South coasts past North in Senior Bowl

January 25th, 2014 | Written by Rob Staton

I’ve not watched the game, but hope to get into the tape as soon as it’s made available.

The South team — coached by Gus Bradley and the Jaguars staff — sauntered past the North (coached by the mediocre Falcons group) 20-10.

The distinct lack of quality on show made this a difficult one to get excited about. And it’s also worth remembering the overall talent level when considering how certain players performed.

Auburn pass rusher Dee Ford was named MVP — collecting two sacks and a pass break up. You can see highlights of his day here.

I like Ford as an undersized (6-2, 243lbs) speed rusher with limitations. But what kind of grade does he deserve? Is he capable of being more than just a speed guy? Is he going to be able to mix it up, show good hand use and get off blocks?

Tony Pauline at DraftInsider.net noted the following when watching Ford do drills in Mobile:

Day One

Lined up exclusively at defensive end. Applauded numerous times by coaches for taking direction, playing with great pad level and competing. Quick and fast but easily handled at the point.

Day Two

WOWed scouts with his pass rush skill. Beat just about everyone around the edge showing incredible speed and quickness. Does a bit of wide edge rushing and a little one dimensional in that aspect.

Day Three

Simmered down compared to his performance yesterday. His speed rush skills are impressive but to be honest, he really did not show much in the way of variety and looked like a one trick pony.

Today he destroyed Ohio State tackle Jack Mewhort for the first sack. What a complete mismatch. Mewhort had no answer for that kind of speed off the edge and looked pedestrian.

On the second sack he’s lined up to the far right. This is taking the ‘wide-9′ to another level — he was so detached from the rest of the LOS. In that kind of situation it’s a pure foot race — and Ford was victorious on this occasion to get to Logan Thomas.

The lack of good edge rushers in this class will help Ford, but will he go in the first round? He’ll need to run in the 4.4’s at the combine (he’s capable of it). I still think he’s more of a solid second rounder but we’ll see.

He also has a likeable personality. That’ll help.

I’ve included Ford’s tape against FSU from the National Championship game at the top of this piece. Check it out.

What about the quarterbacks?

Remember when people were touting Tajh Boyd as a first rounder?

He’ll struggle to get drafted at this rate.

After a disappointing week at the Senior Bowl where he got slammed by observers, Boyd threw an absolute duck of an interception today. He finished with a stat line of 7/16 passing for 31 yards.

The pick was a disaster. No pressure, thrown into double coverage with no velocity. He just hangs it up there to be picked.

Good college quarterback, but that won’t cut it at the next level.

The same goes for Miami’s Stephen Morris. He went 10/18 for 89 yards and two interceptions.

Out of all the quarterbacks on show here, the only one with a shot at making it is Derek Carr. Logan Thomas, though, is a nice project to try and develop even if his career petered out with a whimper at Virginia Tech.

Thomas completed 4/5 today for 18 yards on a quiet afternoon.

I’ll have further reaction to the game today when the tape becomes available. I’m also continuing to work on Aaron Donald again after his good week in Mobile. I think I will adjust my initial impression (I really liked his tape vs FSU, even if he could’ve finished on a few more plays) — but more on that later.

27 Responses to “South coasts past North in Senior Bowl”

  1. David M says:

    One guy that stood out to me while watching was on the south teams Offense. TE Crockett Gillmore of Colorado State. he had a TD catch and finished the day with 61 yards and caught several nice balls thrown his way, look like he ran good routes and had decent speed and separation for a TE. he greatly improved from his east/west Shrine game performance.

    it’ll be interesting to see how his combine looks, and may raise his draft stock. but he could defiantly be a sleeper

    also Jordan Matthews made an amazing catch, other than that not much thrown his way,

    another sleeper WR i noticed was Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood who finished with 53 yards and a TD, and several nice catches. he could be a mid round sleeper as well

    • CC says:

      I liked what I saw from Gilmore as well – since it looks like he can block as well.

      Also – given that the Jags coached the South – I won’t be surprised if the Jags draft Dee Ford in the first round. They would surely take Clowney if he is there. I know everyone thinks they will take a QB but based on what SEA did in their drafts, they didn’t overdraft a QB. Jags have a few years to go – if they don’t like the choices at QB this year, don’t be surprised for them to wait for next years crop.

      The other receiver I’m interested in is Aberdarius (sp?) from Wisconsin. He played with RW – maybe a day 3 guy?

    • bigDhawk says:

      I like Gillmore. There is video of him on draftbreakdown and he really stands out. Here is another TE I ‘really’ like on first blush.

      http://draftbreakdown.com/players/nic-jacobs/

      Nic Jacobs: 6’5″, 260#, McNeese State, RS Junior (declared).

      He was an LSU Tiger in 2012 but got suspended at the end of the season, supposedly because of having outstanding traffic tickets which violated team policy. He transferred to McNeese State for the 2013 season apparently to be closer to his girlfriend and child in Texas. He absolutely jumps of the screen in the video above. An absolute man among boys. Huge, strong, fast, violent. Looks like a solid blocker and a decent route runner with great hands. I’m really intrigued by this guy. I’d like to know more about his off the field situation but that aside he is the most athletic TE prospect I’ve seen so far in this draft not named Eric Ebron.

  2. Kyle says:

    Rob,

    In your previous post, you mentioned the number of players that chose to not participate. How do you think Carroll and Schneider will view that when their philosophy is “Always Compete”. In retrospect, EJ Manuel worked his ass off to be the 1st QB off the board. Whether or not he should have been is irrelevant. The fact of business is that he separated himself from the competition when he worked very, very hard during exhibitions like this.

    There are players who were not invited, and then there are players who chose to sit. Always compete. I think a bunch of players struck them selves off of the “get drafted by a Super Bowl team” list.

  3. David See says:

    Rob,

    I know it is not a true need, because i can see the hawks keeping T-jack around another year as a backup but do you think B.J Daniels is a viable long term prospect back up to RW? or could you see the hawks getting a Boyd or Thomas being that project QB? basically what im asking is who do you think would be closer to fit into the system as a backup, Daniels, Boyd or Thomas? I cant wait for two things the superbowl of course and the offseason to see what rookies we get and to see how they do in preseason.

    I am anxious to see how Daniels does in Preseason this year, he was pretty good in preseason from what i can remember, couldnt find stats though.

    I’ve heard good things about Keith McGill CB from Utah, and i think it was Todd McShay (again cant confirm) but he said something along the lines of him being a Richard Sherman type and some teams can be targeting him due to his background as a WR (I.e Sherman) i think it would be nice if we could pick him up, dont know where hes slotted to go, but a mid-rounder would be nice.

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      McGill’s tape is decidedly average. I haven’t gotten a second look at it, yet, but he didn’t use his size to his advantage and has stiff hips.

      I think Daniels is the best fit out of those three. He’s the most like Russ, basically. And he’s already on the roster. He could totally beat out TJack for a roster spot. They might could trade him to some team that failed to fill their need at QB over the offseason for a conditional mid-rounder.

      I’ve been interested in Logan Thomas recently.

      • David See says:

        Yeah i have watched some of Logan thomas and i think if possible as an UDFA would be a nice pickup and project.

        Do you seen McGill as a good mid-round to late round pick? dumb question prolly haha

        I would like to see Coleman step up and have a good pre-season and take T-jacks spot, but i guess it depends on his ability to want to improve.

        what other late-UDFA QB’s do you like as projects, if you have any?

      • Michael (CLT) says:

        Jean-Baptiste is being compared to Sherman. Receiver turned CB. He has great potential, unlike McGill. McGill is considered an average athlete with limited ball skills.

        If Seattle takes a corner, it most likely will be late in the draft. Pierre Desire comes to mind.

    • bigDhawk says:

      Like Kenny, I have not seen much on video of McGill to like, either. The current narrative is that the rest of the League is catching up to Seattle by all of the sudden placing value on tall CBs, when in reality that is not the quality that makes our CBs special. Our CBs are special primarily because they are long, and have developed the agility to use that length to equal or even exceed the catch radius of the receivers they cover. Sherm and BB started it all, and are both extremely long, but also just happen to be tall. The rest of our CBs are not as tall – Maxwell, WT3, Lane – but are all have the common element of being long and agile. When you watch McGill he is certainly tall and has some length, but does does play ‘long’ at all. He does not appear to have natural cover instincts and is often seen out of position, completely mitigating whatever advantage his size might otherwise give. I could see a clueless team like the Cowboys drafting him high, thinking that just because they got a ‘tall’ corner that all of the sudden they will have a secondary like Seattle’s. They will be rudely disappointed.

  4. Kenny Sloth says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SUK7gVFleY

    A Football Story Aaron Donald. He sounds like a Seahawks kind of player. Noted film rat. Hard worker. His Quarterback was lauding his attention to detail. Humble.

    Fucking B****** R****** didn’t have the arm length measurements from the Senior Bowl. That’s very weighty information. Step it up, guys. It’d be nice if SDB had a database for prospects and measurements. Have like a tab for Seahawks specific prospects.

    Does anyone else want to see Logan Thomas at TE. Or maybe at FB for the Seahawks. The Seahawks seem to like former QB’s at FB like Robinson and Spencer Ware (both of whom may be gone.)

    • Kenny Sloth says:

      I just realized I censored that-which-must-not-be-named and didn’t censor the f word.

      • David See says:

        Although not on the same page as Robinson and Ware, but if i remember correctly, Cable wanted to turn Phil Bates into a Marcel Reece type of FB (recieving/rushing). I remember it being the talk of the preseason towards the end there, but dont remember it actually happening.

    • Jeff M. says:

      Another site-possibly-not-to-be-named does seem to have the full measurements: DL are here. Donald’s arms are 31 3/4″, the shortest among D linemen at the Senior Bowl.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        Wellp. Incorrect. That honor goes to poor lil’ Will Sutton.

        But yeah, he did have short arms.

        • Jeff M. says:

          Whoops, you’re right. Wow those are short arms on Sutton.

          On the subject of DTs, does anyone who watched the game have a take on Caraun Reid from Princeton? I like what I’ve read in game writeups but didn’t see any of it.

  5. David See says:

    i know its early but im at work bored and i saw this kids measurables, i guess he would be in the 2015 class

    Wesley Powell Tusculum College
    TE
    6’10
    265

    Just was wondering what you guys thought, love his size, Big Body, and i could see the hawks going for him, just for size and well he’s from a small school, JS loves small school guys.

    Again i know its extremely early but i thought why not haha

  6. Kenny Sloth says:

    Rob, I’m convinced that Aaron Donald is our man. He’s like this year’s Russell Wilson. Everyone is going to doubt him because of his size, but on tape he holds up against double teams. Occassionally drives them back, even. He’s incredibly stout.

    His hand use is phenomenal. He has all kinds of pass rush moves. He has a spin move, a dip and rip, a sweet stab move, a jab and push, his bull rush is surprisingly powerful. He’s never going to push a lineman into the QB’s lap, but that’s not really his job. He’s gotta be able to beat 1-on-1 matchups and get to the QB. And he’s the best at it this year.

    He’s a film rat. And it was on full display this year. At times, it was like he knew what was being called. He reads protections and is so natural at shedding blocks.

    If none of the big receivers are available, I think this is our guy. He won’t last until 64.
    I’d take him over Brent Urban.

    • bigDhawk says:

      Watching the success that Bennett has had this year playing a significant amount of time on the interior DLine at 275# really has to make you reconsider size as key measurable for DTs, especially for players like Bennett with transcendent athleticism and strength. Does Donald have that level of talent? The jury is still out for me on that. Right now I see him as one or two ticks above Jordan Hill, a player who gets by more on pure motor than talent. But I could also see Donald growing into a Bennett-like player with a year or two of development. He is intriguing to be sure, though I would be leery of spending high draft capital on him. It is also possible that he will never be much more than he is right now.

      • Kenny Sloth says:

        The main difference is that Bennett has far more length than Donald. I think if anything hold’s him back it will be that lack of length. He’s got a narrow chest and above average length for his height, but when you’re consistently going against guys that have 3 inches of length on you, you’re gonna have a hard time keeping them off of your chest.

  7. bigDhawk says:

    To me, Dee Ford looks like a player a the rest of the League would take at the top of the second round that missed out on Anthony Barr in the top of the first. If Jacksonville does not take Barr with the third pick I could easily see them targeting Ford as almost the exact same player with their high second round pick to be their LEO.

    The other thought I have about Ford is how well his physical measurables compare to those of our current linebacking core. Assuming a 4.45 – 4.5-ish 40 time, at 6’2″, 243# he is almost a carbon copy of Wright and Schofield. Though he has been used primarily as a LEO-like edge rusher at Auburn, I could see him easily becoming the type of linebacker that the ‘Hawks develop – fast all-around athletes that can crash gaps in run defense and drop back in coverage to neutralize TEs and slot receivers in pass defense. Though I only noticed one play in the video above where he dropped pack in pass coverage, he did so very effectively, blanketing the TE he was covering and completely taking him out of the play. Perhaps he is a one trick pony because that is only way he has ever been used, but he seems like a player that has much more potential. Granted, LB depth is not a particular area of need for us in this draft, but perhaps JS might view Ford similar to how he viewed CMike last year as an athlete that organizations pay for passing on, regardless of immediate need.

    • Jim Q says:

      Here is a projected late 2-nd round pick that nobody is talking about at all. Maybe a LEO candidate, however his projected draft ranking is a problem falling between our 2-nd round pick and a 3-rd we don’t have. There are a lot of good players between #64 and #128, so maybe JS/PC trade down to recover their 3-rd round, or at least another 4-th round pick?

      DE-Marcus Smith, Louisville, 6-3, 252: 2013: 14.5 sacks for 115 yards, 18.5 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles,2 fumble recoveries and 3 passes defensed.

      Another strong defensive player, not getting much press is: DT-Kareem Martin, North Carolina, 6-5, 265, 4.82/40. 2013: In 12 games: 11 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, 3 passes broken up, 14 QB hurries, 3 forced fumbles. Martin is currently a round 4 possibility and should perform well at the combine.

  8. dave crockett says:

    Logan Thomas is such an indictment of that coaching staff. I’m not saying the guy has no responsibility for his own development, but that staff did NOTHING with his obvious talent. No improvement at all.

    He’d be one to target in as an UDFA. I like his potential over BJ Daniel’s by a mile.

    • Rob Staton says:

      To be honest, I’d happily draft Thomas in round three if we had a pick there.

      The guy has undoubted potential, he just needs guidance and structure to his coaching. Virginia Tech made a complete mess of his development.

      He needs time to get it right. And I want to see the Seahawks developing their own quarterbacks behind Wilson. He would also fit the offense here.