The final day of practice just wrapped up in Mobile and there’s plenty to talk about. The thing everyone will be talking about the most, and rightly so today, is the quarterbacks.
Vance Joseph to his players: “Last chance to impress men. Let’s go all in.”— Sayre Bedinger (@SayreBedinger) January 25, 2018
Both Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield put on a show today. The Broncos ran a great week of practices with the guys and today was a great mix of up-tempo drills and red zone 1on1s an 7on7s to give the QBs an opportunity to show what they’ve got.
Here are a few of the throws at the beginning of the period where they worked end zone fades.
Ouch. Allen sails one into the stands on the back of the end zone dig route drill. Clearly frustrated after the throw.#SeniorBowl— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 25, 2018
Allen, as you can see above, still showed some of the inconsistency and accuracy issues that have plagued him all week and throughout his career, but he had his best practice today, in my opinion. His misses were still there, but when he was on, it was a thing of beauty.
7v7. Allen dropped perfect one in triple coverage to Smythe who bobbled and caught it.#SeniorBowl— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 25, 2018
If you check out the 0:55 mark of the video above, you’ll see the throw I tweeted about. Allen dropped it in a bucket around three defenders on a seam route for the touchdown.
Allen has improved every day he’s been out here. His misses are maddening at times, but it’s easy to see why people like him.
Baker Mayfield also had his best practice out here today and looked dialed in from the start. As an Oklahoma fan, I’ve seen nearly every game Mayfield has played, and I was blown away with his performance today. He kept putting out ‘wow’ throw after ‘wow’ throw.
it's always interesting how we talk about arm strength. can Josh Allen throw the ball farther than Baker Mayfield? yes. but Mayfield looks to have more consistent velocity on short to intermediate throws pic.twitter.com/1yqPrL2wjZ— Jordan Zirm (@clevezirm) January 25, 2018
Mayfield showed excellent ball placement in all three drill types (1v1, 7v7, team) and showed good decision-making in team red-zone periods throwing one ball away when it wasn’t open and getting past his first read when it was covered.
Mayfield just dropped a dime into double coverage in 7v7. Fired up after that throw. #SeniorBowl— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 25, 2018
Mayfield is on fire right now in 1on1 drills. Great placement. Fired up after completions. #SeniorBowl— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 25, 2018
Mayfield money so far on end zone fade drill. Hasn't missed one yet.— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) January 25, 2018
Allen has had two overthrows. #SeniorBowl
Whether Mayfield plays in the Senior Bowl game or not, he’s done exactly what he’s needed to this week, come out here and play lights out while getting to know the coaches to show them what he’s like off the field.
#Browns GM John Dorsey on Baker Mayfield: “What I was impressed with, when he first got to Oklahoma, his teammates early in summer, he had digested the playbook and understood it within two days. And then the love and conviction that his teammates have for him, you can see that”— Keith Britton (@KeithBritton86) January 25, 2018
If you’re not on the Mayfield train, that’s fine, but it’s just getting rolling and won’t stop until April 27th, because he deserves every bit of the hype he’s getting as prospect.
Anticipation: When Baker Mayfield releases his pass to DaeSean Hamilton, Hamilton is at the 10-yard line, veering in. Hamilton makes the grab 4 yards deep in the end zone after having cut back out toward the pylon. Top-shelf stuff from two of the best @seniorbowl this year. pic.twitter.com/VdOMYUgYwm— Andrew Mason (@MaseDenver) January 26, 2018
Alright, enough about the quarterbacks! On to the rest of practice, and who made my notes.
First off, I was able to chat with Joe Woods this morning and asked who has been sticking out to him so far. Here’s some names he gave me:
For the secondary
- “Duke Dawson looks like a very versatile player. Did some good things.”
- “Christian Campbell did some nice things outside.” (Campbell recorded an interception yesterday).
- “I like Taron Johnson. Kind of reminds me of a Corteland Finnegan type of player.”
- “Mike McCray from Michigan has good size, plays with a lot of effort.”
- “Nick Deluca from North Dakota State made a great pick just doing his job in practice.”
On the defensive line
- Woods specifically called out Nathan Shepherd and said Bill Kollar was “really impressed with him.”
- He called out both the kids from Ohio State, Tyquan Lewis and Jayln Holmes and said they were doing nice things inside.
- Both guys from NC State as well. Said Justin Jones was very “stout inside” and had a good 1v1 period yesterday, and also BJ Hill.
- Kemoko Turay from Rutgers: “very athletic off the edge. Had some real good pass rushes. Really highlight of the day for the defense as he kind of bent the end, put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and then ran 20 yards down the field. I highlighted him (in their defensive meeting) for his effort.
- Okoronkwo “did some good things as well. very athletic. I go down and watch Bill’s (Kollar) ‘get-off’ drills, and those two ended up as the last two for championship to see who can get off the ball the fastest.
Now onto my notes!
- Mike McCray had a good pass break-up early on in 1v1 drills against a tight end.
- Jaylen Samuels had beautiful stutter at the top of his out route on the goal line that left his defender in the dust. He’s quietly had a good week.
Jaylen Samuels should be getting talked about so much more than he is. #SeniorBowl— Carl Dumler (@CarlDumlerMHH) January 25, 2018
- Brett Toth has been one of the better tackles this week. He’s looked better than the more hyped O’Neill. He won a pass rush rep against Okoronkwo in 1v1s (not an easy task) and put him on the ground.
- Allen Lazard bounced back after two lackluster days prior. He had some big time catches today.
- Okoronkwo still looks like one of the best edge guys out there. He made my notes three different times with a variety of moves to win in both 1v1s and team periods. He also shut down a run nicely to end the red zone period, keeping the offense from scoring.
- Speaking of edge rushers. Joe Woods called it out, Turay has been one of the surprises of this week. His bend and quickness on the edge is impressive. Turay had a nice rep where he countered with an inside move to win. He battled nicely against Hernandez. He’ll need to get stronger to win consistently against a guy like Hernandez.
Kemoko Turay's cornering and balance in this rep is super fun and even more impressive. pic.twitter.com/KZcrfkkdCi— Kyle Crabbs (@NDTScouting) January 25, 2018
- BJ Hill continues to look explosive in pass rush situations and is just a monster to block. He consistently drove his man back in 1v1 and team drills.
- Except for one rep against Hernandez. Hernandez put BJ Hill on the ground after a failed spin move. Although he lost a rep or two with some uncharacteristic lunging, Hernandez was his dominant self out there today and absolutely buried some poor soul in team periods.
Hernandez (LG) on third down 11v11 pic.twitter.com/ViqeCSCvm9— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) January 25, 2018
He has such strong hands, and surprisingly quick feet for a guy his size.
- Elsewhere on the offensive line, Crosby continues to look solid and has had himself a nice week of practice. He looks like the best tackle on the North team by a long-shot.
- In the secondary, Isaac Yiadom has been great in downfield coverage. Today he covered a deep route perfectly, and got his head around for the ball. He’s dropped a few would be interceptions so he needs to work on his hands, but he’s been blanketing guys in coverage all week.
- Armani Watts has been impressive as well. He was commended by Bill Kollar for his hustle after scooping up a fumble, and filled nicely in the run game. He looked sticky in man coverage in the red zone period as well dropping down in the box to cover the tight end.
- I wasn’t super impressed with Da’Shawn Hand for the hype surrounding him as a prospect out of Alabama. He had some nice reps at times, but also lost a few reps and overall didn’t look as dominant as I was expecting.
- Poona Ford continues to look solid inside as he showed good leverage in double team drills, twice. Earned some praise from the coaches.
- James Washington came back down to earth today and looked human out there. Siran Neal absolutely dominated him in press off the line in one rep. Overall, Washington’s stock is still through the roof based on this week, but he didn’t flash as much today, to me.
- That’s likely because MJ Stewart was covering him most of the day. Stewart has been getting some positive buzz this week, and continued with another strong day today. He was lined up over Washington in the slot in most of the team periods and ran with him downfield, as well as sticking tight on a crossing route. He showed good press ability as well.
- Byron Pringle had a nice day today and looked crisp in his route running. He made my notes a few times for his routes.
- Alex Cappa has been hailed as one of the top tackles all week and he looked the part today, especially in 1v1s.
If an NFL team takes Brian O’Neill over Alex Cappa, that’s wrong. Cappa has had an unbelievable week. His technique and footwork are best of anyone here.— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 25, 2018
Cappa stonewalled Shaquem Griffin in the individual drills and didn’t lose a rep in team periods, except...
- Shaquem Griffin’s speed is so impressive. He was beat by Cappa in 1v1s, but came back in team period and did this.
I mean yes, Cappa should do a better job of protecting the inside but Shaq's speed is too good pic.twitter.com/HukomVRxHu— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) January 25, 2018
Griffin has continued to impress me all week, and looked smooth in coverage again. It’s an absolute travesty that he hasn’t been invited to the combine yet.
- Marcus Davenport finally rallied after struggling against top competition the last two days. He had two sacks in the team periods and was disruptive as a rusher throughout the day. He is a victim of the hype train around his measurables, as his technique never warranted the first round talk he was getting. I still love him as a developmental prospect and he seems like a super high character guy. To his credit, he owned his struggles this week and has said from the first day that he hasn’t done anything yet (despite the hype) and has a lot to learn.
That’s all I’ve got, folks! The practices are done for the week, but I’ll be here through Saturday and have some great interview spotlights coming your way over the next few days.
Don’t forget to tune into the Senior Bowl game on NFL Network at 1:30 CT on January 27th.