Senior Bowl practice report: Day 2
The ultra-quick Dexter McCluster is drawing comparisons to Leon Washington
Ohio's Taylor Price has the requisite size and speed of a top-flight wideout
MOBILE, Ala. -- The pace picked up on Tuesday, the second day of Senior Bowl practice. There were several outstanding performances of note, as a number of lesser-known NFL prospects proved to scouts they belonged on the field against better competition. Here are some of the highlights from players rising up draft boards or heading in the other direction:
Dexter McCluster/RB/Mississippi: McCluster has a slight build at 5-foot-8 and 165-pounds, yet plays big. He was one of the best players on the field Tuesday. He displayed a darting style on the inside and ran hard between the tackles. McCluster is also fast and consistently beat defenders around the corner or made big receptions downfield as a pass catcher. He's being compared favorably to Leon Washington, the former Pro Bowl player from the Jets.
Taylor Price/WR/Ohio: Price has put together two outstanding days of practice. He's a speedster (sub-4.4 in the 40) and plays to that time. Price quickly released off the line, ran good routes and constantly got separation from opponents. He's also caught everything thrown his way. Several teams have Price rated as a top-60 pick in April's draft.
Mardy Gilyard/WR/Cincinnati: Gilyard is another receiver that has made his mark in Mobile. He also runs good routes and consistently finds a way to get free from defenders. Gilyard is both quick and fast and has made a number of solid receptions both days.
Shawn Lauvao/G/Arizona State: Lauvao has been playing his more natural position, offensive guard, after spending his senior season at left tackle for the Sun Devils. He's looked outstanding and has been applauded by coaches on a number of occasions. He rather easily handled the highly rated Jared Odrick of Penn State in drills, then later showed his athleticism in scrimmage by annihilating several linebackers when asked to block on the move.
Alex Carrington/DE/Arkansas State: Carrington entered the game branded as a quick athlete who lacked the strength to beat larger blockers. Thus far, he's quelled that criticism. Carrington has displayed a complete game over the first two days and has run over blockers besides beating them off the corner. Carrington beat the highly rated Mike Iupati in drills and was loudly commended by coaches on the field.
Tyson Aluala/DT/California: Aluala worked hard, played with good technique and showed a lot of power. He easily held the point or defeated blocks all day. Aluala has impressed scouts who feel he has the potential to line up at defensive tackle or as a 2-gap end.
Joique Bell/RB/Wayne State: The small-school prospect has turned heads since stepping on the field. He broke several long runs on Tuesday, displaying outstanding vision and a burst. Bell ran hard on the inside and has competed well all week.
Kyle Wilson/CB/Boise State: Wilson was feisty from the start of the day, battling receivers and breaking up several throws. He's very quick and plays the cornerback position with a degree of suddenness. Wilson has definitely established himself as one of the better cornerbacks from the senior class.
Colin Peek/TE/Alabama: Peek is not the best athlete on the field nor the strongest, yet all he's done this week is make plays. He's done a terrific job as a blocker, taking on then handling larger opponents. Peek also made a number of big receptions, beating defenders into the secondary then coming away with the ball. Peek has improved his draft stock at least a round this week.
J.D. Walton/C/Baylor: Walton really stepped up his play on Tuesday after a slow start on Monday. He blocked with great fundamentals and controlled opponents at the line of scrimmage besides displaying the ability to effectively block on the move. The top spot at center from the senior class is up for grabs, and Walton is stating his case.
Taylor Mays/S/USC: Mays checked in at a chiseled 231 pounds, but may be a little too big for the safety position. He looked stiff and mechanical with his defensive back fundamentals and really showed limited skills in pass coverage drills. Teams may start projecting Mays to outside linebacker based on his inability to make plays in centerfield.
Darryl Sharpton/LB/Miami (Fla.): Sharpton struggled all day and showed few skills in coverage, besides getting blocked from the action on a continuous basis. He was consistently beaten in drills and chased the action rather and made few plays.
Dekoda Watson/LB/Florida State: Watson also struggled throughout the day. He gave up a lot of receptions in coverage drills and was very slow to react to plays all day. Watson turned in a disappointing senior campaign and has continued that trend in the post season.
Sean Canfield/QB/Oregon State: Canfield threw the ball with poor passing fundamentals and showed marginal arm strength. He sprayed passes throughout the day and really struggled to accurately hit receivers in stride. Canfield was a late riser after a terrific senior campaign, yet has done nothing to establish himself as a draft pick the past two days.
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