On Tuesday afternoon under a beautiful sunny sky the west team practiced. Below is a short breakdown of the players who stood out.
Players that impressed
1. Caleb Schreibeis, DE, Montana State (6023, 255 and 4.75 E): Blessed with excellent foot quickness and snap anticipation, Schreibeis consistently was able to burst off the ball and threaten the corner as a speed rusher. Using good natural flexibility, he was able to dip shoulder and turn corner to pressure the quarterback. While lacking ideal size, Schreibeis’ effort, intensity and ability to pass rush with good leverage allowed him to be effective as a bull rusher.
2. Will Pericak, DT, Colorado (6034, 300 and 5.00 E): After a solid day on Monday, Pericak was dominant today. For a 300 pounder he was consistently quick off the ball, used his hands to jolt and defeat pass blocker. Uncommon for a college defensive tackle, Pericak displayed a variety of pass rush moves and was able to defeat pass blocks with strength, quickness and a combination of both. Although the centers and guards blocking him today were not elite, his ability to drive them backwards and beat them through gaps was impressive.
Players that shined in one area, but struggled in another
1. Keith Pough, LB, Howard (6016, 241 and 4.93): Pough’s athleticism was apparent from the start of practice. He displayed good playing speed and lateral agility working to the boundary and was smooth and fluid dropping into coverage. However, he was overly aggressive attacking the play. He was always attacking and did not read his keys, which led to him biting on play-fakes and letting man get separation behind him. His struggles today reminded of other linebackers who have often relied upon their athleticism to be productive in college and need to improve their ability to read and react to the play.
Players that struggled
1. Dann O’Neill, OT, Western Michigan (6071, 317 and 5.40): While O’Neill has great height, long arms and good natural strength, today he did not show the ability to block at the NFL level. Not a “quick twitch” athlete, he struggles to slide out in time to protect the corner from speed rushers and cannot re-direct and slide back inside to handle quick counter moves. An upright blocker who does not block with leverage, O’Neill does not play up to his natural strength and gets pushed around at the point of attack too easily. Overall, O’Neill’s performance today was not up to the caliber of an NFL offensive tackle and he will need to greatly improve if he wants to have an NFL career.
2. Dan Buckner, WR, Arizona (6034, 212 and 4.60 E): Despite good size, Buckner struggled to get off the line and into routes vs press coverage when the cornerback tried to jam him. Lacking explosiveness off the ball and out of his cuts, Buckner struggled to gain separation against man coverage. He looked like a “one speed” runner who lacks the quickness and speed NFL teams want from a receiver.
3. Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M (5096, 221 and 4.55 E): Michael drew some attention with a few of the sharp cuts he made today as well as the speed he showed once he was clear of defenders, however we were not impressed with his overall play today. He did too much dancing behind the line of scrimmage and did not seem to see the hole/lane quick enough.
Email Russ at Russelllande@yahoo.com and Follow Russ on Twitter @RUSSLANDE