Iowa defensive lineman Bryan Mattison was a new addition to the roster today, but the Raiders coaching staff didn't do him any favors, playing him exclusively at defensive tackle.
Today's practice was extremely physical, with several players sustaining injury: West Virginia fullback Owen Schmitt and Michigan linebacker Shawn Crable left the field and did not return.
North Carolina defensive tackle Demarrio Pressley received attention on his knee, but he did not miss any action. That being said, he looked like a different player than in previous practices.
Michigan safety Jamar Adams sustained a heel injury in yesterday's practice and was not on the field. U.N.L.V. linebacker Beau Bell also was missing with an undisclosed injury. East Carolina running back Chris Johnson also was not on the field, but it was not clear if he was injured.
Notre Dame defensive tackle Trevor Laws had an impressive day, showing good leverage, often getting under the pads of the opposing player. Laws had several tackles for loss and a sack in 11-on-11's.
Eastern Michigan defensive lineman Jason Jones was working with the linebackers; he is a player coaches don't seem to know what to do with. His best position might be 4-3 end, as he flashed in pass rush drills. Work-outs will be the deciding factor.
Iowa defensive back Charles Godfrey has been showing great instincts, hands, awareness and is impressing onlookers. Godfrey is seen as a man-to-man corner who can hold his own on an island.
California wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins is having about as good as week as anyone can in Mobile. Hawkins makes nice adjustments and catches everything thrown his way. Shifty, quick and serious yards after the catch ability.
After a tough week so far, Oklahoma State wide receiver Adarius Bowman had a bounce-back practice, showing good hands in the end zone and catching several balls in traffic.
New Mexico wide receiver Marcus Smith is proving he belongs on a daily basis, showing reliable hands and excellent quickness.
The quarterbacks all had a better day than previous. Michigan's Chad Henne makes good reads and doesn't make many mistakes. Southern California's John David Booty looks smooth in the pocket, with nice footwork. Delaware's Joe Flacco is uneven at times but has the best physical tools and his potential is more than evident.
Southern California tackle Sam Baker is quietly efficient, all he does is his job, play after play. He has a unique personality that might not mesh with some of the more 'uptight' clubs.
Arizona State center Mike Pollack is the class of the position at Mobile, clearly the best of a weak crop. He has nice size, power and rarely gets beat in pass protection.
Northern Iowa guard Chad Reinhart had a bounce back session, clearly showing improvement after working with the N.F.L. coaches for a couple days. For a tall player, Reinhart has a low center of gravity and shut down his opposition in today's "Pit" drills.
Boston College tackle Gosder Cherlius had an off day, turning the wrong way on two plays and fighting in the Pit drills. Usually Draft Daddy likes that sort of spirit but it's a troubling sign from a player who has had run-in's with the law for not controlling his anger. Cherlius took wild swings at his opposition, and then took another swing at Sedrick Ellis trying to break up the fight. Still a great prospect but it was an ugly incident all around.
South Practice Notes (Afternoon):
Mississippi State linebacker Titus Brown continues to give the South's best offensive linemen fits with his nasty hand play and pass rush skills. Brown has a deadly spin move, which he sets up with head faints and stutter steps.
Tennessee State cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was untested by the South quarterbacks for most of the day, they were reluctant to throw his way. One time they did challenge him deep, he responded with an acrobatic interception, showing great up's. It was perhaps the best play of the entire week so far.
Georgia Tech running back Tashard Choice displayed nice vision and cutback ability. His day was highlighted by several long catches and runs downfield.
Another Yellow Jacket, linebacker Phillip Wheeler, was quick to plug the hole on running plays and when he arrived was always in a bad mood. Just a nasty player who is raising his profile.
Clemson tackle Barry Richardson had a better effort than Monday, showing a nice first step, crushing down blocks in the running game and aggressive hand play in pass protection. If he can be more consistent, the sky would be the limit for this player.
Vanderbilt tackle Chris Williams continues his strong showing, shutting down pass rushers and giving a shove face down into the turf for good measure.
Newberry tackle Heath Benedict again was powerful in run blocking and solid in pass protection. Showed a little spark, mixing it up with Hampton defensive end Kendall Langford well after the whistle. This small schooler is more than holding his own and is legitimately being considered as a starting tackle at the next level.
Florida State defensive tackle Andre Fluellen reached deep down into his bag of tricks today, going 4 for 6 in "the Pit" and displaying the swim, the rip, the push-pull and a non-stop motor.
Iowa State nose guard Ahtyba Rubin is a load in the middle, easily occupying two blockers. He was initially poor in pass rushing, but proved himself coachable, learning on the fly and getting significantly better as the day progressed.
Another player proving himself coachable is Maryland defensive tackle Dre Moore. Moore was criticized loudly for not having a second move on pass rushes and responded with an excellent rip move on the next rep.
Troy cornerback Leodis McKelvin is impressing scouts with his athleticism and hips. He runs low, which allows him to explode into contact as well as get a great break on the ball. Player on the rise.
Texas defensive back Marcus Griffin has really good range in coverage and showed above average ball skills in drills. Griffin laid the wood on several plays and shows the awareness of a veteran.
UTEP defensive back Quentin Demps is a confident player that can back it up with excellent awareness and recovery speed.
Louisiana State wide receiver Early Doucet is turning in a professional performance, rarely dropping passes, presenting a nice target for the quarterbacks and running sharp routes.
Georgia Tech defensive end Darrell Robertson showed above average quickness in pass rush drills and also worked in with the linebackers in coverage drills.
Florida wide receiver Andre Caldwell is another crisp player who has a knack for finding holes in coverage and gets yards after catch.
South Pre-Practice Rumor: Texas wide receiver Limas Sweed reportedly re-injured his wrist and his pulling out of the contest. We will confirm this at practice this afternoon.
North Practice Notes (Morning):
After an excellent first day, North Carolina defensive tackle Kentwan Ballmer had to remove himself from the event with a legitimate hamstring injury. He was replaced by Iowa State nose guard Ahtyba Rubin (South squad).
Penn State linebacker Dan Connor is a smart, instinctual, hard-nosed player who reads offenses in a blink of an eye. He plays with the saavy of an established veteran and is a low risk option at inside linebacker. The term gets used too much, but Connor is old school.
Kansas State wide out Jordy Nelson displayed reliable and soft hands, beating his man on crossing routes as well as the deep go.
Southern California defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis is extremely stout against the run and got off to a great start pass rushing in "the Pit." His early reps were just nasty, and he dominated his opposition. However as the practice wore on, Ellis ran out of gas and became blockable. Probably best as a rotational player at first.
North Carolina State defensive tackle Demarrio Pressley showed himself to be a quick and violent penetrator. Underrated by most.
Southern California tackle Sam Baker displayed excellent feet in pass protection and more than servicable as a run blocker. Purdue's Cliff Avril had his number in one-on-one's but that's not necessarily a knock on Baker.
The aforementioned Avril had an excellent day on the whole, with a great first step, often beating his opposing man and recording touch sacks in 11-on-11's.
Boston College tackle Gosder Cherlius is a physical specimen and does a very decent job most of the time. However he can get overextended and lose his balance against the better pass rushers.
Colorado linebacker Jordan Dizon may not be ideally sized player but he is extremely fast, going step-for-step with the North running backs in coverage. A big hitter and likely special teams dynamo.
California running back Justin Forsett displayed shifty moves and good hands out of the backfield.
Another Cal Bear, wide receiver Latrelle Hawkins, caught everything thrown his way, and showed nice break off the ball, getting off the jam in man-to-man coverage.
East Carolina running back Chris Johnson was extremely fast, however his vision is questionable at times.
Virginia Tech linebacker Xavier Adibi is proving himself a natural athlete: very mobile, a long strider that covers a lot of ground.
Another Hokie, wide out Eddie Royal, is legitimizing himself as a wide receiver prospect, not just as a return man. Royal catches almost everything thrown his way and shows YAC ability.
U.C.L.A. linebacker Bruce Davis is also a very smooth athlete, showing good anticipation and recovery in coverage drills.
Missouri tight end Martin Rucker showed equal skill catching and blocking, and sources indicate he is impressing in interviews with his intelligence. Scouts are comfortable that his brother Mike is already in the league and he will be a low-risk option at tight end.
Oregon State guard Roy Schuening has excellent technique, balance and feet in pass protection, and does an effective job in run blocking. If there is a critique of this player, it is that his upside is limited: he looks to be a finished product now, and while that's good enough to start, it is doubtful he will be a dominator.
Southern California cornerback Terrell Thomas blanketed his man in coverage for most of the day and even had a forced fumble.
Another Trojan, defensive end Lawrence Jackson, showed a nifty in-and-out pass move and has a relentless motor, rarely stopping his feet and is relentless trying to get upfield.
Oklahoma State running back Dantrell Savage showed great hands catching the ball, and is tough to bring down.
South Practice Notes (Monday Afternoon):
Georgia Tech linebacker Phillip Wheeler was active and downright mean, working extensively with Hall of Famer Mike Singletary.
Tennessee State defensive back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was nothing short of excellent, both in drills and coverage. Smooth athlete with quick hip flip, playing both free safety and cornerback.
Another small schooler, Heath Benedict of Newberry College was outstanding in "the pit" not losing a single match-up. The 49ers coaches had him at first team right tackle, and he responded.
Texas wide out Limas Sweed had a great day, catching everything and looking very smooth. Sweed rounds out his routes and isn't a perfect player but is the only South WR who has WR1 potential.
Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson had an above average day. After coming out excited and throwing high, Woodson settled down and displayed his natural ability. It should be noted however that he has the luxury of playing with tight end Jacob Tamme, who was a security blanket for Woodson today just like he was in the season.
Tennesee quarterback Erik Ainge clearly has the tools required to excel in the league, however he hasn't quite put it all together and looks uncertain at times.
Wake Forest defensive end Jeremy Thompson had an excellent day. At the weigh-in he showed up in excellent shape, and at practice he showed top notch balance and body control, beating blockers both inside and around the edge.
Tennessee tight end Brad Cottam seemed stiff as a pass catcher, but blocked well. At 6'7" and a lean 270, Cottam seems like he could be a fantastic candidate for left tackle conversion.
Troy cornerback Leodis McKelvin was working at returner, in addition to his above average performance in coverage drills.
Pittsburgh guard Mike McGlynn had a great first step in run blocking, and can really open holes for the runner. However, his pass protection is raw and needs work.
Vanderbilt left tackle Chris Williams was the most impressive offensive lineman in the South practice. He breaks down well, gets low hips and if he gets his hands on the other player, it's over. 32 7/8" arms may be cause for concern.
Mississippi State linebacker Titus Brown split time with the defensive ends, where he displayed has a nasty array of pass rush moves. Brown is firey and it's apparent he's having fun out there.
Arkansas guard Robert Felton may not be a physical specimen but he's a natural football player, powerful and plays well in space.
Maryland defensive tackle Dre Moore showed incredible explosion in one-on-one's but doesn't always sustain his effort.
Georgia Tech linebacker Gary Guyton is en route as a substitute.