Scouts Inc. is taking in practices and evaluating NFL prospects ahead of the 2012 East-West Shrine Game, and here's what we're seeing early on Day 2:
Our colleague Todd McShay noted in Tuesday's Shrine Game Buzz that Coastal Carolina CB Josh Norman is one of the under-the-radar players boosting his stock at this year's East-West Shrine Game. Norman continued his strong showing on Wednesday.
Norman has a good frame (6-foot-0⅜, 203 pounds) and is fluid for his size, and he picked off a pair of passes this morning. He has good strength as well, and scouts here are buzzing about his potential. After finishing the season looking like a free-agent prospect, Norman could very well be in the mid-rounds conversation by the time draft weekend rolls around.
Ups and downs for QBs
Wednesday was a tough day for Southern Miss QB Austin Davis, who made some bad decisions and threw three interceptions. He threw one ball up for grabs with pressure in his face, allowing Central Florida LB Josh Linam to run under it, and Davis was also inaccurate throwing fades in the end zone.
And the fact that he is constantly checking down could be an indication Davis is being cautious and trying to protect against mistakes. Overall, he's not doing much to get himself off the fringe and into the late rounds.
Tennessee-Chattanooga QB B.J. Coleman, on the other hand, is taking some chances downfield and showing a live arm. He seems to be pressing a bit and needs to learn to take some heat off certain passes, but Coleman has good physical tools and could be an attractive developmental prospect.
More of the same from WRs
Michigan State's B.J. Cunningham continues to compete hard and show strong, consistent hands. Meanwhile, A.J. Jenkins of Illinois did an excellent job keeping his feet inbounds on passes in the end zone and showed the ability to shake press coverage in getting open quickly.
East Carolina's Lance Lewis displayed a willingness to work the middle and did not have any drops, but he caught most passes with his body and needs to show better hands. Miami's Laron Byrd is improving, though, and did an excellent job high-pointing the ball over Presbyterian CB Justin Bethel and making a catch in the corner of the end zone.
Mixed bags for CBs
East Carolina CB Emanuel Davis looked good on Wednesday, getting good jams on receivers at the line of scrimmage, then keeping his feet under him and staying with receivers in their routes. It was just the opposite for North Carolina CB Charles Brown, who also got good jams but had trouble keeping his balance and allowed receivers to recover. Brown was also unable to recover after biting on a double move.
Elsewhere, Hampton's Micah Pellerin made a nice read on an out route, drove on the ball and picked it off.... Notre Dame's Robert Blanton has looked good at times, but he continues to be too physical in coverage and will not get away with that at the next level.... South Florida's Jerrell Young looked stiff and lacked explosiveness, and he did not show the violent hands necessary to make plays on the ball.
Two offensive linemen stand out
South Florida G Jeremiah Warren does not have great athletic ability or lateral agility, which causes him to struggle in space, but he showed good balance and plays with his feet under him. Warren has a massive frame (6-2⅞, 336), displayed a strong punch, and shows the ability to get movement and sustain in the run game when he plays with leverage. He also slid is feet well in one-on-one drills and used his long arms well, and Warren could be working his way into the later rounds.
California (Pa.) G Rishaw Johnson also flashed an explosive punch, and he has a thick, powerful lower half. He needs work in terms of technique, and a lack of balance causes him to fall off some blocks, but Johnson has some tools to work with. If he can show better ability to play in space he'll help solidify his mid-rounds standing.
Front-seven prospects look good
Miami DT Micanor Regis had a good day, and at 6-2⅝ and 309 pounds he has the look of a prototypical 4-3 nose tackle. Regis is put together well, has violent hands and showed quickness off the ball. He got good initial surge and gave effort in pursuit, and Micanor was able to win some one-on-one matchups with his hands. He is looking like might go in the mid-to-late rounds.
The defensive linemen with the most upside appears to be Regina (Canada) DT Akiem Hicks, who got off the ball quickly, flashed a good punch and showed some quick-twitch athleticism. He is raw as a pass-rusher, but Hicks has long arms and quick hands, and at 6-4 and 324 pounds he has the length, power and tools to be an intriguing prospect.
Wake Forest OLB Kyle Wilber appears to have a slender build at first glance thanks to a lean lower half, but he carries 249 pounds on his 6-foot-3⅝ frame and has the look of a decent 3-4 outside linebacker. Wilber did a good job extending his arms and using his hands to keep blockers off his frame, and he showed some natural pass-rush ability in one-on-one drills.
Wilber can be engulfed at the point of attack by more massive offensive linemen, but he has range and instincts, and given his experience playing as a stand-up linebacker at times Wilber is solidifying his standing in the late-fourth or early-fifth-round area.