Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter
No question about it, Hunter wasn't very memorable the first two days of workouts, but he turned it around Wednesday and did so in spirited fashion. While he's still somewhat inconsistent catching the football out of the backfield, as he blew right by a linebacker up the sideline on a wheel route in one-on-one drills but failed to make the catch in the end zone, he ran with both power and speed throughout the morning session. And then in pass-protection work, he stoned Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones, who is one of the better defenders in Mobile and outweighs Hunter by about 40 pounds.
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Boston College OL Anthony Castonzo
The North team has a handful of really good offensive tackle prospects, and while Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi appeared to be the best of the bunch in the early going, Castonzo may have made up enough ground to be considered the premier player at his position for Saturday's Senior Bowl. A pure left tackle, none of the defensive linemen could figure out Castonzo in one-on-one action. He doesn't have one particular aspect of his game that jumps off the page, but he's solid in every measure both run blocking and pass blocking and should make for a dependable blind-side security blanket for years to come.
Oklahoma DE Jeremy Beal
A defensive end during his time with the Sooners, Beal is likely being considered for outside linebacker in a 3-4 and has the pass-rush skills teams look for at that position. When asked to pin his ears back and go get the QB, Beal can do just that with power, speed and a variety of moves off the edge. But what scouts undoubtedly liked the most from him Wednesday was the way he stayed disciplined and didn't over-pursue the ball, which allowed him to make a few tackles against the option-read plays the offense was throwing at him.
West Virginia RB Noel Devine
Devine was in trouble the moment he stepped on that scale Monday morning and only weighed in at 160 pounds, 20 pounds lighter than he was listed in the West Virginia media guide and much too small to be taken seriously as an every-down ball carrier in the NFL. Sure, when he catches a swing pass and has room to operate behind a few blockers, he's dynamic with the ball in the open field and has a chance to score every time he touches it. But the South coaching staff, represented by Chan Gailey and the Bills, had Devine running routes with the receivers for a good portion of Wednesday's practice so guys like Nebraska's Roy Helu Jr. and Maryland's Da'Rel Scott could get more reps in the backfield.
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Colorado OL Nate Solder
Not that Solder has been bad during Senior Bowl practice, as that's definitely not the case and he's one of the elite players available at his position, but he didn't put his best foot forward Wednesday and seemed quite mortal during one-on-one drills. Perhaps less versatile than some of the other offensive tackles, Solder can hold his own with anyone on the left side but got beat time and time again lining up on the right side. If the draft were held Thursday in Mobile, Solder would more than likely hear his name called after both Castonzo and Carimi.
Notre Dame DL Ian Williams
It would be one thing if Williams had a hard time getting consistent pressure from his defensive tackle spot during practice for the South, with guards Rodney Hudson of Florida State and Danny Watkins of Baylor dominating throughout, but the interior blocking on display for the North isn't nearly as effective. The fact that Williams kept getting his lunch handed to him in positional battles is a bad sign, as many coaches believe the one-on-ones are more important to watch than team drills like 7-on-7 or 11-on-11. While every talent evaluator in the NFL needs defensive linemen by the bushel, Williams didn't do anything Wednesday to help himself.
|John Crist is an NFL Analyst for Scout.com, a voter for the Heisman Trophy and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America.|