The first day of practices from the Reese’s Senior Bowl is now in the books. The big names did their thing, some small school guys stood out, and some guys need to bounce back tomorrow when they put on the full pads.
Heisman winner Baker Mayfield made it to the practice today and dueled with Wyoming’s Josh Allen. We saw some standout guys in the trenches, at the skill positions, and a few small school guys stood out and made a name for themselves.
All eyes were on Mayfield to see when he would show up, but when he did he had an alright day. He showed off why he’s considered one of the top quarterbacks in this draft. Quick release, accurate, and showed off his leadership skills. He also had the best day of the quarterbacks according to multiple onlookers.
Here we go. Baker to Gallup. Great anticipation! pic.twitter.com/iR0zi8XjI0— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) January 23, 2018
NFL Network caught this pass from Mayfield to Colorado State’s Michael Gallup(who couldn’t be covered at all today) which may have been his best past of the day. He showed off great anticipation, his quick release, and his great accuracy on this play. Just a small sample of what Mayfield can do.
He did struggle a bit under center today, but that was expected. It is something he rarely did in college, and honestly something many college QB’s does not do much of these days. His footwork there needs work, and he fumbled a snap, but that all should improve with reps. It is something he and other quarterback prospects will be working on this offseason
Mayfield when asked about Denver requesting he be on their team: "When John Elway asks you to be on his team, you don't say 'no'."— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 24, 2018
Mayfield saying “when John Elway ask you to be on his team, you don’t say no” is probably the best quote you will get this week so Mayfield wins the day for me with that right there.
Josh Allen looked like Josh Allen today. He threw an insane fastball, had accuracy issues, overthrew guys, threw 2 interceptions, and had a few WOW plays.
That’s Josh Allen in a nutshell
Good Josh Allen
This is why Allen is enamored by the league. Great arm strength pic.twitter.com/BzBVnVFxHR— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) January 23, 2018
Bad Josh Allen
Josh Allen, again off PA, looks for Hamilton, but too far in front. pic.twitter.com/nb9ovUwefJ— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) January 23, 2018
I am not pro-Josh Allen, but I see why people love him. I also see why people hate him as a prospect. He didn’t do much today to change anyone’s opinion.
Who stood out:
Offensive tackle Alex Cappa, Humboldt State:
The 6’6”, 299lb Cappa comes from a small school, but man his tape shows man amongst boys. He consistently rag dolled people, showed off how powerful he is, and that held up during today’s practice.
He started off a tad slow, but once it picked up, boy was he impressive.
Humboldt State OT Alex Cappa blows UTSA DE Marcus Davenport off the ball on this run play (far side). Sheesh. pic.twitter.com/5qRFqi4wFH— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) January 23, 2018
Cappa showed off his potential by holding his own and tossing around potential top ten pick edge rusher Marcus Davenport a handful of times throughout practice today.
The Broncos will be in the market for a right tackle this offseason and if Cappa continues to play like this, they could look his way sometime on day two.
Wide receiver James Washington, Oklahoma State:
Washington is the top Senior receiver not named Anthony Miller who is participating in the Senior Bowl, and boy did he impress today.
Overheard about James Washington: "blown away" "teams were super impressed with him" #SeniorBowl— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 23, 2018
The 5’11”, 210lb Washington showed his lack of height was no big deal by showing off excellent route running ability and catching everything coming his way. It was a great day of practice for Washington who will look to carry it through the week.
Right now, he is slated to be an early day two selection but a strong week in Mobile could push him into the mid to late first round.
Linebacker Shaquem Griffin, UCF:
He is a great story and a damn good football player. He is missing a hand, but that doesn’t hold him back on the football field and he proved that today.
Despite being an off the ball/strong safety, the Texans coaching staff lined Griffin up at edge rusher and he didn’t disappoint. Despite being listed at 6’0”, 222lbs, playing out of position, and only having one hand, he blew right by the offensive tackle in this drill. He did it a few other times during the practice and just showed his range and explosiveness on the field.
He’s a great story, a great guy, and someone who will be rising up the boards if he continues this.
Guard Will Hernandez, UTEP:
Hernandez was a player I was most anxious to see this week and he also did not disappoint. The big man who weighs in at 340lbs and wears a neck roll was hard to miss on the practice field today.
Will Hernandez had himself a day. pic.twitter.com/mJvozokrRP— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) January 23, 2018
The Broncos hired former UTEP Head Coach Sean Kugler to be their interior Offensive Line coach, so clearly a lot of dot connecting is going on there. Could we get the behemoth neck roll wearing guard to be a guard on the offensive line?
Defensive Tackle Nathan Shepard, Fort Hays State
One of my favorite parts of Senior Bowl week is one or two small school guys stepping out from the shadows and impressing against the big school guys.
Well, one of those small school guys who stood out today defensive tackle Nathan Shepard from Fort Hays State. He consistently won in the one on one drills, and even beat Will Hernandez who was just talking up.
If Shepard continues this type of play throughout the week, he will start rising up the boards, and that may have already started to happen.
Talked to Nathan Shepard's agent. Said his phone is blowing up after today's performance. This is what the #SeniorBowl is all about, guys flashing and getting noticed.— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 23, 2018
If this continues, a certain fiery Defensive Line Coach who is coaching him may start knocking on John Elway’s door again.
Make sure to check out Mile High Report’s Jeff Essary’s piece on today’s Senior Bowl practices. He’s on the ground at Mobile and has interviews, insight, and so on from everything that went on today. Check out his piece from Monday night with quotes from Josh Allen and others.