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Senior Bowl Report: Standouts from Day 1

The first day or practice at the Reese's Senior Bowl is in the books. The first day is always a feeling out process for the players and coaches, especially the quarterbacks and the wide receivers. I spent most of my time watching offensive line – defensive line one on ones during non-team portions of practice. These are my initial impressions from watching practice live and I'll give further thoughts in tomorrow's reports on anything I see on video review.

* We received some disappointing news this morning when two highly rated prospects that were supposed to compete in Mobile had to pull out due to issues with their physicals after morning examinations. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, from Arizona State, who could have snuck into the first round will not participate this week. Nor will Prince Tega Wanogho, a left tackle from Auburn, who was one of the most promising pass protectors in Mobile. Alabama defensive tackle Raekwon Davis also removed himself from the game early on Tuesday, after potential first round cornerback, Kristian Fulton from LSU, pulled out on Monday. Washington offensive tackle Trey Adams also didn't come to Mobile due to a hamstring injury.

* It was a very cold day in Mobile, with temperatures in the forties, but with the wind chill it felt like it was in the thirties. By the time the sun began to go down at the end of the North's practice, it was bitter cold. We'll start with what I saw during the South practice, which took place first. 

* South Carolina's Javon Kinlaw showed off why most draft analysts consider him the highest rated player at the Senior Bowl. His measurements (6'5, 315 pounds, 34 5/8 inch arms, and 10 1/8 inch hands) speak for themselves, especially the arm length, which is impressive for an interior rusher. He flashed his power and quickness throughout one on one drills for the south team and was very difficult to block.

* Another interior defensive lineman, Marlon Davidson of Auburn, flashed inside pass rush. At 6'3 and 297 pounds he was dominant in one on one drills, and showed great burst at the snap with the quickness and power to beat interior lineman. He also got at least one rep at defensive end. He showed a variety of different pass rush moves and looked like the best player on field.

* Offensive lineman Alex Taylor certainly looks the part. At 6'8 and 308 pounds, he has freakish 36 and 1/8 inch long arms and 11 inch hands. A large wingspan can be a huge advantage for a small-school offensive lineman. He showed good enough agility in pass protection drills, and even though he only played at the FCS level for South Carolina State University, he has tools that will make NFL front offices take notice.

* Another small school player, Kindle Vildor from Georgia Southern, a FCS school, made an impression. On a deep pass from quarterback Steve Montez, he stayed over the top on Vanderbilt's Kalija Lipscomb and went up to grab the interception on an overthrown deep ball.

View the best images from the first day of the 2020 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama

* Both practices were physical, but I thought Matt Patricia's practice was especially intense and physical from the start of individual drills to the final team sessions. His coaches were vocal and constantly prodded his players to give him more.

* I am intrigued by Wisconsin linebacker Zach Baun. He was more of an edge rusher in college, but at 6'2 and 240 pounds he will have to play more of an off-ball role in the NFL. He did flash a nasty inside spin move during pass rush drills but I look forward to watching him in coverage and in space the remainder of the week. He has the athleticism to do it.

* Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool was very active with a handful of catches throughout North practice. He measured at an imposing 6'4 and 229 pounds, and he looks a bit like a receiving tight end in his pads and helmet. He was getting open on some inward breaking routes, and created separation on a comeback-route near the sideline. I look forward to seeing him deal with more press coverage throughout the week.

* USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. didn't have as many catches as Claypool, but he did haul in a deep pass from Jordan Love during one on ones. He stands at 6'4 but runs his routes like a much smaller and quicker wide receiver. He measured at 6'3 and 219 pounds but I think he can be more than just a big physical wide receiver.

* North Carolina defensive lineman Jason Strowbridge flashed some impressive pass rush moves thanks to his speed and quickness at the snap. Strowbridge worked inside, but at 6'4 and 267 pounds there are legitimate questions if he can hold up inside. He had a couple of pass rush reps where offensive linemen got their hands on him and he struggled to free himself from their grasps.

* Offensive tackle Josh Jones worked at right and left tackle at practice today. With impressive measurements (6'5, 311 pounds, 33 and 5/8 inch arms, 10 and 1/8 inch hands), he did well in pass protection. Generally speaking, the North offensive linemen got the best of their matchups with their defensive counterparts.

* Ohio State defensive lineman Davon Hamilton showed a lot of power at 6'3 and 327 pounds. He had violent hands and showed up great punch against interior offensive lineman. He looks like a good potential run-stuffer on the next level.


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