Connect with us


Xavier Hutchinson, WR, Iowa State



Iowa State WR Xavier Hutchinson, despite his production and his scouting report, remains one of the more underrated receivers in the 2023 NFL Draft. It’s a deep class that can work to Hutchinson’s detriment. But looking at the tape, he has the tools to secure a role early in the NFL.

Xavier Hutchinson NFL Draft Profile

  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • School: Iowa State
  • Current Year: Redshirt Senior
  • Height/Weight: 6’3″, 205 pounds

Quietly, Xavier Hutchinson has been one of the most productive receivers in college football since 2020. He has almost 3,000 receiving yards over that span and has been a target funnel for an Iowa State passing attack that’s relied almost entirely on his presence.

Seeing his production, you’d almost be surprised that Hutchinson wasn’t a highly-coveted recruit out of high school. As a matter of fact, Hutchinson had to take the JUCO route to the FBS level.

Two years at Blinn JC helped get Hutchinson onto the map. After a sophomore season that saw him catch 47 passes for 652 yards and five touchdowns, he started to field offers from Power Five teams as a JUCO transfer. Oklahoma, Utah, TCU, and Nebraska all offered Hutchinson, but he chose to stay in Iowa and signed with the Cyclones.

Since then, Hutchinson has known nothing but production. He caught 64 passes for 771 yards and four scores in 2020. 83 catches for 987 yards and five scores in 2021. And in 2022, he’s amassed career-highs in all categories, with 105 catches for 1,160 yards and six touchdowns.

A 2022 Biletnikoff semifinalist with massive numbers to his name, it’s a foregone conclusion that Hutchinson will see the field on Sundays. But how does he project, and where might he come off the board in April?

Xavier Hutchinson Scouting Report

Production, size, experience — Hutchinson passes a lot of the surface-level eye tests. But does his profile hold up when we put it under the microscope? Let’s dive in.

Hutchinson’s Positives

Whether you use film or analytics as your primary mode of evaluation, you’ll find that Hutchinson checks a lot of boxes. We’ve already noted his production, and as one might expect, he’s a very well-rounded receiver on the field.

First and foremost, Hutchinson brings solid size and athletic ability. He’s a well-built receiver with great height and weight and has great accelerative capacity off the line.

He can gear up quickly with urgent steps and shows off good burst upfield when attacking space or surging inside on mesh and drag routes. And while he’s not a burner downfield, he does have enough speed to stack DBs with long-strider acceleration.

Expanding on Hutchinson’s athletic skill set, the Iowa State WR possesses good lateral twitch and loose hips in space. He’s shown he can sink to a degree and levy quick cuts to create space and disrupt tackling angles. He’s also able to press upfield at sharp angles out of cuts after starting horizontally.

To a degree, Hutchinson’s athleticism translates to good natural route running potential. He flashes smooth lateral athleticism at stems and can square up defenders with split releases, then roll his hips and stack upfield.

The Cyclones star has the loose hips and lateral agility to cut stems quickly and attack sharp angles, and he can also press upfield, tempo his advance into stems, and explode laterally on out routes.

Overall, Hutchinson has above-average timing and zone awareness as a route runner. He can sneak into blind spots and attack open windows. Additionally, he’s shown he can manipulate DBs with lateral twitch and stride variations on double-moves.

Plus, he can use a dead-leg move to freeze DBs at the stem. In a similar vein, Hutchinson can manipulate DBs with initial attack angles before displacing laterally and exploding upfield.

Hutchinson’s lateral agility, for his size, allows him to gain separation with relative ease, as well as line up in the slot or on the boundary. But what truly accentuates his profile as one with early-round upside is his elite catching instincts. Hutchinson is extremely natural at the catch point and impressively consistent across different situations.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

Hutchinson can naturally corral short passes over the middle of the field in-stride, cradling with his hands. He’s also shown he can elevate and extend beyond his frame to bring in high passes, and he actively clamps down with his hands to secure throws.

The Iowa State WR has excellent ball-tracking ability downfield as well. He can roam under passes and guide with his hands while extending beyond his frame, and he very naturally adjusts to passes high or behind him with smooth body control.

Hutchinson can make high-difficulty adjustments with little response time as a catcher. He flashes especially absurd focus and coordination on deflected passes, as he can instantly recalibrate and reposition himself.

Hutchinson’s hands also enable him to convert in these situations. His hand/eye coordination is exceptional in high-difficulty situations, and he consistently uses diamond technique to get his hands in the right spot.

Hutchinson’s proven he can secure passes with his hands while diving or making catches from other points of imbalance. In these instances, he showcases exceptional hand strength when working amidst contact and can maintain possession through the catch process.

His hands are authoritative in 50-50 situations, and he seeks out the ball with zeal. But he also makes an effort to keep the ball away from his frame, minimizing body-catching before securing and protecting the ball with his frame.

With his size, Hutchinson has proven he can get an edge on defenders with targeted physicality, play strength, and frame usage. Over the middle of the field, he’s able to secure passes amidst contact. But he can also use proactive, targeted physicality to pry past defenders at stems.

He’ll utilize double swipes to compound separation before breaking inside, and he can sync his swipes with lateral moves to maximize space.

This physicality and play strength shows up after the catch as well. While Hutchinson doesn’t often bounce off first contact, he can fight and step through arm tackles and recollect his feet to carry acceleration forward. Moreover, he can reset his feet quickly after catches to align himself for contact, and he has the size and leg drive to churn through solo tackles for decent yardage.

Lastly, Hutchinson is, at the very least, a willing blocker who can square up defenders and use his frame to box out opponents on running plays.

Hutchinson’s Areas for Improvement

While Hutchinson is a solid overall athlete for his size, he might not be elite in any one physical area.

Hutchinson doesn’t have elite explosiveness upfield or out of breaks, and he lacks elite deep speed, showing a visible cap in downfield range. Moreover, Hutchinson lacks the elite agility, foot speed, and twitch to immediately sink, decelerate, and evade tackles after securing throws in stride. When aiding direction changes, he can’t always uncoil quickly after gaining momentum.

Hutchinson’s non-elite athletic traits don’t tank his upside in the NFL, but they do necessitate further growth as a route runner because the margin for error may be a bit smaller for him.

At times, Hutchinson can be more disciplined pressing upfield ahead of stems on quick hitches and comebacks. He sometimes drifts back a bit after breaking, and he’ll also rotate around on quick breaks, failing to freeze DBs.

MORE: PFN Mock Draft Simulator

Overall, Hutchinson is a bit tall and upright as a route runner and lacks elite hip sink. Naturally, he can be a bit sharper and more efficient with transitions at times. He occasionally unhinges his hips too early at stems, keying in DBs on breaks. On a related note, he can be more consistent squaring up at stems to hold DBs, and he sometimes drifts a bit on vertical paths.

Hutchinson can seek more efficiency with his usage of physicality as well. Although he’s fairly proficient at using targeted physicality, he occasionally gets too grabby in contact situations, risking offensive pass interference.

Among other things, Hutchinson doesn’t have the elite hand strength to consistently convert on acrobatic one-handed opportunities, and he sometimes lets the ball bounce free at contact with the ground.

While he has decent length, his proportional length is middling and slightly limits his catch radius. And as a blocker, he sometimes only seeks to obstruct and doesn’t sustain blocks or engage with hands.

Current Draft Projection for Iowa State WR Xavier Hutchinson

Hutchinson grades as a solid Day 2 prospect at the wide receiver position. Within that range, there may be some variance based on team preferences and individual evaluations. But Hutchinson is undoubtedly deserving of consideration in the top 100, and a strong offseason — with Senior Bowl and NFL Combine showings on deck — could move him up.

Hutchinson has good size, decent length, and a solid overall athletic skill set. Although he plays a bit tall at times as a route runner, he has the necessary lateral agility, twitch, hip fluidity, and burst to create separation. He has enough juice as a long-strider to stack DBs. And few WRs in the 2023 NFL Draft are better than Hutchinson at the catch point.

Since he’s not a quantifiably elite athlete, Hutchinson should work to keep refining his route running efficiency at the next level. There’s still some wasted motion at times, and he can work to expand his route tree and release package a bit more.

But there’s enough there already — he has enough foot speed and sink to work with. And Hutchinson can also be a RAC threat in space with his play strength, leg churn, and lateral agility.

As a movement Z who can man both the slot and the boundary, Hutchinson presents a lot of projected appeal. He can win in one-on-one situations or use space to his advantage. On Day 1, he can be a valuable addition to a WR rotation, and he has enough physical upside to develop into an above-average NFL starter with safety blanket value.

Source link


DeMeco Ryans, Texans Land QB1, Saints Join Party After Sean Payton Trade




The stage is set: Kansas City and Philadelphia will face off for the Lombardi Trophy. But while those two teams prepare to sacrifice life and limb for the NFL’s throne, 30 other franchises are at home preparing for the 2023 NFL Draft. Aiming to reach the same heights as the Chiefs and Eagles, how should each club spend their first-round selection?

2023 NFL Mock Draft

The NFL draft order for this 2023 mock is taken from the current NFL standings following the Conference Championships. Take the PFN Mock Draft Simulator for a spin and put your favorite franchise on the path to a Super Bowl!

1) Carolina Panthers (From CHI): C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Trade: Carolina receives pick 1, Chicago receives picks 9, 39, 60, 2024 first-round pick, and 2024 second-round pick

With Frank Reich now at the helm, the Panthers have to take their swing on the next face of the franchise. While Bryce Young is my unquestioned QB1, size means more to some teams, and Carolina seems to be one of them.

According to NFL Insider Benjamin Allbright, C.J. Stroud is “the apple of their eye,” and if they want to draft the 6’3″ signal-caller, the Panthers will need to procure a package the Bears can’t deny at No. 1 overall.

2) Houston Texans: Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

After nailing the hire of San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans to be their next head coach, the Texans can put all their efforts into nailing their QB1. Despite comically playing themselves out of the first overall pick, Houston still secures their guy: Bryce Young.

Outside of size, there is little to nitpick with the Alabama QB’s game. Of course, size matters, but Young has the arm talent, pocket presence, and mental processing to mitigate any deficiencies.

3) Arizona Cardinals: Jalen Carter, DT, Georgia

Cardinals fans, brace for a long 2023. At least the Phoenix Suns are a fringe-playoff contender. Between Kliff Kingsbury and Steve Keim leaving, Kyler Murray rehabbing a torn ACL, and J.J. Watt retiring, there just isn’t much to be excited about. Jalen Carter won’t fill those holes, but he is a defensive centerpiece to build around.

4) Indianapolis Colts: Will Levis, QB, Kentucky

Will Levis just feels destined to be the Colts’ quarterback. GM Chris Ballard has banked on physical tools in drafts, and Levis fits the mold.

MORE: Top 10 Quarterbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft

His tape is a bit chaotic, mostly due to his footwork and decision-making. Still, there is no denying the Kentucky passer’s arm strength. If the draft is a crapshoot, Levis is the dice you bet on.

5) Seattle Seahawks (From DEN): Will Anderson Jr., EDGE, Alabama

Long gone are the days of Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril meeting in the backfield for Seattle. And it’s been that way for roughly half a decade. The drought ends with Will Anderson Jr. in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.

Anderson is far and away the top edge rusher in the class. His game is predicated on speed, but if he can add some more power without zapping his athleticism, the Seahawks won’t need to address the position for years to come.

6) Detroit Lions (From LAR): Anthony Richardson, QB, Florida

Before you click off the page, Lions fans, hear me out. Yes, Jared Goff looked good with Ben Johnson calling plays. But is that enough to be a legitimate contender? Even in the Rams’ high-powered offense, Goff maxed out at three points versus the Patriots in Super Bowl 53.

Let Goff be the bridge QB to Anthony Richardson, who may actually be more pro-ready than some analysts believe. The Chiefs took Patrick Mahomes to sit behind Alex Smith for a year when many believed it was a wasted pick — look how that turned out.

7) Las Vegas Raiders: Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State

Assuming the Raiders move off Derek Carr, head coach Josh McDaniels will need a new QB. But with how things shook out last season, his clock is already ticking in Las Vegas, and he’s unlikely to tie to his last-ditch effort to a rookie. Nevertheless, whoever is under center will need protection, and Paris Johnson Jr. can provide just that from multiple positions.

8) Atlanta Falcons: Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Myles Murphy has the tools to be one of the best pass rushers in the class. Yet, like Travon Walker from the 2022 draft, Murphy has a long way to go in his technique and hand usage. He also isn’t as dominant a run defender as many believe. Still, he has shown flashes, and “upside” wins out in the draft.

9) Chicago Bears (From CAR): Jordan Addison, WR, USC

After trading back and acquiring significant capital, the Bears have a few avenues at their disposal. In this 2023 NFL Mock Draft, they give Justin Fields — and Darnell Mooney — some reinforcements. Jordan Addison is hands down the best separator in the class and will make Fields’ life that much easier as a passer.

10) Philadelphia Eagles (From NO): Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

Bijan Robinson is going to go much higher than the late 20s everyone has been mocking him. It’s just a matter of where. On paper, it appears there are few RB-needy teams in the top 15. Robinson is a top-five talent trapped in a devalued position, but his combination of speed, twitch, and elusiveness won’t last too long on draft night.

11) Tennessee Titans: Peter Skoronski, OL, Northwestern

Tennessee’s offense is built around Derrick Henry and the ground game. And with Taylor Lewan missing more games in 2022, his health has become a serious concern. Even if Lewan returns to 100% next year, Peter Skoronski can fill a void inside while serving as an effective swing tackle.

12) Houston Texans (From CLE): Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

Pairing Bryce Young’s ability to create off-script with Quentin Johnston‘s blend of size and speed would spell trouble for NFL defenses. Johnston won’t separate as cleanly as a smaller receiver, but he can stretch the field vertically, high-point contested targets, and make a defender or two miss in space.

13) New York Jets: Broderick Jones, OT, Georgia

Whether it’s Zach Wilson, Mike White, or Aaron Rodgers at QB, Broderick Jones will form a wall from either tackle spot. Mekhi Becton is apparently working his way into shape, and if he can regain his form, the two would instantly provide one of the best OT duos in the league.

14) New England Patriots: Devon Witherspoon, CB, Illinois

Devon Witherspoon checks every box Bill Belichick has for a cornerback. He’s experienced and proficient in press, versatile, and oozes confidence. With impressive instincts and ball skills to boot, Witherspoon could — and should — be the first CB off the board.

15) Green Bay Packers: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Should the Packers take a tight end in the first round? Probably not, but Michael Mayer could prove too much to pass up. He’s a reliable blocker and a plus receiver, making him more than just the QB’s best friend.

16) Washington Commanders: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon

Devon Witherspoon is the top cover corner in the class. Meanwhile, Christian Gonzalez is the top size/speed build at the position. He put his elite traits to great use on the outside and took his game to new heights with Oregon.

MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board

If Washington can figure out their QB position, there’s enough talent on the roster to make a playoff run. Adding Gonzalez to the defense could end up a steal at 16th overall.

17) Pittsburgh Steelers: Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia

Kelee Ringo is more athlete than corner right now, and who better to coach him up than Mike Tomlin? At a rocked-up 6’2″ and 210 pounds, he resembles a linebacker more than a defensive back but also has the speed to carry routes vertically. If Tomlin and Co. can equip him with the coverage techniques to succeed, Ringo will far outproduce his draft slot.

18) Detroit Lions: Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh

Defensive tackles that check in at 6’0″ and 280 pounds usually struggle to win, even at the collegiate level. But Calijah Kancey is more than his size profile, using his natural leverage and incinerating get-off to blow by interior lineman into the backfield.

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa

Lukas Van Ness is one of the most powerful defenders in the 2023 NFL Draft, yet he doesn’t lack in the athleticism department. So why didn’t he start at Iowa? That’s a question for the Hawkeyes coaching staff because Van Ness hit the genetic lottery and has lived up to his “Hercules” nickname when on the field.

20) Seattle Seahawks: Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State

We all knew Tariq Woolen was an athletic freak at CB, but no one knew he’d hit the ground running the way he did as a rookie. Slotting Joey Porter Jr. across from him would give opposing passing attacks fits on the outside.

21) Los Angeles Chargers: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College

Kellen Moore + Justin Herbert + Zay Flowers = fireworks. The Chargers’ offense has severely lacked a downfield element under Joe Lombardi’s direction. With Moore and Flowers in the fold, Herbert could enjoy his best season yet. But “Big Play Zay” isn’t just a vertical threat, as his horizontal agility makes him a weapon underneath.

22) Baltimore Ravens: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

Were it not for missed time due to a nagging hamstring injury, Jaxon Smith-Njigba would likely be viewed as a lock for the top 20 picks. Alas, here we are, explaining why the Ravens should select him at No. 22. JSN is a walking highlight reel from the slot, owning natural hands and route-running acumen to become a QB’s favorite target.

23) Minnesota Vikings: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina

Letting go of former DC Ed Donatell isn’t going to fix everything wrong with Minnesota’s defense. Although he called a predictable and frankly vanilla defense based on Cover 6, Donatell didn’t have the corners needed to vary his coverages. Cam Smith comes stocked with the fluidity, physicality, and instincts for the Vikings’ next coordinator to run a diverse scheme.

24) Jacksonville Jaguars: Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah

Jacksonville’s cornerback room is a bit barren, but Darious Williams and Tyson Campbell are solid starters. Drafting Clark Phillips III as a stellar slot CB allows the Jags to put Williams on the outside, where he thrived with the Rams.

25) New York Giants: Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

Starting Jaylon Smith and Jarrad Davis at linebacker in the year 2023 is criminal neglect. Trenton Simpson owns a similar build to Dallas’ Micah Parsons, but instead of being an elite pass rusher, he’s an elite coverage defender at the second level.

26) Dallas Cowboys: Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech

Although the Cowboys could snag a running back or receiver here, building in the trenches with a potential top-10 pick is too enticing. Tyree Wilson can set the edge across from Micah Parsons and is only scraping his pass-rush ceiling with his suffocating wingspan.

27) Buffalo Bills: Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina

Gabe Davis is a solid deep threat, and Stefon Diggs is one of the best all-around receivers in the league. Still, the Bills have sorely missed a prime Cole Beasley-esque slot receiver that routinely gets open. That’s exactly where Josh Downs steps in, pouring fuel on the fire that is Buffalo’s offense.

28) New Orleans Saints (From SF via Mia via DEN): BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU

With newfound capital following the Sean Payton trade to Denver, the Saints have joined the first-round party. They’d be wise to let EDGE Marcus Davenport walk if he’s offered a $20+ million contract, BJ Ojulari wins with speed and active hands off the edge and has tormented SEC tackles all three years at LSU.

29) Cincinnati Bengals: Cody Mauch, OL, North Dakota State

Well, Bengals, here we are again. Of course, you can’t overhaul an entire offensive line in one offseason, although Cincy gave it a valiant effort last year. In fact, were it not for injuries, the AFC Championship may have looked a lot different.

MORE: Top 10 OTs in the 2023 NFL Draft

Regardless, Cody Mauch brings tackle/guard versatility and plays with one of the meanest mean streaks you’ll see from an offensive lineman.

30) Kansas City Chiefs: Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

Whether you are high or low on Bryan Bresee as a draft prospect, we can all respect his resolve through the unimaginable hardship he faced at Clemson. On the field, the 6’5″, 300-pound DT would make for an excellent running mate for Chris Jones, who, as we saw Sunday, is already his own one-man wrecking crew.

31) Philadelphia Eagles: Brian Branch, DB, Alabama

The Eagles’ defense has been key to their success this season, and replenishing talent in the backfield is a must. Brian Branch was tailor-made for the slot but was just as effective at safety for the Crimson Tide. You want him near the ball as much as possible, and he serves as an insurance policy for C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

Source link

Continue Reading


Antoine Green, John Ojukwu Finish Strong




LAS VEGAS — The 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl moved into the fourth and final practice on Tuesday as 2023 NFL Draft prospects continue to try and impress NFL scouts and decision-makers. Let’s take a look at the East Team highlights from Tuesday’s practice.

Tuesday’s Shrine Bowl Practice Report Headlined by John Ojukwu and Antoine Green

It was the final practice of Shrine Bowl week, and it didn’t disappoint — at least, not for a few opportunistic prospects.

The last practice before the game is often more of a walkthrough, and such was the case today. The tempo was a little slower. There was an alleviated sense of pressure, as players worked to preserve themselves ahead of the main event. But nonetheless, several prospects took advantage of their chance to end on a high note.

The top performers of the day were both rostered on the offensive side of the ball. Many players had their bright moments, but Boise State offensive tackle John Ojukwu and North Carolina wide receiver Antoine Green were both truly phenomenal in the week’s final action.

What’s exciting about Ojukwu and Green ending on a high note is that both prospects have the natural tools. Ojukwu is an athletic 6’5 1/2″, 317-pound tackle with 34 3/8″ arms, 10 5/8″ hands, and a wingspan over seven feet. Green, meanwhile, is an explosive long-strider at 6’2″, 201 pounds, with arms nearly 33″ long.

Ojukwu, in particular, has dominating size. And it’s not hyperbole to say he was dominant on Tuesday. He kicked off the day with a brutal pancake in 1-on-1 run-blocking drills, swallowing up his man against the turf. Later in 1-on-1s, he effortlessly directed Ochaun Mathis outside the pocket with smooth footwork, good knee bend, and active hands.

MORE: 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl QB Rankings

Synergy was a common theme for Ojukwu in pass protection, which is very encouraging given that he struggled with balance earlier in the week. In team drills, he locked up multiple rushers with fast, steady feet and independent hands, including Derek Parish — a smaller, faster type of rusher that Ojukwu can struggle to lower his pads for.

It’s only one practice, and there weren’t as many reps to go around today. But every time Ojukwu came onto the field, he did something great. With his size, if he can continue to maintain leverage, keep his technique sound, and maximize his length with hand usage, he can be a very good player.

Just like Ojukwu, Green was opportunistic, both in 1-on-1s and team drills. He kicked off the day on an extremely strong note, beating the arguable East Team MVP Kei’Trel Clark on an end-zone fade. Green set up the route with smooth throttle control, then exploded to the corner and made a fantastic focus catch with Clark crowding him in recovery.

Later in the practice, Green won again in team drills, this time against Cincinnati’s Arquon Bush. Green’s explosive athleticism and length proved to be a deadly combination for opposing cornerbacks, but he’s very good at using pace adjustments to make the best use of space.

Green flashed all week, but Tuesday was his most complete performance yet. He won’t go nearly as high as his teammate Josh Downs in the 2023 NFL Draft, but there’s a good chance he upped his stock a fair amount in Las Vegas.

Other Standouts From Tuesday’s East Practice

One of the week’s biggest standouts on the East defense was Texas’ Moro Ojomo, who didn’t slow down on Tuesday. Right away, in 1-on-1s, Ojomo led off with a bulldozing display against UCLA’s Jon Gaines II. Gaines has been solid all week, but Ojomo’s elite power element was too much for him.

Ojomo’s ability to extend and drive with brutal physicality made him money this week, and winning against Gaines, in particular, was no small task. Wake Forest’s Kobie Turner also notched a win against Gaines in 1-on-1s, using his flexibility and active hands to splice around the interior blocker.

Elsewhere on the defense, Lance Boykin stood out, finally converting on his size with two picks. His non-elite athleticism was exposed at times throughout the week, but he’s undoubtedly a smart defender with actionable ball skills. And at 6’2″, 202 pounds, with arms over 32″, he has the length to squeeze passing windows and hawk on risky throws.

MORE: 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl — How To Watch, Start Time, Streaming, and More

Boykin wasn’t the only defensive back to finish strong after an inconsistent week. Boise State’s Tyreque Jones also had a nice play during team drills. Managing space in the end zone, he was able to track the quarterback’s eyes on the scramble drill and blast Mitchell Tinsley at the catch point on a lofted end-zone throw, forcing an incompletion.

Jones needs to improve his man technique, as his 1-on-1s made clear. That said, his length and physicality serve as valuable foundational traits.

All these names aside, the strongest performer past the top two was Maryland WR Jacob Copeland. Copeland is clearly a high-energy athlete who can separate independently. Beyond that, on Tuesday, he was able to consistently convert on catches by extending beyond his frame. He beat both D’Shawn Jamison and Nehemiah Shelton in coverage, using his athleticism to create space and his coordination to finish.

Quick Hitters

  • It was a rough week for Western Kentucky’s Brodric Martin overall, but he did have a nice moment in 1-on-1s against Tennessee’s Jerome Carvin, using his heavy hands to club the interior blocker aside. Martin’s length can be overwhelming when he applies it downhill.
  • Dante Stills upped his win count on Tuesday. He used his athleticism, flexibility, and motor to rip past multiple blockers, including Oregon’s Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu. One blocker got the better of Stills, however: Maryland’s Spencer Anderson. Anderson is well-leveraged and was able to corral Stills with a wide base and strong, active hands.
  • BJ Thompson’s combination of length and explosiveness gave blockers trouble all week. But when he faced off against Louisville’s Trevor Reid, Reid was able to stonewall him in 1-on-1s with forceful, well-timed hands. Consistency has been an issue at times for Reid, whose pad level can be streaky. But when he’s on, Thompson has the talent to lock down rushers.
  • Earl Bostick Jr.’s week was up and down, but the Kansas product had a monumental win against Ikenna Enechukwu, a lineman who can be a handful with his raw traits. On that rep, Bostick was able to effectively square up and latch against Enechukwu, and his strength showed up when properly applied.
  • Nehemiah Shelton took his lumps all week. However, he achieved a confidence-building victory in 1-on-1s over South Carolina State’s Shaquan Davis. Davis has a notable size advantage over Shelton, but with his proportional length (32″ arms at 6’0″, 186 pounds), Shelton had the disruption radius and physicality to contest Davis at the catch point. Davis would later rebound, however, with a great end-zone grab in the corner.
  • As mentioned earlier, Ojomo’s power was once again nearly overwhelming for blockers. One offensive lineman, however, was able to latch and absorb against Ojomo. That blocker was Luke Haggard. Haggard is on the lighter side, but he displayed surprising core strength at under 300 pounds, locking down Ojomo by keeping him within his frame.

Source link

Continue Reading


Jake Haener and Max Duggan Shine, Tyson Bagent Does Not




MOBILE, Ala. — Day 1 of the 2023 Senior Bowl is in the books, and the first practice was predictably uneven. That goes for the teams in general and the quarterbacks in particular. No one was great, but some were certainly better than others.

Senior Bowl Monday Practice Report: Ranking the Quarterbacks

Seven quarterbacks are in town this week, but just five practiced Tuesday: Jaren Hall (BYU), Jake Haener (Fresno State), Clayton Tune (Houston), Tyson Bagent (Shepherd), and Max Duggan (TCU).

Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker is still recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, and Louisville’s Malik Cunningham sat out practice Tuesday with an illness.

Here’s a rundown, in order of merit, of the five who did practice.

Max Duggan, TCU

The closest thing the 2023 Senior Bowl has to a star quarterback certainly played like one Tuesday. Duggan had the most complete day of the quintet, completing all five of his attempts in team drills for 69 nice yards.

He played on time and in rhythm, displaying more than enough arm strength to play on the next level.

Duggan didn’t have a perfect day, however. He threw a bad pick during 7-on-7 drills. But all in all, a good day for a prospect (QB12 on PFN’s Big Board) who needs a lot of them over the next three months.

Jake Haener, Fresno State

Haener helped himself significantly and was the best of the National Team’s quarterbacks in the day’s early-practice window.

After connecting on six of his attempts in 7-on-7s, Haener stayed hot in team drills. He connected on 5 of 8 passes for 68 yards. One of his incompletions should have been a pick (Indiana’s Cam Jones dropped a ball thrown directly at him), but that was really his only bad throw of the day. Haener had great pace on his throws, zipping passes into tight windows.

MORE: BYU WR Puka Nacua Steals Show at 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl

Haener — the 6-foot, 208-pound 23-year-old — entered the week as PFN’s QB6 and a projected fourth-round pick. But if he can string together three more good days here, he could very easily force his way into the Top 100.

In 32 games at both Washington and Fresno State, Haener completed 68.2% of his passes for 9,120 yards, 68 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, and an 8.4 yards-per-attempt average.

Jaren Hall, BYU

Nothing was easy for Hall (PFN’s QB7), who was sacked twice and errant on throws when given time enough to attempt them.

Whoever takes the 24-year-old former baseball player will be drafting on potential, but Hall could have done more to convince team execs who might be wary of taking another BYU athlete who happens to play quarterback.

Hall (6-0, 211) on Tuesday completed just three of eight passes in team drills — a stat line skewed by drops and batted passes — and wasn’t much better in 7-on-7s. It would have been nice to see him throw to the second and third levels a bit more. His longest completion was 12 yards.

He’s certainly capable of doing so. Hall averaged 8.6 yards per attempt in college.

Clayton Tune, Houston

Tuesday was not the day Tune had hoped for. He averaged less than five yards per attempt in 7-on-7 drills and two yards per attempt in team drills.

Checkdown Clayton, he was.

But Tune — our QB8 who was first-team all-conference his final year at Houston — had one thing going for him Tuesday:

He was not Tyson Bagent.

Tyson Bagent, Shepherd

Bagent, the Division II superstar who threw more touchdowns (159) than any player in college football history, was not ready for prime time. Or the mid-afternoon, apparently.

He threw two picks in 1-on-1s, missed a wide open Rashee Rice for a touchdown in 7-on-7s, and threw behind a receiver badly in team drills.

We all knew the learning curve is going to be steep for Bagent. We just didn’t know it would be this steep.

Source link

Continue Reading