Tony Pauline, NFL Draft analyst for SportsIllustrated.com, reports from the Senior Bowl exclusively for PhiladelphiaEagles.com ...
Mobile, Alabama - Practice for the North squad ended just a few moments ago as they were first up on Tuesday. The defenders stole the show as a number of prospects elevated their play from Monday and really caught the attention of scouts. Here’s a look at the risers and sliders from Tuesday’s first practice.
Kendall Reyes/DT/UConn: Reyes was dominant from start to finish Tuesday morning. He possesses impressive quickness and explosion, displaying the ability to beat offensive linemen off the snap on every down. He also showed an array of techniques and moves to get off blocks and left blockers flailing at air. On one play, Reyes displayed surprising strength as he bullrushed the bigger and supposedly stronger Kevin Zeitler from Wisconsin off the line. Reyes definitely impressed and looked like a top 60 pick for April’s draft.
Mike Martin/DT/Michigan: Coaches love Martin’s intensity and approach to the game as he’s a defender that plays through the whistle and gives every ounce of himself on every snap of the ball. On Tuesday, he showed the ability to finish plays and was a one-man wrecking crew. Martin beat blockers off the snap with a great first step, showed an array of hand techniques to protect himself from blockers and a lot of strength to get push up the field. The recent history of defensive tackles coming from the Michigan program has not been good as most have not lived up to expectations. Martin is ready to break the tradition.
George Iloka/S/Boise State: Iloka was one of the most impressive specimens during weigh-ins on Monday and on Tuesday he was one of the most impressive defensive backs on the field. He’s fluid and moves incredibly well, showing little stiffness in his game. Iloka also showed solid ball skills, making a terrific interception in scrimmage when it looked like he was beaten by the tight end. With safety being a weak position in the upcoming draft, Iloka has an opportunity to move up draft boards and has taken advantage thus far.
Kirk Cousins/QB/Michigan State: By far Cousins has the strongest arm of any quarterback on the North squad. He throws a fireball that’s gets through the small windows of the defense. Cousins has also shown a good degree of accuracy for the most part and looked good on Tuesday. He does a nice job of getting his deep passes out front and letting receivers run to the ball. There’s a big drop off at the quarterback position after the top four prospects (Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill & Brandon Weeden) yet Cousins looks like he’s ready to fill the void.
Doug Martin/RB/Boise State: Martin displayed a variety of skills throughout the day. He’s a quick ball carrier with the ability to make defenders miss and create his own yardage. Martin also caught the ball out of the backfield. During special teams drills he did well returning kicks. He’s setting himself up as one of the better third down backs/specialists in the draft.
Kellen Moore/QB/Boise State: Moore was a tremendous college quarterback yet has not shown NFL skills the past two days. He lacks next-level arm strength and has receivers waiting on passes, which show little in the way of velocity. The times Moore has attempted to fire the ball into receivers the pass usually ends up high of the mark. He’s a timing passer that may be no better than a third quarterback for a West Coast offense in the NFL.
Chris Polk/RB/Washington: Polk has been running hard on the inside yet shows no elusiveness or creativity. He gets high in his stance and on several occasions during Tuesday practice was stopped dead in his tracks by defenders and showed no ability to bounce around piles or elude would-be tacklers.
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