Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Foles coming up short at Senior practices
By ESPN.com staff
The Senior Bowl offers a prospect a chance to move up NFL draft charts, and many scouts and GMs are looking at the QB pecking order behind Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin III. That's where Arizona's Nick Foles has a chance to land.
But Foles hasn't made a big first impression at Senior Bowl practices, according to Todd McShay.
"Plenty of NFL talent evaluators I talked to entering the week named Foles as a player to watch, but he has failed to blow scouts and front-office types away. He simply hasn't shown anything over the first two days here that we haven't already seen on tape, and he's fallen short of the performance level in some of his best games from 2011.
"Foles has been a little less consistent with his accuracy, and as we've seen in the past he tends to do a lot of checking down and dumping off. That two-day practice showing alone isn't enough to change Foles' entire evaluation, but after watching things up close I've been surprised how much better [Oklahoma State's Brandon] Weeden's performance has been."
Another former Wildcat has made an impression — in good ways and bad ways — and that's Foles' top target, Juron Criner.
Arizona WR Juron Criner had a hard time creating separation and didn't show much explosiveness out of breaks, but he caught everything thrown his way. Criner was excellent on Day 2 with his ability to extend his arms and snatch balls out of the air.
Some other Pac-12 players made an impression.
From the Philadelphia Eagles Blog, two Pac-12 players moved up:
Marvin Jones/WR/Cal: Jones, 6-2, 198, was a reliable wideout all through his college career and today showed he has the skills to play at the next level. Jones ran crisp, precise routes which enabled him to get separation from defenders. He also displayed the ability to turn it on with a single step and beat defenders in the deep field. Jones caught everything thrown in his direction and has scouts believing he’ll be a solid fit as a third wide out in the NFL.
Senio Kelemete/OL/Washington: Kelemete looked like the most athletic offensive lineman on the field today and did a great job handling the left tackle spot, where he spent the day. He moves his feet well, displays terrific quickness and handled the speed rushers that lined up against him. The big question about Kelemete is whether his 6-3 ? frame will allow him to play left tackle at the next level or whether he’ll be forced to move to guard.
On the downside, there was Utah OT Tony Bergstrom and Washington RB Chris Polk:
Tony Bergstrom/OL/Utah: Bergstrom, 6-5, 315, looked outclassed on a number of snaps today and was consistently beaten by defensive tackles. He showed little in the way of balance, strength or the ability to stay on his feet.
Chris Polk/RB/Washington: Polk has been running hard on the inside yet shows no elusiveness or creativity. He gets high in his stance and on several occasions during Tuesday practice was stopped dead in his tracks by defenders and showed no ability to bounce around piles or elude would-be tacklers.
Also, Huskies DT Alameda Ta'amu didn't impress CBS draft guru Rob Rang:
The duo stood in strong contrast to Washington's Alameda Ta'amu and Boise State's Billy Winn, each of whom have been disappointments, thus far. Ta'amu is a powerful run plugger sure to intrigue 3-4 teams looking for a nose guard. His power and mass (6-2, 341) makes him a classic block-eater but his lack of any type of pass rush ability is painfully apparent during drills. If his opponent has the anchor and core flexibility to handle Ta'amu's bull rush, the big Husky can offer little else. Winn, who was used inside and out while with the Broncos, may be proving himself to be a 'tweener with a lackluster performance, thus far. He hasn't shown the agility to slip blocks nor the power to push the pocket.
But, as it's important to note, NFL beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and impressions will go up and down during the week. Consider this on Ta'amu.
Watching Washington DT Alameda Ta’amu, it’s really impressive the kind of raw power he possesses when asked to simply overwhelm opposing lineman through contact. He also has a sneaky quick set of hands when trying to shed and can keep himself clean. However, he has a tough time keeping his pad level down through contact and far too often is easy to block because of it.
As a person who has covered multiple Senior Bowls, I can tell you that impressions are complicated. You stand at practice and you can only focus on one position group at a time. You watch 10 plays here. You watch 10 plays there. The 10 plays you see with either could end up being far different than the 10 plays that follow when you move on. The same with the NFL guys you chat with. And those guys often don't want to show their cards anyway.
So the analysis you read at the end of the week rather than the beginning tends to be more complete.