• The general consensus among the the draftniks is that the QB class here is terrible. The best of the bunch is Arizona’s Matt Scott. I didn’t take a really close look at any of the QBs so far, focusing on the WRs and DBs, but when there was an accurate ball, I would look up to see who threw it, and more often than not it was Scott.
• I already have a favorite player here, at least on the West squad. That would be Nevada TE Zach Sudfeld. Big boy. 6’7, 255, and looks it. But he runs very well for his size, has good hands, and is coordinated, despite his tall frame. He has long, dark hair, which almost makes him look like a mini Dennis Kelly, only athletic. He was dominating on 7-on-7’s, making catches all over the field: seam routes, out routes, corner routes. Impressive so far. To be determined if he can block, but here were his numbers at Nevada this season: 45 catches, 598 yards, 8 TD. The downside? He’s 26, and has had shoulder, knee, leg and wrist injuries. If he falls in the draft and is able to continue to put his injury history in the past, he could be a steal.
• Another player that had a big day was East Kentucky WR Tyrone Goard. He’s 6’4, 196, and actually looks skinnier than that sounds. He made an excellent catch on a deep ball down the sidelines in which he outjumped the DB and made the play. He also made an incredible one-handed stab along the sidelines on an out route. Ideally, a team could draft him late, figure out a way to stash him on the practice squad or (cough) IR, get him in the weight room, help him improve his route running, and he could be dangerous. But the raw talent is there – fast, can jump, and today at least had excellent hands. Watch for him at the Combine.
• Safety Keelan Johnson had a good day in coverage in 1-on-1’s. In 1-on-1’s, he’s covering WRs. That should be a mismatch, but Johnson more than held his own, and was often being praised by the West coaching staff. Pretty much every NFC East team could use help at safety, except maybe the Giants. The Redskins talked to Johnson after practice. We’ll note the other players NFC East teams talked to at the end of the post.
• There are a actually a number of big receivers here, which could be intriguing for the Cowboys and Eagles. Another guy that you can’t miss is Arizona WR Dan Bruckner. He’s 6’4, 211, but if you put him next to Goard (mentioned above), the difference in size is night and day. Bruckner is cut. Strong. However, his game needs a lot of work. Very slow out of his cuts, and he even fell a couple times coming out of his breaks. Looked clumsy. Other times he was being jammed rather easily at the line. UCLA CB Sheldon Price, a long, lean corner at 6’2, 180 got up under his shoulders on a jam, and that was that for Bruckner. Couldn’t shake him off. Not good for a guy with as much size as Bruckner.
• Bruckner also had a play in which he full-on shoved the DB on a comeback route. Then Bruckner fell. The DB recovered from the shove and made a diving pick. Great play. That was Iowa CB Micah Hyde. Hyde had a great day. Played physically. Bunch of PBUs. Only bad result I saw was a back shoulder throw that was completed on him near the sideline on a perfect throw (one of the few on the day). But Hyde’s coverage was good on the play.
• In 7-on-7’s, Utah State RB Kerwynn Williams impressed me. Natural pass catcher. Catches the ball on the run, and makes it look easy. He looked so natural that I stopped to look up his receiving numbers during practice. 45 catches, 697 yards (15.5 avg), 3 TD in 2012. Wow. Fantastic numbers. He also ran the ball for 1512 yards on 218 carries last season (6.9 per). During 11-on-11’s he had a really nice cutback in the hole, found an opening, and burst through. 5’8, 191. Could be a replacement for Felix Jones, and an immediate change of pace guy to compliment DeMarco Murray.
• Texas A&M RB Christine Michael (yes, that’s his name) got some buzz here today, although I didn’t notice him. I’ll keep a closer eye out tomorrow.
• I watched the kicker today. Zach Brown from Portland St. Missed left from 37, missed right from 40, missed right from 43-ish. Oof, not good. Last season, this game produced Vikings K Blair Walsh, Legatron (Rams), and 3rd round punter (lol) Bryan Anger. Turns out the Shrine Game guys never invited a long snapper to the game. They’re merely using the guys that suck the least. Oops. Poor Zach Brown. Give the kid a long snapper.
• Every team in the NFL is going to talk to a ton a prospects between now and the end of April, but it’s noteworthy who the NFC East teams are taking to early in the process. I didn’t notice the Giants or Cowboys talking to anybody just yet, but the Eagles’ and Redskins’ scouts were active:
- Bradley McDougald, safety, Kansas
- Will Pericak, DT, Colorado
- Keelan Johnson, S, Arizona St.
- Nathan Williams, LB, Ohio St.
- Josh Hill, TE, Idaho St.