Notes and observations from Senior Bowl (1/23)

Posted Jan 23, 2018's John Schmeelk shares his notes and observations from Senior Bowl practice:  

Part of the job description for every NFL player is addressing the media.

It was the first day of practice at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. It’s important to note this is only what I observed. Different positions drills are going on at the same time and you have to pick and choose what you watch. I spent most of my time today watching the skill positions. I’ll focus on O-Line/D-Line tomorrow.

• The big story are the two quarterbacks – Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. Mayfield looked just like he did at Oklahoma: athletic, decisive and accurate. Despite his questioned size, he had the arm strength to make all the throws with good zip on the ball.

• Physically, Josh Allen is much different than Mayfield, measuring in the morning at 237 pounds and just under 6’5. Those are ideal measurements for NFL scouts. Much like Mayfield, he showed at practice what he showed on tape at Wyoming last year. He has a laser cannon for an arm and receivers had trouble handling some of his passes because they were thrown with such velocity.

• Both Allen and Mayfield play for the Broncos coaching staff on the North team. The South team’s quarterbacks and receivers took some time to get going in the early practice with the defensive backs getting a lot of wins. There were some off-target throws and drops. Two receivers drew my eyes because of their impressive size: 6’4 Javon Wims from Georgia, and 6’4 DJ Chark from LSU. Chark caught a nice deep ball from Kurt Benkert during one on ones.

• Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington looks like one of the most athletically gifted receivers here. He brings the stocky build of a running back to the wide receiver position.

• I liked the versatility of two running backs: Rashaad Penny and Akrum Wadley. Wadley and Penny both showed their quickness running the ball. Wadley was also impossible to cover as a receiver out of the backfield. He was also a proficient kick returner in college. Penny caught punts during practice (like he did at San Diego State) and had a couple of nice catches as well.

• You can see very quickly why some believe Dallas Goedert might be the first tight end taken. The senior from South Dakota State measured in this morning at 6’4 and 260 pounds and showed great movement at practice. At media day he mentioned he must improve as a blocker at the pro level.

• I saw Kyzir White, safety from West Virginia, made a couple of nice deflections on passes in coverage.

• I watched a few reps of offensive and defensive line drills and a couple of guys jumped out to me. Alabama center Bradley Bozeman is projected as a day three pick but I thought his fundamentals looked great in one on one pass protection at center. It shouldn’t be a surprise given the coaching he had in college.

• I saw a few great battles between Georgia left tackle Isaiah Wynn and Alabama defensive tackle Da’Shawn Hand. Wynn seemed to get the best of a few of those one on ones. Wynn is expected to be a guard at the next level, and that’s where he lined up at practice. It was good to see two players from teams that teach a lot of pro style principles battle each other. - Auburn linebacker Tre’ Williams put a huge hit on Rashaad Penny during practice that forced a fumble. It was so loud the crack of pads echoed through the stadium.