2018 Senior Bowl Day 2 North: Josh Allen Shows Promise, OL Stand Out
After a long day 1 of weigh-ins and practices, Wednesday at the Senior Bowl allowed for better quarterback and receiver comfort, added confidence for offensive and defensive line, and an opportunity for the top players to rise to the top.
Day 2 North practice winners include Wyoming QB Josh Allen, Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton and CB Christian Campbell, Colorado State WR Michael Gallup, UTEP OG Will Hernandez, NC State DTs Justin Jones and BJ Hill, and Rutgers' Kemoko Turay.
Reports from Eric Galko, Christian Page, Derrik Klassen, Dan Matney, Filip Prus, and Parker Henry
-After an average first day of practice, Josh Allen proved to be more comfortable on Day 2. Allen was consistent on the deep ball hooking up for a couple scores on 40-yard vertical routes with Michael Gallup (Colorado State) and Allen Lazard (Iowa State). On these throws Allen showed excellent touch and control with impeccable ball placement on the back shoulder of receivers.
However, Allen continued to struggle with touch and accuracy on the intermediate throws. He lacks the velocity control to land the ball in stride to the receivers. He hasn’t shown consistency underneath with touch or accuracy. On one of his first seven on seven throws, he failed to read the safety and threw an interception trying to thread the needle to his tight end.
-Baker Mayfield showed plenty of poise and comfort in seven on seven drills. He looked somewhat raw in his five step drops, for obvious reasons, and showed some inconsistencies shifting his weight throughout his lower body preventing him from making some accurate passes. Mayfield showed excellent timing today hitting receivers in stride and looking comfortable in reading coverage. Mayfield threw passes with anticipation and appropriate timing seemingly developing some kind of rapport with his receivers already.
-The late addition quarterback, Tanner Lee, had a below average day. His arm strength and tight spiral are attractive traits, but he continues to have issues reading simple defensive concepts leading to inaccurate (poor timed) throws and interceptions. Lee shows a trend of throwing too many dead passes (not leading receiver or showing much anticipation) while also missing a couple of wide-open receivers on the boundary.
-Luke Falk, Washington State, looked comfortable in Day 2 of practice. He had some inconsistencies early on when throwing from the far hash to the sideline missing the mark high on a few passes. He managed to settle in and threw the ball well in seven on seven and 11 on 11 drills. One play in particular, Falk rolled to his left when pressured and threw an accurate pass on a drag route to the receiver. Falk was impressive showing anticipation and timing on more than a handful of throws. He was most accurate on play-action passes when rolling right. Falk would most likely be the best passer on the South squad.
-Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage continued to build on a strong first day and has been the most impressive back on the North roster. He isn’t necessarily explosive but he’s shown burst running between the tackles and displays impressive suddenness as a route runner. His hands have been consistent so far this week with the exception of a drop on a swing route that was thrown a little behind him. Additionally, Ballage has been impressive in 1 on 1 pass protection drills vs. linebackers and has shown the ability to recover when he gets beat. If he continues to perform at the same level the rest of the week, Ballage could experience a massive rise in his stock.
-Iowa’s Akrum Wadley continues to display speed and quickness turning the corner, but he has some struggles on the second day of practice. He hasn’t been able to run with much power inside, and he got dismantled by BYU’s Fred Warner in pass protection drills early in practice.
-The best route runner at the Senior Bowl this year is Penn State's DaeSean Hamilton. Not only does he clearly take pride in route definition and timing in his breaks, but his upper and lower half are consistently in-sync, allowing him to, while balanced, separate with subtle hand and arm movements. He's different than Cooper Kupp from last year's Senior Bowl, but he's starting to win in the same ways. After being the best Shrine Game receive last week, he's not far off from being one of the best Senior Bowl receivers this week.
-If Hamilton is the best route runner on the North team, then Colorado State's Michael Gallup is the second best. He separates with quickness and burst rather than greatly developed nuance, but his work on deep comebacks, crossers, and vertical routes has really impressed. He's built the best rapport with Wyoming's Josh Allen.
-Miami (FL)'s Braxton Berrios was tough to handle in 1-on-1s. His ability to stop on a dime, redirect, and get open was impressive. There were a few balls he could not bring in, either due to height or not adjusting particularly well, but he got open.
-Justin Watson, one of the lesser-known receivers coming into this week, has been impressive through he first two days of practice. Wilson has shown great body control effectively using his 6’2 215-pound frame to box out defenders and helping create separation out of his cuts. Watson has shown strong hands, being able to finish catches despite defenders ripping at his arms and hands once he catches the ball. One area that Watson needs to show is if he can get off press coverage more efficiently.
-Iowa State's Allen Lazard looked like a catch point only player today. It is clear he has a size and strength advantage, but he did not move well in 1-on-1s. Defensive backs had little issue sticking to him, especially on shorter routes.
-UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez was easily the best offensive lineman at the North practice. He entered the week as our top-rated offensive lineman, and he hasn't disappointed. He plays with outstanding hand strength, sliding well after engaged and dealing with both quicker and thicker defensive tackles well. He hasn't gotten a chance to move too much in space yet, but he'll impress there for a 340-pound lineman.
-UCLA's Scott Quessenberry doesn't have the elite length or measurables to earn top-two round grades, but his play this season and now during the week of practice speaks to his likely seven-plus year career as a center in the NFL. Refined in hand placement and quickness, great burst off the snap, and finishing opportunities once he engages all lend themselves to a long NFL career.
-Making a transition from right tackle to right guard, Washington State lineman Cole Madison has looked natural and his athleticism in individual drills has been noticeable. While Madison has proven to be an adept pass blocker in Mike Leach’s pass-heavy offense (78% of his snaps this year were pass plays), a few more stacked practices inside at guard showing his run blocking prowess can go a long way for Madison’s stock.
-Virginia Tech’s Wyatt Teller has looked sluggish coming out of his stance and has been delayed with his hand punch in lineman blocking drills. Teller was a converted defensive tackle with the Hokies, so his lack of fluidity and cumbersome explosiveness is somewhat surprising, especially when followed up by UTEP’s Hernandez.
-Rutgers edge rusher Kemoko Turay impressed with his ability to bend around the edge and got home for a would-be sack, as well as disrupting a few other plays beyond the line of scrimmage. Turay also showed that he has the strength to hold stout at the point of attack and is working hard this week to combat a poor motor narrative, playing with his hair on fire throughout (and sometimes beyond) the whistle in practice. Turay has only been playing football for five years, and while there is definitely a lot to work to cultivate the raw talent, a talented defensive line coach could reap the benefits of the high-ceiling Turay.
-Defensive Tackles Justin Jones and BJ Hill put the Wolf in Wolfpack today working from the interior. The former collegiate teammates were giving linemen fits with Jones taking on the brunt of the double teams and Hill penetrating up-field and winning with several moves from both 3 and 5-tech alignments. Jones has played with violence this week and any team that is looking for a stout 1-technique, who can also provide some pass rush, should covet Jones.
-BYU's Fred Warner is an intriguing prospect that checks off the physical boxes at 6034, 235 pounds, but his change-of-direction quickness and ability in coverage showed up today. He’s a strong, physical player that beat Akrum Wadley with ease in 1 on 1 drills, and he’s continued to display effective in pursuit of the outside run. If he can continue to work and improve in coverage, Warner could solidify himself at the best linebacker on the North squad.
-Oklahoma linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo has routinely displayed a physical, effective play style as an edge rusher all season, but he showed some real ability in 1 on 1 coverage drills today. He isn’t the smoothest or most fluid athlete, but he had a really nice play vs. standout Kalen Ballage on a wheel route down the left boundary that turned some heads. He was able to stay attached to Ballage’s hip pocket running downfield and he did a nice job getting his head around and his hand up when the ball came his way. While he stills projects as a tweener edge rusher, his impressive display in coverage leaves reason to believe he could have the ability to transition into an off-ball linebacker as the draft process continues.
-After sitting out Monday’s practice because of illness, Florida’s Duke Dawson made up for the reps he missed yesterday by being all over the field today. The physical Dawson lined up both outside and in the slot, utilizing his quick feet. He showed great mirror skills off the line of scrimmage. Where Dawson really shined was when the ball was in the air. He showcased great timing and strength by recording at least four pass breakups today, mostly by playing through the receivers hands and knocking the ball out. Dawson was also impressive in zone coverage not chasing receivers and doing a good job of communicating and passing off routes while maintaining zone eyes to get positive breaks on the quarterback.
Dawson was a little inconsistent, but his peaks were on display. Dawson is an impressive athlete who was at his best following players down the field and getting into their hip pocket. He'll need to show more as a shallow click-and-close player tomorrow.
-After an impressive Day 1, Christian Campbell did not disappoint on Day 2. Campbell again was impressive all day in press coverage, as his lateral movement and long arms were creating major issues for receivers trying to get off the line. Something Campbell improved on today was his pad level. At times, Campbell played high yesterday which affected his ability to get out of his breaks. Today Campbell played with improved pad level allowing him to sink his hips quicker limiting receivers separation on quicker breaking in and out routes .
-Isaac Yiadom bounced back from a somewhat lackluster day one, Yiadom was able to use his long 6 foot frame to bother receivers all day, Yiadom played physical thorough routes throughout the practice, particularly on vertical routes where he was able to open his hips quickly, turn and run with the receiver down the field effectively using his body to squeeze the receiver to the sideline limiting the throwing windows. Yiadom struggled in his off coverage today but was very impressive in press man, doing a great job staying square until the route declared.
-Armani Watts was impressive for the second straight day flashing today mainly in the run game. Watts is quick to trigger from his safety spot and brings his hips with him when he strikes the ball carrier, delivering the biggest hit of the North practice during the third down period. Watts also showed range and zone reaction in zone coverage today making a pass breakup on the sideline after coming from the middle of the field.
-South Carolina's Jamarcus King had one disgusting rep in which DaeSean Hamilton shook him down the field. Outside of that rep, King was solid. King looked comfortable pressing and getting grabby with receivers. He was as physical at the catch point as one would wish from a defensive back.