By: Scott Bischoff
The 2020 Senior Bowl got underway today with a weigh-in this morning, and practices for each team this afternoon. The Cincinnati Bengals are handling coaching duties for the South team while the Detroit Lions are at the helm of the North squad. I focused on the trenches today, but I also caught some action out of the quarterbacks and receivers. Here are some observations from each of the practices.
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Herbert is a clean thrower with a big arm, and he had no problems driving the ball through the wind like some of the other quarterbacks did today. He placed the ball well for the most part, but it is hard to gauge accuracy for quarterbacks on the first day because of the lack of familiarity with the receivers to whom they are throwing. Herbert’s footwork is not super clean, and it something to work on, but he had a good day.
Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State
Benjamin is a nasty route runner coming out of the backfield. He showcased precise footwork and created easy separation from those trying to cover him.
Cameron Brown, EDGE, Penn State
Brown is very wiry, weighing in at 232 pounds at over 6’5” tall. However, he is a twitchy athlete, and his athleticism was on display during a pass-rushing repetition today. He rushed from the edge and pulled out a spin move that left the offensive lineman lunging and missing entirely.
Damien Lewis, OL, LSU
Lewis showed an outstanding anchor, dropping his hips and stopping interior defenders in their tracks. He gave very little ground today.
Ben Bartch, OL, Saint John’s
Bartch was one of the better offensive linemen today. He showed a nasty demeanor, playing with an edge. He showed plenty of power, showing an excellent anchor that stems from sound technique and a sturdy base. He looked fluid in his movements and held his own on the left side. He got beaten when he moved over to the right side, but he had an outstanding day.
Terence Steele, OT, Texas Tech
Steele showed fantastic footwork in pass protection, and he moves exceptionally well. He got in trouble multiple times today when he lunged, which opened the door inside for the defender. He was the victim of the Cameron Brown spin move as Brown had him reaching, and Steele needs to be a touch more patient because he does move well.
Marlon Davidson, DT, Auburn
Davidson was a handful today, and that is putting it lightly. He looked dominant at times and was able to win in a variety of ways. His motor is always running, and he plays with excellent pad level and heavy hands. He showed the first-step quickness to make offensive linemen uncomfortable, and the lower-body power and leverage to keep them uncomfortable. Davidson is a dangerous interior defender, and he had a solid first day.
Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
Kinlaw is a nightmare for the opposition. He showed incredibly heavy hands and paired that with excellent usage of his natural length. Kinlaw also possesses excellent initial quickness and trounced blockers at times. Interestingly, he showed surprisingly good bend and flexibility to turn the corner once he beat his man, and that is a dangerous combination to try and block. Kinlaw looked more comfortable winning his gap with quickness when isolated, and he had more success as a penetrating interior defender than he did occupying space at the line of scrimmage. He showed fantastic football intelligence, sniffing out screens and finding the ball.
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Love is the best quarterback on the North roster, and it is not all that close. Love drove the ball through the wind, and he made a few eye-popping throws. As stated above with Herbert, it is hard to get a feel for accuracy on the first day for multiple reasons, but Love had a strong start to what could be a massive week for him.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
Pittman is a big receiver, but he managed to get open relatively consistently throughout today’s practice. He looked smooth and fluid in his movements and was a dangerous weapon down the field today.
K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
Hill is a vertical threat with his speed, and cornerbacks were opening their hips early, fearing getting beat deep. That allowed Hill to run in their blind spots, and he made getting open look easy at times in today’s practice. He is a savvy route runner, and he is off to a strong start with his excellent play today.
Matt Hennessy, OT, Temple
Hennessy looks very technically sound, and his feet and hands work well together. He did an excellent job of keeping his man in front of him during the first practice.
Justin Herron, OT, Wake Forest
Herron is a smooth and fluid mover, showcasing excellent footwork and mobility. He is a strong candidate to be a developmental tackle, as he in underpowered, but Herron’s movement abilities make him intriguing.
Matt Peart, OT, Connecticut
Peart looks the part as he moves his feet well, and he will bring excellent length to the NFL, but he needs to get stronger as there were a few moments during practice when he looked out of his element from a power standpoint.
Carter Coughlin, EDGE, Minnesota
Coughlin is very flexible, and he plays with great bend, which he uses to turn the corner as a pass rusher. He comes out of his stance like a rocket, and he went low to the ground while executing a rip move, and that forced the tackle to reach for him. Forcing a tackle to reach means a player like Coughlin is winning that repetition.
Joshua Uche, OLB, Michigan
Uche showed excellent agility while rushing the passer today, flattening and reducing the amount of ground needed to cover while cornering to defeat his blocker.
Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
Willekes was everything you would expect. He plays a relentless style, which makes blocking him difficult. He came in with short arms, but he gets off of blocks well because he plays with excellent leverage, getting under the offensive tackle’s pads.
Jason Strowbridge, EDGE, North Carolina
Strowbridge was awesome during practice on the first day. He displays a very aggressive style, and he brings a non-stop, hair-on-fire approach, which makes blocking him a tough task. Strowbridge won outside, inside, and with power today. He was one of the day’s big winners.
Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
Gallimore is incredibly powerful and explosive, and his ability to get off the ball proved too much for interior offensive linemen today. He plays with plenty of power, and he can penetrate gaps to get into the backfield. He can also push the pocket and reset the line of scrimmage, and his overall versatility makes him a very intriguing prospect.
Larrell Murchison, DL, North Carolina State
Murchison was slippery and powerful in practice today, and his short stature gives him natural leverage over his opponent, and he had a good first practice on Tuesday.
DaVon Hamilton, DL, Ohio State
Hamilton displayed great power in today’s practice, putting his man on skates with ease at times. Hamilton is a huge man, and his strength was entirely on display today.
Scott Bischoff is a contributor for LionsWire and staff writer for FootballGuys. He co-hosts a podcast on the “Detroit Lions on WJR” podcast page with Sean Baligian.