Thursday's practice saw many of the best senior prospects in the country take the field for the final time before Saturday's all-star game. This is their last chance to distinguish themselves for the scouts, coaches, and GM's in attendance.
While several prospects stood out, two -- Braxton Miller and Noah Spence -- captivated scouts in their respective practices.
*Disclaimer - I had a pretty random power outage just as the South team's practice was set to begin, so I only have notes on the North practice. I'll be passing along notes from several draft analysts I follow on Twitter, however.
DL Bag Drills
- Bronson Kaufusi reminds me of Kerry Wynn. Big, long, powerful, good looking lineman, but a bit stiff. Might be best as a 5-T at the next level.
- Nassib has gotten better each day. He's quick and has violence in his hands. When he uses his length those bags just drop.
- Jihad Ward is turning into a practice star. Power and quickness. There are going to be a lot of folks going back and watching lots of film on him tomorrow and Sunday. Your's truly included.
- Vernon Butler has a really high upside. Great size, length, quickness, and power. He's a good player now, he could be a great one, and can probably play any spot on the DL
- Austin Johnson is a bull. He's got some hand quickness, and when he gets leverage, the other guy goes on skates. Same goes for Butler.
- Nassib is strong and really quick. When he uses that length, he can get around a blocker in a blink, either in a swim/rip, or on a speed counter.
- Spriggs is starting to remind me of Justin Pugh. A bit undersized, but he is feisty and a technician. Jared Norris (LB, Utah) brew right by the RB who was supposed to pick him up (LB blitz)
- I really wanted to see Nassib beat the Harvard RT in the last rep of the drill. He had him beat off the snap, but the OT was able to re-anchor and keep him away from the OT.
- Braxton Miller just astounds me as a receiver. He moves like Odell Beckham and has a similar edge. He just burned Eric Murray who is a very good corner.
- Murray really is good. The only receiver he couldn't cover was Miller.
- Darian Thompson looks legit going against tight ends, but Nick Vannett looks like he was criminally under-used by OSU.
- I wonder if Miles Killebrew might be a linebacker in safety's clothing (or, at least, a S/LB hybrid). Bryce Williams (TE, ECU) toasted him in 1 on 1, only to let the ball bounce off his chest.
- Thompson is running the defense. He is looking like the No. 2 safety in this draft after Jalen Ramsey.
- Murray is a competitive CB. Great timing to knock the ball away at the last second on an EZ fade. I think Nassib is more comfortable on the right side than the left.
- Defense picked Cody Kessler off, but Nassib would have had the sack long before the ball was thrown (possibly a strip-sack)
Rave Reviews for Noah Spence
For all the well-deserved hype surrounding Carson Wentz...Noah Spence, Braxton Miller, Vernon Butler and Austin Johnson were as impressive— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 28, 2016
South team OL has no answer for Noah Spence.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 28, 2016
It's actually comical now, every time a QB turns his back on play action, Noah Spence is there for the sack #SeniorBowl— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) January 28, 2016
Noah Spence is so fast getting around the edge— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) January 28, 2016
Noah Spence is legitimately one of the best players in this draft class. He dominated Le’Raven Clark routinely and looked comfortable rushing off both sides of the line of scrimmage. If teams aren’t scared off by his character, he should find his name called very early in the first round of the draft.
*Note: Sheldon Rankins had to withdraw from the Senior Bowl with a sprained knee. Javon Hargrave (of Shrine Game fame) has been added to the South roster in his place.Kenneth Dixon stood out more today compared to Wednesday's practice. Dixon looked great when carrying the ball in between the tackles showing quick cuts and superb vision. Dixon continues to be a decisive runner seeing the field well and being built low to the ground he can put away would be tacklers.
Deion Jones, all 219 pounds of him, just stonewalled a running back on a goal line play.— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) January 28, 2016
Nice work by Le'Raven Clark getting out on the move. Some team will want to coach up his natural ability.— Dan Kadar (@MockingTheDraft) January 28, 2016