Yes, our beloved Atlanta Falcons are going to Super Bowl LI(!!!!!!), but it's never too early to look at potential players the Falcons could be looking at for the 2017 NFL Draft. I'm in Mobile, Alabama getting a firsthand look at the North and South squads taking notes for Atlanta's positional needs.
Here are few takeaways from the first day of Senior Bowl practices:
Interior Defensive Linemen
- In the early portion of the practice Cleveland's coaching staff had the offensive and defensive line going through block recognition drills. Two offensive linemen were matched up against one defensive lineman and they practiced double teams, base blocks, and reach blocks. Clemson's Carlos Watkins had a rough couple of reps as he got driven off the ball versus a double team and then slipped versus Miami guard Danny Isidora on a reach block.
- Auburn's Montravius Adams had an unimpressive day of practice. He was sluggish going through the bag drills and got manhandled on a handful of occasions during the team run period. He was reached and pancaked by Ethan Pocic, the center from LSU.
- Tanzel Smart from Tulane had a mixed day. He struggled to anchor against the heavier offensive linemen in the run drills, but showed nice quickness and an array of pass rush moves during the one on one phase.
- Alabama's Dalvin Tomlinson had a consistent, clean practice. He held his ground against double teams and got some decent push on bull rushes during the pass rush one on one drills. Tomlinson isn't flashy, but he got the job done and had a nice practice. He's a legitimate Day 2 nose tackle prospect.
- Daeshon Hall from Texas A&M shined during the pass rush drills. He had a strong tendency to use inside moves, but they were extremely effective. When he tried to use power moves in his rushes he didn't get much push against the offensive tackles. He's a pure speed rusher.
- Keionta Davis got his first reps against heightened competition today at the Senior Bowl. He played his college ball at UT-Chattanooga and he struggled to adjust to players from Power Five schools.
- Miami's Danny Isidora had a mixed practice. He took snaps at center before practice started and that clearly isn't going to be the position he plays in the NFL. Eddie Vanderdoes beat him a few times in the double team drills, but Isidora rebounded nicely during the team run period and pass rush one on ones.
- Forrest Lamp had a great day at guard. He played tackle at Western Kentucky, but today's practice confirmed that he's a guard prospect moving forward. He stonewalled several players in the one on one drills and paved the way for huge holes during the team run period.
Interior Defensive Line
- Iowa's Jaleel Johnson had a solid first day of practice. Johnson routinely diagnosed blocking schemes during team drills. His performance in the one on one's was a mixed bag, but he showed a nice array of pass rush moves and always had a plan. He needs to clean up his tackling this week. There were a handful of plays where he beat his man and missed the tackle in the backfield.
- Larry Ogunjobi had a similar performance as Tanzel Smart. He got dominated in the team run drills and had a good day rushing the passer. Ogunjobi is athletic and quick, but his strength and ability to take on blocks is questionable right now. He really struggled to anchor during his reps at 1-technique today.
- Ryan Glasgow looked really stiff today. When he had to flip his hips in the pass rush drills he really struggled. His teammate at Michigan, Chris Wormley, was fairly impressive today. He's not the most athletic player, but he's polished and really understands how to create leverage.
- Carroll Phillips and Dawuane Smoot had a productive first practice. The two were a devastating duo at Illinois and they picked up where they left off in college at the first day in Mobile. Smoot showed impressive speed off the edge in the pass rush drills and Phillips was everywhere during the team portion of practice
- Indiana's Dan Feeney had a dominant first practice. He was routinely driving guys off the ball versus the run and was flawless in pass protection. If he continues to play this well during the week he may wind up as a first round pick.