McFadden had a few “Ew and Aw” plays and deservingly so. I fully expect him to thrive tomorrow during the full scrimmages against the South receivers. He’s definitely a player on the rise.
TE VANCE MCDONALD, RICE – McDonald really stood out and put himself on the map today with a fine display of ball skills, physicality and athleticism. The Rice product caught nearly everything thrown his way and, in the seven on seven portion, ran away from Nico Johnson on the far sideline for a 30 yard catch. McDonald is a mismatch and poses a threat in a team’s secondary, which will definitely put him firmly on the radar as a sleeper tight end this year.
TE MYCHAL MIVERA, TENNESSEE – This guy showed up chiseled at the weigh-in and he showed up at the south practice with some impressive catches. He caught a pass that Landry Jones threw behind him on a short out that he spun around backwards for in the 11 on 11 segment and he also showed great concentration highpointing the football. He goes after the football aggressively and he has a lot of suddenness for a big guy at 244 pounds.
WR TERRENCE WILLIAMS, BAYLOR – Williams made some legit highlight reel catches today but he also had a number of bod catches, as well as two drops that brought about some concern to what type of ball skills he has. There’s no denying his straight line speed, as he burned Robert Alford early in the day on a basic 9 route and also made another nice double move later in the practice that created a ton of space, showing off exactly what he’s good at. Once again, there’s nothing wrong with this guy, just more of a “they are who we thought they were” observation.
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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Arkansas, Baylor, Draft, Leon McFadden, Louisiana Tech, Mychal Riviera, NFL, NFL draft, Quinton Patton, Rice, Rookie, Rookie Draft, San Diego State, Senior Bowl, Tennessee, Terrence Williams, Tyler Wilson, Vance McDonald