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South Offense Practice Reports: Final
QUARTERBACKS Kevin Kolb/Houston Ht: 6027 Wt: 220 Arm: 31 3/8 Hand: 9 7/8 Monday Practice Notes: Very erratic. Stares down primary targets. Trouble with the out routes. Seems to direct his throws more than just letting them go. Tuesday Practice Notes: At times he looked like the best quarterback on the field but he tended to aim his passes a little too much at times. Kolb moved around the pocket well and was able to read the defense correctly most of the time. Kolb also didn't look to have that strong of an arm. Wednesday Practice Notes: He's been pretty consistent with his throws all week and the accuracy has been solid. He throws a pretty good spiral. His footwork was good as was his mobility. Deep throws were an issue. Thursday Practice Notes: When nothing was there, Kolb showed he would take off out of the pocket and runs well. Analysis: He had a nice week and was pretty accurate on most of his throws. He clearly doesn't have a strong arm but it's at least average. He helped himself this week. Jordan Palmer/UTEP Ht: 6053 Wt: 229 Arm: 33 Hand: 9 7/8 Monday Practice Notes: Solid arm but sprays his throws. Very indecisive. Threw his obligatory pick which was a trend in his collegiate career. Tuesday Practice Notes: He was inaccurate most of the practice session. Palmer looked to be off on his mechanics which caused his passes to be off. He also looked to struggle reading the defense which also caused some deflected passes and one that was picked off. Wednesday Practice Notes: His footwork and mechanics have been off which has caused inaccuracy with his throws. While he has an above average arm he missed open receivers through out the session. Thursday Practice Notes: Took an extremely long time in his reads and progression. Threw another pick but was due more to miscommunication with his receiver rather than anything else. Analysis: The only similarity between him and his brother is their last name. This Palmer, Jordan, wasn't very accurate this week and his throws were erratic. Chris Leak/Florida Ht: 5117 Wt: 203 Arm: 31 1/4 Hand: 9 5/8 Monday Practice Notes: Throws a nice ball. Very crisp on outs with good zip. Can get the ball downfield, but sprays the ball all over the place. Downfield passes are not accurate. Tuesday Practice Notes: Out of the three signal callers, Leak was the most efficient during the Tuesday session. For the most part, Leak was accurate and he did a good job of reading the defense. His timing was off a few times with the receivers but that could be because the receivers may not have run the correct route. Leak also did a nice job on his deep throws. Wednesday Practice Notes: Accuracy continued to be an issue with him and his throws were inconsistent throughout the session. Leak did a good job of moving in the pocket but reading the defense was also an issue. Thursday Practice Notes: Nice touch on the ball but tended to guide the ball instead of letting it fly. Analysis: He had a rather non-descript week yet gave scouts more than they expected. RUNNING BACKS Kenny Irons/Auburn Ht: 5101 Wt: 198 Arm: 31 3/4 Hand: 10 1/4 Monday Practice Notes: Showed a gear not seen this season. Exploded through the hole better than any back on the south roster. There is a competency for catching the ball, though does not seem entirely comfortable running routes. Tuesday Practice Notes: Wednesday Practice Notes: His cutting and slashing style worked well for the most part but he did dance through the hole at times which had him run in to defenders. He had a bunch of good runs around end where he found daylight. His only problem was catching the ball out of the backfield where he dropped a few passes. Thursday Practice Notes: Hands out of the backfield were suspect this afternoon. Analysis: He was solid most of the week but at times he danced a little bit too much through the hole. It remains to be seen if he can be a feature back at the next level but he helped himself a bit this week with his performance. Lorenzo Booker/Florida St. Ht: 5103 Wt: 188 Arm: 30 3/4 Hand: 9 Monday Practice Notes: Lot of quickness and cutting ability. Because of size he naturally gets lost behind his blockers. Also showed a competency for catching the ball. Tuesday Practice Notes: Shows a lot of wiggle in his running and an excellent burst. Lacks any strength carrying the ball and easily brought down at the point of attack by the first defender. Wednesday Practice Notes: He ran hard and well for most of the session. Booker looks more like a change of pace/No.2 back at the next level, not a feature back. Analysis: He clearly showed that he's got the ability to be a solid second back or change of pace at the next level. He did a good job of running with vision and finding daylight. He helped himself and he caught the ball fairly well. Kenneth Darby/Alabama Ht: 5101 Wt: 211 Arm: 29 1/2 Hand: 9 Monday Practice Notes: Was able to turn the corner but was indecisive at times with his cuts. RB coach corrected him on multiple occasions in regards to being off balance and cutting off the wrong foot. Tuesday Practice Notes: Solid day yet needs more consistency. Ran the ball well and did the same catching in. Made several nice receptions yet at the same time dropped some very easy/catchable throws. Struggled pass blocking. Wednesday Practice Notes: He ran with good power and speed and ran very well inside. Darby's powerful build helped him get through several tacklers. While he's not fast, he ran with good vision. Thursday Practice Notes: Not explosive in and out of the hole. Erratic hands catching the ball out of the backfield. Analysis: He was a nice surprise and he ran well with power most of the week. His ball catching skills were decent. He helped himself. Le'Ron McClain/Alabama Ht: 6000 Wt: 265 Arm: 32 Hand: 9 Monday Practice Notes: Caught the ball well but he's big, stiff, and not fast. Will bury his nose in a linebacker's grill on isolation blocks. Tuesday Practice Notes: Fierce blocker very strong at the point. In one-on-one drills rag-dolled his teammate Juwan Simpson. Also caught the ball relatively well. Wednesday Practice Notes: He basically played fullback the entire session which will be his role at the next level. He did catch the ball well when out of the backfield. Thursday Practice Notes: Analysis: TIGHT ENDS Martrez Milner/Georgia Ht: 6036 Wt: 256 Arm: 34 Hand: 9 Monday Practice Notes: Very athletic and made several athletic catches. Made a difficult catch over the middle while being slammed by the safety. Tuesday Practice Notes: Once again showed his terrific athleticism catching just about everything thrown his way. Was both quick and fast. Displayed terrific route running skills, getting separation from opponents after sharply getting into breaks. Wednesday Practice Notes: Improved as a blocker giving good effort and showing better strength than earlier in the week. Fluid moving about the field as a pass catcher. Thursday Practice Notes: Has become a primary target as the week progressed. Looked good catching the ball today but did drop one or two. Analysis: Had a real good week and elevated his draft stock. Showed a lot of skill as a pass catcher and improved his blocking at the week progressed. Joe Newton/Oregon State Ht: 5101 Wt: 188 Arm: 31 3/4 Hand: 10 1/4 Monday Practice Notes: Solid hands, caught everything. Not quick of the line, lacks speed, and a poor route runner. Tuesday Practice Notes: While he catches the ball well Newton looks sluggish and slow. He is slow releasing off the line, slow into routes and just has a general malaise to his game. Also looked poor blocking. Wednesday Practice Notes: Better all around job as a pass catcher and blocker but still shows limited athleticism which will hurt his draft stock. Analysis: Looked slow and sluggish every day. Presented himself as a number three tight end for the next level and late round choice. WIDE RECEIVERS Courtney Taylor/Auburn Ht: 6015 Wt: 200 Arm: 31 3/4 Hand: 9 5/8 Monday Practice Notes: Very good. Caught most balls his way. Made quite a few tough catches. Stayed with the action and worked hard. Tuesday Practice Notes: He will occasionally round off his routes but shows the ability to get open and become available for his quarterback. He lets too many passes into his body but has excellent hands, body control and awareness. He seems more comfortable with underneath routes. Wednesday Practice Notes: He runs precise routes and is always where his quarterback expects him to be. He knows how to find soft spots in the defense and show his numbers to his quarterback. He doesn't create much separation, but he always finds a way to make the play. Thursday Practice Notes: Did not get out of his break clean to force the interception thrown by Jordan Palmer. Analysis: Although he fails to create much separation, he seems to catch every ball thrown his way. He runs disciplined routes and is always where his quarterback expects him to be. He shows good hands, excellent concentration in traffic and the willingness to make tough catches. Dwayne Bowe/LSU Ht: 6022 Wt: 222 Arm: 33 3/4 Hand: 9 1/2 Monday Practice Notes: Good practice. Marginal route runner, but caught everything thrown to him. Worked his routes and physically beat down opponents for balls. Was the interest of several teams at hand. Tuesday Practice Notes: Capable of making some incredible catches, Bowe also dropped a few easy ones. He has the ability to run ankle-breaking routes but often loses focus and runs them sloppily. He does fight for the ball and has great field awareness. Overall his play has stood out. Wednesday Practice Notes: Shows terrific hands and the ability to consistently create separation. He has big, soft hands and catch passes smoothly. He excels at getting a smooth release and will fight to catch anything near him. He's a definite red-zone threat. Thursday Practice Notes: Had a highlight catch by outleaping the smaller defender and snatching the ball at its highest point. Analysis: A prospect who utilizes his impressive size well. He shows terrific hands and will attack the ball at its highest point. He is a great route runner who regularly fools defenders with double moves. He creates good separation but sometimes loses focus and drops easy catches. Chansi Stuckey/Clemson Ht: 5101 Wt: 193 Arm: 31 Hand: 9 3/4 Monday Practice Notes: Showed good route running and quickness. Average speed and hands. Too often double clutched on a balls thrown his way. Tuesday Practice Notes: Runs undisciplined routes. He has quick feet and looks most comfortable working along the sidelines. He fails to create enough separation for his quarterback and drops too many balls even when he does. Wednesday Practice Notes: Is an undisciplined route runner who is too easily knocked out of his routes at the line of scrimmage. He has very quick feet and the ability to beat cornerbacks both inside and downfield. He drops too many passes and his overall consistency must improve. Analysis: He can be maddeningly inconsistent with both his routes and his hands. He shows good potential, though, and is most effective working along the sidelines. He shows terrific suddenness and is quick in and out of his routes but fails to sell them well. Johnnie Lee Higgins/UTEP Ht: 5112 Wt: 183 Arm: 31 3/8 Hand: 9 1/2 Monday Practice Notes: Showed good quickness and route running skills. Corrected by the coaches throughout the day for poor fundamentals. Little too flashy for his own good. Tuesday Practice Notes: He's capable of making some exciting catches but too often loses focus on the easy ones. He has great body control and field awareness yet fails to consistently create separation. His quickness is admirable but he needs to show more straight-line speed. Wednesday Practice Notes: He will fight for catches and is surprising effective in the red zone for a player of his size. He's capable of making some exciting catches but too often loses focus on the easy ones. He has great body control and field awareness yet fails to consistently create separation. Analysis: A feisty player who works hard to get open and competes for every pass, Higgins shows quick feet and competes for every pass. He tends to fight the ball in and struggles to sell his routes and to gain separation, especially in the red zone. Dallas Baker/Florida Ht: 6030 Wt: 203 Arm: 35 3/4 Hand: 9 7/8 Monday Practice Notes: Caught the ball well. Nice adjustments. Lacks speed and explosion. Rounds off routes. Tuesday Practice Notes: Does an excellent job selling his routes and getting defenders to bite on fakes. His hands, body control and field awareness are all excellent. He still body-catches too many balls, but not many of them hit the ground. Wednesday Practice Notes: Runs crisp routes and does a good job selling his fakes. He tends to let the ball into his body but his hands are excellent when he uses them. He will fight for the ball and excels at creating separation by utilizing his quickness coming in and out of break. Analysis: A big target who can find soft spots in the defense and knows how to show the quarterback his numbers. He runs precise routes and is physical player, able to beat jams at the line of scrimmage and make receptions in tight coverage. He too often lets the ball into his body. Chris Davis/Florida State Ht: 5102 Wt: 180 Arm: 29 3/4 Hand: 9 3/8 Monday Practice Notes: Very quick, ran exceptional routes. Got separation and displayed good speed. Very inconsistent hands. Early in the practice dropped a lot of balls, but later made some nice acrobatic receptions. Tuesday Practice Notes: An exceptional athlete. He has quick feet and in sharp coming in and out of breaks. He has terrific acceleration and his suddenness draws attention downfield. However, he runs his routes inconsistently and needs to prove he can haul challenging receptions. Wednesday Practice Notes: An incredibly fast athlete with quick feet and terrific acceleration. He tends to run undisciplined routes but is good at finding soft spots in the defense and making himself available to his quarterback. His suddenness and willingness to fight for the ball are impressive. Thursday Practice Notes: Ran a nice corner route to catch a practice touchdown. Also returned punts and kicks again. Analysis: Has terrific speed and quickness and is capable of embarrassing slow-footed defenders. He tends to rely on that speed too much, however, and runs his routes at inconsistent depths. His hands could be better as he struggles to haul in catches in traffic. OFFENSIVE LINE Joe Staley/Central Michigan Ht: 6055 Wt: 296 Arm: 34 1/4 Hand: 10 1/8 Monday Practice Notes: Obviously very athletic. A scout mentioned he played not only tight end in high school, but some wide receiver as well. Smooth in his pass protection. Nice punch, but can windup at times. Does lack hip explosion. Not powerful at the point of attack. Tuesday Practice Notes: Excelled in zone blocking today. Really showed the ability to work his way down the line, hook defenders, and drive them laterally down the field; and overall testament to his athletic ability. Struggled with his handplay today. At times can look like an albatross winding up for takeoff. Can be corrected, but it will hurt him at times during this particular week. Wednesday Practice Notes: Really worked hard early in the practice on his pass set and was eventually applauded by his coaches for perfect form in this one area. Slides very well in pass protection and the athleticism shown so far this week would make one believe he could easily play the blindside at the next level. Thursday Practice Notes: Continued to show a nice set in pass blocking. Analysis: Hailing from Central Michigan this was a big week for Staley to prove he could handle the talent from the bigger conferences. On that end he did quite well. Athletically he has what it takes to play the blindside at the next level but will take time to develop physically before he becomes a full times starter. Solidified himself as a first day pick. Justin Blalock/Texas Ht: 6033 Wt: 331 Arm: 33 1/2 Hand: 10 1/4 Monday Practice Notes: Got reps as both guard and right tackle. Loved to bury his head at all times. In pass blocking drills was beaten off the edge because did not get depth on his initial kick step. Also struggled today with getting arm extension. Tuesday Practice Notes: This afternoon Blalock did not sport the extra wrap on his knee as he did yesterday. One thing is certain; his overall lateral quickness is still affected as evidenced in his subpar pass protection. Saw reps at both guard and tackle again. Did not lead with his head as much today, but at times he would stop his feet after initial contact. Wednesday Practice Notes: Bit of a struggle for Blalock today. He was corrected in multiple facets of his game, especially when overhearing the line coach yell, "When you're wide, you're week". Obviously his base was too wide and he suffered in his run blocking because of it. On his zone blocks was not able to get his head across. His lateral quickness today was better, but is still lacking. The one area where Blalock did look better was in his overall pass sets especially in his patience when engaging the defender. Analysis: The guard/tackle prospect did not distinguish himself as the top interior prospect as was expected. Struggling with a sprained MCL ligament, Blalock had trouble all week with his lateral movement. Pass blocking was suspect early in the week and improved with each practice. His run blocking was not on par with what he had shown earlier in the season. If his knee is the major concern and it clears physicals, Blalock could see be an early round pick. His overall play though would indicate more of a late day one pick. Tony Ugoh/Arkansas Ht: 6054 Wt: 301 Arm: 36 Hand: 9 3/4 Monday Practice Notes: Athleticism on the island is apparent but needs some refining in his technique. His punch can be very good but he is inconsistent with it. Needs to keep his shoulders square before committing in his pass set. Seemed comfortable making blocks in space. Tuesday Practice Notes: Had the block of the day when pancaking Chase Pittman in one on one pass rush drills. This particular play showed Ugoh's strength to his post leg as he just slammed the defensive end to the ground. Does need to bring his feet with him in run blocking though. Wednesday Practice Notes: Again struggled with technique. Did not keep his feet pumping today. Initial punch and hand placement were erratic at best. Had a fantastic block on the backside of a zone play, creating a very large hole for his running back to hit. Thursday Practice Notes: The speed rush was not a problem today. Analysis: One minute Ugoh was spectacular, the next he was beat like a drum. Ugoh threw the two nastiest blocks of the week, but could not play to his potential on an every snap basis. More of an athlete off the edge, relying on finesse more so than power. Ugoh showed enough potential to warrant a second round grade, but needs to be more consistent if he ever expects to be a starting tackle at the next level. Aaron Sears/Tennessee Ht: 6031 Wt: 317 Arm: 34 Hand: 10 1/8 Monday Practice Notes: Flashed more overall talent than any other lineman on his squad, but was wildly inconsistent. Was shifted to guard for the day. Very quick to the second level, but once in contact with a defender he does not bring his feet. Often lunges. Fires off the ball very hard and very strong at the point of attack but showed a tendency to lead his head too often as well. Tuesday Practice Notes: Everything stops and started with footwork this afternoon. The coaching staff consistently corrected Sears on proper power steps. Had trouble taking the proper angles and getting to the second level. One scout pointed out Sears is very strong and does have a great punch. Wednesday Practice Notes: Very good practice for Sears today. Really started to put everything together. Strong at the point of attack and the issue of his feet has slowly started to fade. Only once was his footwork questioned today by coaches and that was in his pass set where the back foot was drug instead of planted properly. Sears was even able to collapse the side of the line on one occasion with his power on a downblock. Thursday Practice Notes: Often asked to pull today and looked solid out in space. Analysis: Easily the most talented offensive lineman in Mobile. Many scouts were abuzz with his potential. Made the transition to guard for the most part this week and as a result struggled with technique. The flashes of talent were explosive though and he will be a very good guard at the next level. Do not be surprised to see Sears land in the late first round range. Ben Grubbs/Auburn Ht: 6030 Wt: 315 Arm: 33 Hand: 10 Monday Practice Notes: Footwork was an issue throughout the day. Often got too wide in his stance, and followed through by staying wide when engaged in blocks. Did show ability moving in space today. Much like his Auburn teammate, he struggled with overall technique. Tuesday Practice Notes: A trend is starting to appear with Grubbs' footwork and the coaching staff trying to correct it. Plays with his base way too wide at times. Also lead with his head at a few points in the running game today. Wednesday Practice Notes: Very solid performance this afternoon. Grubbs especially exhibited a very strong initial punch. While his footwork has been a concern all week, Grubbs did improve and his ability to recover after getting too wide a base. Still struggled slightly with getting to the second level on a consistent basis. One time he whiffed on his block, while he sprung a big run up the middle by reaching the middle linebacker. Thursday Practice Notes: Moves well out in space and threw a few nice blocks on screens. Analysis: The best natural guard prospect of the group. Grubbs solidified himself as the second ranked player at his position in this draft. The one area of concern all week was with his footwork which was coached up often. His strength at the point of attack and with his punch will make him very good in a power running attack. Tim Duckworth/Auburn Ht: 6032 Wt: 304 Arm: 32 1/2 Hand: 9 1/4 Monday Practice Notes: Was corrected all practice on bad technique by the position coach. Started with a bad stance, never gets the hips under himself and too much of a waist bender. Not very agile getting to the second level and he just loves to wrestle with the defenders once engaged in blocks. Tuesday Practice Notes: Hand play was an issue for Duckworth today. Never shot his hands to get a solid fit on the defender. At times he would lead with his head. Also looked a little lost when asked to block in space. Struggling with technique is his main focus at this point and has been consistently coached up. Wednesday Practice Notes: Continues to work hard but has not put everything together in regards to his overall technique. For instance when asked to pull Duckworth needed to get lower working his way down the line and into he second level; but he was still able to get a nice seal block on a scraping linebacker. At other times in both his running and pass blocking his hands would often get too wide and his feet would stop. Thursday Practice Notes: Seen moving well getting to the second level. Analysis: Much like former teammate, Marcus McNeill, Duckworth will need a lot of work with his fundamentals at the next level. Proved to be big, strong, and agile enough to be a starter at the next level but will struggle for quite some time until he can develop technically. Leroy Harris/NC State Ht: 6024 Wt: 298 Arm: 33 Hand: 10 3/8 Monday Practice Notes: Worked with the quarterbacks early taking snaps, but spent the rest of the day at left guard. Struggled immensely in pass protection. Did not show the patience to engage a defender on his initial punch. Also struggled working in in space. Showed the athleticism to get to the second level, but seemed lost at times picking up defenders. Tuesday Practice Notes: Wednesday Practice Notes: Not dressed again today due to a possible knee injury. Severity is not yet known. Analysis: Really struggled initially and the problem was compounded when he became injured and sat out the rest of the week. Harris is physically talented, but this week did not help his case one bit. Ryan Kalil/USC Ht: 6027 Wt: 291 Arm: 32 Hand: 9 3/4 Monday Practice Notes: Technically sound. Quick off the ball. Hands are very good and well placed. Excels in space. Arguably had the best day of practice for a mediocre group of South offensive linemen. Tuesday Practice Notes: Easily the most consistent and talented lineman on his particular squad. Was impressed to see the 291 lbs. center drive the 323 lbs. Tank Tyler a couple yards downfield with great technique. Kalil showed very good quickness especially with zone blocking and was able to get to the second level to make blocks with ease. The one time he was blown off the ball, he regrouped himself and regained perfect position to wall off the defender. Wednesday Practice Notes: Again his quickness along the interior of the line was very evident. Really excelled in recognizing and reaching the second level to make blocks. One area his lack of size is currently hurting Kalil is the inability to true anchor in pass protection in the middle versus bigger defensive tackles. He often can wall them off due to good technique, but tends to be driven back a bit too far to begin with. Analysis: The most consistent and impressive prospect along both sides of the line of scrimmage all week. Kalil basically just played his way into the late first round and proved there is a significant dropoff at the position after himself. The one area of concern for scouts is his size and accompanying strength at only 291 lbs. Mansfield Wrotto/Georgia Tech Ht: 6030 Wt: 316 Arm: 33 Hand: 10 1/8 Monday Practice Notes: As one scout described him, "He's a project…but a good project." Plays very compact and does not get great extension with either his arms or his pass sets. In his pass sets today he tended to overset and gives an open lane to compensate. Tuesday Practice Notes: Still erratic, especially with the timing in his punch, needs to be quicker. Did show a strong post leg when presented with an underneath rush. Excelled today in run blocking as he was able to drive a few defensive tackles off the ball on downblocks. Wednesday Practice Notes: Saw reps predominantly as a right tackle, but moved inside for a couple snaps during one on one drills. Today slid better in his pass set and once again showed a very strong post leg. Still plays a bit too compact and needs to get more extension after his initial punch. Thursday Practice Notes: Continued to progress in his pass set and looked comfortable at right tackle. Analysis: Erratic and learning the position, but the talent is obvious. As Wrotto progresses to learn the offensive side of things after being a defensive tackle for most of his career; he will only get better and better. Much better run blocking than pass blocking at this point. His best position might just end up being as a guard. Teams will be intrigued enough to draft Wrotto as a mid to late round pick and develop him for the next couple of seasons. Dustin Fry/Clemson Ht: 6023 Wt: 326 Arm: 33 1/8 Hand: 9 3/4 Monday Practice Notes: Another line prospect who got off on the wrong foot with his position coach. Immediately was corrected for standing straight up while working the boards. Lacks much of a punch and is only effective in very limited areas. Tuesday Practice Notes: Struggles with locking out the arms. Does a nice job getting his hands inside a defenders body, but never gets the proper extension to control said defender. Loses a lot of his power because of it. As such he was driven back off the ball by larger defensive tackles. In pass protection, Fry needs to keep a solid base and work on his lateral movement. Wednesday Practice Notes: An area which has been noticeable all week but has yet to be mentioned is Fry's hand strength. While he certainly needs to work on his extension, Fry places his hands well in tight and can hold with the best of them. Also showed better lateral quickness today after making the snap. Still needs to work on getting lower and needed to be corrected by the coach in this area. Analysis: Limited area blocker who was up and down most of the week. As noted throughout the practice reports, Fry will have to learn proper extension in his blocks if he is ever to be an effective starter at the next level. He has the size to be a potential mauling center, but his technique lets him down on most occasions. Could potentially be seen as a guard at the next level by some teams.
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