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Logan Thomas, Aaron Murray trending up at Senior Bowl


MOBILE, Ala. -- The first day of practices at the Reese's Senior Bowl wrapped up Monday. Here are some of the things we learned about the top prospects here:

Thomas on target

Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas didn't exactly have the kind of senior season to help his stock as an NFL draft prospect, with a frightening TD-to-interception ratio of 16-13. But from the time he walked across the weigh-in stage Monday morning to the end of the North squad practice late in the afternoon, Thomas turned heads.

By far the biggest quarterback on either roster, Thomas measured 6-5 3/4 and 250 pounds at the weigh-in, prompting an AFC scout overheard to say Thomas' physical stature reminded him of Cam Newton. His hand measurement was 10 3/4; by contrast, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray's hands measured just 9 1/8.

On the field, NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks was duly impressed with Thomas' arm:

Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith, the North squad head coach, had this to say about the Hokies prospect:

"Logan, my thoughts on him, he's got the measurables. He's a big, strong-armed quarterback who is going to have to go through the process of learning how to take snaps unders center some. I know he took some in college, but there's going to be a learning curve for the pro game. But he's got a big, strong arm. I wasn't focusing on the quarterback position today, but I'm looking forward to working with him."

Insider view

The Senior Bowl coaching staffs get a far better look at the prospects on hand during the week than the other 30 teams, particularly in getting to know them in team meetings, and seeing how they respond to new teachings. Falcons coach Mike Smith said he's happy to be getting a better look than he ever has before.

"This is my first experience of being inside the ropes, so to speak, and I can tell you in the first 24 hours, I've gleaned a lot more information than I would have gotten if I was standing on the sideline or up in the stands," Smith said. "I'm looking forward to, and embracing, spending a week not only with the North squad, but the South squad as well."

Murray on mend

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray's season-ending knee surgery for a torn ACL last November was the last thing the fifth-year senior needed entering draft preparation, but the Bulldogs star has had a remarkable recovery thus far.

"Way ahead of the game," he said. "It feels great. Already doing some light jogging in the pool, pulling sleds, single leg press over 600 pounds, I am just killing the rehab. Right now the thought is, I'll be back by pro day, and we'll go from there."

On the scale

Does being named Senior Bowl MVP lead to success in the NFL? You be the judge as we take a look back at the most recent Senior Bowl MVPs.

Speaking of the weigh-in, there are always a few raised eyebrows as 100-plus pro prospects cross the stage wearing nothing but compression shorts. Linemen who are out of shape can't hide it. And players who got an extra inch or two on their official college rosters lose that as well.

College Football 24/7 brings you all the buzz from the weigh-in.

Making the rounds

Arizona State defensive end Will Sutton said he is looking to putting his best foot forward off the field in interviews as much as on the field, and the Sun Devils' disruptive defensive tackle has had plenty of chances. Sutton rattled off seven clubs with whom he already has interviewed and said there were a few others he could not recall.

Sutton looked good in one-on-one drills Monday, showing excellent lateral quickness and burst, or "get off", as Sutton put it.

High praise

Nebraska cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste may never be the talker that Seattle Seahawks star corner Richard Sherman is, but he drew an on-field comparison with Sherman from NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt on Monday. Jean-Baptiste, for his part, was flattered.

Quick hits

» Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley had some positive things to say about LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow's first practice. Barrow's 91 tackles led the Tigers in 2013, and he was showing early leadership among the South squad linebackers on Monday.

» Alabama DE Ed Stinson did not participate in hitting drills Monday with an apparent injury, but he was in uniform.

» Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews made perhaps the catch of the day at the South practice, on a leaping grab along the right sideline on a pass from Fresno State's Derek Carr. Meanwhile, Brooks was most impressed at the North practice by another receiver.

» Three who stood out Monday (South squad): Tennessee NG Daniel McCullers, LSU DB Craig Loston, FSU LB Christian Jones.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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