College football’s Friday practices are entirely “walked-through”, in shorts and tees. As there was nothing to do but sit in this ‘Bama sun, here’s my list of Surprises and Disappointments from both teams.
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Hankerson made a believer out of all by week’s end. His reliable hands and precise routes made him a favorite target of the QBs. And just when you thought that all he could do was go deep, he impressively beat double teams and found open spaces in zone today. Add in great focus and you have a real winner.
5.Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M
What an athlete. A perfect mix of speed and strength; very effective pass rushing moves too. Excellent, quick feet gave linemen a lot of trouble on the line. Looked very good in space as well. Very active and will prove very valuable in the NFL.
4. Gabe Carimi, OL Wisconsin
Carimi had a tough Day 2, but stormed back with impressive performances on Days 4 and 5. He tightened up his footwork and really improved his blocking at the point of attack. Took on the more active and strong DL in 1-on-1s and came out on top numerous times.
3. Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State
Vincent Brown enjoyed a fantastic week. He put on a performance that will have him flying up draft boards as he made the top DBs and CBs look bad. He looked very comfortable running reverses and end-arounds as he even cut inside and took on some hits. Brown turned heads all week with his consistency, excellent hands, quick feet and crisp patterns.
2. Roy Helu Jr., RB, Nebraska
Helu was quiet the first 2 days, but took instruction from his coaches and stepped it up. He has prototypical size and began throwing it around. He was surprisingly tough in blocking and blitz pick-up drills. Helu’s quick and tight footwork allows him to be the most fluid and smooth runner in camp. Helu also showed that he has great nose for holes and always found himself in open space, sprinting away from would-be tacklers.
1. Titus Young, WR, Boise State
Almost unheralded, Young took his underrated name and shoved it in all the scouts face. He made plays all day, everyday. Exceptional hands and routes. Even the underperforming QB group had no trouble finding him 5-8 yards behind coverage. Young makes sharp cuts and accelerates well out of them. He never dropped a ball and was badly beating DBs on short, medium and deep routes all week.
5. Pierre Allen, DL, Nebraska
Allen has great height, but is a little light. His poor technique and footwork came to haunt him all week as his high stance allowed OL to get under him. He is definitely not aggressive enough during his bull rush as he was stood up way too often. Didn’t make enough plays during the team drills.
4. Kristofer O’Dowd, OL, USC
A great athlete who had a great season, but O’Dowd was outmatched. Being asked to take on much stronger and quicker linemen was too much. He was regularly embarrassed in 1-on-1s, being put on roller skates often. He is a smart player but lack of strength and reliable technique is too much to overcome.
3. Quinton Carter, DB, Oklahoma
All-American status and 4 picks didn’t help Carter at the Senior Bowl. His speed is very questionable. May be carrying a little too much weight and the receivers ran past him all week. Did not make enough plays in 1-on-1s or team to help his stock.
2. Dane Sanzenbacher, WR, Ohio State
Obviously outmatched. Sanzenbacher’s poor performance all week proved that he did not belong amongst the elite. He dropped way too many passes. When he did pull one in, it was with odd hand placement, or with his body. His patterns need a lot of work.
1. Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa
Stanzi led an unimpressive QB group. His accuracy and decision making was put to the test and failed miserably. Also displayed bad QB-IQ as he had a lot of trouble anticipating cuts and breaks and allowed DBs to make plays on his passes. Stanzi couldn’t put any zip on his passes as they labored to reach awaiting receivers. He needs a lot of work if he wants to be considered to be able to contribute at the next level.