Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Franklin leading Pac-12 Senior Bowl charge
By Ted Miller
ESPN Insider Kevin Weidl's initial report from the Senior Bowl's North team's practice said UCLA's Johnathan Franklin is the class of the running backs, while Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer didn't start fast.
Weidl said this about Franklin: "[He] had the best day of the running backs. He was sudden out of his routes, had good burst and caught the ball well."
And on Poyer: "Poyer had no burst out of his breaks."
There was this on Oregon offensive lineman Kyle Long:
Oregon's Kyle Long is raw. He needs a lot of work, but he has a lot of tools to work with. He's athletic with natural power and a flexible lower half. He's a step late -- it's a little fast for him now, but you have to have patience because he has the talent, but he needs to be molded and worked with. The biggest thing with Long is how has he progressed during the week.
As for the South team, that's where the Bay Area teams -- Cal and Stanford -- ended up. It doesn't appear that outside linebacker Chase Thomas or running back Stepfan Taylor overly impressed Todd McShay and Steve Muench on Day 1.
Stanford OLB Chase Thomas doesn't appear to use his hands well when trying to jam the tight end. It's something to keep an eye on as the week progresses. Thomas reads quarterbacks well at times, jumps well and gets his hands up. He did a good job of breaking up a pass in the underneath zone. He's a one-gap run defender who can win with quickness but also get knocked off course by a strong punch.
Stanford's Stepfan Taylor makes routine catches look routine and struggles with tougher catches. He also had a tough time locating the ball, and dropped a pass thrown to his back shoulder in flat. He has good patience and vision, but is an average route runner with average burst.
If you read here, you'll see that Long, USC safety T.J. McDonald and UCLA D-lineman Datone Jones looked good at the weigh-in.
As for the players participating, here's the Pac-12 list.
North: Long; Franklin; Poyer; Jones; McDonald; Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon; Nick Kasa, TE, Colorado; Jeff Locke, P, UCLA; Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington; Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State;
South: Thomas; Taylor; Brian Schwenke, OL, California; Marc Anthony, CB, California.
Utah DT Star Lotulelei, a sure early first-round pick, opted not to play.
McShay notes that Oregon DE Dion Jordan and Oregon LB Kiko Alonso are not participating due to injury, the same for USC QB Matt Barkley. He also noted that USC C Khaled Holmes stood up the Senior Bowl with less than 72 hours' notice.