Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin was having a good week worth of practices, demonstrating good speed and fluidity. It wasn't great, to be fair. Enough to help his overall stock. Already gifted with decent size and physicality and a clear definition of NFL talent, Colvin has been projected anywhere from the second or third round. His Oklahoma career included two All-Big 12 honors while posting five interceptions and 234 tackles, primarily as a cornerback with playing time at safety.
Some of his weaknesses have included mental errors and struggles in man coverage -- several reports dictate excellent in zone coverage and run support -- plus over-aggressiveness leading to big plays. Another weakness... injury-prone.
And that showed during Tuesday's practice.
After being helped off the field during practice with an apparent knee injury, early reports surfaced that Colvin may have torn his ACL.
Early word on Aaron Colvin is a feared ACL tear.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 21, 2014
This is the risk that prospects take when playing in all-star games. Big-time prospects will not play in these games, fearing a significant injury could ruin, not only their draft status and the compensation the comes with it, but in a lot of cases, their careers.
It's not the first time that this has happened. Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin broke his leg during the Senior Bowl a couple of years ago, dropping first-round projections into the fourth. In his second year with the Eagles (2013), Boykin generated six interceptions, two forced fumbles and a defensive touchdown. He's making his way.
So not all is lost -- except for the money.
Tony Pauline with Draft Insider wrote about quarterback David Fales:
I’ve talked about the lack of arm strength from quarterback David Fales and how it will hold him back. Yesterday I spoke with sources from the San Jose State program who told me they were forced to take plays out of the Spartan playbook as Fales was unable to make the necessary throws.
For the second practice in as many days, quarterbacks Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech), Tajh Boyd (Clemson) and Stephen Morris (University of Miami) were widely inconsistent during Tuesday's practice. Dane Brugler with NFL Draft Scout (via CBSSports.com) writes:
If you isolated Tuesday's highlight throws from Thomas, Boyd and Morris, you would have three potential first round picks. But once you add the negative passes and lowlights from the practice, you're left with three physically gifted players who are wildly inconsistent throwing the football. There is still work to be done on these players, but it's hard not to be discouraged by this week's results so far.
It should be noted that wind was a factor. Not that such conditions would ever play a part in the pristine stillness of an NFL game or anything.
Joe Reedy with the Cincinnati Enquirer chatted with Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, who tore an ACL in late November. Murray is currently in Alabama to take part in the Senior Bowl, save for practices and or playing in the actual game. When asked about the Bengals and the team's obsession with Georgia players, Murray said:
"Seven guys from Georgia on that roster. It’s unbelievable," said Murray when asked about the Bengals. "It’s going to be interesting. You never know where you are going to end up."
Murray's recovery is going well and it's believed that he'll be ready for training camp, wherever that may be. Training camp? Hell, he's thinking Georgia's Pro Day.
"Way ahead of the game," Murray said via NFL.com. "It feels great. Already doing some light jogging in the pool, pulling sleds, single leg press over 600 pounds, I am just killing the rehab. Right now the thought is, I'll be back by pro day, and we'll go from there."
Georgia. Backup quarterback. Don't play it out of your possibilities just yet.
As part of the predraft process, things fluctuate. Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard is considered one of the top two cornerbacks heading into the 2014 NFL draft with exceptional instincts and recognition and very good coverage skills. But because he's missing the 2014 Senior Bowl (read the introduction to this post as to a good reason why), he's being chided.
"People are worried about his long speed and his ability to cover off-man," Mayock said on the NFL Network. "I look at this kid, and I had this conversation with a general manager and a head coach this morning, and their point was, 'Listen, we know he can press, we know he's tough, but we need to see him off. And if he doesn't show up, we assume he can't do it. Not that he can do it."
He's played all but two games in the past three years, earned the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back and was named as a first-team All-American. Placing doubt publicly deafeningly plants the seeds of misinformation.
- West Virginia running back Charles Sims was one of the highlights of the North practice, not only as a running back but as a pass blocker in blitz pickup.
- Mike Mayock compared Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland, the Big-Ten defensive player of the year, to former Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas and a "sawed-off" Luke Kuechly. Probable second-rounder.
- High praise for California defensive lineman Deandre Coleman, showing a quick first step and "much more athletic than anyone thought." Arkansas defensive lineman Chris Smith had a good day, but Auburn's Dee Ford is generating tremendous momentum, in regards to his draft projection.
- Defensive backs Jaylen Watkins (Florida), Chris Davis (Auburn), and Keith McGill (Utah) turned in strong practices on Tuesday.
- More heavy praise for BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy.