Wednesday was the most important practice of the week at the Senior Bowl and it was obvious the way the pads were popping all morning. Defensive linemen from the North continued to impress NFL scouts on hand and yet more stood out on this day.
Vinny Curry/DE-OLB/Marshall: Curry was unstoppable and dominated all practice long. He’s a terrific athlete with exceptional quickness and football speed. He had Mike Adams, the Ohio State offensive tackle and star of Monday’s practice, playing back on his heels and struggling. Curry beat Adams a number of times with his speed off the edge. Later in the morning Curry was moved to defensive tackle, facing off against the bigger and stronger Kevin Zeitler of Wisconsin. Curry blew past Zeitler with a tremendous swim move. He’s a one-gap defensive end, the type employed by the Eagles defense, that’s also getting consideration as a 3-4 outside linebacker. Whatever position teams settle on for Curry, he made his case today to squeak into the late part of round one.
James-Michael Johnson/LB/Nevada: Johnson is well sized and athletic. On Wednesday, he finally showed the ability to make plays on the ball. Johnson easily moves his 250-pound frame around the field, showing speed and quickness outside the numbers to make plays. Johnson has been used at both middle linebacker and on the outside, versatility which is appealing for the next level. The fact he’s shown himself to be a three-down defender here in Mobile will only enhance his draft stock.
Tony Bergstrom/OL/Utah: Bergstrom has been used at a number of offensive line positions all week and has shown constant improvement. He was used mostly at guard today and had his best showing of the week. He’s a fundamentally sound lineman with above average strength at the point. Bergstrom, who I listed as a someone who was “Moving Down” on Monday, definitely took a step in the right direction Wednesday.
Cam Johnson/DE/Virginia: Johnson is another player who started the week slow yet finished strong and had his best practice to date on Wednesday. He displayed a lot of speed off the edge and had some of the North’s better tackles twisting in the wind with his ability to get up the field. He’s another potential one-gap pass rusher for the next level that would be best in a four-man line.
Derek Wolfe/DT/Cincinnati: Wolfe is not flashy nor a defender that makes a lot of plays on the ball. What he does so well is hold the point of attack and control blockers. This allows his teammates to get to the action and make the play. On more than one occasion Wolfe was double teamed by blockers yet did not give up an inch of room. He’s going to make some defensive coordinator happy at the next level.
Billy Winn/DT/Boise State: Winn was considered potential first-round potential by numerous scouts during the season but he’s played more like a last day pick this week. He shows some quickness in his game but lacks strength, cannot get off blocks and rarely penetrates the line of scrimmage.
Kevin Zeitler/G/Wisconsin: Wednesday is a day Zeitler will likely want to forget. He was beaten with speed moves, quick steps and power just about all day. Unfortunately for the Wisconsin lineman, he was the whipping boy that defensive linemen took advantage of.
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