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dalbuc

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: January 24, 2007, 10:56:10 AM

Around the South practice

LSU WR Dwayne Bowe should be a first-round pick. The 6-foot-2, 222-pounder has great size and strength. Bowe uses his bulk and muscle to shield defenders from the ball and to battle for position. He misjudged one throw on the last play of practice, but he was practically flawless otherwise. Bowe caught the ball cleanly today and adjusted to make some nice catches on poorly thrown balls throughout the afternoon session. Although the South didn't do red-zone drills today, Bowe is the perfect target for that area of the field. It would be hard to imagine teams needing a wide receiver at the end of the first round -- such as New England, Philadelphia and San Diego -- would pass on a talent like Bowe, who looks like the best senior wideout in this year's draft.

Clemson WR Chansi Stuckey can flat out fly. He will struggle with the physical aspects of his position and certainly will have a hard time with press coverage at the next level, but he will outrun most of the defensive backs he goes against. He has a smooth stride and doesn't take long to get to full speed. Stuckey could be very dangerous on reverses and potentially as a returner.

After battling several lingering injuries during a disappointing senior season, Auburn RB Kenny Irons looks as if he's close to 100 percent. While he lacks ideal size, Irons runs hard and displays excellent vision when picking creases to hit. It will be interesting to see how Irons performs when the intensity level is jacked up a couple notches during Wednesday's all-out practice session.

Florida State ILB Buster Davis continues to disprove the theory that his 5-9 frame will prevent him from playing at the next level. While he's certainly not the player to lead a team off the bus, Davis is one of the toughest and most instinctive linebackers in this year's class. He really stood out in terms of his recognition skills and pursuit angles during inside-run and team drills in today's practice.

One of the best portions of practice today had to be the one-on-one pass blocking drill between the offensive and defensive lines. There were several hard-fought battles, two of which are worth mentioning. First off, Miami DT Kareem Brown powered though Auburn guard Ben Grubbs the first time the two squared off. On the next rep, Grubbs did a far better job of sitting down and preventing Brown from pushing him back into the pocket. The second came later in the drill when Arkansas OT Tony Ugoh got caught too far inside on an attempted block, which made it easy for LSU DE Chase Pittman to turn the corner. The two faced off again right away and initially it looked like the result would be the same. However, Ugoh recovered nicely and eventually put Pittman on the ground. That said, it's worth mentioning that Pittman showed a strong rip move throughout the drill.

Oregon State TE Joe Newton's inadequacies were exposed today at the South's practice. He looked like he didn't belong today as a receiving weapon or as a blocker. He is very tall and very stiff. Newton bends at the waist, gets rag-dolled by the upper echelon defensive ends and linebackers and simply doesn't have the strength or balance to anchor. As a pass catcher, Newton lacks the quickness or pure speed to separate from NFL linebackers. However, he is a better game than practice player who has a feel for getting open and presenting his quarterback with a good target. Newton also catches the football well and is very reliable in this regard.

Georgia's Martrez Milner is another tight end failing to impress NFL scouts in attendance. Milner is a fine athlete and has caught the ball more consistently in practice this week than he did as a senior first-year starter in 2006. However, the 256-pound H-back prospect was consistently overpowered during blocking drills versus linebackers this afternoon. Milner leaves his feet far too frequently in a last-ditch effort to overcompensate for his marginal strength and technique.

Alabama FB Le'Ron McClain was absolutely dominant during one-on-one pass protection drills this afternoon. At one point, he made a mockery of teammate Juwan Simpson by standing up the outside linebacker and driving him to the ground. McClain has also shown soft hands as a receiver, which bodes well for him as one of the top two or three fullback prospects in this year's class.

USC center Ryan Kalil had problems driving defenders of the ball on Monday. His power was far less of an issue today. On one snap during the team drill, Kalil locked onto Mississippi State DT Antonio Johnson's frame and pushed him back three yards. The most impressive aspect of the play was Kalil's ability to generate that kind of movement despite Johnson stopping his initial momentum. It's a testament to Kalil's tenacity and dedication to finishing blocks.

Georgia DE Quentin Moses showed good burst and closing speed during one-on-on drills but was inconsistent against the run. On one snap, he got into position, located the ball carrier and shed the block in time to make the play. On the very next play, he got sealed inside and ridden down the line creating an excellent running lane for the back.

One of the offensive linemen victimized by Moses during one-on-ones was Texas' Justin Blalock, whose future appears to be at guard. Blalock simply couldn't kick out wide enough to get in front of Moses, allowing Moses to turn the corner.

Around the North practice

Rutgers' Brian Leonard is a tweener running back/fullback that clearly wanted to prove his potential as a full-time running back by showing up at a slim 224 pounds this week. Unfortunately, the plan is backfiring so far. While Leonard looks a bit quicker than usual, he still does not display the same burst as Penn State RB Tony Hunt, who now is 15 pounds heavier than Leonard. Another concern has been Leonard's struggles as a blocker -- both on isolation run blocks and in pass protection. Leonard needs to pick up the pace in the final few days of the Senior Bowl in order to prevent his draft stock from slipping.

As for Hunt, he has been the most complete running back on the field -- for either team -- thus far. Hunt lacks ideal elusiveness but he is a big, physical runner with impressive burst through the hole for a bigger back. While he has struggled to catch the ball on a couple of deep throws, Hunt does show reliable hands as a short-to-intermediate route runner, which is how he will be used in the NFL passing game anyway. In a sub-par class of running backs, Hunt is really emerging as a solid first-day prospect.

Northern Illinois RB Garrett Wolfe did not participate in Tuesday morning's practice as a result of a hamstring injury he suffered late in Monday afternoon's practice. Wolfe had shown excellent receiving skills and sure hands as a punt return specialist in the first outing, but it looks like his week in Mobile will be cut short.

Overall, this does not look to be a strong group of wide receivers for the North squad. They lack a "Wow Prospect" or someone who looks like a difference maker at the next level. The North's group of defensive backs is clearly superior and we expect these defenders to get the better of the receivers all week in practice. The most impressive receivers so far have been Notre Dame's Rhema McKnight and Virginia Tech's David Clowney, both of which project as second-to-third round picks in the upcoming draft.

Cal CB Daymeion Hughes continues to stand out in practice. He has good size with wide shoulders and a natural feel for making plays and getting his hands on the football. He is fluid and closes suddenly. His lack of pure speed is a clear drawback however and he will not be able to keep up with the faster receivers in the NFL if left alone deep downfield in man-to-man coverage. Therefore, we think Hughes has the looks of a starting Cover 2 cornerback to best use his skill set -- which is impressive if utilized correctly.

Fresno St. CB Marcus McCauley is struggling. He was out of position on several occasions and flat beaten on others. Ever since the start of his senior season, McCauley's stock has steadily dropped. He simply has not played well and that looks to be carrying over here in Mobile. McCauley has plenty of time to make up for his poor play, but he had better start soon.

The intensity level of the North practice picked up when Boston College OT James Marten and Ohio State DT Quinn Pit**CENSORED** got into a fight during a double team drill. Neither player backed down and had to be separated. With so much on the line and players playing with so much emotion, fights are going to happen but Pit**CENSORED** may want to avoid these confrontations. He can't afford to waste any energy because he doesn't appear to be in good shape and could be seen throwing up on the field at times. Marten, on the other hand, looked strong for most of the practice. While speed continues to give him problems during one-on-one drills, his footwork has been fairly sound and he reacted well to a spin move.

Notre Dame OT Ryan Harris is moving well and getting into good position but he isn't driving his legs once engaged with the defender raising concerns about his toughness. During one-on-one drills, 266-pound DE Anthony Spencer put him on his back.

Cal's Brandon Mebane and Louisville's Amobi Okoye aren't doing a great job of holding their ground when they get reached. However, both defensive tackles are showing good quickness and getting into the backfield.

Ohio State OG Doug Datish has been relentless and done a good job of driving defenders off the ball but his lack of foot speed is a real concern. He looked like his feet were in quicksand during one-on-one drills and he had some problems getting into position at the second level when asked to slide off a double team. Meanwhile, West Virginia OC Dan Mozes has been impressive. He has been just as tenacious as Datish when run blocking and he held his own during one-on-ones.

Nebraska DE's Jay Moore and Adam Carriker are using their hands very well and making it difficult for the offensive tackles to sustain their blocks. On the flip side, Carriker is getting caught too far upfield and it's created excellent running lanes for the backs as well as the quarterbacks.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

leeroyselmon07

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#1 : January 24, 2007, 11:00:23 AM

I agree I think that the kid hughes from cal would be a good fit for the bucs at corner


bradentonian

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#2 : January 24, 2007, 11:02:06 AM

Alabama FB Le'Ron McClain was absolutely dominant during one-on-one pass protection drills this afternoon. At one point, he made a mockery of teammate Juwan Simpson by standing up the outside linebacker and driving him to the ground. McClain has also shown soft hands as a receiver, which bodes well for him as one of the top two or three fullback prospects in this year's class.



dalbuc

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#3 : January 24, 2007, 11:03:10 AM

Alabama FB Le'Ron McClain was absolutely dominant during one-on-one pass protection drills this afternoon. At one point, he made a mockery of teammate Juwan Simpson by standing up the outside linebacker and driving him to the ground. McClain has also shown soft hands as a receiver, which bodes well for him as one of the top two or three fullback prospects in this year's class.


Yeah, forget Brian Leonard, first name I want to hear on day 2 is right here.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

Shag

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#4 : January 24, 2007, 11:24:37 AM


Yeah, forget Brian Leonard, first name I want to hear on day 2 is right here.

Sounds good to me. Any FB not named Leonard is good though.

dalbuc

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#5 : January 24, 2007, 11:26:01 AM

Sounds good to me. Any FB not named Leonard is good though.

Leonard weighed in at 224 so he's really not an FB anymore. He's gonna run and show his chops at 224 so who knows what sort of player he is at 240 where everyone thought he was.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

Shag

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#6 : January 24, 2007, 12:08:53 PM


Leonard weighed in at 224 so he's really not an FB anymore. He's gonna run and show his chops at 224 so who knows what sort of player he is at 240 where everyone thought he was.

I'm sure he's a good player, but the last thing we need is a RB on day 1. Tired of the Leonard talk.

cvillebucfan

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#7 : January 24, 2007, 12:27:51 PM

Alabama FB Le'Ron McClain was absolutely dominant during one-on-one pass protection drills this afternoon. At one point, he made a mockery of teammate Juwan Simpson by standing up the outside linebacker and driving him to the ground. McClain has also shown soft hands as a receiver, which bodes well for him as one of the top two or three fullback prospects in this year's class.


Yeah, forget Brian Leonard, first name I want to hear on day 2 is right here.

Ditto! Not to mention Leonard is down into the mid-low 220 lb range...

Give me McClain all day. He can block better and has proven to catch....works for me and it won't cost a R2 pick on a FB

ha, oops, dal you were already on the weight...



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Mohawkbucs

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#8 : January 24, 2007, 01:00:59 PM

the Hughes guy sounds like a good pickup, either him or weddle with a 2nd round pick if possible


dbucfan

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#9 : January 24, 2007, 01:45:58 PM

Leonard lost the weight and one would have to presume he could put it back on if needed.  The kid has made a mistake but he can recover.  WOuld love to see him a buc on day 2, it would be a steal.

\"A Great Coach has to have a Patient Wife, A Loyal Dog, and a Great Quarterback. . . . but not necessarily in that order\" ~ Coach Bud Grant

leeroybuc93

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#10 : January 24, 2007, 01:56:01 PM

Leonard lost the weight and one would have to presume he could put it back on if needed. The kid has made a mistake but he can recover. WOuld love to see him a buc on day 2, it would be a steal.

The problem is that the kid showed up thinking he was a running back.  We don't need a fullback who doesn't want to be a fullback.

gharen

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#11 : January 24, 2007, 02:07:59 PM

I was watching both of the practices on NFL Network yesterday and some of the guys they were really raving about were, Anthony Spencer DE/OLB, Kevin Kolb QB, Adam Carriker DE/DT, the WR from LSU and Tony Hunt RB. Mayock is riding Kolb's jock like he did Cutler last year. They mentioned that Coyer played Carriker at DE and quite a bit at DT. I was also surprised to hear them say Okoye probably wouldn't make it out of the 2nd round. I thought he was projected by most to go in the first. I'd love to see us draft Rogers in the first, Levi Brown or Staley with 2A, Okoye with 2b and Kolb with 3.
Also, the guys on the set with Mayock were getting on him pretty good about his "Mancrush on the ND DE Abiermi" spelling.

dalbuc

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#12 : January 24, 2007, 02:14:02 PM

Leonard lost the weight and one would have to presume he could put it back on if needed.  The kid has made a mistake but he can recover.  WOuld love to see him a buc on day 2, it would be a steal.

How do you know what 240 lbs Leonard looks like. If he does all his drills and practices at the Senior Bowl and combine at 224 and then you want him to play at 240....you don't know what 240 lbs Leonard is. Just get the Lo Neal starter kit and be done with it instead of having to invent a position for this kid to play.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

cheveliar

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#13 : January 24, 2007, 02:23:14 PM

Leonard lost the weight and one would have to presume he could put it back on if needed. The kid has made a mistake but he can recover. WOuld love to see him a buc on day 2, it would be a steal.

How do you know what 240 lbs Leonard looks like. If he does all his drills and practices at the Senior Bowl and combine at 224 and then you want him to play at 240....you don't know what 240 lbs Leonard is. Just get the Lo Neal starter kit and be done with it instead of having to invent a position for this kid to play.

Would love nothing better than to have one of those...Where's that guy in this draft?

Without Carl Nix it feels like our running game just took a death blow to the face!


dalbuc

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#14 : January 24, 2007, 02:33:44 PM

Would love nothing better than to have one of those...Where's that guy in this draft?

Sounds like that FB from alabama is off to a good start. Here's a summary:

Le'Ron McClain
FB | (6'0", 256, 4.94) | ALABAMA

Scouts Grade: 50

Strengths: Possesses good size and is thickly built. Takes good angles to blocks, stays under control in space and can adjust to the moving target at the second level. Shows good balance and does a quality job of sustaining blocks once in position. Possesses good vision and reads blocks fairly well. Shows some ability as a short-yardage runner but is a more effective short-yardage receiver. Rarely drops passes that should catch and is a reliable receiver out of the backfield. Shows surprisingly good ability adjusting to the ball away from his frame as a receiver and he has the potential to develop into a productive red zone target. Shows awareness and generally does a good job of picking up the blitz.

Weaknesses: Lacks the burst to turn the corner and doesn't show a second gear in the open field. Doesn't have the quick feet to cut back and isn't going to make many defenders miss in the open field. He has good size and natural strength, but seems to lack explosive initial pop as a blocker.

Overall: McClain played in 11 games as a true freshman in 2003, when he finished with one carry for one yard and two catches for 35 yards. In 2004, McClain saw time in 12 games (started the last four) and registered 17 carries for 66 yards and two touchdowns, and caught eight passes for 55 yards and three touchdowns. McClain played in all 12 games during the 2005 season (10 starts), when he carried eight times for 39 yards and caught 18 passes for 140 yards including two touchdowns.

McClain isn't a great athlete and he isn't going to make many big plays as a receiver or a runner. He has been far more productive catching the ball than carrying it, and he is an effective lead-blocker with good size. In our opinion, McLain ranks as one of the top fullback prospects in the 2007 class but that will get him drafted no earlier than the fifth round.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.
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