2015 Senior Bowl Practice Report

This is Charlie Campbell’s Thursday 2015 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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2015 Senior Bowl: Thursday Practice Report: North Team

By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

The North team took the field of Ladd-Peebles Stadium for their final practice of the Senior Bowl on Thursday morning. The Tennessee Titans coaching staff ran the practice and will coach them all week. The Titans staff had the players practicing in full pads. Tennessee’s staff kept them going at a good pace and at a reasonably physical level. They started the session with some install and work in individual position groups. After that the players did a few one-on-one sessions, a few periods of special teams work and a team scrimmage. Here is a run down of the noteworthy players.

  • Thursday practice was an interesting session for the two most productive edge rushers in college football last year, Washington’s Hau’Oli Kikaha and Utah’s Nate Orchard. Kikaha started out with some struggles in man coverage against tight ends. The Huskies had Kikaha constantly rushing off the edge, so he needs to learn coverage technique to play outside linebacker in the NFL. Tight ends consistently achieved separation from him when they made their break on out routes.

    When it switched to pass-rushing, Kikaha had a lot more success. Penn State left tackle Donovan Smith had a nice rep holding Kikaha up on the edge, but Kikaha came back to burn Wisconsin’s Rob Havenstein with a speed rush around the corner. Kikaha also had a nice play in the run scrimmage as he strung out a block along the edge from Notre Dame’s Ben Koyack before almost clotheslining Minnesota running back David Cobb. Kikaha is a work in progress for the NFL as he will need to learn to pass coverage. That along with his size puts him more as a second-day prospect.

  • Orchard also struggled in pass coverage. Delaware tight end Nick Boyle burned him on an out and up. Orchard tried holding Koyack, but he broke free for a reception. Koyack also had some wins against Orchard in the pass-blocking one-on-ones as he held him up on a few reps. In the team scrimmage, Orchard came back to make some nice plays, including a tackle for a loss after staying home on a reverse. He also had some good rushes. Orchard looks more natural as a defensive end. If he goes to a 3-4 defense, he’ll need some developmental time.

  • Duke guard Laken Tomlinson finished his practice week in good form as he had a nice day in the pass-blocking one-on-ones. Tomlinson had wins over Arizona State’s Marcus Hardison and Iowa’s Louis Trinca-Pasat, and fought well against Washington’s Danny Shelton. Tomlinson did well in the run scrimmage as well. He has achieved his objective to represent himself well at the Senior Bowl.

  • Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton was superb once again. He destroyed Marshall center Chris Jasperse on a few one-on-ones. Shelton is such a heavy load that he is a mismatch as a nose tackle lining up over the center. It would be a massive surprise if Shelton wasn’t the first player drafted from the 2015 Senior Bowl.

  • A player who could have been in that conversation from all the hype he got, but who ended up really struggled all week was Pittsburgh offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings. That continued on Thursday. He was beaten by Penn State’s Deion Barnes with speed around the edge in the one-on-ones. That happened on back-to-back plays in the team scrimmage, and Clemmings had to tackle Barnes to keep him from making a sack. Clemmings has a skill set to work with, but his technique needs a lot of development. The Senior Bowl did not leave Clemmings lookin like the top-25 pick that some have made him out to be.

  • Minnesota running back David Cobb has had a strong week. Once again, he competed well in the blitz-protection drill. Cobb lost some reps and won some others, but you see the potential there for him to grow into being a back who could contribute in blitz protection. In the run scrimmage and team scrimmage, Cobb ripped off a few good runs as he was patient to follow the play before showing some burst to the second level. Cobb has definitely helped himself in Mobile.

  • Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah did well on Thursday. He showed his speed when he exploded into the secondary in the run scrimmage after he ran untouched through the front seven. Abdullah will need to work on his pass protection, but once he gets that done, he could be a valuable third-down back with some receiving ability.

  • One defensive back stood out throughout the practice on Thursday: Texas’ Quandre Diggs. He made a leaping interception in the middle of the field on a pass from Baylor’s Bryce Petty. Diggs had good coverage on a number of other plays before showing his fearless, gritty physicality to fire into the scrum and make a goal line tackle for no gain. Diggs plays with a chip on his shoulder and he displayed that on Thursday.

  • Another defensive back who has had a solid week is USC’s Josh Shaw. He had an interception in the seven-on-sevens as well. Shaw has some press-man coverage skills, but he really looks like a better fit athletically as a free safety. That could be a great fit for him to help deep while being able to line up in man coverage on some slot receivers and tight ends.

  • Northwestern safety Ibraheim Campbell had an interception on a poorly thrown pass by East Carolina’s Shane Carden. The ball was overthrown in the middle of the field and wasn’t close to a receiver.

  • That leads to the quarterbacks overall. They were inept on Thursday morning. For a practice to have that many turnovers by the trigger men is just dreadful. Petty added to the mistakes by tossing a pitch far over the head and behind Cobb. The quarterbacks didn’t impress in the team scrimmage, and none of them look worthy of consideration until well into Day 3.

    2015 Senior Bowl Home
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    Interview with Denzel Perryman at 2015 Senior Bowl
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    2015 Senior Bowl: Friday's Rumor Mill
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    2015 Senior Bowl: Thursday's Rumor Mill
    2015 Senior Bowl Thursday's North Practice Report
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    2015 Senior Bowl Thursday's North Team Prospect Meetings
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    Interview with Devin Smith at 2015 Senior Bowl
    Interview with Phillip Dorsett at 2015 Senior Bowl
    2015 Senior Bowl: Wednesday's Rumor Mill
    2015 Senior Bowl Wednesday's North Team Prospect Meetings
    2015 Senior Bowl Wednesday's South Team Prospect Meetings
    2015 Senior Bowl Tuesday's North Practice Report
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    Interview with T.J. Clemmings at 2015 Senior Bowl
    2015 Senior Bowl: Tuesday's Rumor Mill
    Interview with Danny Shelton at 2015 Senior Bowl
    2015 Senior Bowl Tuesday's Prospect Meetings
    2015 Senior Bowl Tuesday's North Practice Report
    2015 Senior Bowl Tuesday's South Practice Report
    2015 Senior Bowl: Monday's Rumor Mill
    2015 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Quarterbacks
    2015 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Running Backs
    2015 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Wide Receivers
    2015 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Tight Ends
    2015 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Offensive Linemen
    2015 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Defensive Linemen
    2015 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Linebackers
    2015 Senior Bowl Weigh-In: Defensive Backs

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