Senior Bowl notebook, Day 2: Shades of Darius Leonard in LB

MOBILE, Ala. -- With Reese's Senior Bowl week in full swing, 100-plus prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft are in the midst of a crucial job interview.'s Daniel Jeremiah and Chase Goodbread provide a look at standouts from Day 2 of practice, as well as notes from Wednesday's media sessions with the players.

Five standouts from Day 2 of practice

Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple: He's very fluid. He's had some really good battles with WR Deebo Samuel (more on him in a bit) in each of the first two days of practice. Ya-Sin has a nice mix of size, speed and competitiveness. He looks like a top-50 pick. -- Daniel Jeremiah

Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina: He's stacked two really good days together. He probably had the catch of the day on Wednesday on a double move -- it was a back-shoulder throw and he adjusted for it to make a really athletic catch. He reminds me a lot of the Panthers' D.J. Moore, who was selected 24th overall last year. Samuel might not go in the first round like Moore did, but I think he's a second-round pick who'll be a really good asset with his ability to run routes, catch the ball and also run the ball. -- Daniel Jeremiah

Carl Granderson, DE, Wyoming: Granderson's put together two good days in a row. He's really effective with his hands, and he's been able to bend better than I thought he could. He was ultra-productive at Wyoming (35.5 career tackles for loss), but I thought he was stiff on tape -- he hasn't looked stiff during practice this week, though. I came into the week thinking he was in the Rounds 4-5 range, but he's helped himself. -- Daniel Jeremiah

Terrill Hanks, LB, New Mexico State: His speed has jumped out in both of his practices this week. I see some similarities to Colts All-Pro rookie Darius Leonard in terms of production and body type. Leonard's rise began at the Senior Bowl last year, and Hanks is picking up where Leonard left off here in Mobile. -- Daniel Jeremiah

Penny Hart, WR, Georgia State: There was a lot of buzz about UMass' Andy Isabella coming into the week, but I think Hart, Isabella's North squad teammate, has outplayed him through the first two days of practice. Hart's been really explosive at the top of his route. He's very undersized (5-foot-8, 180 pounds), but he's going to have a role at the next level as a fly-sweep guy who can produce out of the slot. He's been tough to cover this week. Shawn Elliott, his head coach at Georgia State, told me Hart's the most competitive player he's ever coached, which speaks well for him. -- Daniel Jeremiah

MEDIA SESSION NOTES: What we learned about potential top-10 pick Montez Sweat and more

Sweat turning up the heat: Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat wasted no time establishing himself as one of the elite Senior Bowl talents at Tuesday's opening practice, but it came as no surprise to Johnathan Abram. The MSU safety is not practicing this week due to an injury, but has been taking part in Senior Bowl activities off the field. He said his former teammate became an entirely different player as a junior in 2017.

"It wasn't coaching a thing, it wasn't anything with him. It was just the one time he got a sack, it took off from there. He knew how to get to the quarterback," Abrams said. "That's just something he does very well. I challenged him. I said 'Take it to the next step. Don't just sack the quarterback. Force a fumble, make a turnover, change the game.' That's one thing he's been emphasizing."

Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard took notice of Sweat in practice on Tuesday. There is a belief among NFL scouts that Howard will be a top performer among offensive linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine next month, and he used that athleticism to split two one-on-one reps against Sweat in practice.

"They're all good, but the best one I had competition with was (Sweat). I beat him our first rep of one-on-ones, then he beat me the second rep," Howard said. "I'm looking forward to going at it again. ... I'm not satisfied with losing. I don't want to be 1-1 with him. I want to be 2-1, 3-1. I want to have the upper hand. He has some pretty nice moves. He's a tall, long guy. You can't hesitate with him, and I feel like I did that the second rep with him. The first rep I came to him, the second, I hesitated. I need to strike first."

A good showing this week against Sweat, who has the look of an early first-round pick, would certainly raise Howard's profile. -- Chase Goodbread

All-time great a trusted advisor for NCAA sacks leader: Edge rusher Jaylon Ferguson might come from a small school, but at Louisiana Tech, he's found a big-time resource.

A Hall of Fame resource, in fact.

Willie Roaf, the former Louisiana Tech offensive lineman who made 11 Pro Bowls in his 13-year NFL career, makes his home in Ruston, La., and has been an invaluable help to the NCAA's career sack leader (45).

"I talk with Willie a lot. He signs off on a lot of stuff that I do," Ferguson said. "He's Big Willie. He's a mentor around Ruston. Everything he's done is what we're striving to do right now. He made his life through football and made a great life for himself after football."

Ferguson broke the FBS sack record of 44, previously held by former Arizona State star Terrell Suggs, in his final college game last month with 2.5 sacks against Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl. The Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year said the best advice Roaf has imparted, however, had nothing to do with playing the game.

"Save my money, don't spend it," Ferguson said.

He could have a lot to save very soon -- analyst Daniel Jeremiah ranks Ferguson the No. 35 prospect in this year's draft. -- Chase Goodbread

Versatility a boon for potential first-rounder: Delaware S Nasir Adderley is one of the most exciting non-FBS prospects in the 2019 draft, and was slotted as the No. 22 overall pick by the Baltimore Ravens in the initial mock draft by my tag-team partner for this notebook, Daniel Jeremiah. But Adderley believes he can move all over the secondary, and the Raiders' coaching staff has given him that opportunity in Senior Bowl practices.

"I got a couple reps at outside corner, but I've been playing primarily at free safety, and some at nickel," Adderley said. "I want to be someone who is able to do whatever a coach asks me."

Adderley said he played two years of cornerback early in his career at Delaware, giving him the background for a versatile pro, along with the athletic skill. -- Chase Goodbread

Senior Bowl's most freakish athlete: Arizona State DL Renell Wren is one of college football's most athletic linemen, and he's set some high goals for his performance at the NFL Scouting Combine next month. The former Sun Devils star believes he'll record 35 to 40 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press, a broad jump between 9-foot-11 and 10-2, a 40-yard dash in the high 4.8s, and a 33- to 36-inch vertical jump. Those are crazy numbers for a 315-pound nose guard. Compare his goals to the results of 2018 second-round pick Breeland Speaks, one of the top combine performers among interior linemen last year, and you get an idea of Wren's lofty standards. Speaks, who started four games for the Kansas City Chiefs as a rookie, ran a 4.87-second 40 with a 32.5 vertical jump and a 9-2 broad jump, while passing on bench press testing. Stanford's Harrison Phillips led all defensive linemen with 42 bench press reps.

"When I redshirted my freshman year, all I did was stay in the weight room," Wren said.

He came to ASU as a 255-pound defensive end, but quickly outgrew the position. Wren was selected as one of's most freakish athletes in college football last summer, and now NFL teams are getting a taste of the rare athletic traits he can offer a club. -- Chase Goodbread

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

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