2019 Senior Bowl: Tuesday Practice Report: South Team
This is Charlie Campbell's Tuesday 2019 Senior Bowl Practice Report for the South Team. 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 first practice of the South team in the Senior Bowl was held in Mobile, Ala. in Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The players practicing in shells: helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts. The South team is being coached by the San Francisco 49ers
The first day of practice at the Senior Bowl is usually a bit sloppy, and the opening session for 2019 lived down to that tradition, as there were lots of dropped passes, some fumbled handoffs, botched snaps and false start/offsides penalties. There also can be more incompletions than normal, as quarterbacks work with new receivers running new plays and failing to be on the same page for the routes being run. That was evident in the South quarterbacks. Of the South signal callers, West Virginia's Will Grier had the best practice of the trio.
Grier did not dominate and was not overly impressive. However, he was solid, showing some field vision and putting the ball in good places. Grier had a number of good passes, throwing the ball to the right receiver in zone coverage and had the ball dropped. Grier could be a good fit in a West Coast offense, executing quick precision passes in the short to intermediate part of the field.
There were also some plays that illustrated some of Grier's limitations. When Grier has to move his feet and throw on the run, his arm strength really fades. Grier is not a statue in the pocket, but for the NFL, he won't be a dual-threat quarterback, and athletically, he is not going to be a challenge for defenders to sack or chase down when he scrambles. In this analyst's opinion, Grier looks like he would fit best as a backup quarterback, but he does not have skill set to be dynamic starter. Thus, Grier would be a more appropriate value on the second day of the draft.
Wyoming defensive end Carl Granderson was one of the most impressive players on the South team on Tuesday. Granderson had some excellent rushes in the pass-rushing one-on-ones. He had an impressive win over Alabama State's Tytus Howard, setting him up by starting to the outside before using speed to cut back inside and get to the quarterback marker. Grandson followed that up with some other wins on speed rushes and showed some speed to power with variety in pass-rushing moves.
In the team scrimmage session, Granderson had two impressive plays in run defense, showing his speed to get to the perimeter to stop a back for a short gain and then holding his ground on a downhill back before spinning away from the tackle to stuff a back in the hole. A few plays later, Granderson had an obvious sack of Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson on a speed rush from the outside.
For the NFL, Granderson (6-4, 246) would probably be best as a 3-4 outside linebacker, as he has a lean frame and will need to add a lot of weight to be an end in a 4-3 defense. Still, this was a really nice start to the week for Granderson.
Granderson was not the only edge rusher to have a solid start to the week. Mississippi State's Montez Sweat had some impressive rushes, including his final rep where he pushed Howard into the ground to get free for an easy win. In the team scrimmage, Sweat exploded into the backfield to get a sack of Jackson. Sweat has excellent speed and length off the edge that gives offensive tackles a lot of problems. If he has a strong week in Mobile, Sweat should solidify his chances of being selected in the back half of the opening round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Texas A&M defensive tackle Daylon Mack also had a quality start to the week. He had two wins over Ross Pierschbacher with strong bull rushes. Mack used a swim over Oklahoma's Dru Samia for another win. Mack dominated the interior linemen with his natural pad level, explosion out of his stance, power, and leverage at the East-West Shrine last week.
Mack has a lot of ability, but work ethic concerns plague his draft status. He could be best as a rotational nose tackle in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense.
Louisiana Tech defensive end Jaylon Ferguson has some fans in the scouting community who think he is an intriguing talent. Ferguson did well overall in the pass rushing one-on-ones. He had a very impressive win over Washington State's Andre Dillard, using a rip move to the inside. Ferguson had some other good wins, but also an ugly rep where he was mandhanled by Alabama State's Tytus Howard. Howard pushed Ferguson into the turf with violence.
At 6-foot-4, 256 pounds, Ferguson is going to need to get stronger for taking on NFL offensive tackles.
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