Five observations from first padded practices at Senior Bowl

MOBILE, Ala. — The first day of padded practices for the Senior Bowl took place Tuesday, providing the first real look at some of the top prospects who will play in Saturday’s showcase game. Here are five observations coming out of the two practice sessions between the North and South teams:

  • I thought the most impressive group was the South’s defensive line. Melvin Ingram, Courtney Upshaw and Quinton Coples, to me, are all first-round picks, and they’ve all played like first-round picks. I’m particularly interested in Ingram, because he’s got an atypical body type at 6-foot-2 and 276 pounds. You’ve got to figure out how to use him, but he’s played really well so far. Bottom line: These three guys represent the best position group heading into Saturday’s game.
  • The defensive backs from the South squad have been tremendous. It’s pretty obvious why cornerback Janoris Jenkins is so highly rated. Even though he’s had his problems off the field, like having to transfer from Florida to North Alabama, his physical skill set is obvious. Dwight Bentley, the small-school kid from Louisiana Lafayette who weighs just 176 pounds, had a great day yesterday, according to several scouts. I was really impressed by him today; he’s really helped himself.
  • Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn impressed me today. He’s a massive kid at 6-5½ and 346. He’s got 35-inch arms, and I thought he hung in there really well during the 1-on-1 drills. I also liked offensive lineman James Brown from Troy. He, too, did well in the 1-on-1 drills.
  • To me, it looks like the South team has more high picks, more first-round picks, on its roster. You can see them playing with a higher level of skill. I just need to see more from the quarterbacks.
  • The North quarterbacks, their two little guys, intrigue me. I don’t know what you do with Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson, but I am intrigued by him. I want to watch more of him, because of what he did at Wisconsin and at North Carolina State before that. He’s only 5-10½, so he doesn’t fit into a mold, but I’ve said it before: He reminds me a little bit of former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie. Wilson gets outside of the pocket and can make plays. If a team is open to having a quarterback of that size and takes a chance on him, he can be a pretty special kid. On the other hand, Boise State’s Kellen Moore is not athletic, a tough thing for a quarterback who is less than six feet tall and has an average arm. However, he’s got one of the most anticipatory throws in the college game. He’s so good at that, which is why he has some potential.
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