I'm with you on the Vikings and Dolphins, but I'm not sure about your read on the Giants. They're not getting healthy. Their two best O-linemen (Pugh and Richburg) are doubtful. With a decimated O-line and Hankins out, the Giants are clearly the weaker team in the trenches in this matchup. You mentioned that the G-Men could be motivated by their opportunity to cushion their lead in the NFC East, but don't forget that Washington can pull into a tie for first with a win. Just some food for thought.
1. Hackenberg needs to the right team with a mature environment where he can sit behind a quality starter. He is the best arm talent in the draft. Has excellent footwork and a nice release. He moves well in the pocket despite all the sacks. he is a play action quarterback who inexplicably plays zone read in college. In the rare instances they run play action from under center he looks great. Then they go back to zone read. The defenses don't honor his running ability and just tee off on the running back. Which puts them behind the chains consistently and there is no draftable talent offensively on his team outside of the RB Barkley(freshman)
Today was another gorgeous day in Mobile. I'm loving this weather and very thankful we don't have too much wind, cold temperatures and rain. The Draft gods are certainly looking out for us this. Let's get to the report:
One player who didn't impress me that much today was UMass offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse. He didn't look like the most fluid athlete and he struggled with his lateral movement in 1v1's. Tyson Alualu stunned him with a rip move then later got under his pads on a bull a little too much for my liking. The scouts and coaches want to see how the small-school guys step up to the big competition and Ducasse isn't living up to the hype at the moment after a great weigh-in.
TCU linebacker Daryl Washington had another great day of practice. He's very athletic with great range and was all over the field on 11v11's. The problem is I think he lacks some versatility as a WILL linebacker only, but can also be a very good producer on special teams early in his career.
Yesterday's MVP, Boise State corner Kyle Wilson, has really stepped up to the plate this week. He is turning and running with receivers, and is very physical with his jam at the line of scrimmage. I have a hard time seeing him go in the first round, but he's solidifying a second-round grade this week.
One player who really impressed me today was Wake Forest's Brandon Ghee. Clemson's Jacoby Ford is the fastest receiver here (sub 4.40 time) and Ghee was step for step with Ford on a go route and had a beautiful pass break-up. These are the same plays I saw on tape. Ghee didn't see many balls thrown his way this past year at Wake Forest, but when given the chance, he made some plays in Tuesday's practice.
Wisconsin tight end Garrett Graham really struggles getting off the jam at 234 pounds. I talked to a couple draftniks who are seriously concerned with his frame. Graham showed good hands at the practice, but he looks like a late-rounder.
Illinois' Mike Hoomanawanui had the block of the day that got the Lions tight ends coach very hyped on the field and drew a gasp from the crowd. He's a very physical player with excellent strength, and I think he would be a great fit for teams like Carolina and Cincinnati that love blocking tight ends.
The receiver who showed some inconsistencies today was Cincinnati's Mardy Gilyard. He struggled to locate the football times and avoided contact. On tape I see he's scared to go over the middle and with his frame (179 pounds) he needs to prove that he plays bigger than he is. Draftniks seem to be torn on him - you love Gilyard or hate him. I personally don't like him very much.
Notre Dame safety Kyle McCarthy will struggle to get drafted in the first five rounds. I love his vocal leadership on the field and toughness, but he really struggles to eliminate space and lacks some serious speed.
From the little I saw of Rutgers' corner Devin McCourty today I was quite impressed. He's starting to win me over, and the thing I like about him is his intriguing, under-the-radar skill set. McCourty is a jack-of-all-trades, master of none but he finds ways to make plays, and receivers have a tough time fooling him when they get out of their breaks.
Idaho's Mike Iupati was very physical in 11v11's, but in 1v1's he was simply on the ground too much for my liking. He'll overextend and play top heavy, but the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced there's no way the Cowboys pass up on him in the first round. He's a prototypical guard for their system. Iupati manhandled Purdue defensive tackle Mike Neal a couple times and made it look easy - and Neal is an impressive specimen.
My favorite defensive tackle here so far is easily Penn State's Jared Odrick. He is very consistent, doesn't take many plays off, and has the best hands of any defensive lineman here. Odrick is very active and I think he can put on another 15 pounds without losing much speed.
Cincinnati's Tony Pike had another poor outing. His accuracy was shaky and he threw a ball that was one of the ugliest passes I've ever seen out of a college quarterback. He put out too much good tape for me to take this week too seriously, but second round is now out of the question because he lacks some serious bulk as a stick figure which will turn a lot of teams off.
Another defensive tackle who is impressing is Louisiana Tech's D'Anthony Smith. He has been playing with some power and nice quickness, and I was really impressed with his build at the weigh-in.
My most favorite coach on the Lions staff is without a doubt is defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. He's giving a lot of good pointers technique-wise, and I love his backwards hat and fiery demeanor.
Michigan's Brandon Graham had a very nice practice today and this is his environment. At the Combine he won't blow your socks off, but when the pads are on, he stands out. Graham is very physical and has some good short area quickness. He made Utah's Zane Beadles eat dirt on a nasty spin move that had the sidelines crowing.
Murray State defensive end Austin Lane made some impressive plays in 11v11's. In pursuit, he showed a good motor and got himself involved. He measured in at a legit 6-6 and he has room to add on some muscle. He's a sleeper to watch out for in the draft process.
One of my favorite tight ends in the 2010 NFL Draft is Oregon's Ed Dickson. He's an average in-line blocker, but he has great ball skills, and showed good athleticism and body control in going up and catching a pass a couple feet over his head on a seam route.
Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is making me forget about his average senior season. I've been told he has a very outgoing personality, but on the football field his instincts come to life and he is quick to diagnose and react. A big game in the Senior Bowl could guarantee he comes off the board in the top 50 picks.
I can't wait to see Tim Tebow, Taylor Mays and the rest of the South team later on today. Remember to come back to the site tonight for more Senior Bowl coverage live from Mobile!