The quarterbacks at this year’s game are outstanding headlined by Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Shea Patterson from Michigan and Jalen Hurts of Oklahoma. But it’s the defensive and offensive line that has shined all week. In this year’s draft, the offensive tackle position is very deep with many players displaying their talents in Mobile, Alabama.
QB Justin Herbert is definitely the star of this year’s game and should be a Top 10 pick. His accuracy is on full display during practices. And he has great touch in drills. Today the winds were a bit calmer, but the zip he places on the ball never declines during the 7-on7 drills. He is definitely the class of this week’s practices. And in interviews he owns the room.
The player that is making the most waves is still DT Neville Gallimore of Oklahoma. I am not sure there is an offensive lineman here that has handled him every snap of one-on-one drills. In several interviews with offensive lineman, if asked which player has been the most problematic, every single time the answer is Gallimore. Big hands and just strong. He is projected as a very early second--rounder, but this week may move him into the lower portion of tf the first-round.
Another defensive tackle that impressed is Marlon Davidson from Auburn. He is probably more a defensive tackle than end, but is very quick right from the snap and can be explosive at times. Appears to be a very good 5 technique run stopper more than for pass rushing purposes. Beat OT Keith Ismael several times in the one-on-one drills first-round. Can’t really see him on the outside although he was used there some in college.
LB Akeem Davis-Gaither of Appalachian State has a good second day and may be the second best linebacker here. He seems too light to play backer at 215 pounds, but he has the jets to get after the play even from behind. Great range in space too.
I realize the Browns are set at running back, but Vanderbilt’s Ke’Shawn Vaughn looks like he would be a good compliment to Nick Chubb if the team does not keep Kareem Hunt. Has very gentle hands while catching passes out of the backfield which is a must for Cleveland’s offense. Nice speed-to-power ratio and is able to control his fast-to-slow down approaches when he looks for a hole. Have not seen his blocking skills yet and won’t until the actual game.
LSU C Lloyd Cushenberry is probably the best center this week so far. Oddly enough, he is wearing number 18 which is a tradition at LSU for the best player and is voted on. But he was allowed the number and is the first Olineman to don the low numeral. He has owned one-on-one drills espeically against the bigger interior defensive tackles. There have been times when he has been outmanned by 25 pounds and is still able to push players aside.
As far as the safety position, one player that impressed Day 1 and then looked even better was S Kyle Dugger from Lenoir-Rhyne. I honestly had to look this guy up to see who he was and where he played since his college helmet was unfamiliar. He excelled in man coverage drills particularly against tight ends Jared Pinkney from Vanderbilt and LSU’s Stephen Sullivan. Dugger is not a bit intimidated with size himself at 220 pounds with a height of 6’,2”.
Auburn OT Prince Tega Wanogho was a scratch for the remainder of week with some fluid on his knee. Was told if this was a regular game he would persist through the process, but so far is considered a business decision. Houston OT Josh Jones and OT Justin Herron from Wake Forest are each lean specimens and continue to impress.
Another safety that had a good day is Maryland’s Antonie Brooks. He is a bit undersized (5’,10”) but this player has zero hesitation coming down to support the run. His best feature seems to coverage abilities although tackling hasn’t yet been seen as a great feature.
TE Harrison Bryant of Florida Atlantic has proved to be able to disengage from a defender with ease. Has been slotted the bottom of the second-round, but this week may move him to the top of the same round. Linebackers and safeties on most downs could not stay close to him and he showed very dependable hands. His blocking skills are average at best and would need some tutoring, but catching the ball as well as getting separation he has down.
Yet another linebacker is showing why he was invited to this game. LB Zack Baun of Wisconsin has great size (6’, 3” 235 pounds) and is a pounder. Very nice speed too but sometimes was slow to react to passing downs instead of thinking run.
DE Trevon Hill from Miami was pushed aside way too many time during the one-on-ones whereas North Carolina DE Jason Strowbridge was sometimes the best player on the field and at times a total head-scratcher. Very raw would be a good term, and then he would dominate an offensive guard and you saw first-round talent. Has great physicality. Would not draft him to start right away, but he is mega-talented.
QB Jordan Love is a very accurate passer. He is a good runner too when he takes off. Has been dominate in the seven-on-seven drills and is the second best QB so far during the week. Michigan QB Shea Patterson is another who will need a year or so on the bench to transform, but has great footwork and will need to take a bit more time to go through his progressions and not try to force a throw into a window that is pretty small to begin with. Washington QB Anthony Gordon has had some accuracy issues, but has nice touch on the over-the-shoulder drills. Jordan will be a first-round selection, but Patterson can be had in the fifth and has experience in a very tough conference.
K Rodrigo Blankenship could easily be taken as early as the third or fourth rounds. His accuracy is the most impressive part of his game, but has a huge leg. He was hitting from 55-yards with plenty of leg left. It’s a shame the Browns already have a steady leg because someone in this league is going to be very happy with the productiveness and range that Blankenship is going to produce.
OT John Simpson of Clemson is one of the biggest men in this All-Star game, but that hasn’t necessarily computed to dominance. He has a slow first step, but if he engages he is able to push and has great strength. Can be beaten with a quick first burst off the line and he cannot recover, but is a beast of a man.
Do the Browns need to draft a cornerback this year?
This poll is closed
Yes, but only in the fourth round and lower
Have enjoyed the play of CB Darnay Holmes from UCLA especially in coverage drills. He has zero issues with attacking a receiver from the snap and is pretty aggressive. Can be fooled and lose a player occasionally, but with his quick recovery he is able to jump back into the play. Was very dominant in the one-on-one drills especially against Ohio State WR Austin Mack.