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What we learned on Day One of Senior Bowl practices

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  • By Chase Goodbread and Bryan Fischer
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MOBILE, Ala. -- Nick Marshall's days as a quarterback are done.

The Auburn quarterback has been working out as a cornerback at EXOS in Pensacola, Fla., and worked out at cornerback Tuesday as the Reese's Senior Bowl practice week commenced. Marshall confirmed it was a decision he made on his own.


» Measurements for Senior Bowl players from Tuesday's weigh-in


That's the position I believe I have the best chance at," Marshall said.

Marshall last played cornerback as a freshman at Georgia, so he'll be shaking off roughly three years of rust in getting re-accustomed to playing in coverage. It's a difficult challenge for Auburn's two year-starter at quarterback, who improved as a passer as a senior but not enough to stick with the position. Nevertheless, expect Marshall (6-foot-1 1/2, 205 pounds) to be grouped with cornerbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine next month.

"It's tough, now, it's tough. I think it takes a special person, a special mindset to do it," South coach Gus Bradley said. "In meeting with him today, he has that mindset. I'm really excited to see him progress as the week goes on."

Here are eight other things we learned during the first day of Senior Bowl practices:

» An NFC scout told College Football 24/7 that Duke wide receiver Jamison Crowder had an impressive practice with the North squad, showing good explosiveness off the line of scrimmage. Crowder measured among the smallest players at the morning weigh-in at 5-foot-8, 174 pounds. Crowder's senior season with the Blue Devils wasn't as productive as his junior year, but he more than held his own amid a strong cast of receivers Tuesday morning that includes Antwan Goodley of Baylor, Devin Smith of Ohio State, Vince Mayle of Washington State, Ty Montgomery of Stanford, Justin Hardy of East Carolina and Tony Lippett of Michigan State.

» Oklahoma tackle Daryl Williams looked exceptional in one-on-one pass-rush drills with the South defensive linemen in the late practice, showing good footwork and anticipation against Missouri's Markus Golden, Arkansas' Trey Flowers and others. Williams was a first-team All-Big 12 pick.

» With Nick Marshall moving to cornerback, it was a two-man show taking reps at quarterback on the South team Tuesday between Alabama's Blake Sims and Colorado State's Garrett Grayson. Meanwhile, the North squad is splitting reps between three passers.

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» Ole Miss defensive back Cody Prewitt had a nice pass breakup on a deep ball thrown to Sammie Coates in the South practice, creating a noisy collision. How Prewitt, who is highly-regarded for his run-support skills, plays the ball in the air will be crucial to his evaluation by NFL scouts this week.

» UNLV wide receiver Devante Davis is one of the taller prospects (6-3) at his position at the Senior Bowl, but he was unable to finish Tuesday after suffering a left knee injury. It is unknown if he will be out the rest of the week after he was taken off by the trainers, who immediately iced the knee once he came up limping. Davis made a good effort on a catch along the sideline but landed awkwardly out of bounds in a cluster of people and equipment.

» With so many of the players trying to transition from spread offenses in college to more of a pro-style attack, North coach and Titans head man and Ken Whisenhunt wasn't expecting too much crispness from his players in terms of the little things some take for granted in the pro game. After taking a quick survey during a team meeting, Whisenhunt noted only five of roughly 30 players said they huddled regularly in school.

» Colorado State offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo is considered to be one of the fastest risers in the draft in the trenches and knows this will be a big week for him with a lot of scouts around and the step up in competition on the field. He worked mostly at right tackle on Tuesday as opposed to his normal left tackle spot he played with the Rams. "Teams asked if I could be versatile," he said. "I'm trying to show I can play anywhere along the line." Sambrailo noted some NFL clubs asked how comfortable he was at guard, a spot he hasn't played in a long time. He said he would have no problem playing there if that's where some team wants to play him.


» Instant Debate: How has most at stake at the Senior Bowl?


» A few of the prospects who were spotted conducting informal interviews with various NFL clubs following practices on Tuesday: Florida OL Max Garcia (Denver Broncos), Auburn WR Sammie Coates (Baltimore Ravens), Georgia LB Amarlo Herrera (Atlanta Falcons), Kansas CB JaCorey Shepherd (Atlanta Falcons), Northern Iowa RB David Johnson (New York Giants), TCU CB Kevin White (Arizona Cardinals), Miami WR Phillip Dorsett (Atlanta Falcons), UCF DB Clayton Geathers (Indianpolis Colts), Oklahoma LB Genero Grissom (San Diego Chargers, Cleveland Browns), Colorado State OL Ty Sambrailo (Chicago Bears), Louisville LB Lorenzo Mauldin (Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns), Penn State OL Donovan Smith (Baltimore Ravens), Kent State TE Casey Pierce (Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos), Duke OL Laken Tomlinson (Baltimore Ravens), and Iowa DL Carl Davis (Arizona Cardinals).

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

Follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter @BryanDFischer.

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