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Senior Bowl practice notes: Day 3, South Team

MOBILE, Ala. – A handful of notes from the South team’s final full-pad practice of the week, held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium here Wednesday afternoon:

… Kentucky G LARRY WARFORD said the Broncos were among the teams with which he’s met this week. Warford had his best day of practice Wednesday, which he attributed to tweaks he was advised to make in his footwork as he set up to pass block …

… Warford gave up 26 pounds to former SEC rival JOHN JENKINS of Georgia, but on the field the two repeatedly grappled to stalemates when paired foe one-on-one drills …

… Mississippi State DT JOSH BOYD had the best day of the interior defensive linemen, consistently bursting through to disrupt plays, especially against the run. When Boyd wasn’t double-teamed, he was almost always in the backfield …

… Rice TE VANCE McDONALD continues to make plays down the middle of the field and the seams, and even made a one-handed grab early in practice. The 262-pounder still has work to do on his blocking, but has the body type to succeed there if he can learn proper technique. His ceiling is the highest of any tight end here …

… Florida State QB E.J. MANUEL appears to be smoothing out the hitches in his delivery, although he sometimes throws a low-trajectory ball that’s prone to deflection. He won’t be the first quarterback drafted of the six here, but he might have the most upside in the right scheme and could play himself into the second round. A team that needs a spark at quarterback (Jacksonville? Arizona?) could take a chance on Manuel then …

… Southeast Louisiana CB ROBERT ALFORD doesn’t always finish off the tackle properly and has occasionally turned short gains into long ones by only waving his arm instead of wrapping up the receiver …

… California OL BRIAN SCHWENKE looks more comfortable at center than guard. On one play in the team period, Schwenke, playing left guard, failed to get set properly, allowing South Florida DE/DT COREY GRISSOM a free rush at Landry Jones, which forced a misfire to the right flat. That rush came one play after Schwenke was too slow to react to a blitz from Texas A&M LB SEAN PORTER who promptly blew up a zone-read handoff …

… It was an up-and-down day for the aggressive Porter. He had arguably the biggest hit on the day, slamming into Miami (Fla.) running back MIKE JAMES, but was later beaten outside by Florida RB MIKE GILLISLEE and on the next play got caught biting on a TYLER WILSON playfake, allowing Tennessee TE MYCHAL RIVERA three yards of separation and an easy catch on a crossing route …

… Virginia OT ODAY ABOUSHI looks overmatched. Too often he’s slow to react, and is as susceptible to being beat with a speed rush around the edge as he is to a rip or swim move to the inside …

… Oklahoma OT LANE JOHNSON looks smooth and technically sound, well beyond his fairly limited experience at tackle, having only converted to an offensive lineman in college. He stays balanced and is light on his feet.

MORE FROM THE SENIOR BOWL:

Jan. 23: North Team notes
Jan. 22: South Team notes
Jan. 22: North Team notes
Jan. 21: South Team notes
Jan. 21: Heights and weights

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