2020 Senior Bowl: Tuesday's North Team Practice Report
By Charlie Campbell - @draftcampbell
The first practice of the North team in the Senior Bowl was held in Mobile, Alabama in Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The players practicing in shells: helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts. The North team is being coached by the Detroit Lions coaching staff.
The first day of practice at the Senior Bowl is usually a bit sloppy, and the opening session for 2020 lived up to that tradition, as there were lots of dropped passes, some fumbled handoffs, fumbled snaps, and false start/offsides penalties. There also can be more incompletions than normal because quarterbacks are working with new receivers running new plays and failing to be on the same page for the routes being run. Utah State quarterback Jordan Love is the top trigger man on the North team, but he had an uneven practice with a lot of these issues.
In the one-on-ones without a defensive or offensive line, Love seemed to throw the wrong route on one play, tossed the pass far behind Notre Dame's massive wideout Chase Claypool on another, and had a few other throws on which his accuracy was off. On the flip side, Love made some excellent passes, including a pretty corner post route to Ohio State wideout K.J. Hill after he got open against Wake Forest's Essang Bassey. Love had another nicely located pass to USC's Michael Pittman Jr. after he got some separation by turning vertically versus Utah's Terrell Burgess.
Love had some rough moments in the team scrimmage, including plays where he didn't see the field well. He also threw a ball up for grabs in the deep middle of the field like it was a wounded duck and was fortunate a defender could not chase the ball down for an interception. Love has a very good skill set, but his field vision is a crushing weakness at this time. It will be important for him to show improvement there over the next two practices to help his draft stock.
Wisconsin outside linebacker Zack Baun had a really strong opening session, notching a lot of wins in the one-on-ones and doing well in the team scrimmage. Baun used a wicked spin move to get the better of West Virginia tackle Colton McKivitz with a fast victory to the inside. Baun used speed to the outside to fly by UConn's Matt Peart for another win. In the team scrimmage, Baun applied pressure and showed some ability to cover. He would be a nice fit for the NFL in a 3-4 scheme that lets him move around while primarily rushing off the edge with five-technique help.
Team sources told me UCLA running back Joshua Kelley is a player who stood out to them and impressed them in the opening session for the North squad. Kelley played really well for the Bruins as a tough runner, and he has three-down potential for the NFL. Kelley is a sleeper back who could be a really good value on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore was another player who team evaluators said did well in their eyes on Tuesday. Gallimore is a quick interior rusher who can get upfield and give interior blockers problems in pass protection. Gallimore could be a good fit as a three-technique in a 4-3 defense and has the potential to be a steal on Day 2 during the 2020 NFL Draft.
Michigan edge rusher Josh Uche showed some versatility to his game, doing a nice job in the pass coverage portion. He had good breakup on a pass to Purdue tight end Brycen Hopkins. Uche also rushed well off the edge, as expected, but he also illustrated that he could be a Sam linebacker in a 4-3 scheme along with being an end in the sub package. Prior to practice, Uche told WalterFootball.com he practiced at Sam for years but Michigan used him as a pass-rusher in games because he was too valuable in that role to have him do many Sam linebacker plays. If Uche can show cover skills at the Senior Bowl and in the drills at the combine and his pro day, that will really help open up other options for him during the 2020 NFL Draft.
WalterFootball.com will have more recaps from the Senior Bowl practices on Wednesday and Thursday along with a run-down of the post-practice team interviews. Follow @walterfootball
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