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Senior Bowl Notes - Day Two - North Practice

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Senior Bowl Notes - Day Two - North Practice

Hey folks, AG here in Mobile, Alabama covering the Senior Bowl.

I apologize for the lateness of this entry, but I ran up against a different deadline and I've been fighting a cough (or someting worse) all week and last night (Tuesday night) was where it all came to a head.

That said, lots to talk about looking at the North squad for the second time. I don't live the Vikings run practices, by the way. The pace is lackluster, the aggression isn't there, you just don't get the same insight you get when you look at the South practices run by the Redskins.

Tuesdays tend to be a day where some of the risers from Monday fall back to earth, as players settle in and begin to be more comfortable. But trends still develop and sometimes what you saw Monday is more truth than you thought.

Brian Quick continues to body catch the ball. The small school wide receiver has talent, you can see it in his overall play, but he is very raw. Every time he allows the ball to hit his body, every time he fails to reach out and catch the ball with his hands, I just think about how that will be unsuccessful more often that not at the Pro level. I like his speed, I love his size, but he's not able to snatch the ball out of the air.

A few times I noticed him quitting on a ball that might have been thrown a bit out of his range. That's not always a big deal, as it's practice. I like to see effort though, especially from a guy who, coming from Appalachian State, needs to play every down like he has something to prove.

Because he does.

Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson had a real up and down day. He started out shockingly tentative. Wilson held onto the ball too long, checked down too often and appeared to be overthinking things. My opinion is Wilson was trying too hard to make every pass perfect.

Just when I was going to give up hope, Russell came out for another set of throws and looked like the Monday Wilson I really liked. Aggressive and decisive, throwing the ball quickly and hard.

Wilson is an interesting prospect to me. On tape. I don't think he's a starter in the NFL, but in the right situation he could be a really solid back-up. However, at practices when he is being this aggressive, chip on his shoulder guy I can see flashes of more.

(**Note: Cecil just came back from Wednesday's Morning North Practice and said all the QBS look terrible today. He said wilson floated everything and again reverted to the tentative guy we saw at the start of practice Tuesday.)

Kellen Moore just doesn't excite me at all. He continues to throw a pretty short ball, but the longer the throw the more his accuracy suffers. He did make a great throw to Cal's Marvin Jones (standing out once again) along the sideline.

Only Jones was getting that ball and it was the sort of throw where the quarterback knows he has to place it just so and is able to pull it off. Jones made a fantastic catch on it, by the way, Just an outstanding grab with his hands and did a great job getting both feet in bounds.

Back to Moore-I recall last year being unimpressed with the arm strength of Andy Dalton when we were here. Not that he couldn't throw long, just that he never seemed able to drive the ball on short, stick throws. He could put all his effort into throwing the ball hard-so much so that you could SEE it-and still not get much heat on the pass. So far it hasn't been an issue for Dalton.

Moore has the same thing going on. You can see when he screws himself up for a hard throw and yet it never produces the intended hard pass. I still say one day it's going to burn Dalton-it wouldn't shock me to be saying the same thing about Moore as time goes on.

Kirk Cousins, the Michigan State quarterback, hasn't stood out too much one way or the other frankly. He doesn't impress me in particular, but he doesn't make me cringe too much.

You know who did stand out for me Tuesday? Marvin McNutt. The Iowa wideout looked a lot better to me on Tuesday than on Monday and while he was body catching a bit, he showed an ability to track the ball and adjust to it, flashed some nice speed and ran good routes.

McNutt also did a great job of using his body to shield the ball from defenders when he made a catch, something I wish Quick would learn to do better. There were several passes where McNutt did a great job of turning his body to block off the defender and make the catch.

In short yardage and red zone situations, that's gold in the NFL.

I continue to like what I see in Gerell Robinson. He had a couple of down moments but basically, this is a guy who puts that effort I was looking for from Quick into virtually every play. He runs a nice physical route and isn't afraid of contact from a DB looking to knock him off his route. Far from it, I would wager he welcomes it.

Despite the ability to play physical, he is a smooth athlete with some deceptive speed who can shake coverage with a nice move, but never tips his routes. Robinson made a great play on a low Kirk Cousins pass as well. He continues to be a nice surprise every time I watch the receivers.

Here's where things get a bit dicey because the North practices don't showcase the running backs too much. So the notes here are very brief.

I continue to love Doug Martin. He's a great all around back who, again, is in 100% on every play no matter his role. He holds up outstandingly in pass protection, shows explosion and very good vision and he can catch the ball. Some team is going to get a great value here.

At the other end of the spectrum is Dan 'BOOM' Herron. He never stands out and I have virtually no notes on him. As I said the other day, he's a guy who-to me-appears to be happy to just be there and coast on whatever laurels he thinks he has. It's not just me, either. He's yet to jump out at anyone I've talked to all week.

Washington RB Chris Polk didn't have a great day, getting blown up in backs on backers drills (a drill which helps determine a RB's ability to hold up in pass protection). He just couldn't control or stop the linebackers he battled with and that will hurt his ability to be on the field on third downs where his pass catching skills might help.

That's it for now. Heading to Wednesday's South practice. will recap yesterday's South practice later.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (6) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

aaron's picture

Good stuff. Looking forward to defensive analysis soon

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Yeah, wake me when it gets here.

andrewgarda's picture

was planning on the watching the D for the North this (WED) AM, but was sick and missed practice. So unfortunately I don't have much on them BUT will link to the excellent converage some of my roomates are doing here on the D side of things in the next post.

Next post will be up sometime soonish and feature the south with some pretty good defensive stuff to talk about.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Lol, just being a db Garda. Thanks for the insights, will look for the links.

jrunde10 (asshalo)'s picture

I was a little surprised to read McNutt was using his chest to catch but I trust your eye sight. Watched him play WR 3 years at Iowa ('10 grad) and here are some thoughts:
- He always had great hands and it was very evident his senior year. Plenty of YouTube highlight videos to support that.
- Holds almost every Iowa receiving record
- He routinely made great catches by plucking balls out of the air. It was his MO to catch balls over his shoulders.
-Definitely agree that he isn't quickest WR in the class, but he's got a deceptive amount a speed that always seemed to get DBs in trouble.
- Uses his body to get open as well as any college WR I have ever seen.
- Was originally a QB and made the switch to WR his sophmore year.
- I've seen him as high as a 3rd rounder on a lot of mock draft and I found this a little surprising. But after reading your comments and those on National Football post, it would no longer surprise me. Still think he gets drafted around the 5th round.

andrewgarda's picture

McNutt got better as the week went on. I think his issues were comfort to start. I'd take him in a heartbeat over Quick who may never get over his issues.

McNutt clearly can be coached and from what I heard today (I was sick and missed the last North padded practice) he only got better. Third/fourth sounds right for now. His pro day and combine will change that.

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