The North team started the day with a much livelier session than Tuesday with some real hitting going on. The pit drills had some real pop, the scrimmages were alive and the one on ones were heated. There were more than a few standouts and some players mentioned yesterday that kept up their stellar play on a cold day two in Mobile.
LIKED WHAT I SAW
DT Nathan Shepherd, Fort Hays State – Not only did Shepherd show up at the weigh built like a brick shit house, the Fort Hays State product has been a nightmare for opposing offensive linemen. You can audibly hear him strike people out there. His hands are so strong that he just rips right through linemen like a hot knife through butter. Today he dominated in the one on one pit drills. He destroyed Will Hernandez on an early rep and he beat up Cole Madison badly on another rep after that. In fact the only time Shepherd really got moved backward was when the team worked on their double teams in the zone stack drill. Unfortunately, Shepherd injured his hand today and will likely be done for the week but he has showed more than enough in these few days to seriously elevate his draft stock. Shepherd might not be a first round draft pick but whenever he’s taken of the board, a number of teams will groan collectively and regret not trading up for a player that has a ton of upside.
WR Cedrick Wilson, Boise State – Wilson showed off some great feet today. The drills specifically illustrated how quick his feet are and what kind of change of direction he is capable of. He is able to take sharp turns and make quick cuts because of his body control and lightweight frame at 194 pounds. Wilson converted on a number of passes, plucking the ball out of the air effortlessly and getting on the go after the catch. He displayed his fluid movement, his excellent ball skills and ability to get open all of day two. Wilson adjusted to a poorly thrown ball on a route into the sideline, he highpointed the football in the live scrimmage and showed off that he has a very wide catching radius. He’s going to be a great complimentary receiver that could do a lot of things well, as he has few weaknesses to his game.
OT Brett Toth, Army – There’s a lot to like about this guy. He’s math whizz, he’s a disciplined member of our country’s armed forces and he’s also 6’5”¾, 303 pounds with 33” arms. Toth is here after a very successful week in St Pete at the Shrine Game, where he put a few defenders in the dirt. During day two Toth matched up well against Jalyn Holmes and not only held his own but stood Holmes up on one rep and wheeled him right out on the next. He has that ideal tackle body and he’s plenty long but he’s still a very raw prospect learning a lot of new techniques at this point. He has done nothing but improve his draft stock here in Mobile and should continue to rise throughout the entire draft process.
RB Kalen Ballage, Arizona State – The Sun Devil is a big powerful runner that is capable of plowing through contact and breaking runs strength or taking the edge and beating defenders to the corner with his speed. Ballage has surprising athleticism for a player his size and terrific hands that he put on displayed today, highpointing a Josh Allen pass and hauling in another throw outside his body on another. He is an intriguing blend of power and speed that forces business decisions down the field when he gets his speed built up. Ballage has excellent upside as committee back for a team that wants a bigger runner but could also develop into more given time and coaching.
WR DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State – Mr Hamilton has enjoyed two solid days here in Mobile with his sharp cuts, excellent feet and consistent ball skills. Hamilton has the capability to be a valued member of a receiving corps at the next level because he can get open and if he can maintain steady ball skills. His footwork in the receiver drills was flat out impressive and some of the hands catches he made showed off his game changing abilities. The Nittany Lion has great vision to locate the ball, he has ability after the catch and his deep speed is more than adequate. Hamilton won’t be a Top-100 selection and is more than likely a day three pick but his potential is undeniable at the next level.
SHOW ME MORE
WR Allen Lazard, Iowa State – I want to like Lazard but in drills and in his routes, he just looks like he’s running in cement. He lumbers through routes and rounds off a lot of his cuts. His change of direction is suspect and right now Aggies receiver Jalil Scott who is taller and lankier is making sharper cuts and more precise turns than he is. Lazard is making catches here, he winning battles but he will have to make a number of contested catches in jump ball situations because he can’t really get open consistently. Lazard needs to show he can get a release or else he’s going to slip in the draft without any quality timed speed.