By Russ Lande - SportingNews
MOBILE, Ala. -- There were some new faces here on Wednesday. Appalachian State receiver Dexter Jackson, who starred in last week's East-West Shrine Game, was brought in to replace South team WR Limas Sweed (Texas, wrist), while Iowa defensive end Bryan Mattison took over for North defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer (North Carolina, hamstring). Mattison isn't a good fit here, however, since he's out of position and undersized (279 pounds). Players who stood out on Day 3 of practice:
1. Adarius Bowman, WR, Oklahoma State. Bowman had his best day of the week. He ran good routes and showed very good hands, reaching out and plucking the ball with them. He also showed off his jumping ability and concentration in making good catches in the red zone.
2. Fred Davis, TE, USC. Davis continued his strong week, showing the athleticism, speed and quickness to run precise routes. He got open and caught the ball consistently well; even with a defender on his back.
3. Gosder Cherilus, T, Boston College.. Gosder locked up on defensive ends and eliminated them from plays when he got a hold of them. He needs to become more aggressive with his hands in pass protection so he can handle quick underneath moves. He looks to be a solid right tackle prospect, but he'll have difficulty at left tackle.
4. Carl Nicks, T, Nebraska. Nicks blocked with a good base and leverage, and he showed fine balance, staying over his feet and under control even when adjusting and moving from side to side.
5. Chad Rinehart, G/T, Northern Iowa. Rinehart is quick to get his hands on defensive linemen and pinning them at the line of scrimmage. He has quick feet and maintains his base and leverage in pass protection, which helps him slide and shuffle to maintain blocks.
6. Martin Rucker, TE, Missouri. He was especially strong as a blocker on Wednesday. He got his hands on defenders quickly, locked out and maintained contact. He also ran sharp routes even though he wasn't explosive off the ball. He caught the ball well.
7. Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC. He was unstoppable on Wednesday, consistently making plays. He was beating offensive linemen with his bull rush and pass-rush moves.
8. Jordon Dizon, LB, Colorado. Dizon had another strong day. He showed excellent instincts and awareness in reading and reacting. He filled the hole quickly and aggressively against the run and was constantly around the ball.
1. Dexter Jackson, WR, Appalachian State. Jackson carried his East-West success to his Senior Bowl debut. He was quicker than most cornerbacks and was able to get separation. He caught the ball extremely well.
2. Brad Cottam, TE, Tennessee. Cottam is trying to make his case to NFL teams after being injured much of his college career. His excellent build allows him to run through contact in his routes and make catches with defenders on his back. He lacks explosiveness off the ball, but once he gets moving he is smooth and quick in running routes. He showed very soft hands and consistently plucked the ball away from his body.
3. Chris Williams, T, Vanderbilt. Williams continued his dominant play as he moved from right tackle to left tackle. He got his hands on defensive ends and used his long arms and strength to keep his man away from the play. Williams also showed fire by getting into a skirmish after one play, but he seemed to lose focus on the next few snaps after the incident.
4. Cole Bennett, TE, Auburn. Blocked linebackers well, both near the line and in space. He ran good routes, and although he lacked burst to get separation he knew how to get open. He caught the ball well overall, though he did catch a few with his body.
5. Kendall Langford, DE, Hampton. He got constant pressure on the quarterback by beating tackles with quick hands and moves. He showed some ability to be an effective bull rusher, too, despite a lack of ideal size and bulk. He showed intensity on every snap.
6. Dre Moore, DT, Maryland. He pushed O-linemen around with his strength and explosiveness, and in turn generated pressure up the middle.
Some Day 3 info from the Senior Bowl......... Looks like Cherilus is going to be moving up the Draft boards with his performance this week.....