East Carolina’s Zay Jones had a big day at the final 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl Practice. Who else caught me attention on the North team? (Glenn Andrew USA Today Sports)

The final day of the 2017 Reese’s Senior Bowl practices wrapped up on Thursday. It’s always impressive to see which players really improve from the beginning of the week compared to the last practice. The North team coached by John Fox and the rest of the Bears staff ran a really impressive up-tempo practice. I was impressed with how organized they were. Take a look at some of my thoughts on the final practices down in Mobile.

For more on the 1st day of North team practices click here!

For a recap on the 2nd day of North team practices click here!

Quarterbacks:

There’s really only one worth mentioning; Nate Peterman from Pittsburgh. I really wanted to narrow my attention on him because as I mentioned before in the other practice recaps that the other two guys are undraftable. I went back before the day started and tried to get a better gauge on some of his collegiate highlights. I came away very unimpressed running a very gimmicky offense that features a lot of shovel passes. During the practices, he did not have a lot of velocity on his deep balls. Often times even when the receiver had his man beat, the ball took too long to get there. The lack of arm strength is a real concern and also threw an ugly interception during the team drill. I would probably take a flier on him starting in the 6th round knowing that he could develop into an okay backup similar to Matt Moore being his ceiling.

Running Backs:

Pass protection is really a big issue with rookie running backs often times. I think Corey Clement really improved in that area today which says a lot considering he never did it in college. His backup who we saw at the East-West game Dare Ogunbowale, was the pass protection guy. I think if Clement continues to show up in that area teams will feel really good about picking this guy as a solid change of pace back. I thought the Wisconsin product showed the most patience of any back as well. I may sound repetitive but Kareem Hunt continues to stand out as well. I think realistically he is the only 3 down runner at the Senior Bowl as is by far the most physical player at the position. He’s not afraid to drop his pad level and take on blocks either. Both Toledo guys (Tight End Michael Roberts being the other), blocked really well. I would be comfortable taking either one of these guys starting in the 3rd or 4th rounds. I also have to mention Sam Rogers quickly out of Virginia Tech. He catches the ball really easily for the fullback position but isn’t much of a power runner.

Wide Receivers:

Let’s start with Zay Jones. Boy did this guy really start to separate himself as a premier player. I saw him win on two straight deep balls showing a real quickness and shiftiness about him that I didn’t particular see the other two days. I think he may be more than just a long physical guy which is huge for his draft stock. Take a look at a quick highlight below as he does a great job of tracking the ball in the air.

 

The other is Cooper Kupp. I’ll be honest, I’m always wary of small school guys, especially ones that come from the FCS level but this guy is fantastic. I don’t think anyone on the offensive side of the ball has helped himself more than Kupp. Watch him school Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis on this route. Kupp just has such smooth transitions with his hips and knee bend that you simply can’t teach. By the way, Lewis is pretty good too. It’s hard to make a guy look silly that lead the country is fewest completion percentage against.

 

Others worth mentioning include Amara Darboh and Trent Taylor. Darboh kind of lulls you to sleep as he isn’t a superior athlete but he continues to make impressive catches in traffic. Also this Taylor, I don’t know how high you can take a guy like this but he keeps getting open. Maybe you can turn him into a Danny Amendola, the Patriots love undersized, quick route runners like him.

Tight Ends:

Michael Roberts really stood out in the blocking drills today. I thought all week he was the most consistent tight end on the North team. I’m interested to see how fast he is going to run at the combine because he showed a little burst in the catching drills today. The other two tight ends Jeremy Sprinkle and Jonnu Smith struggled in blocking. Sprinkle had his moments but often times he got way too high and didn’t bend his knees. Smith is a guy I haven’t really talked about before because he has off the field questions but he had some good moments getting open and catching the ball.

Offensive Line:

I thought overall the offensive line as a whole was drastically better from day one. Today the lineman moved around quite a bit from their usual positions which helped find out which ones are versatile enough to play multiple positions. Dan Feeney from Indiana came in with a lot of buzz and actually played better at center than guard. I found that fascinating but to me, he looked overpowered often times.  I’m curious to see what he is going to bench at the combine because he really struggled with the powerful defensive tackles. Temple’s Dion Dawkins played some tackle today and performed very well. I still think he is a better guard but in a pinch, I think he showed that he is talented enough to play outside if need be. To conclude this group, I thought the small school guys (Julien Davenport and Jordan Morgan) really struggled. Davenport from Bucknell just didn’t adjust to the speed rusher which obviously he never saw nearly this level of competition playing at Bucknell. Morgan really got pushed around but I think he has some potential, just very raw.

Defensive Line:

The two Michigan guys Ryan Glasgow and Chris Wormley had good days. Glasgow’s brother actually got drafted a year ago by the Lions in the third round center. I think this one could fall in the same range as a nice 3 technique. Wormley has a bit more pass rush ability than his teammate which could create more value for him. Team’s always value guys that can get after the quarterback compared to stopping the run. I’d put Wormley at the 5 technique in the 3-4 base end. I thought Duwaune Smoot bounced back well today. He had his fair share of beating up on tight ends in the blocking drills but continued to struggle with the powerful mauling tackles. Tarrell Basham in my mind is still the best pure pass rusher in the group. They even had him drop back in coverage today in preparation for a 3-4 outside linebacker role which I accurately predicted yesterday. Although he looked lost in coverage, you go and let this guy hunt quarterbacks. Some quick hitters include Isaac Rochell of Notre Dame and Larry Ogunjobi of Charlotte. Both players are raw and need some development but both players have some promise. It’s a matter of taking that wild and out of control nature out and defining their pass rushing skills and an interior force.

Linebackers:

Let’s just stop for a second and just admire the week that Temple’s Haason Reddick had. No one was more impressive than this guy all week. What Reddick has done is kind of unfathomable. Last year at Temple he spent the year with his hand in the dirt as a defensive end. Now he’s at the Senior Bowl as a linebacker. Wow does he look smooth in coverage, something he never had to do before. Check this out below.

 

At 6’2″, 237, I have no idea where you even play this guy but he is perfect for sub packages as we have seen the NFL get smaller and faster in recent years. He has such a natural bend and moves so fluid compared to the other pass rushers. All week USC’s Zach Banner has been a stud and Reddick flew right by him like he wasn’t even there.

 

I have a feeling that Reddick isn’t going to make it to the 2nd round of the Draft after today. Now obviously the game on Saturday, NFL Combine, and Pro Day is also a huge factor on his draft stock. I think he fits every team simply because of how versatile he is.

Carroll Phillips was the other linebacker I really liked. After the first day, I thought Phillips and Reddick were fairly even until Reddick simply put on a show the past two days. That isn’t to saw Phillips isn’t a stud either. It’s fascinating that there are two tweeners like this in the same draft class. I think teams realize now that they want their own version of Deon Jones to fly around the football. Reddick to me looks like a great blitzing 3-4 inside linebacker while Phillips is a natural will 4-3 outside linebacker.

Defensive Backs:

It’s becoming harder and harder to find reasons to like Desmond King. He got burned on a double move by Zay Jones that might have added 10 years to his stiff ankles. Remember Iowa doesn’t get the highly recruited high school athletes other schools do so it’s possible that this guy was just overrated coming into the process. While I said the other day that I believe King is a better fit for safety, I want to focus my attention on two other safeties that caught my attention. Boston College’s John Johnson stood out to me in a big way. I’ll be honest, I did not watch one Boston College game this year but Johnson had the most fluid hip movement of any defensive back. I always take great value in watching these guys move in the drills in space with no one around them and Johnson was able to change his direction and bend his knees better than anyone. He also was able to high point the football which is obviously very important. Finally, we have Obi Melifonwu of Uconn. Yesterday I made the bold comparison to Kam Chancellor and I think I might be on to something. This guy is a real matchup difference maker and could prove to be the perfect weapon to taking on these quick pass catching tight ends. For 6’4″ he almost moves like an NBA point guard. I’m curious to see how he tests at the combine because he looks like a freak athlete.

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