MOBILE, Ala. --** Wednesday was the final day of full-pads practice at the Senior Bowl as tomorrow will be a no-pads day in front of just a few NFL scouts and coaches. The intensity is usually turned up on Wednesday practice, traditionally considered the most important day of the week, and several prospects stood out.
Shaquelle Evans/WR/UCLA: Evans, 6-foot-1, 210, built a lot of momentum throughout the week and by Wednesday was one of the better receivers at the Senior Bowl. He's a physical wideout with a strong build and soft hands. Evans consistently separated from opponents by running good routes and fought hard to come away with the reception. He's a terrific possession receiver with the ability to help any NFL team as a rookie.
Cody Hoffman/WR/BYU: Based on his Senior Bowl showing, Hoffman, 6-foot-4, 218, is another big-bodied receiver the Eagles may want to consider during the draft's second day. He uses great technique getting off jams at the line of scrimmage and follows that up by running crisp routes into the clearing on the field. All week long Hoffman has shown consistent hands, catching everything thrown in his direction. He's not a field-stretcher, but is a reliable underneath target who will get consideration as a third receiver for any NFL team.
Jaylen Watkins/DB/Florida: Watkins exceeded all expectations and performed much better than expected from the start of Senior Bowl practice. He was quick moving in reverse, fast getting to the action and played with a physical style. Watkins, 5-foot-11, 194, was constantly breaking up passes every day and rarely got beat. He has the versatility to line up at cornerback or safety in the NFL and showed the ability to play a complete game.
Justin Ellis/DT/Louisiana Tech: We touched on Ellis during East-West Shrine Game practices when he impressed scouts throughout the week. The big-bodied defensive lineman came prepared to perform at a high level at the Senior Bowl and stepped up his game. He beat blockers with quickness, power as well as technique. Ellis, 6-foot-2, 342, competed every time he was on the field and scouts love his size and ability to make plays in lateral pursuit or hold the point of attack.
Kyle Van Noy/LB/BYU: Versatility is the word that best describes Van Noy's performance the past three days. At 6-foot-4, 244, the BYU linebacker looked good in pass-rushing drills, in coverage drills and as a run defender throughout the week. He doesn't play like a great athlete, but rather a smart, intense football player who decisively gets to the action. Van Noy's array of skill would fit a variety of defensive schemes, and along with his on-field talent, he brings a nice degree of locker room leadership.
Zach Martin/T/Notre Dame: Entering the week, many questioned whether Martin had the size and skill to man the left tackle spot. At 6-foot-4, 305, Martin quelled the doubters with a terrific week of practice and looked especially effective on Wednesday. Martin blocked with brilliant fundamentals and had no problem protecting the blind side at any time. In fact, he was one of the few offensive lineman in attendance who was able to slow down Aaron Donald . The end result is a big rise in Martin's draft stock and the Notre Dame senior could bump into the late part of round one.
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