Reese’s Senior Bowl Review – North Team

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Jan 25, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad running back David Fluellen of Toledo (34) against the South squad during the second quarter at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Linemen

Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh – Donald answered every question about level of competition and if he could continue dominating at the highest level.  Put on a clinic against some of the best in all of college football this year and made it look easy.  If he had the measurables of a prototypical defensive tackle, there would be more buzz, but he was dominant from start to finish.

Ra’Shede Hagmen, Minnesota – He was the showstopper at the weigh-in.  Along with Seantrel Henderson, he was one of the most imposing players there.  Hageman is raw, but his athleticism is unreal and it just seems hard to imagine that a team does not fall in love with his potential and takes him off the board really early.

Da’Quan Jones, Penn State – Just like with his tape, he seems to be as good as his pad level.  When he plays low, he wins and looks great.  The other times…

Trent Murphy, Stanford – I like him better as a defensive end.  I have heard others like him better as an outside linebacker.  He is definitely not too small to play defensive end.

I still wish he would trust his power more and use what has been a good bull rush, but the potential is there for him to really fill out that frame, especially in his legs, which could make him a nasty player at the next level.

Marcus Smith, Louisville – Another player who was unexpectedly flat in Mobile.  He is a big player though and perhaps his training had him out of whack.  I am not sure if he added weight, but he looked like he might have been carrying heavy.  Smith was far more impressive on tape, but had a quiet week.


Chris Borland, Wisconsin – Borland is incredibly strong.  He looks like the stereotypical Olympic style wrestler.  Borland also showed up in pass coverage and while he does not look like a dynamic threat in that area, he at least was effective in short range and quick hitting plays.  He had a good week, but I still question how high he can go with his skill set.

Chris Kirksey, Iowa – Kirksey may have been as unheralded a big school player as was in Mobile, but he made plays every single day that had people talking.  Both as a run defender and in pass coverage, he is certainly someone the draft community is clamoring to find tape to watch.  Looks like a case of a player who the NFL was highly aware of and the media is late on seeing.

Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA – Zumwalt may have been the most vocal of any player on either team.  He was easily heard from the stands and the only person more hired up from the hit by Ahmad Dixon was Zumwalt.  It would not be a huge surprise if he was extremely popular with coaches.  He strikes me as a player that has to be calmed down during the game at times, which is a nice problem to have.

Defensive Backs

Deone Bucannon, Washington State – Physically impressive and a smart, personable guy.  It would not be a surprise if his stock shot up on media boards as he was sort of hiding in Pullman for the Cougars.  The secret is out and he could end up going quite high.  Bucannon looked more like a linebacker than Telvin Smith.

Pierre Desir, Lindenwood – One of the more consistent performers of the week.  His size and length are legitimate and he has shown good hips and the ability to react well in coverage.

Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska – Another one where people who did not know enough about him before will go back and look at him now.  His athleticism is impressive and his experience as a receiver is beneficial.

Marqueston Huff, Wyoming – Huff has a nice skillset and could play both corner and safety.  He really looked the part athletically.  Whenever his playing career ends, the Wyoming football program would be smart to hire Huff as some sort of ambassador.  He could not stop saying positive things about that school and program.  Huff also said the best quarterback he faced this year was Derek Carr without question.

Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois – Ward seemed to be the only true safety that made it clear he can be a huge asset in coverage.  It does not mean that others cannot, but he showed he definitely can.  Being able to play side by side with the rest of the safeties only served to help him stand out in that respect.