Senior Bowl Day Three: South Team Notes

Jeff Fuller

If Jeff Fuller wants to make an impression, he'll have to do a better job catching passes downfield than he has this week. Here, a catchable pass slips away. Janoris Jenkins of North Alabama is in coverage. (PHOTO: ANDREW MASON / MAXDENVER.COM)

MOBILE, Ala. – A few player notes from the South team’s third practice of Senior Bowl week, held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium here on Wednesday:

  • DT BRANDON THOMPSON, CLEMSON: Had the best day not only among South team defensive tackles, but for the entire defensive line. He threw blockers out of his way, showed power and quickness off the snap and possesses multiple effective moves to beat an offensive lineman.  What is most promising, however, is his strength in the pass rush, shedding the notion that he was simply a run-stuffer.  It will be a shock if he doesn’t go in the first round.
  • LB SEAN SPENCE, MIAMI (FLA.) Is excellent at reading a run play as it develops. He plays with patience; he waits for a gap and then shoots for it to fill it — and sometimes blow up a run at the handoff, which he did twice Wednesday.  Spence continues to find his way onto my notepad and my dictated notes more often than I realize during practice.
  • CB JANORIS JENKINS, NORTH ALABAMA: Jenkins’s default setting is to aggressive, physical play, which can get him in trouble and still leaves him susceptible to big plays when his ample speed and athleticism aren’t enough to allow him to recover — as was the case when Jeff Fuller beat him deep.
  • O: CORDY GLENN, GEORGIA: Based on this week’s practices, he is most ready-to-play offensive tackle among those in this year’s Senior Bowl. As other tackles have struggled with their balance, he’s done a fine job keeping his footing. He holds up well against a bull rush, but is susceptible to being beat on the oustside, as Quinton Coples did to set up a sack of Arizona QB Nick Foles during Wednesday’s practice.  Glenn, however, got the better of Coples during one-on-one work.
  • QB BRANDON WEEDEN, OKLAHOMA STATE: Wednesday was just another solid all-around day for the most polished quarterback at this year’s game. He said after practice that he had spoken with the Broncos this week, but they were among “about 29 or 30 teams” with which he’d chatted. If the Senior Bowl gave MVP awards based on practices, Weeden would win. That being said, Weeden did have a deep pass for Dwight Jones get a bit hung up as the wind increased behind him.
  • QBs RYAN LINDLEY, SAN DIEGO STATE AND NICK FOLES, ARIZONA: Neither looked comfortable, and their struggles were amplified by Weeden’s continued emergence. Lindley, however, is better at feeling an oncoming pass rush and getting away than Foles, who continues to freeze and take too many sacks when pressured from the edges instead of rolling out.
  • WRs JEFF FULLER, TEXAS A&M AND DWIGHT JONES, NORTH CAROLINA: I package these two because of their similar skill sets and physical traits — and level of struggle. Jones hasn’t displayed persistence to fight for a pass in tight coverage, and Fuller has trouble with drops and separation. Fuller did make some nice grabs in a red-zone seven-on-seven period and had the afore-mentioned catch at Jenkins’s expense; if Fuller can apply the success on the compressed field to the rest of it, he’ll have a shot at success. Jones, however, has appeared to regress since an impressive Monday.
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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on NFL.com when the site was managed by ESPN.com. He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began MaxDenver.com in 2010 and now contributes to CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and The New York Times.

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