2019 Senior Bowl: Day 3 South Practice Notes

by Eric Galko


-It was a rough start to practice for the South Quarterbacks, as they struggled with accuracy early and, for some, throughout practice. Gardner Minshew of Washington State showed poise and confidence in team drills and threw the most catchable ball of the passers. He’s impressed off the field, and his play on it has done enough to validate mid round evaluation.

-Buffalo’s Tyree Jackson and Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham both display top-end arm talent and “make up” strength to drive down the field and catch up if they’re late in decision making or timing. Jackson seems to be further behind in timing/footwork than Stidham but offers more arm talent upside.

Running Backs

-Temple's Ryquell Armstead didn't build off his first day of practice and looked slow out of his cuts and didn't run with the same vigor as in the first practice. His routes were undefined and he struggled to create separation farther than a couple yards downfield. 

Slippery Rock's Wes Hills looks like a well-built running back when he hits the hole, but he looks stiff when running outside. He ran upright all day and didn't sink into his cuts. This was his last day to try and break out, but played uninspired. 

Pittsburgh's Darrin Hall extended for several catches on his only day of practice and looked comfortable out of the backfield. He ran with a low pad level and hit the hole hard.

Wide Receivers

-It was hard to pick a winner from the wide receivers due to the group as a whole dominated the defensive backs today. Gamecocks WR Deebo Samuel was unstoppable once again and has been a problem for whoever has lined up against him all week. Samuel is by far the best receiver in Mobile and has made some guys look silly in 1v1s.

-Marshall WR Tyre Brady helped boost his stock today making a high difficulty catch on a red zone fade. Brady has been dominant at the catch point and showed good courage in team drills to make a traffic catch on a low thrown ball between two defenders who ended up colliding with each other.

-Going into the Senior Bowl, David Sills was the more hyped West Virginia WR, but it’s been Gary Jennings who has been a model of consistency in winnings his matchups regularly throughout the week. Mostly a slot receiver at West Virginia, Jennings has worked a ton on the outside in practice and his versatility running the route tree from a variety of positions will increase his value.

Tight Ends

-LSU' Foster Moreau showed a good release and ability to find the hole in the zone. He had another good day blocking but continues to show he is a receiving threat as well. He was one of the winners today as he has been all week. 

-Dax Raymond showed his athleticism today and was able to work past defenders with his speed and footwork out of breaks. His best play of the day was in the end zone. The defender tipped the pass and Dax kept his concentration and made a falling, contested catch.

Offensive Linemen

-Another practice, another Oli Udoh disappointment. The 6’6”, 327 tackle with 36” arms just can’t translate size to success on the field. Jonathan Ledbetter of Georgia used him like a blocking sled and Wyoming’s Carl Granderson beat him on a spin move before the team period started.

-After spending some time at center, Mississippi’s Javon Patterson moved to guard for the majority of practice and held his own. Locking up Dontavius Russell was one of the best pass protection reps this week.

-The team was down to three tackles today once Alabama State’s Tytus Howard went down with an injury.

-For as much hype as the Oklahoma guards had coming into this week, they haven’t stood out against increased physicality.

Defensive Linemen

-Daylon Mack, the Texas A&M nose tackle, made himself more money on Thursday. In one-on-ones, the only thing stopping him was when Elgton Jenkins held him and ripped his jersey off his back. Mack’s leverage and get-off keeps translating to wins.

-On the other end of the SEC defensive tackle spectrum, Dontavius Russell of Auburn has yet to make an impression. There’s been no reason to think of him as more than a Day 3 pick based on this week’s practices. 

-If you’re wondering why you aren’t seeing many Montez Sweat highlights on Twitter, he’s the last pass-rusher in the rotation for every set of one-on-ones. No defensive lineman has had fewer isolated reps this week than him. Be it a decision by him or the coaching staff, it’s worth noting that the star of the game is being buried a bit.


-Terrill Hanks look lost in man coverage today and showed poor turn-and-run ability. He looked quick, but lost and was a liability in coverage. 

-Sione Takitaki played with good energy, but was overambitious and was blown by in coverage on multiple occasions. His transition and hips were a liability and both running backs and tight ends took advantage.

-Deshaun Davis had another great practice showing good discipline and hips. He was one of the winners today as he was able to stick with running backs in man coverage as well as hold his own in zone. He had a tendency of not keeping his eyes on the quarterback and would miss the ball, but had a great day overall.

Defensive Backs

-Kentucky's Lonnie Johnson made a few flash plays today including nearly decapitating Hunter Renfrow on a screen pass in team drills. Johnson later showed resiliency and man coverage skills in red zone by staying with Anthony Johnson for over seven seconds and using his length to get a pass break up. Johnson has been up and down this week but could take Thursday’s momentum into the game in live hitting situations.

-Isaiah Johnson has a nemesis and his name is Deebo Samuel. Johnson has been mostly impressive this week in understanding how to use his length to put him in a position to make plays on the football but Samuel was his kryptonite today, putting him in a blender on a fake inside release in red zone and then jerking back outside for an easy touchdown.

-Temple's Rock Ya-Sin struggled today in coverage, drawing back-to-back pass interference penalties on Deebo Samuel in 1v1s and then allowing two touchdowns against Gary Jennings on corner routes in red zone. When Ya-Sin is in position to make a play on the football, he does a good job of timing his stab and shows natural ball skills, but he has difficult multitasking staying in-phase and maintaining his speed when he turns his head.