It was a windy day early on for the North practice. You could clearly tell it was affecting the QB’s. While it was a little warmer during the South Practice, the South team just seemed more sharp, and overall more talented. There was unfortunate news that CB Aaron Colvin tore his ACL, which is awful after he was having 2 very productive days. Here’s some of my takeaways from today:
- Aaron Donald
- Robert Herron
- Kyle Van Noy
- Jaylen Watkins
- Antonio Andrews
- Dee Ford
When I watched Aaron Donald on film, I wasn’t sure what would translate to the next level. Or I should say, where he would win at. I’ve figured that out after two days. Leverage. He wins with his pad level, as Cyril Richardson found out the hard way today. He can convert his quickness to power and has been very impressive both days.
Herron is a guy that has flown under the radar for most of the season playing in Wyoming. Everyone knows he can run, but the questions that needed to be answered where what else he could do? Today he answered those questions. Herron wins early at the line of scrimmage, is a good route runner, understands where to sit down in zones, and works back to the ball. Best of all, he catches the ball with his hands away from his body. Herron did have a few focus drops, however.
Van Noy continued to do what he did all season. Make plays. In 1-on-1’s he showed off his spin moves more than once, he proved he’s comfortable in space when he dropped in coverage, and was able to win the edge as well. The other edge rusher that dominated today was Dee Ford. He was virtually unblock able today. His first step is very impressive, as he times the snap well, dips his shoulder, and can bend the edge. He also showed he can counter and win inside. All around he was arguably the best player at the south practice.
Yesterday, I mentioned how bad Watkins was. Today, he responded. He really took the coaches criticism, learned from his mistakes, and got better. It’s great to see players react like this. Watkins was constantly making plays on the ball, was always around, and showed that he can change direction well. He had a very nice play in 1-on-1’s when he was able to undercut a route and jump in front of the WR for an interception. Really good day for Watkins.
The 3 lineman showed well today. Martin continues to prove he can play tackle, despite his short arms, he just understands how to win. Halapio is showing that the injuries from this year are a thing of the past, and looks more like his junior film, which is good to see. Moses is a big guy that knows how to use his length. The only time I saw him get beat, was by Ford on an inside swim move. He had plenty of nice plays, where he latched on and drove defenders. He’s not the most athletic, but he too just gets the job done. His highlight was when he pancaked #99 in team, it was beautiful.
Who Needs to get Better
- Billy Turner
- Trent Murphy
- Chris Davis
I wasn’t impressed by any of the QB’s today. The North roster quarterbacks were abysmal. I question how they’ll get points in the game on Saturday, it was that bad. I understand the wind was a factor, but the way they were missing targets, and not seeing open WR’s downfield was tough to watch.
Trent Murphy just keeps confirming what I see on tape. He can’t win the edge, he has a nice inside move where he plants hard, and swims, but when he’s asked to get around the tackle and bend the edge, he just can’t. NFL OL won’t respect that inside move if they don’t fear you can beat them outside. Attaochu is getting a lot of love, and I just don’t see it. Today 3 reps in a row he was swallowed by the left tackle. There was also a kick out block by a FB and he kind of turned his shoulder shying away from contact. Much has been made about him playing ILB, but he’s also playing the edge, and not getting the job done.
I think if you polled most scouts that were in attendance, the worst of the day award goes to Billy Turner. Edge rushers were running by him with ease. He got beat 3 plays in a row by 3 different guys. In 1-on-1’s he went 1-6 and it didn’t get any better in team. He just seemed to lose confidence, it snowballed, and he never recovered. It’ll be important for him to bounce back.
Chris Davis made a few highlights today, for the wrong reasons. He was victim of a “moss drill” by Kevin Norwood, and also bit on a slant and go by Mike Davis. Yesterday he was patient at the line, and that’s how he won. Today he was in a hurry, and had a rough day. He couldn’t recover once he was beat.