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Senior Bowl: Day 2 NFL Media observations

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  • By NFL.com
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MOBILE, Ala. -- While the 32 NFL teams combined to send an estimated 800-900 coaches and scouts to the Reese's Senior Bowl this week, College Football 24/7 has its own team of scouts on the ground.

All this week, Mike Mayock, Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis, Bucky Brooks and Lance Zierlein are providing analysis on NFL Network (one-hour practice recap shows at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday through Thursday, and live game broadcast at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday), NFL.com and NFL Mobile, and in this space will provide their thoughts from the daily practices.

Date: Saturday, Jan. 30
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
TV: NFL Network


2016 Reese's Senior Bowl coverage:

Photos:

Here are their observations from Wednesday's sessions:

Mike Mayock

» I really enjoyed watching Maurice Canady, the cornerback from Virginia. I really thought he stepped his game up in press coverage on Wednesday against excellent competition.

» In the O-line and D-line competition, I thought Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins said, "Hey, I'm a first-round pick".

» The first tape I put in on Kansas State guard Cody Whitehair, and I thought of Joel Bitonio and Zack Martin, two left tackles I did in the past couple years who kicked inside to guard and became Pro Bowl-type players. Whitehair is the next one of those guys. I thought he had a really good day, especially in the line drills. He along with Vidal Alexander from LSU were impressive.

» This is the best group of defensive tackles I've seen at this game in 10 years. Both teams have first-round picks -- five or six of them total. I've watched two North practices and the North defensive line has dominated, and it didn't matter which tackles were in there. The North squad is loaded at defensive tackle and defensive end.

» Michigan State center Jack Allen is a very quick, tough kid. It's a really good center class. Centers don't get valued as highly as they should. I don't know what round he's going in, I just know he's going to make somebody's team, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he ends up starting somewhere.

» Another Michigan State kid, wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, had a huge breakout year. You can see here at the Senior Bowl that he's a competitor; very quick, catches the tough pass. I don't think he's got elite characteristics of a first- or second-round pick, but I think he's got toughness and could play special teams.

Daniel Jeremiah

» Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins dominated in Wednesday's one-on-one sessions. He can win with quickness or power. He has an explosive get-off and powerful hands. He plays like someone 25 pounds lighter. He's an all-day first-round pick.

» Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler jumps out when he's on the field. He carries 320-plus pounds very easily. He made a play in pursuit that caught everyone's attention. He closed on the ball carrier near the sideline and I had to double check my roster to make sure it wasn't a linebacker making the play.

Charles Davis

» How about the coverage of cornerback Jalen Mills from LSU? I thought he played with extreme confidence out there. He really never got out of his backpedal and said, "Hey, try to beat me," and no one could.

Bucky Brooks

» Louisiana Tech quarterback Jeff Driskel could be an intriguing developmental prospect based on his size and arm talent. He is a natural thrower capable of throwing with zip and velocity, yet he also flashes touch and anticipation. Although questions persist about his mental toughness after his disappointing tenure at Florida, Driskell has shown enough in Mobile to merit consideration as a developmental candidate.

» Boise State cornerback Darian Thompson has earned high marks from coaches for his high football IQ and communication skills. He has been one of the most vocal players I have heard on the field here this week, echoing calls and getting players lined up in the back end. In addition, he has shown solid skills in coverage and flashed a knack for getting his hands on the ball.

Lance Zierlein

» The North secondary really had a strong day and Virginia's Maurice Canady had people talking about his aggressiveness in one-on-one coverage. At one point during the North scrimmage sessions, the offense couldn't get anything going because of the rush and coverage of the defense, and Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell dubbed it "Check-down Wednesday".

» Speaking of the secondary, it is hard to look at Southern Utah safety Miles Killebrew and not think "Pittsburgh Steelers". On a team full of talkers, Killebrew is fairly quiet on the field, but he communicates with aggressive, physical hitting.

» Cincinnati wideout Chris Moore is not a player I have a very high draft grade on at this time, but he showed enough separation potential during practice that I am going to go back to the tape and re-watch him.

» For the second practice in a row, Baylor wide receiver Jay Lee continued to show why Senior Bowl Executive Director Phil Savage made such a wise decision inviting him to this event. Lee has size and vertical speed, and despite a drop here and there, has made some tough catches, including a spectacular one-hander along the sideline on Wednesday.

» Auburn cornerback Jonathan Jones did some nice work in one-on-one drills. He was glued to receivers for much of the day. Jones is smallish, but with very good speed, quickness, and ball skills. His size will be a concern for some, but he is reminding teams not to sleep on his cover ability.

» Duke's Ross Martin blasted a 55-yard field goal on Tuesday with plenty to spare. On Wednesday, he knocked home field goal after field goal during a special teams session that culminated with a 60-yarder that had Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland coming over to show Martin some love.

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