Reese’s Senior Bowl Review – North Team

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Jan 25, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; A general view during the first half of a game between the South squad and the North squad at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Reese’s Senior Bowl has come to an end, so it is time to take a look at some of the notes I jotted down as I was in Mobile as well as what I saw going back and looking at the TV coverage.

North Team


Tajh Boyd, Clemson – Has an aura and a presence about him that just draws people to him.  Boyd has some detractors suggesting he might not even be drafted, but still is someone that people notice when he enters a room, has the million dollar smile and really knows how to carry himself.

Physically, he is short and thickly built, which are nothing new.  He had some problems with accuracy and even his release point seemed to vary at times.  Boyd may have been the best of the North quarterbacks but he never looked comfortable on the field.

Stephen Morris, Miami(FL) – Smaller in person than expected.  He is slight and lean.  It is almost like watching Pedro Martinez pitch with how much power he is able to generate on his throws despite having a small body (relative to the other quarterbacks).

Morris is unbelievably frustrating and the reason is because he will make throws that make it easy to write him off, then throws a picture perfect NFL pass that makes me wonder if he cannot be developed.  The talent is undeniable, but figuring out how to consistently get it out of him is the issue.  The other thing that stood out with Morris is how far the ball goes behind him when he throws.  It is not a big deal, but it is noticeable how far he reaches back and the way the ball is vulnerable back there.

Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech – Because of the group of quarterbacks in his group but the Senior Bowl as a whole, Thomas’s physical stature stood out even more than it normally does.  On physical tools, he has it all.  Size, speed, strength and the ability to drive the ball, but he throws every single pass the exact same way.  They are all line drives coming at full speed, which look great when they work, but leave almost no room for error when they miss.

Running Back

Charles Sims, West Virginia – Sims is a technician as a running back.  He was a great blocker, caught the ball well and could run it.  His burst forward never seems anything more than average and he actually looks quicker and more dynamic when he makes jump cuts.  Sims continues to look, to me, as a rotational back that is extremely dependable but is not someone likely to take over many games.

David Fluellen, Toledo – Of the North backs, Fluellen was the most intriguing to me.  He got better as the week went on in pass protection, but as a pure runner, I came away unconvinced why he is any worse than Sims.  And given his added size and strength, he might offer more in that department.  I have not had a chance to watch his tape from this year, but I am looking forward to it.

James White, Wisconsin – Has a mousy quality to him because he was the smallest back of the group.  And it just seems like whether in Madison or in the Senior Bowl, he was never going to get the credit he deserves for whatever reason.  Blocking was not easy for him, but he was able to survive.  As a runner and catching the ball on screens, had a nice little burst.

Wide Receivers

Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin – Shrunk just over an inch at the weigh-in.  Showed why he was able to get open for the Badgers against top competition this year.  He really runs routes well.

Michael Campanaro, Wake Forest – Shrunk over an inch and a half, but I am not convinced that actually is not a positive for him.  It might actually help him when it comes to surviving in the slot in the NFL.  Campanaro is one giant muscle and he was completely recovered from the separated shoulder.  Tremendous feet and really excels laterally as a route runner.  He seems to need to lean a little more when he makes cuts back to the football, but did everything I expected him to do this week.

Kain Colter, Northwestern – Colter looked like a wide receiver, which is more than anyone could say about Denard Robinson last year in a similar position.  Beyond that, Colter did nothing to really stand out as a player.

Shaq Evans, UCLA – Evans is another player I have not seen on tape.  In person, he was impressive.  Nice build with broad shoulders, and showed strength and precision in route running.  I was not expecting anyone on the North roster keep up with Jared Abbrederis in that respect, but he did a nice job.  Sadly, he left with an injury but it was precautionary.

Robert Herron, Wyoming – His speed was impressive and he showed how well he can get open, which were not surprises.  Herron seemed to press which caused him to drop the ball and get in a funk he had trouble leaving.  In watching him, I did notice he had loud hands when he was catching the football which would suggest he is getting too much palm on the ball, which could be part of the problem.  It was unusual because he has shown good hands in playing football in Laramie, Wyoming which is an unforgiving environment in terms of cold and wind.

Josh Huff, Oregon – Huff competed as hard as anyone on a consistent basis this week.  He was able to win at a number of different areas of the field and he kept flashing talent.  The North quarterbacks kept looking for him.  I knew he could block from his tape, but was pleasantly surprised with just how much he was able to do as a receiver this week.

Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State – Might have been the most boring receiver there, for the right and wrong reasons.  He never appeared to do anything wrong, but never did anything extraordinary either.  To his credit, he never looked negatively impacted by the competition.

Tight Ends

C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa – He shrunk in the weigh-in by a little over an inch, but made up for it on the field, showed off tremendous length.  His blocking was a given and he was great there but he definitely showed some significant upside as a pass catcher.

Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin – He did not ‘wow’ me physically, but seemed to keep making plays during the week.  Pedersen may be best suited to play as an H-Back but he will block and catches the ball well.

Offensive Line

Seantrel Henderson, Miami(FL) – Looks like Atlas, physically.  I came expecting him to dominate this week and reenergize his stock for the NFL Draft.  Did not happen and my impression, fairly or not, is I am not all that convinced Henderson really likes football.  His tools and potential are undeniable, but it goes as far as he wants.

Zach Martin, Notre Dame – Seemed to have the best technique of any linemen there and it really proved valuable in this venue.  While a number of guys were exposed because they are still learning, Martin excelled and while he was never dominant, he was consistently effective.

Cyril Richardson, Baylor – It was surprising how soft he looked at the weigh-in.  Still, he is another giant of a man.  He largely showed what he has all season.  There is a ton of potential there but he is simply not polished and it proved costly this week.

Weston Richburg, Colorado State – He seems to fit every cliché when it comes to motor and effort, but that is nothing new from his tape.  In the minds of those around Mobile, many of them came away wondering if he was not the top center in the draft this year.  Coaches will love his attitude and effort.