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Senior Bowl Day 1 Recap: Defensive linemen dominate in 1-on-1 pass rushing drills

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The first day of the NFL’s premier college football all-star game didn’t disappoint.

NCAA Football: Alabama-Birmingham at Texas A&M John Glaser-USA TODAY Sports

Hey y’all! It’s been a minute, but I’m still around.

The first day of practice for the Reese’s Senior Bowl is now in the books, and there was a ton of talent on display during both of the practices. On a chilly day that eventually led to some misting, the action luckily kept things bearable.

Disclaimer: I, for the most part, almost only follow around the OL and DL throughout practice. So those takes are some I feel more confident in, whereas the other positions are based on what I catch glimpses of and hear from those I trust.

The South team is coached by the San Francisco 49ers and the North team is coached by the Oakland Raiders

South Practice

  • Texas A&M has two defensive linemen in the game this week, and both were noteworthy in the first practice of the week. Kingsley Keke showed some serious flashes in a couple of reps, but he’s frustrating because there are a lot of reps where he can’t seem to put it all together.
  • The other Texas A&M defensive lineman, Daylon Mack, who got called up from the Shrine Game last week, was a bull in a china shop during both run-fit 1v1s and pass rush 1v1s. Mack, who measured in at 6010 327, is a fire hydrant-build under tackle who uses his natural leverage paired with his quick first step to overwhelm offensive linemen. He’s made himself some more money this week already.
  • Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat also had an impressive day. Sweat is a rocked up 6’6” and 252 pounds and he’s built like a lean power forward in the NBA. Sweat isn’t a super dynamic athlete, but his longarm pass rush move is one of the best in the class, and he used it multiple times to success in 1v1s.
  • On the other side, Mississippi State center Elgton Jenkins was probably the most impressive offensive lineman on the South roster on Tuesday, as he dumped Kingsley Keke into the ground on one rep, and held his own against Mack as well.
  • Alabama State offensive tackle Tytus Howard is an intriguing prospect. As a graduating high school senior, Howard was 6’2” and 200 pounds. He weighed in today at 6’5” and 322. Howard is a good athlete and is someone who can continue to do himself well if he plays well for the remainder of the week.
  • Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson was billed as a physically impressive specimen, and he didn’t disappoint. 6’7” and 249 pounds, he’s about the same size as Sweat.
  • New Mexico State linebacker Terrill Hanks had a nice rep where he planted North Dakota State’s Bruce Anderson on a 1v1 pass route.
  • Anderson, prior to that play, had really been on a roll, and showed some adeptness in the passing game, which is becoming more and more important in the current NFL landscape.
  • San Jose State tight end Josh Oliver also displayed some athleticism, despite some poor throws from the quarterback group.

North Practice

  • The theme of disruptive defensive linemen consistently defeating the offense in 1v1 pass rush drills (they’re supposed to) continued. Arizona State’s Renell Wren is a large human being at 6’5” and 315, and his explosive first step makes it tough on opposing blockers.
  • Boston College’s Zach Allen also had a good day, defeating Kansas State’s Dalton Risner. Allen was able to beat Risner inside, which is the worst way for a tackle to get beat.
  • Oregon’s Jalen Jelks and Maryland’s Byron Cowart also both had their flashes at times as well.
  • Washington’s offensive tackle Kaleb McGary liked had the best session of 1 on 1s as a pass blocker, as well as USC’s Chuma Edoga, whom I really didn’t like much in his film review.
  • Wisconsin guards Michael Deiter and Beau Benzschawel were up and down at times during Tuesday’s practice, but both struggled during the 1v1s, including Deiter being put on his backside by Texas DL Charles Omenihu.
  • Penn State cornerback Amani Oruwariye had a nice day as well. The big corner weighed in at just under 6’2” and 204. He’s a big physical corner who has shown the ability to project in both zone and man coverage.
  • Ohio State’s Terry McLaurin might be the best athlete here in Mobile, regardless of position or team. The speedy wideout had multiple catches on deep routes during 1 on 1s in coverage. He was very impressive almost every time I saw him on Tuesday.