Scouting Notes from Day 1 of Senior Bowl Practice
The Senior Bowl is called the NFL's largest job interview—and on Day 1 it's obvious that the 2013 class is under pressure.
Who stood out on Day 1? With practices running side-by-side, my notes for today will focus largely on the North squad, as well as the morning weigh-in. Thankfully, Bleacher Report's Andrew Garda is also here with me and was able to cover the South practices.
Each day this week I'll unload my scouting notes for you. Here's Day 1.
RYAN NASSIB, SYRACUSE
The top-ranked quarterback on the North roster, Nassib impressed throwing the ball during the first day. His ability to control the ball post-snap is exceptional. I really like Nassib's ability to throw with velocity, but there are times when he's too deliberate in his passes—he forces throws into tight windows and will overthrow deep routes.
So far, Nassib is the best quarterback I've seen in Mobile.
MIKE GLENNON, NORTH CAROLINA STATE
A much-hyped quarterback prospect, Glennon didn't score a great first impression on the scales at the weigh-in. Coming in at just 220 pounds on an almost 6'7" frame hurts. Glennon didn't help with a follow-up at practice, throwing too often outside and away from the receiver.
You can see the potential with Glennon, but he's far from finished.
ZAC DYSERT, MIAMI (OH)
Dysert is well regarded as an athlete and a leader, but he was the most erratic of the quarterbacks I saw today. He's good in the pocket, but Dysert was the least accurate of the quarterbacks throwing on the North roster.
E.J. MANUEL, FLORIDA STATE
A project who needs a ton of coaching, Manuel looks like a quarterback in terms of build and strength, but his passing mechanics are shaky at best. Manuel pushes the ball—almost like a shot put at times—and needs to become more confident in his reads.
LANDRY JONES, OKLAHOMA
Jones showed off good mechanics and underneath accuracy, but this was on passes without coverage and without pressure. The knock on Jones is that he falls apart under pressure, and today we didn't get a chance to see him against a pass rush.
TYLER WILSON, ARKANSAS
The top-ranked quarterback at the Senior Bowl, Wilson scored points when he measured in at 6'2 1/8", right above the threshold for the position by most scouts. Wilson didn't throw the ball exceptionally well today, and as Daniel Jeremiah noted, he measured in with the smallest hands of any passer (8 5/8").
The player who received the most attention at the Senior Bowl weigh-in was SMU defensive end Margus Hunt. And for good reason.
The versatile defensive lineman measured in at 6'8" and 277 lbs—insane for a defensive end. Hunt can line up at defensive end or defensive tackle—he even played nose tackle in the team's bowl game—and has shown the strength needed to be an ideal 3-4 defensive end (five technique).
Hunt has room to move up boards this week. He's already receiving praise as a potential first-rounder.
Inside linebacker Arthur Brown was one of my top 10 players originally slated to attend the Senior Bowl, but a minor shoulder injury is keeping him from performing here.
While Brown's injury will cause some teams to red flag him, one great thing is that Brown has opted to stay in Mobile for the week and go through interviews and observe practices. He's showing great character as a team player and a prospect who is willing to learn while injured.
Smart move by Brown and his agents.
If you want speed, you want Marquise Goodwin.
The Olympic-level sprinter showed off his 10.24 speed in the 100-meter dash on the field today. While Goodwin isn't a great route-runner, he won't have to be at the next level. Goodwin is ideal for the slot, where his speed and quickness will be utilized on quick slants and zone routes.
Goodwin doesn't need to be able to run every route in the book. He needs to showcase consistent hands, and he did that on Monday catching everything thrown his way.
The former quarterback turned tight end turned left tackle showed off impressive athleticism on Day 1, solifidying his stock on my board as a first-rounder.
Johnson is a project—he needs to work on technique and hand use—but his athleticism makes for a great foundation. With Lane's quickness and footwork you have a base level agility that's uncoachable. You can teach and coach leverage and angles when you find an athlete good enough to take to the coaching. That's Johnson.
With so many teams looking for cornerstone left tackles, Johnson has a chance to make himself a ton of future money this week.
A former college quarterback, Denard Robinson is lining up as a wide receiver and utility man here at the Senior Bowl. He might be wearing the yellow jersey of a quarterback, but Robinson has made the move to skill position player.
The speed and quickness are here for Robinson, but the key is to learn and develop over the course of the week. Making snap judgements on Robinson from Day 1 isn't fair, as he's learning a new position. What's important is to see where he's at now and then where he's at by Saturday's game. I'm looking to see if Robinson can be coached at the position.
The BYU defensive end is my top-ranked player at the Senior Bowl, and so far there's nothing to complain about.
Ansah is a better athlete than any of the offensive linemen he's going against on the South roster, and that shows up on the practice field. While Monday's two-hour practice session wasn't full speed or full contact, Ansah was wowing scouts with his quickness, athleticism and awesome potential. This is a player still being developed.
Ansah's rise up draft boards will start this week.
Miscellaneous News and Notes
- Georgia wide receiver Tavarres King impressed with exceptional speed at the South practice. He's turning heads.
- UCLA running back Jonathan Franklin came in bigger than expected (5'10", 201 pounds) and showed off great burst when hitting the open field. He's fun to watch.
- Kyle Long, son of Howie and brother of Chris, lined up for the first time in his life at right tackle. He looked good, but uncomfortable. The word on Kyle is that he'll move around this week to find his fit.
- USC safety T.J. McDonald is an impressive specimen who has a chance to really move up my board this week if he can show better coverage skills. His range and tackling ability are there.
- Eric Fisher has moved into the top 15 on most mock drafts, and he's living up to that reputation so far this week. Fisher looked great at weigh-in with a lean, athletic build. He looked quick on the field, too.
- Notably absent are Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and Star Lotulelei. Barkley is injured, while Lotulelei and Smith chose not to attend.