Day 2 switched it up a bit at the Senior Bowl with the North team practicing first under the tutelage of the Chicago Bears and we finished the day off with the South team and the Cleveland Browns. John Sigler watched more of the battles in the trenches today while I focused on the defensive backs, and, by no coincidence I saw a lot of the receiver play as well.
I was able to get a short interview in with La Tech receiver Trent Taylor, which I’ll include at the end of this article. He really showed out today, after having a good, not great, performance at the 1st practice on Tuesday. We’ll get into him a little later.
CB, Desmond King - Iowa
King had a better day today than yesterday, and one thing that is hard to miss is his natural movement when moving deeper into the field. His backpedal today was arguably the best of any player and what impressed others even more was that he didn’t drop a single pass in the interception drill.
There are still concerns with his man coverage abilities. While there looked to be some improvement today over yesterday’s production, it was a that noticeable unless you were simply keying in on him. Ultimately, a NFL team is going to have to gamble on if they are able to take this zone oriented corner with great hands and turn him into a serviceable man corner, which would allow him to see more than just nickel and dime downs.
CB, Cameron Sutton - Tennessee
Sutton has begun to grow over me these past two days. He isn’t an electrifying corner with playmaking ability like King, nor is he a lock down guy on the outside like White from LSU. At only 5’11 and 182 pounds there are several matchups you’d immediately chalk up as potential losses that he seems to win during these practices.
With a scrappy attitude, he’s always trying to make a play on the ball or receiver. During the team drills, Sutton came up with two nice pass break ups. He gave up receptions as well, but some of that is due to his smaller size.
CB, Ezra Robinson - Tennessee State
Handsy corners seems to be a re-occurring theme with the South team, and Robinson was no exception. Standing 5’11 and weighing 185 there isn’t much difference in physical appearance between Robinson and Sutton. Today Robinson drew multiple pass interference penalties, however, and that is something we didn’t see Sutton do.
With some of Robinson’s PIs being of the “not even close” variety, it’s a safe conclusion to draw that his go to is to tear the wide receiver down when he feels like he’s lost the play. This happened too often today.
WR, Artavis Scott - Clemson
Clemson makes good wide receivers. Scott is continuing the successful line of year of year of Clemson wideouts who impress. After having arguably the best day in the wide receiver class (Cooper Kupp and Trent Taylor also have a claim to that role) by catching everything that was thrown at him, showing great extension to go after the ball and superior route running it’s clear Scott’s stock is moving up.
My second favorite play of the day, and a very “NFL IQ” type move, came when Scott was able to draw a pass interference penalty on a ball that was behind him. Seeing the errant pass, he turned his body into the defensive back and tried to reach back towards the ball. With the corner unable to find the ball due to it’s position (corner looked up field, ball was behind), Scott was able to draw a penalty. This type of veteran play is a rare sight from a rookie who has yet to even see a NFL training camp.
WR, Cooper Kupp - Eastern Washington
Route Running: Check
Great Hands: Check
Attacks Ball at Highest Points: Check
Catches In Traffic: Check
Quick Feet: Check
Found a stud I didn’t know existed. As did the rest of those in attendance. Here is a highlight reel catch over Iowa’s Desmond King.
Right on cue. Cooper Kupp with a Jermaine Kearse-like grab. pic.twitter.com/pX5j5KzXky— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 25, 2017
WR, Trent Taylor - LA Tech
While not being able to wow you with measurables (5’8, 177 lbs), what he does give you is a presence in the slot position that most corners are going to struggle with. His routes are crisp, his feet are quick and he catches everything. He was my star of the day due to one catch in particular.
On a short 2 yard in route against the Michigan CB Lewis, Taylor makes his cut, forms good separation and makes a pylon grab for a touchdown. It’s the type of clutch catch teams rely on from their slot receivers. What’s more, he spent most of the early practice fielding punts and doing it well. Below is the interview I was able to grab with him following practice.
Make sure you follow myself (@RevDeuceWindham) and John Sigler (@JSiglerNFL) tomorrow for up to date coverage of the final day of Senior Bowl practice. We’ll also be doing video recaps after each day. Who Dat, and God Bless