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.
Here are some of their observations from Thursday's sessions:
» I thought the D-line dominated this week. From my perspective, Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence had the best week of any edge rusher. He's 6-foot-2 1/2, 253 pounds. Who does he remind you of? How about the Miami Dolphins' Olivier Vernon or Detroit Lions' Darryl Tapp? Those are the body types he reminds me of. He's a first-round player, but he's had some off-the-field issues. That was a big part of his week, how he dealt with all those issues.
» Alabama quarterback Jake Coker has had an intriguing odyssey. He's only got 14 starts, but he's 14-0 in those games. You want to see typically 25 minimum starts in a college quarterback. He's had 14. Does he make decisions as quickly as other quarterbacks? No. But he hasn't had the opportunity. He's in a run-heavy offense with a lot of play action with open windows, so he's more of a developmental project to me. But I'm certainly not going to knock him because he hasn't played enough.
» Indiana offensive tackle Jason Spriggs had another excellent practice. He has really cleaned up some issues I saw on tape this fall. He's playing with better bend and balance, and he's shown the ability to really anchor down against power rushers.
» I'm a fan of Northwestern's do-everything fullback Dan Vitale. He was excellent on Thursday in one-on-one routes vs. linebackers. He understands how to set up defenders, and he's quick in and out of the break point. He could be a big third-down back at the next level.
» South Carolina tight end Jerell Adams is piquing the interest of a lot of teams here this week. The former high school basketball standout is a natural pass catcher with ball skills and post-up ability. He is long enough to overwhelm smaller defensive backs in space, yet also has the speed to separate from linebackers down the field. Although scouts question his blocking ability, the success of ultra-athletic tight ends could boost Adams' value when coaches and scouts convene in pre-draft meetings.
» Eastern Kentucky defensive end/outside linebacker Noah Spence has been a star of Senior Bowl practices this week, but he might be the toughest evaluation for general managers and head coaches in pre-draft meetings because of character issues. On the field, Spence is an explosive athlete with remarkable first-step quickness and burst. He flies off the ball with cat-like quickness and flashes a "dip-and-rip" move that creates problems for offensive tackles on the edges. Spence has the potential to blossom into a "closer" (late-game sack artist) capable of racking up double-digit sacks. Off the field, he must address substance-abuse issues that lead to concerns about his accountability and dependability at the next level.
» Competitive is the proper word for Ohio State wide receiver Braxton Miller. He has been so physical in running routes this week. He wouldn't just accept people hitting him and move him off of his route. He fought back and often won.
» Linebacker Deion Jones had a good day, a good week. He was a one-year starter at LSU, and I'm telling you, he can flat-out fly. Undersized, he can run, move, hit. He reminds me of a guy who came out last year who probably dropped a round or two because of his size -- Kwon Alexander, who played well for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
» Louisiana Tech running back Kenneth Dixon showed off his quickness and ability out of the backfield on Thursday. He also did a nice job of stepping up and competing in pass protection drills against linebackers. I am a fan of his approach to the game.
» I was standing next to Baylor's Art Briles talking about some of the draftable Baylor prospects, and he commented a couple of times on how impressed he was by North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett. The first comment came when he discussed watching tape in preparation for a game against North Carolina where Brissett flashed on tape. The second comment came while watching the goal-line portion of the scrimmage when Brissett threw a rocket on a slant for a touchdown.
» While I think Northern Iowa cornerback Deiondre' Hall is a solid CB with some deficiencies in coverage that concern me, NFL personnel people were very enamored with Hall's arm length which measured over 34 inches. To put that in perspective, Hall has the arm length of a high-end left tackle. While media and fans watch practice on NFL Network and grind on every one-on-one rep, NFL decision-makers are more interested in what a player could be with their traits and more coaching. Hall will go higher than I expected.
» Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett had one drop (right when I was bragging on him to another bystander at practice) but came back after that and caught everything in sight. Vannett has great size and really showed off some of his red-zone potential during 7-on-7 drills.