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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Senior Bowl: Pac-12 shines on Day 2

By Ted Miller

Todd McShay, Kevin Weidl and Steve Muench had plenty of plaudits for Pac-12 players during Day 2 of Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala., most particularly a UCLA duo.

The ESPN draft gurus seemed to be most impressed with UCLA DE Datone Jones in their review of North team practices , calling him "the most consistently disruptive defensive lineman on the field."

For those of us who wrote about Jones as a potential star for the Bruins, this continues a certain degree of vindication.

Another former Bruin stood out: RB Johnathan Franklin, whom McShay, Weidl and Muench called, "the best of the backs, mostly because he was good in pass protection." The also said his quickness stood out.

This take was seconded by an observer from CBS, by the way, which called Franklin "the consensus top back on the North squad."

Not far behind, though, was Oregon's Kenjon Barner, who also had a good day.

Two other Pac-12 players impressed at North practice: Oregon State WR Markus Wheaton and Washington CB Desmond Trufant.

On Wheaton: "You can see his extra gear, though, and he also has caught the ball well the first two days here after struggling late in the year."

On Trufant, "his ability to recover and short-area quickness are good."

Here's another positive take on both Trufant and Wheaton. Wrote CBS' Rob Rang on Trufant:
"...[I]t might seem strange that a few days of practice could vault cornerback Desmond Trufant into the first round but after two impressive days at the Senior Bowl, that is precisely where some believe the athletic pass defender could be headed.
Over at South practice , where the California and Stanford players are, former Bears CB Marc Anthony stood out as the "best defensive back of the day."

As for Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor, the reaction was lukewarm. "Taylor's a one-speed back who does a good job following his blocks and he didn't have any drops, but his ball skills are average and he has no real burst."