Day two down here in Mobile at the 2018 Senior Bowl is in the books and it was a very fast-paced day of practice. Hats off to the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans staff so far for making these practices truly engaging, not only for average fans but for scouts as well.
It truly has been a wonderful experience so far and a huge shootout to Mobile, Alabama for being an amazing place to spend the week. Here is my breakdown of today’s action and which safeties have stood out in particular today:
QB / Kyle Lauletta / Richmond / South
Kyle Lauletta was one of my favorite players coming into this week. He displayed almost perfect mechanics and great placement on tape. Throughout the week, Lauletta has proven that those are two of his most impressive traits. The best thing about his game has certainly been his accuracy on the run, where he has rarely missed a pass all week. Lauletta has proven that he is far and away the best QB on the South roster.
LB / Nick DeLuca / North Dakota State / North
Nick DeLuca was very impressive all day today, proving again and again that he is more than just a two down thumper. He made a very impressive interception on a Tanner Lee pass (shocker). DeLuca hit his landmark in zone and broke easily on the ball for the interception. He also showed great range in run defense, moving sideline to sideline with ease and stuffing run plays all over the place. He has really come into this week and showed that he can play with these big name guys.
CB / Duke Dawson / Florida / North Dawson came into today with a lot to prove considering that he missed yesterday’s practice with an illness. He immediately showed off the quick footed mobility and fluid hips that I fell in love with when watching his tape. He was rarely beat by receivers at all and was locking them down all day. If he can learn to get his head around, he has the potential to be the best slot corner in this class.
SAF / Trayvon Henderson / Hawaii / North
Trayvon Henderson was really great today in all facets of the position. Henderson really caught my eye on day one as an athletically-gifted free safety type with excellent coverage ability. Today was much more of the same. He was all over the place and really excelled in deep coverage. By far the best safety pairing in either group was Henderson with Kyzir White lined up in the box.
The biggest display though was scrappiness in 1-on-1s with the tight ends. Although he is a tad undersized compared to most safeties who line up over tight ends (6’0″/204), he was really physical with guys who had a minimum of 40 pounds on him. He may not have won every rep, but he competed with every single throw. His work was also very impressive in the 7-on-7 drill, as he came away with a nice pick on a Josh Allen overthrow.
SAF / Tray Matthews / Auburn / South
This is one of the most unexpected pleasant surprises of the week, but Tray Matthews has really stood out on the South team. I have to preface this by saying Matthews has not been one of the top three safeties of the week. I firmly believe that Marcus Allen, Kyzir White, and Trayvon Henderson have looked more impressive, but in the rather weak South safety group, Matthews has been a stand out. Matthews has really excelled with physical play, something that the other safeties have relatively struggled with.
In the tight end 1-on-1 drills, Matthews was really the only one in his group to create contact at the break point and disrupt the tight end’s routes. In the 7-on-7 drills, Matthews displayed impressive strength, physicality, and overall determination that stood out. He may not be the most athletically-gifted, but he is all over the place and you can tell that he truly loves the game. Best little note about him too; he is by far and away the loudest player on the field, always yelling and laughing throughout the practices.
SAF / Kyzir White / West Virginia / North
I could likely write about this guy all day every day. He is just so freaking impressive and is proving to everyone that he is a top 50 player in this draft (maybe top 30). He moves so well for a player of his size and has locked down every tight end he has faced this week. His ball skills have also been so impressive. I really think he has been the most notable standout so far this week.
Notes and Side Comments:
– Shaquem Griffin took reps at safety today. He didn’t make many plays of note but it certainly was interesting.
– Michael Gallup had a very disappointing day all around. Looked very sluggish and showed some major effort concerns.
– Armani Watts had a tough day. He struggled in particular in 1-on-1s against the tight ends, where they separated from him with ease.
– J’Mon Moore was outstanding today. When he can actually catch the ball, he may be a top 5 receiver in this class.
– Although James Washington is getting all the hype on social media, the top standouts at WR have been “BaeSean” Hamilton from Penn State and Byron Pringle of Kansas State.
– Will Hernandez has been a man (or rather, a mammoth) among boys this week. Second-best guard in the class hands down.
– Tre’ Williams and Uchenna Nwosu have looked really good in space this week. Both are effective in run defense but the ability to cover tight ends and running backs has been impressive.