MOBILE, Ala.—Two defensive linemen on the North squad caught the eye of scouts in Senior Bowl practices at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Tuesday.
UConn's Kendall Reyes and Michigan's Mike Martin were the stars of the morning session. Reyes, 6-4, 295, flashed pass-rush potential that included a spin move that left Wisconsin offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler grasping at air. Martin, 6-2, 304, used strength and tenacity to overpower blockers.
Reyes, pictured above chasing Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins in practice, is regarded as a first-round prospect for the 2012 NFL draft. He's a 4-3 defensive tackle who says he can play end in a 3-4.
Martin is an undersized over-achiever that no doubt impressed scouts looking for a nose tackle to play in a 3-4 defensive scheme.
"I felt like I did great," Martin said. "It's an opportunity to get coached by a great staff and show scouts what I have."
Reyes said his goal this week is to "get better every day and prove I can play with everyone and compete at this level."
Here are observations from today's two practices:
Cousins, 6-3, 205, displayed a strong and accurate throwing arm and showed scrambling ability in eluding Reyes on one occasion.
Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, 6-0, 191, struggled. His throws lacked power and often fell short of their mark.
Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson, 5-11, 210, fell somewhere between Cousins and Moore.
Nevada's James-Michael Johnson and Boise State's Shea McClellin are rush-backer prospects that flashed in pass-rush drills.
Boise State safety George Iloka, 6-3, 216, won the eye-test award in weigh-ins, and then proved that he more than just looks the part by intercepting a Cousins pass.
Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams is impossible to ignore at 6-8, 320, but missing seven games last season due to "Tattoogate" will likely drop his stock. He is said to be underdeveloped, but his size and light feet offer intriguing upside.
Boise State running back Doug Martin, 5-9, 215, is coming off a strong bowl-game performance and he did nothing on Tuesday to halt his climb up draft boards.
Ohio State's Devier Posey, 6-2, 210, was the best of the wide receiver crop. He was quick getting into and out of his breaks and snatched the ball out of the air cleanly and confidently.
Marshall defensive lineman Vinny Curry, 6-4, 263, flashed quickness when he shot across the line of scrimmage and forced a fumble.
Cousins launched the prettiest pass of the day, a deep ball that dropped softly into the hands of Iowa wide receiver Marvin McNutt, 6-4, 215, who was unable to complete the reception.
Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden has likely started his climb up draft boards, based on a strong performance on Tuesday. Weeden, 6-4, 218, threw tight, crisp passes. One scout said Weeden has a stronger arm than Andrew Luck and that if Weeden were 22 instead of 28, he'd be a top 10 pick.
San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley, 6-4, 230, had a disappointing senior season, but there was nothing disappointing about his play on Tuesday. He has a strong arm and his passes were on target.
Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn, 6-5, 348, was dominant and finished his blocks to and beyond the whistle. Wanna run the ball? Glenn's your guy.
Arkansas wide receiver Joe Adams, 5-11, 190, has beep-beep speed.
Texas A&M's Jeff Fuller is a big wide receiver at 6-4, 220, but he lacks speed and that means he'll have to impress scouts as a possession receiver, which he didn't do on Tuesday – too many drops.
Florida's Chris Rainey made mouths water with his speed and big-play ability. The 5-9, 174-pound running back whipped North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins and Georgia corner Brandon Boykin to catch deep balls. Rainey will appeal to a team that has a particular role in mind for him.
Arizona wide receiver Juron Criner, 6-4, 215, who struggled through personal problems in his senior season, made a dazzling one-handed catch. Criner's stock improved on the strength of Tuesday's practice.
Houston's Patrick Edwards, 5-9, 175, is a quick slot-type receiver.
Louisiana-Lafayette defensive back Dwight Bentley, 5-10, 180, showed he can break on the ball.
Texas linebacker Emmanuel Acho, 6-2, 245, is undersized but smart and instinctive. He was always in position in pass coverage.
Alabama pass rusher Courtney Upshaw, 6-2, 265, displayed awesome power when he thumped UAB offensive lineman Matt McCants, 6-7, 295, to the ground.
Baylor offensive lineman Phillip Blake, 6-3, 320, was solid in pass blocking.
Florida State's Nigel Bradham, 6-3, 240, is an athletic linebacker who needs to add size to his frame.
Mississippi State's Vick Ballard, 5-11, 220, is a Packers kind of running back that catches the ball with ease and runs between the tackles.
LSU defensive back Brandon Taylor, 6-0, 194, decided he had seen enough of Ballard, as Taylor smacked Ballard to the ground as Ballard was coasting to a stop at the end of a run.
The North will practice in the morning on Wednesday and the South, again, in the afternoon.