Day 1 of Senior Bowl practice is in the books! I've got the North team recap, the team that I believe is by far the more talented of the two rosters. I saw NFL starters all over the field on Tuesday, just the beginning of what should be a great week of practice in Mobile.
For full coverage of the first day of Senior Bowl practices, check out TDN's post-practice show, partnering with Mercedes-Benz Corporate Sales.
Drew Lock the best of the quarterbacks
I know y'all wanna hear about quarterbacks, but I don't have many positive things to say. Ryan Finley and Daniel Jones struggled with ball placement and timing even during on-air drills, consistently putting balls behind their receivers or forcing them to slow and wait on vertical patterns. Jones improved a little in the 1-on-1s, dropping in a nice corner route for his best throw of the day.
Trace McSorley was wild and wide of the mark on a couple throws, including overthrowing a wide open receiver in the middle of the field. Lock was easily the most consistent passer, fitting the ball into tighter windows and leading receivers on out-breaking routes, but the level of difficulty was pretty limited for quarterbacks on day 1.
Andy Isabella is opening eyes
This guy isn't just fast, he's hella quick too. Andy Isabella has some outstanding separation quickness and attention to detail as a route runner, putting cornerbacks in a blender with his explosiveness out of the break. He looks like an excellent athlete, but his hands will be worth keeping an eye on all week. Isabella dropped one pass after a nifty route, something NFL teams will be watching after he checked in with 8.5-inch hands.
Another sleeper Ohio State wide receiver?
Several wideouts had great days, but Terry McLaurin was up there with Isabella's performance on the North team. McLaurin's speed was eye-popping, as he consistently separated down the field and made some tough catches to finish as well. He torched Corey Ballentine on a nine route during 1v1s. I've heard the NFL is very intrigued by McLaurin, and if he keeps playing like he did today, the Buckeyes pass catcher is going to be one of the hottest names coming out of the week.
Rest of the receivers
Jakobi Meyers beat Amani Oruwariye twice with some excellent footwork out of the break, continuing to show some natural ability despite being a converted quarterback. He's still adapting to getting off press coverage however, as he got jammed up by the Penn State corner once and couldn't get into his go route cleanly.
Keelan Doss and Penny Hart consistently flashed. Hart can MOVE. He's a sudden route runner who separated easily. This cornerback group is in for a tough week, but the drop-off is real among the North team pass catchers. Jaylen Smith and Alex Wesley did not look nearly as explosive as their counterparts on day one, with Smith really laboring to separate and finish.
Sutton Smith's positional switch is imminent
After weighing in at 6-0, 234 pounds with sub 31-inch arms, it seemed obvious that Sutton Smith was going to have to move to off-ball linebacker on a full-time basis, but there he was on day 1, taking pass rush reps with the edge defenders. Safe to say, things did not go according to plan.
Look forward to seeing his transition to linebacker and how he fares in coverage throughout the week.
Mixed review on Omenihu
In team drills, Charles Omenihu was unmovable on the edge, unfurling his long arms and playing leveraged to hold the point of attack. As a pass rusher in 1v1s, he used that length and power to plant Michael Deiter on his backside.
Omenihu had some good reps as an edge rusher as well, but he could benefit from seeing inside rush lanes materialize a little quicker when tackles overset on him. I think his quickness and power are going to help him create advantageous angles off the edge, but NFL teams will be watching for that bend and flexibility.
Quiet day for Adderley
My top ranked player in Mobile, Nasir Adderley played fine after a terrific weigh-in, blanketing receivers in the team sessions and showing the ability to get off blocks and funnel the ball back inside against the screen game. It was a quiet day due to the lack of opportunity to make splash plays in coverage, but Adderley's movement skills and athleticism against top competition still stood out.
The North team OL is far better than the South team OL, and it showed on Tuesday. Everyone lost a few reps, but Garrett Bradbury and Chris Lindstrom impressed more than they disappointed. Bradbury's anchor is a little bit of an issue in 1v1s, but in the team sessions he impressed and seemed comfortable in pass protection. He's an elite athlete for the position.
Lindstrom was physical and stout in pass protection, standing up bull rushers and finishing with an edge. He's a really strong prospect who isn't getting enough love. Outstanding start for him in Mobile.
-Donald Parham has a nice day! Massive tight end who can move and is fluid out of the break. Really didn't look stiff in his routes. I am intrigued.
-Nate Davis showed some great fight in 1v1s, dropping anchor on power rushers
-Tommy Sweeney really struggled to separate against safeties down the field and did not show a lot of dynamic ability as a route runner.
-Wasn't the sharpest day for either Wisconsin guard. Michael Deiter was better than Beau Benzschawel, but both players were more up-and-down than anything else. Dalton Risner had some good reps, but seemed off on his set points at tackle. Lot of high variance play from the offensive line in 1v1s, but in 11v11 they looked good.
-Renell Wren! Write the name down folks. 6-foot-4, 315 pounds, almost 34-inch arms, and a ridiculous combination of speed and power. Technically, he needs work, but his tools and intensity are impossible to teach. Had some really strong reps in 1v1s and looks like the kind of player we will be buzzing about after this week.