Today was the last real day of practice as tomorrow will be just be a short walk-through. Essentially, the players had one last chance to impress. In this article, I am going to share my thoughts on the North Squad based on my observations the last few days. The most impressive player for me has to be running back DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma), who appears to be a three-down back showing a great combination of speed and power which extremely soft hands. Murray will continue to fight the label as an injury-prone back after being banged up his four years in college. This will likely scare some teams. However, he looks like a back with some nice upside which could pay a big rewards to a team if he slides into the third round. Hear our audio interview with Murray here.
Colin Kaepernick (Nevada) is easily one of the players that has drastically helped his draft status this week in Mobile. Most folks here are in agreement that he was the most impressive quarterback this week and goes from a late round project to someone that could go in the late 2nd/early 3rd round. Interview.
Austin Pettis (Boise St) had a strong practice today after having what I consider a disappointing practice yesterday. He is a big receiver that uses his body well but I am still concerned with his lack of speed will hurt him at the next level. You can catch our audio interview with Pettis here.
Jake Locker (Washington) didn’t really disappoint, but at the same time didn’t ‘wow’ anyone either. He displayed great running ability and nice poise in the pocket but struggled with his accuracy. He is going to be one of those players that could really fall in the draft if some of the teams that love his potential pass on him in the draft. Interview.
Ricky Stanzi (Iowa) looked like a late round pick…maybe. He doesn’t offer any play-making ability with his feet and just didn’t make enough plays with his arm.
Kendall Hunter (Oklahoma St) might have a difficult time convincing teams he is an every-down type of back but should have no problem contributing as a 3rd down back. Hunter was explosive and caught everything thrown to him. The trend in the NFL is to have a 2 and sometimes 3 back system which bolds well for someone like Hunter who’ll be given opportunities to play to his strengths.
Roy Helu Jr (Nebraska) and Da’Rel Scott (Maryland) both had their moments but neither one did anything to stand out to me.
Titus Young (Boise St) is explosive and while the DeSean Jackson comparisons might not be fair, I certainly saw a little Jackson in him. Much like Jackson, his size will hurt him on draft day but looks like a solid 2nd/3rd round pick with a solid 40 time at the combine.
Vincent Brown (San Diego St) is very smooth on the field and made the most of his opportunities. While he might not process the upside that will allow him to go in the first few rounds, he is the type of player that could excel in the right NFL system.
Dwayne Harris (ECU) and Niles Paul (Nebraska) did little to get people talking about them.
Lance Kenricks (Wisconsin) is a big receiver in the Dallas Clark mold who showed great pass catching ability all week. He isn’t going to help much in the running game but there are plenty of NFL teams that run a system that fits him. Looks like a solid 2nd round pick.
Mike McNeil (Nebraska) and Lee Smith (Marshall) both held their own and should hear their name called in the second half of the draft.