DraftBrowns.com Staff Writer: Justin Higdon
On Day Two of North team practices, a couple of linemen stood out once again. While Central Michigan offensive tackle Eric Fisher generally took on all comers in one on one drills, one player managed to give him some trouble – UCLA defensive end Datone Jones. Jones impressed those in attendance at weigh-ins yesterday and followed that up with a solid Monday afternoon. Today he was an absolute monster, beating Fisher – easily the best offensive lineman on the North roster – on back-to-back plays with a swim move and then a bull rush. In team drills, Jones flew around, at one point appearing out of nowhere to make a stop at the line of scrimmage. He is making a case for consideration in the top half of the first round in April.
North Carolina State’s Mike Glennon continued to outplay the other North quarterbacks, at one point connecting with Kansas State wide receiver Chris Harper on a nice throw, catch and run in traffic. Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib connected on a few nice passes, including one along the sideline to college teammate Alec Lemon, but botched a snap near the goal line that resulted in a fumble recovery touchdown for the defense. He also left a deep sideline throw intended for Texas receiver Marquise Goodwin short, forcing Goodwin to come back for the ball. Zac Dysert of Miami Ohio continued to struggle. He sailed some throws high, got picked off by Connecticut cornerback Dwayne Gratz on a deep throw, and left a sideline route short, resulting in a tipped ball by Oregon State corner Jordan Poyer. It is unclear just what has been troubling Dysert so far, but he does appear to be battling some nerves. He did recover a bit late in practice, rolling to his right, throwing on the move and connecting with Goodwin along the sideline. It was easily Dysert’s best throw this week and demonstrated one of his strengths – delivering with accuracy on the run.
Linebacker Ty Powell of Division II Harding University opened some eyes with his performance this morning. He gave running backs fits during a blitz pickup drill, and followed that with a strong showing in team drills, getting in on a number of run stops near the line of scrimmage. Powell was originally slated for the Shrine Game last week, but ended up being a late addition to the Senior Bowl roster. He has been one of the early pleasant surprises this week, and will surely send a few people scrambling to find game footage of him.
- Elon wide receiver Aaron Mellette let a pass slip right through his hands early in the day. In the same drill, Michigan’s Denard Robinson was able to adjust to a pass behind him, but it wasn’t clear if he got both feet in bounds. He followed that with a drop of his own.
- Later, Robinson beat Utah State cornerback Will Davis on a deep pass and hauled it in for a score.
- Marshall receiver Aaron Dobson demonstrated his ability to adjust, and his excellent body control while bringing down a deep pass along the sideline.
- Harvard H-back Kyle Juszczyk was up and down in blitz pick up drills. His strength appears to be as a receiver, however he fumbled near the sideline at the end of a catch-and-run.
- Wisconsin tackle Ricky Wagner continued to have a solid week, repeatedly shutting down SMU’s Margus Hunt. However, Wagner was beaten on a couple of plays later by Texas defensive end Alex Okafor.
- Illinois guard Hugh Thornton performed admirably today. While he did get pushed back on a few plays, he was able to hold his ground and stay in front of the defenders.
- San Jose State offensive lineman David Quessenberry has struggled while lined up at tackle, and appears to be best suited to move inside to guard.
- Illinois defensive end Michael Buchanan was a step slow getting off the snap on a few occasions Tuesday morning.
- Nevada safety Duke Williams had some trouble in early drills turning his hips and changing direction.
- Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien continued his strong play coming across the field to break up a deep pass intended for Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton.
- Punt returners appeared to be struggling with the wind Tuesday. Boise State’s Jamar Taylor muffed one punt, and Poyer followed by running up to field one only to have it bounce at his feet and kick away.
- Connecticut’s Trevardo Williams sat out today with an ankle injury.
- Former Heisman Trophy contender Tyrann Mathieu was mingling on the sidelines.