MOBILE, Ala. – A handful of observations from the South team’s second practice of Senior Bowl week, held Tuesday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium here:
CB LEON McFADDEN, SAN DIEGO STATE: He flourished in press coverage on Day 1 and enhanced that on the second day by dropping back and successfully jumping receivers for multiple pass breakups. McFadden isn’t the fastest cornerback here, but appears to be the best at reading a quarterback as he goes through his progressions, and plays larger than his 5-foot-9.6 inch frame. He also plays intelligently and limits yardage after the catch. There’s a little bit of Chris Harris in him.
WR QUINTON PATTON, LOUISIANA TECH: He kept getting open downfield, which led defenders to play off him and not press him at the line of scrimmage, which only made things easier for him. He also accelerates quicker in the open field than any other receiver here. There’s a reason why he amassed 2,594 yards on 183 receptions the last two years, and it appears those numbers are not solely the product of the air-friendly offense Sonny Dykes ran there before taking the California job last month.
DE ZIGGY ANSAH, BRIGHAM YOUNG: His bull-rush is consistently the best of any of the defensive ends here, but his inexperience shows in the lack of complementary moves, and he’s too easily engulfed against the run. Still, he has a quick first step, and the 274-pounder has a burst around the edge that is more typical of someone 20 pounds lighter.
WR RYAN SWOPE, TEXAS A&M: An injury sidelined him Tuesday, but after he was plagued by drops Monday, it would be understandable if he was felled by a bruised ego. Swope hurt his ankle in the Cotton Bowl earlier this month, and he might be best served by watching the rest of the week from the bench if he isn’t healthy enough to improve on his Monday performance.
TE VANCE McDONALD, RICE: He followed Monday’s stellar practice with another solid showing, consistently winning his one-on-one battles. He didn’t get as much separation, but proved adept at catching passes in traffic. Even at 262 pounds, he might be able to split out into the slot on occasion, which could create some intriguing mismatches.
DT JOHN JENKINS, GEORGIA: How massive do you want your one-technique? They don’t get bigger than Jenkins, a 359-pounder who spent much of the team period of practice overpowering double teams with bull rushes, although is footwork and balance enough to where he successfully managed to spin around and out of a double-team. Jenkins is a better fit in a 3-4, and probably needs to shed 10 to 15 pounds to be most effective, but he might be an intriguing option for the Broncos at nose tackle, especially when they go nickel. Jack Del Rio likes his one-techniques big, and Jenkins certainly fits the bill.
LB NICO JOHNSON, ALABAMA: He needs to be more persistent at shedding blockers. Too often, he was pushed out of the way, allowing the running backs to easily hit the second level where he should have been responsible.
C BRIAN SCHWENKE, CALIFORNIA: Had some issues in pass-blocking, but did a nice job identifying linebackers and taking them out, helping set up double-digit gains for his running backs.
LT/RT LANE JOHNSON, OKLAHOMA: Very inconsistent. At times he looked like the best offensive tackle here; at others during the team period he was left in the dust as Georgia defensive end Cornelius Washington blew by him or outright bounced off him with a bull rush.
S J.J. WILCOX, GEORGIA SOUTHERN: Had an interception of Tyler Wilson on Monday and a solid hit on Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor on Tuesday. He always seems to be around the ball.
DT JOSH BOYD, MISSISSIPPI STATE: Working as a three- and one-techinque, he consistently crashed the pocket, and on one play, displayed a swim move that left center Dalton Freeman looking lost.
QB TYLER WILSON, ARKANSAS: Two days, two pick-sixes against him in team play, with Tuesday’s interception coming when Cal cornerback Marc Anthony timed his collision on Tennessee tight end Mychal Rivera perfectly, setting up Florida State linebacker Vince Williams for the interception. Wilson is the smoothest quarterback of the three on the South team, but he hasn’t figured out the limitations of his targets on short routes, and it’s cost him.
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