The South practices have been a little less enthusiastic and there’s been less to glean from this team, as opposed to the North squad who got so much done earlier today that they let practice out nearly twenty minutes early.
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
QB LANDRY JONES, OKLAHOMA - Jones really threw some beautiful passes today, even drawing raves from onlookers as well as scouts. He can put the football on a line and has a very smooth delivery. The issues that cropped up for Jones have been chemistry and timing but if there’s a competition for who throws the prettiest pass in mobile, Jones is a very close second to Tyler Wilson thus far. Landry isn’t going to be a player that enters the league and immediately starts but he is going to be an ideal system passer that teams will want to develop behind an established starter.
WR CONNER VERNON, DUKE - The Miami native is quietly having a good week because of his quickness redirecting his body, selling his routes and finding ways to convert those difficult contested catches with a linebacker or nickleback bearing down on him. Twice he was able to attack the ball in traffic and come away with a catch in between defenders or right in the hole of the zone, showing some real savvy finding space. He has a lot of similar characteristics to a Steve Smith from USC that played for the Giants and Eagles, both have the excellent change of direction and superior ball skills that should allow Vernon to thrive as a slot type receiver.
WR TERRANCE WILLIAMS, BAYLOR - Williams has continued to impress with a two big catches down the field over his defender on jump balls, with his ability to adjust quickly and get over the top. He hooked up with Landry Jones on a corner endzone throw that was just a thing of beauty. Williams hasn’t been as highly ranked on my board but with his ability to beat press coverage and the extra vertical dimension he posses to his game, you can be sure he’ll be elevated up my ranks and the ranks of a few other boards out there. It’s a scary realization that at one point the Baylor Bears had Kendall Wright, Josh Gordon and Terrance Williams all on the same roster.
RB STEPFAN TAYLOR, STANFORD - While there never is a ton of info to glean from the backs in these practices, today featured a lot more contact with full pads but it also contained the backs on backers drills and this was an area that Taylor was able to shine with his thick lower body and powerful core. He flat out squashed Vince Williams in one of the reps and just shows off terrific effort on everything that has been put in front of him, which is certain to be noted by the evaluators here. Taylor isn’t going to be selected in the Top-100 picks but there’s a very good chance that he’ll outplay some of the backs selected before him because of his high character and professional approach.
CB ROBERT ALFORD, SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA - Alford had a rough start to day one with a couple of hitches but if you’ve watched him, he’s improved each practice and is just now starting to hit his comfort zone. He’s flashed some real recovery speed but it’s his understanding of position that shined out today. He got Cobi Hamilton to the outside and bodied him outside the hashes on a deep route that was just perfect technique and field awareness. This small schooler has done a phenomenal job of adapting to the big names and taking his game up another notch in the process. Alford was ALREADY in my #6 cornerback coming into Mobile.
DE EZEKIEL ANSAH, BYU - Ansah has had some moments, standing out in both good and bad ways. Twice he was man-handled by Jordan Mills and he didn’t fare much better against Lane Johnson or Oday Aboushi. He did have a batted pass today and another couple yesterday which is right in line with his profile length off the edge but it also shows a knack for following the play and disrupting passing lanes. Coach Schwartz recently said in his press conference that he doesn’t think Ansah is raw and has seen some very impressive plays from him. While that is very true, there’s no doubting that Ansah’s best days of playing football are clearly ahead of him and he still has a ways to go with hand usage, setting the edge and developing his lower body.
DE MALLICIAH GOODMAN, CLEMSON - As mentioned in the last installment of the south report, Malliciah Goodman was taken advantage of by Jordan Mills but he has been abused by Lane Johnson, who flattened him during the scrimmages. All in all, Googman has just been on the ground a lot and that’s a bad sign for a guy who is supposed to set the edge, maintain the outside arc and fight through double teams. As highly touted as this kid has been, there’s got to be a point in time where you have to start knocking him down the board of defensive ends and potential rush outside linebackers.
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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, BYU, Clemson, College Football, Draft, Ezekiel Ansah, Football, Malliciah Goodmaqn, NFL, NFL draft, Pro Football, Robert Alford, Rookie, Rookie Draft, Senior Bowl, Southeastern Louisiana