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Senior Bowl Notes: Quarterbacks, Aaron Donald, Packers, Falcons

Quarterback Notes:

  • The only  QBs over 6’2″ were Derek Carr (Fresno State), Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) and Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech). (Matt Miller)
  • Gil Brandt of the NFL Network stressed the importance of large hands for quarterbacks.
  • A Packers scout reportedly mentioned that “based on what I’m seeing Tahj Boyd is not draftable.” (Tony Pauline)
    • Tony Pauline added that Boyd’s showing on Monday “Ugly” as he “makes receivers work too hard to catch the ball.”
  • Matt Miller mentions that Miami QB Stephen Morris was “noticeably worse” than Tahj Boyd and Logan Thomas as a passer today.
    • According to Tony Pauline, Morris was “up and down but disappointing for the most part.”
  • Josh Norris mentions that Fresno State QB Derek Carr has an “incredible arm” and touch on his passes.
    • Norris compared Carr’s troubling footwork to Jay Cutler’s and Matthew Stafford’s. 
    • Rob Rang mentions that “the ball explodes out of his hand” and believes Carr possesses the best arm at the Senior Bowl.
  • Josh Norris: A second day selection is within reach for Eastern Illinois QB [Jimmy] Garoppolo.
    • Rob Rang mentioned Garoppolo had an impressive initial practice on Monday.
  • Tony Pauline mentions that Virginia Tech QB Logan Thomashad his moments” even though he was “way off the mark” at times.

Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald 

If there was one clear winner from the first day of Senior Bowl practice it had to be Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald who drew rave reviews from almost everyone that was in attendance Monday.

  • Dane Brugler mentions that “Donald was an unstoppable force on Monday.”
  • Josh Norris tossed out a comparison to Packers DT Mike Daniels.

Several draft analysts mentioned that Donald repeatedly took advantage of Baylor OG Cyril Richardson, who is believe to be one of the best guard prospects in the draft.

Packers

Charlie Campbell of Walterfootball.com reports that the Packers are targeting “speed and playmaking ability” to add to their defense.

According to Campbell, “it sounds as though Green Bay is more inclined to draft for defense early rather than offensive players like a new tight end or offensive line help.

  • Campbell adds that Green Bay showed interest in Stanford OLB Trent Murphy as did the 49ers.

Falcons

Sticking with Charlie Campbell‘s report from the Senior Bowl, the Falcons were reportedly “extremely disappointed” with their interior offensive lineman including former second-round pick Peter Konz.

  • Campbell expects Atlanta to target upgrades in both the draft, as well as free agency.

Underclassmen

Senior Bowl executive director Phil Savage mentioned that this year’s group of ninety-eight underclassmen was going to be an issue for the NFL.

“I think it’s an issue and something for the good of the game both at the college level and the NFL level that’s going to have to be addressed, one way or the other,” Savage said, via the Baltimore Sun. “When you see almost 100 underclassmen come into the draft, and there are 250-some odd slots, there’s going to be a lot of kids that have been sold a bill of goods come the first week of May. Personally I think it’s bad for college football and I think it’s bad for the NFL, because players are coming into the league after three years of college and they’re not ready.”

Savage added that a good portion of these players will players have been given poor advice.

“With career span of a little over three years (average) but not quite four, it tells you that most of the players do not get to that second contract,” Savage said. “And that’s what they’re kind of being encouraged (to do). It’s, ‘Hey you’ve got to get plugged into the system and get to that second contract.’

Senior Bowl Notes:

  • Gil Brandt lists Nebraska DB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Tennessee OT Ja’Wuan James, West Virginia RB Charles Sims, North Carolina DE Kareem Martin and BYU LB Kyle Van Noy as players who are likely to cash in based on their Senior Bowl performance.
  • Dane Brugler raved about Notre Dame OL Zack Martin & North Dakota State OL Billy Turner.
  • Tony Pauline was impressed with Stanford DE/OLB Trent Murphy and Notre Dame OL Zach Martin.
  • Tony Pauline mentions that Wisconsin LB Chris Borland had a “tremendous day” and “definitely helped himself.”
  • Matt Miller’s Day 1 standouts include: Auburn DE/LB Dee Ford, Pittsburgh DT Aaron Donald, Oklahoma CB Aaron Colvin, Liberty CB Walt Aiken, BYU LB Kyle Van Noy, Fresno State QB Derek Carr, Baylor S Ahmad Dixon.
  • Daniel Jeremiah mentions that “scouts were buzzing” about Princeton DT Caraun Reid.
  • Josh Norris points out that safety prospects like Wyoming’s Marqueston Huff and Wisconsin’s Dez Southward are listed as cornerbacks, which may work against them this week.
  • Dane Brugler believes Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederis, Wyoming WR Robert Herron and Oregon WR Josh Huff could all be solid mid-round picks.
  • Charlie Campbell mentions that scouts believe Alabama S Vinnie Sunseri made a “big mistake by entering the draft.” He could be a Day 3 pick.
  • Lance Zierlein: Auburn DE Dee Ford “won the weigh-in, won one-on-ones and won the day.”
  • Lance Zierlein: Wisconsin WR Jared Abbrederiscaught everything, got open against everyone he faced” and could be a star this week.
  • Lance Zierlein: Wyoming WR Robert Herron was the most impressive receiver outside of Abbrederis. 
  • Lance Zierlein: BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy “does everything SO well on a football field” and is in his top-15.

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