MOBILE, Ala. -- The fourth day of practices at the Reese's Senior Bowl wrapped up Thursday. Here are some of the things we learned about the top prospects here:
Any place, anywhere
If Minnesota defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman proved one thing during the Senior Bowl practice week, it's that he belongs on all 32 draft boards -- not just the ones that play a certain defensive scheme. One of the elite prospects on either roster received a nice endorsement from North squad coach Mike Smith in that regard. And as well, he seems to have hit it off with his position coach for the week, the Atlanta Falcons' Bryan Cox.
Northwestern WR Kain Colter has withdrawn from the Senior Bowl due to a pre-existing ankle injury and will reportedly need surgery that will put him out for 8-12 weeks. For a player who spent much of his college career playing quarterback, the Senior Bowl would have been an excellent venue to show his receiving skills. Nevertheless, Colter looked comfortable at the position in three practices with the North squad before his withdrawal.
Securing the rock
Western Kentucky RB Antonio Andrews has all the skills needed to play at the next level, but can he hang onto the ball? The Hilltoppers star went in-depth with College Football 24/7 on Thursday about his reputation for fumbling, what he's doing to solve it, and what it could mean for his future.
Making the adjustment
Learning to play in something other than a shotgun spread offense isn't just a challenge for quarterbacks who must play more under center in the NFL. It can be a challenge for linemen, too. Baylor offensive guard Cyril Richardson, after operating under Art Briles' fast-paced system, is adjusting to playing lower to the ground and from more three-point stances.
From the scouts
One AFC scout was especially impressed with Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch, telling College Football 24/7 that the 6-foot-4, 256-pounder improved his stock this week with his receiving skills. Lynch is a classic hand-on-the-ground tight end, rather than the H-back style tight ends that are more involved in pre-snap motion, and was an excellent blocker for the Bulldogs as a senior. He also posted his best year as a receiver with 30 catches for 459 yards and five scores.
Look for Lynch to get the majority of playing time at his position in Saturday's all-star game, although new arrival Crockett Gilmore of Colorado State received some looks Thursday in the red zone passing drills.
Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood got a chance to show off his throwing arm on a double pass Thursday, but the throw was a little late and a little off-target for the coaches. Norwood took a hitch pass to the right from David Fales, broke inside as if to show a bubble screen, then threw an errant pass to a running back on the opposite side of the field. One Jaguars coach kiddingly chided Norwood "I thought you were our guy? That's not our guy."
Norwood, however, wasn't crazy about the route that was run for him.
"The running back didn't get out (into the route)," Norwood said with a laugh. "I can make that throw. Hopefully we'll get that play called."
"He's a workhorse. We gave him the ball 30 times a game this year and he tore it up. He was just running people over against good competition. ... I told him, he has a couple pancakes on his own runs now and then, but I have more pancakes than him." -- Boston College offensive tackle Matt Patchan on BC's star running back, Andre Williams, who ran for 2,177 yards this season. Williams declined his Senior Bowl invitation.
A few observations from the South squad practice:
A couple of Pac-12 defensive lineman combined for a turnover during team passing drills as Cal's Deandre Coleman deflected a pass by San Jose State quarterback David Fales high into the air, and Arizona State's Will Sutton picked it before it hit the ground. ... BYU WR Cody Hoffman and Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews made the two most impressive catches of the day within a few plays of each other as the South worked on passing drills in the red zone. Hoffman leaped over a cornerback and reached across his body for a high-difficulty reception in the front corner of the end zone, and Matthews made a leaping catch in the back corner of the same end zone a few plays later. ... FSU LB Christian Jones made an outstanding break on a sideline pass after dropping into the flat for an interception, drawing quite a roar from his defensive teammates. Jones has been among the most active linebackers on the South squad this week.