While we can’t be at both the Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl, we’ll still keep you up to date with the most important information from the week’s practices. Our friends at Draft Guys are providing excellent coverage of the practices, and we’ll bring you highlights of their daily reports.
John Skelton (Fordham) Skelton has the prototypical size for an NFL QB that scouts just love. However, he is a project and showed why early and often today at practice. First the good—I liked the way that he was listening intently to everything the coaching staff was telling him. He seems like a very coachable kid as he would also listen to the playcall in the huddle even when he wasn’t taking the snap. Skelton set up in the pocket nicely, and has great field vision because of his size. Now for the bad—his delivery was too deliberate, and it always seemed like he was aiming the ball instead of just throwing it. Short passes and deep passes were equally off the mark, and usually behind his targets. Skelton had decent velocity when he really stepped into his throws, but the ball wobbled far too often on underneath and shorter routes.
Javarris James (Miami) “Baby J” showed some moves today that were reminiscent of his older brother Edgerrin James. On a short pass over the middle James looked like he had eyes in the back of his head when he caught the pass and outjuked the linebacker in coverage—with his back to him! James runs a little too upright, but showed good burst when running between the tackles. He also showed good balance when changing direction and has natural “make you miss” ability.
Freddie Barnes (Bowling Green) was by far the most sudden and explosive player on the East roster. He showed great hands today, and had to make several difficult catches—in a number of different ways! Barnes would catch high passes, with arms extended away from his body. He would go down and get the low catches, scooping them up to make sure the pigskin didn’t hit the turf. He snagged balls in traffic, and showed no fear going over the middle. He caught a few deep passes over the shoulder, and showed good ball tracking ability. Barnes also was returning punts, which only increases his draft stock.
O’Brien Schofield (LB-Wisconsin) gets really low and moves his feet well from side to side. He is very quick and agile, and showed good hands in a drill when he slipped which caused him to bobble a pass, yet he was able to haul it in while changing direction.
Click here to see the rest of Draft Guy’s East Practice Report
Max Hall (BYU) was about what I expected him to be. He’s efficient and effective, but doesn’t really have a “wow” factor to his game. He runs a good bootleg play and has enough athleticism to evade oncoming rushers while keeping his eyes downfield. Hall’s delivery is very smooth and natural.
Kerry Meier (Kansas) is a very intriguing prospect because of his size and athleticism. The converted quarterback is a savvy route runner, and knows how to find the soft spot in a zone. Meier also knows how to come back to the quarterback to help with a completion. I like the way he squares his shoulders to the line of scrimmage and presents a big target.
Emmanuel Sanders (SMU) was getting coached up by WR coach Keenan McCardell today—and he listened intently to the former All-Pro. He is very quick, and would sometime slip on his routes because he was trying to make an insane cut. I liked the way he would look the pass into his hands before turning upfield.
Matt Nichols (Eastern Washington) looks really good when he moves around in the pocket. Nichols did a good job of throwing on the run, and was looking to make plays downfield rather than being overly cautious with the football. The ball comes out of his hand hot, and he throws with plenty of velocity. He’s not all about the rocket, and showed good touch when throwing downfield. His ball placement was good when throwing deep sideline passes as he would regulary hit his receivers in stride over the outside shoulder. He also threw a very nice deep out, which is a crucial throw to make in the NFL.
Click Here to see the rest of Draft Guy’s West practice report.