MOBILE, Ala. –
– It was a beautiful morning here at Ladd-Peebles Stadium as the North team went through its final padded practice of this year’s event. With temperatures in the mid-60s, it was a good day for a number of players as they took full advantage of practicing in front of the assembled scouts and coaches. Most of the league types will head home tonight or tomorrow and then watch the tape of the game next week.
– The story of the morning was the return of New Orleans HC Sean Payton, who arrived here in Mobile and took in Wednesday morning’s practice alongside top lieutenant and fill in Joe Vitt. Payton was re-instated by the league on Tuesday and here for practice Wednesday. He held court with the media for a while after the practice.
– Oregon OL Kyle Long, brother of Chris, again did not practice Wednesday as he deals with an illness.
– Michigan WR/QB Denard Robinson was cleared for contact and wearing the normal white jersey with his teammates on Wednesday for the first time. He’s been recovering from a nerve injury in his elbow.
– Also in the house again Wednesday was South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore would be one of the top prospects in this year’s draft were it not for the devastating knee injury he suffered during the season. Lattimore is on the road to recovery and here to get in front of some scouts and coaches. Rams GM Les Snead even spoke to him briefly yesterday.
– Quick update on former Rams CB Travis Fisher, who I promised I’d update you on yesterday. He’s working as a DBs coach for a high school in Florida and is hoping to catch on as a scout.
– Once again, Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher impressed. He has great feet and his punch is a bit better than advertised. During some 9 on 7 run drills, Fisher was downright dominant. On one play, he took on talented Texas DE Alex Okafor and drove him into the ground with a pancake block.
– UCLA DE Datone Jones continues to be perhaps the best pass rusher on the North squad. He’s beaten Fisher a few times, including once on Wednesday morning.
– The QB situation remains questionable for this draft as a whole but NC State’s Mike Glennon is showing up this week. This atmosphere seems to be quite conducive for him because there’s no pressure, no pass rush and he can stand in the pocket and deliver. He threw one perfect deep ball down the right sideline to KSU WR Chris Harper that drew oohs and aahs from the assembled crowd. Glennon throws a pretty ball, that’s for sure.
– Another solid practice for UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin, who still looks like the best running back on the North squad and possibly here this week.
– Utah State DB Will Davis didn’t have a real strong showing but he has great potential, especially as a nickel.
– Florida International S John Cyprien is a bit of an unknown but a solid prospect on the back end. He has good speed to close on the ball and isn’t afraid to deliver a blow.
– Ohio State DE John Simon again did not practice Wednesday.
– Elon WR Aaron Mellette looks a bit awkward wearing No. 33 and playing wide receiver but he ran some good routes and made some nice plays throughout the practice. He could be an intriguing prospect.
– Harvard FB Kyle Justzczyk might not look like a natural lead blocker but he has turned some heads this week. He’s versatile enough to get out and catch passes, shows decent burst running for a fullback and has been more than willing to try to open holes blocking. Not sure if the Rams will go back to having a full time fullback but if they do he could be an interesting prospect.
– I’ll have more on him later but UNC DT Sylvester Williams grew up in North County in St. Louis in a rough neighborhood before moving to Jefferson City to live with his sister for high school. He was a huge Rams fan and loved the Greatest Show on Turf teams and all St. Louis teams in general. He has a good story and I’ll have it all for you later on.
– That’s all for now. Don’t forget, chat is starting shortly and I’ll answer any questions you might have. I may have to cut out early because of the South practice but I’ll answer more this evening if that’s the case.
– Thanks for reading.
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