After watching a ballroom dance on Monday, scouts finally got to see players practice outside in what were close to ideal conditions. And some prospects played at close to an ideal level, especially two lesser known defensive tackles.
In the morning, USF product Terrell McClain dominated against the East squad offensive linemen. He displayed very good quickness in one on one drills, and he was similarly disruptive in 11 on 11s. While not as physically gifted as fellow East squader Marvin Austin, McClain stood out more often during practice
However, McClain’s play was outmatched later in the day by UCLA defensive tackle David Carter. In 1 on 1s, Carter was simply unblockable, surging past a series of offensive guards. At 6’4 1/2″, 297 lbs., Carter possesses excellent length and a quick first step: those qualities could make him a nice fit either as a 3-4 end or a three technique (4-3 DT).
Another prospect who helped himself is Stanford wideout Ryan Whalen. Whalen’s lack of ideal speed and explosiveness will keep him from being taken on the first two days of the draft, but he showed today why he could end up being a solid pro. He displayed physicality and savvy as a route runner, and he was willing to go out to catch some scattershot throws. As a result, he became a favorite target of the West QBs and could soon become a favorite of an NFL signal caller.
On the other hand, Cecil Shorts looked like a receiver heading in the wrong direction. Shorts didn’t look very explosive and struggled to get separation. In addition, he jumped offside in 11 on 11s. Add in the drops Shorts suffered from on Monday, and the Mount Union WR appears to be heading towards a draft slide.
Chris Carter seemed to be struggling with the transition to the linebacker. The flashes of strong play he showed in the ballroom didn’t translate to the practice field, as he was slow to react and lacked the footspeed to compensate for his missteps.
Syracuse center Ryan Bartholomew also had a disappointing practice. The agile center seemed outmatched against some of the East squad defensive tackles. Worse, he resorted to bad technique, dropping his head on contact, which led to him getting tossed aside and beaten badly.
As a whole, the game’s quarterbacks were an undwhelming bunch on Tuesday, but Jerrod Johnson‘s poor play stood out. Johnson was slow to make decisions in the pocket, often delivering the ball after he would have been sacked. The slow decision-making was complemented by his long, awkward release. The A&M quarterback was having a disastrous season before he was benched; unfortunately, that appears to be continuing now in Orlando.