Wednesday's 2014 Senior Bowl Practice Report: South
This is Charlie Campbell's Wednesday 2014 Senior Bowl Practice Report. Charlie is reporting live from Mobile, Ala., and he'll describe what he sees at practice and whom certain prospects talk to all week.
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By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell
The South team took the field of Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Wednesday for their third practice of the Senior Bowl. The Jacksonville Jaguars' coaching staff had the players practicing in full pads. Jacksonville's staff kept the South squad going at a good pace and at a reasonably physical level. The players started the session with some installation and work in individual position groups. After that the South did a few one-on-one sessions, a few periods of special teams work and a team scrimmage. Here is a rundown of the noteworthy players.
Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr completed his solid week of practice with another quality outing. Carr threw some nice, accurate passes downfield while displaying some footwork. He made a few good passes on the run, including in the team scrimmage. Carr didn't have to scramble around a whole lot in college, so it was good for him to show scouts that he has the potential to throw on the move.
Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did well overall, despite missing a huge opportunity on the first snap of the team scrimmage. On a flea flicker, Garoppolo had Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood running wide open down the field for a touchdown. It was the most wide-open bomb Garoppolo may ever have, but instead he threw incomplete to the sideline in the intermediate part of the field for Jordan Matthews. The entire team groaned and shouted at Garoppolo while the Jaguars play-caller hit him over the head with the play sheet. Other than that missed opportunity, Garoppolo was solid on Wednesday.
Auburn cornerback Chris Davis was made famous by his field goal return for a touchdown that beat Alabama this season, but he needs a lot of work as a cornerback. Davis was all over receivers all day long; he would have been repeatedly flagged for pass interference penalties or holding calls in the NFL. Davis was able to break up a pass intended for Kevin Norwood, but only because he was grabbing Norwood throughout the route. Even while holding, BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman was able to push Davis away for a completion. Davis looks like he would fit best as a returner who is a developmental project as a corner. Davis isn't ready to compete against NFL receivers.
Utah cornerback Keith McGill has done well this week. He broke on the ball to deflect a pass while covering Texas' Mike Davis. McGill later pulled up lame while trying to cover Florida's Solomon Patton. After giving it another try, McGill took himself off the field with looked like a pulled muscle.
Patton and Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews did well on Wednesday. Patton was using his speed to get some separation and made some nice catches downfield. Matthews showed his ability to work the short to intermediate part of the field. He beat Georgia Southern cornerback Lavelle Westbrooks on a slant for a nice gain. However, Florida cornerback Jaylen Watkins continued his strong week by blanketing Matthews to force a pass breakup.
California defensive tackle DeAndre Coleman had a nice practice. During the team scrimmage, Coleman flowed down the line to tackle Georgia Southern running back Jerick McKinnon. Coleman also showed a burst and used some power to go through Oklahoma's Gabe Ikard to win a rep. Coleman's power beat North Dakota State's Billy Turner on a bull rush. Coleman also showed up well in the 9-on-7 run scrimmage. He has had a respectable week.
Tennessee defensive tackle Daniel McCullers dispensed Arkansas center Travis Swanson with an impressive bull rush. McCullers can be tough to block, but he has to rembemer to keep his knee bend and pad level in check. Otherwise, McCullers stands up too high, which allows offensive linemen underneath his pads. McCullers looks like a natural as a 3-4 nose tackle to line up over centers.
Auburn edge rusher Dee Ford was impressive again on Wednesday. He burned Matt Pacthan in the team scrimmage for a potential sack of David Fales. Ford had some nice reps in the one-on-ones as well. Ford could be a nice pass-rushing weapon in the NFL.
Boston College tackle Matt Patchan was a late add to the Senior Bowl and made his debut on Wednesday. Patchan had some rusty moments. He did get a win against Alabama outside linebacker Adrian Hunnard as he anchored against a bull rush. Patchan was burned on a spin move by Florida State's Christian Jones. Another late addition, Louisiana Tech's IK Enemkpali, beat Patchan by slapping down his hands and then spinning away from him. Patchan may be better off moving inside to guard at the next level.
Enemkpali made up for some lost time and had an impressive win against Virginia tackle Morgan Moses. Enemkpali used a spin move to the inside to get by Moses. Moses had a nice win against Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard.
Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton had a rough start to the week, but he played better on Wednesday. Sutton beat Florida State center Bryan Stork with a speed rush and a bull rush. Sutton also used a spin move to go by Turner. It wasn't flawless practice for Sutton as Nevada guard Joel Bitonio had a nice play riding him deep and around the pocket. Once Sutton drops 15 pounds, he should be back to his old form.
BYU outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy flashed on Wednesday. He surprised North Dakota State's Billy Turner in the one-on-ones with a bull rush that pushed Turner straight back to the quarterback marker. In the rematch, Turner was able to beat Van Noy when he rode him too deeply around the pocket. Van Noy destroyed Vanderbilt left tackle Wesley Johnson with a bull rush on the final play of the practice to pick up a sack on Fales.
Coastal Carolina running back Lorenzo Taliaferro has gone under the radar but has played well this week. He had nice interior run in the team scrimmage to dodge defenders and get to the second level before he was grabbed from behind by Dee Ford.
WalterFootball.com will have more practice reports, post-practice interview observations and rumormill entries this week live from Mobile. Follow me or Walt (@walterfootball) for updates.
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