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There was some additional scoop from Tuesday’s South practice that was accidentally omitted. North Carolina State defensive end Manny Lawson was virtually unblockable yesterday and on Wednesday. He dominated all comers, especially Auburn left tackle Marcus McNeill, whose problems with speed rushers like Lawson will likely cause his stock to drop this week. Lawson played primarily at right end in college and also at the Senior Bowl, but did get some reps at left end on Wednesday.

During Tuesday’s workout, UCLA tight end Marcedes Lewis looked like he needed a lot of work as a run blocker, but he improved significantly in his efforts on Wednesday, which is the last day for padded practices. The 6-foot-6 Lewis, who has a long build, fared better against the smaller, quicker defensive ends, naturally, but he showed the desire to establish good blocks in the running game and was fairly physical. Lewis interviewed with the Bucs on Tuesday night and said that the meeting with the team “went very well.”

Florida State nose tackle Brodrick Bunkley got his bell rung while tackling Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams on Tuesday and did not return to the workout nor did he suit up for Wednesday’s practice.

Alabama defensive end Mark Anderson is a Day 2 guy that has really stood out this week in practice. He had a strong day on Tuesday and backed that up with another solid performance on Wednesday. He’s a high-motor player with good quickness and pass-rushing skills, including a wicked spin move he put on Miami left tackle Eric Winston on Wednesday. He was a Rounds 5-7 guy coming into the Senior Bowl and will likely be an early- to mid-Day 2 guy now after a great showing in Mobile. He’s on the Bucs’ radar and the team has interviewed him at the Senior Bowl hotel.

Mississippi State running back Jerious Norwood continues to impress and his receiving skills were on display today. Norwood caught several passes and showed great moves after the catch.

New Mexico’s Ryan Cook is definitely a center. At 6-foot-6, 332 pounds, Cook has the size to play right tackle, which is where he has seen some action this week, but not the footwork or technique. Cook dominated Miami defensive tackle Orien Harris on Wednesday and locked him out with his long arms and wide base. Cook isn’t the athlete that Minnesota’s Greg Eslinger is, nor is he the technician that Ohio State’s Nick Mangold is. However, Cook is a decent center whose best attribute is his size and long arms.

Georgia’s Max Jean-Gilles likely had his best practice of the week on Wednesday. The massive, 6-foot-4, 358-pound Jean-Gilles is strictly a “phone booth player.” What that means is that he is good in short areas, but doesn’t have the lateral quickness or agility to pull in the running game or stray in pass protection. He manhandled LSU nose tackle Kyle Williams and then destroyed Harris on back-to-back plays and pancaked him both times. If Jean-Gilles gets his hands on a player, it’s usually over. Where he struggles is with players who have a quick first step.

Tennessee defensive tackle Jesse Mahelona jumped offsides twice on Wednesday and hasn’t had a particulary good week. He disappointed scouts by measuring in it 6-feet tall instead of the 6-foot-2 he was listed at in college, and hasn’t been the power player that teams were hoping he would be.

Mahelona’s Tennessee teammate, defensive end Parys Haralson, is another short, undersized defender, who checked in at 6-feet, 250 pounds. The Bucs have been scouting Haralson and like his high motor and quickness off the ball. Haralson, who has a low center of gravity, sometimes gets engulfed by bigger offensive tackles, but is relentless and his energy will wear them out and he will eventually get to the quarterback. He looks like a second day guy because of his size. Haralson was rushing from both the left side, which he played at Tennessee, and the right side today and fared very well against Texas offensive tackle Jonathan Scott, who was playing left tackle on Wednesday.

Although Williams was defeated by Jean-Gilles on Wednesday, he did a great job of beating Florida’s Mike DeGory off the ball. DeGory looks a little out of place in the Senior Bowl as he is not a natural athlete.

South Florida running back Andre Hall had his best practice of the week on Wednesday. Hall scored a touchdown by bouncing a run outside in 11-on-11 drills, which was important because he fumbled earlier in the scrimmage. Hall has good speed and vision, but doesn’t have the size to bang between the tackles on a regular basis in the NFL. He’s likely a third- or fourth-round draft pick due to his 5-foot-8 frame.

Florida State defensive end Kamerion Wimbley had not yet interviewed with the Buccaneers, but had a brief meeting with head coach Jon Gruden while at the Senior Bowl hotel.

Auburn wide receiver Devon Aromashodu caught a nice, leaping touchdown pass over Miami cornerback Kelly Jennings during the 11-on-11 scrimmage during practice.

Alabama safety Roman Harper has had a solid showing this week, especially near the line of scrimmage. Harper has some range in coverage, and he’s a player that Pewter Report is anxious to watch more film on as he was one of the defensive backs the Buccaneers interviewed at the Senior Bowl.

Other players that interviewed with the Bucs this week include New Mexico wide receiver Hank Baskett and UCLA outside linebacker Spencer Havner. Two Florida State prospects – defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley and safety Pat Watkins – are scheduled to interview with Tampa Bay Wednesday night.

The Tennessee Titans, who coach the North squad, do a much better job running their practices. It is easy to see why Jeff Fisher has taken a team to the Super Bowl and built playoff-caliber teams before. Their practices are much more up-tempo and a bit more advanced than Mike Nolan’s San Francisco-coached South squad practices.

An example of this was the combo blocking drills he was having his coaches put the North squad offensive linemen through. The defensive linemen were working on twists and stunts, which is more akin to what NFL defensive linemen practice.

USC guard Deuce Lutui struggled a little bit in picking up the twists and doesn’t have the greatest lateral movement, but he is one big dude with good quickness and a physical, mauling style. The Bucs have been eyeing Lutui for a while now and he is really having a good Senior Bowl week. Lutui, who figures to be a second-round pick, confirmed that he has interviewed with the Buccaneers.

Pittsburgh’s Charles Spencer shows a good base and does a good job bending his knees. However, he has a big gut that looks like a beer belly. With skinny arms and skinny legs, he doesn’t really generate much power.

Oklahoma teammates Dusty Dvorcek (defensive tackle) and Davin Joseph (guard) squared off against each other and the result was primarily a draw because of their familiarity with each other. The Bucs are looking hard at guards at the Senior Bowl, primarily because they weren’t overly excited about the play of right guard Sean Mahan in pass protection, and have been scouting and interviewing Joseph this week.

Penn State defensive end Tamba Hali, who interviewed with the Bucs this week, had some good battles with California right tackle Ryan O’Callaghan on Wednesday. When Hali was able to get a jump on the play with his quickness he would usually win. When the 6-foot-8, 338-pound O’Callaghan got his long arms into Hali’s chest the tide would turn in his favor and he would engulf the smaller defensive end. O’Callaghan is a waist-bender though, and doesn’t do a good job bending his knees. Don’t look for him to be the Bucs’ answer at right tackle.

Boise State left tackle Daryn Colledge had another solid showing on Wednesday. He did a nice job pulling in the running game and showed great technique keeping Virginia Tech’s Darryl Tapp at bay in several pass rush drills. The one thing about Tapp is that he has a great attitude. Even if the play isn’t going his way he never stops or quits. He keeps fighting and battling and doesn’t lose confidence. Aside from interviewing Colledge, Tampa Bay has also interviewed Tapp in Mobile.

Iowa’s Abdul Hodge played middle linebacker at the Senior Bowl, just as he did for the Hawkeyes, but also played some outside linebacker on Wednesday. Hodge is physical enough to take on blockers, shed them and disengage to flow to the football. He had a solid showing today.

Syracuse safety Anthony Smith had the hit of the day when he walloped Washington running back Jerome Harrison as he broke into the secondary. Smith drilled Harrison from the side, which sent him flying a yard sideways.

Another big collision occurred when Nebraska safety Daniel Bullocks nailed Michigan wide receiver Jason Avant just before Avant could catch the ball in a passing drill.

One player who really turned some heads on Wednesday was Colordado fullback Lawrence Vickers. Vickers showed some nice speed getting around left tackle and scoring a touchdown in a one-back set. But he was even more impressive as a lead blocker both up the hole in the middle and to the outside on the perimeter. He threw some crushing blocks. Vickers also has good hands, although they weren’t on display today at the North practice.

Penn State quarterback Michael Robinson saw some action at wide receiver today, but dropped a catchable pass across the middle. Charlie Whitehurst’s ball was thrown a bit behind Robinson, but Robinson was unable to hall in the tough pass. Robinson’s passing hasn’t been that great, and his ability to play receiver is questionable. He did display great athleticism while scrambling up the middle for about 30 yards during an 11-on-11 scrimmage. Robinson’s problem is that he may be an athlete without a position in the NFL. It’s not going to be at quarterback where he threw some awful passes on Wednesday, including one to Northwestern State cornerback David Pittman, who recorded the interception.

While Pittman made a nice play against Miami (OH) wide receiver Martin Nance in picking off a pass, he did get schooled a bit by Arizona State wide receiver Derek Hagan, who had a better practice on Wednesday than he did on Tuesday.

Among the other players the Buccaneers interviewed this week include Boston College right tackle Jeremy Trueblood, Arizona running back Mike Bell, Stanford linebacker Jon Alston, who excelled in playing in space and dropping in coverage, Maryland linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and USC tight end Dominique Byrd, who had a great week of practice and showed his ability to get downfield and make plays.


This story is intended to be read by Pewter Insider subscribers only. Sharing of the PI content with non-subscribers of this service can result in cancellation of your subscription to the service and/or further actions by the publishers.



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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: sr@pewterreport.com
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