PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02: Wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei #80 of the Oregon Ducks is tackled at the one-yardline as he is tackled by Aaron Henry #7 of the Wisconsin Badgers after Tuinei catches a 35-yard catch in the first quarter at the 98th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Today was the first day of practices in Carson, CA for the NFLPA Bowl and I was able to attend and give insight on potential draft prospects. Both squads practiced in shorts and helmets without pads, so given these circumstances it’s hard to get much of a judge on a lot of the more physical aspects of the game. It’s best not to judge lineman and running backs and instead focus on positions like receivers, quarterbacks and cornerbacks.
First up was the American Team coached by Tom Flores, former head coach of the Raiders:
Lavasier Tuinei, WR, Oregon - Tuinei looked like the best receiver on the American Team for the majority of the day and showed strong athleticism. At 6'5, 216 pounds he certainly has the size of an NFL receiver, but he also showed some quickness in and out of his cuts and did a great job attacking the ball with his hands instead of his body.
Jarrett Lee, QB, LSU - Lee showed plenty of physical tools, but struggled with accuracy for much of the day. He had a few really strong throws on timing routes that were right where they needed to be, but missed receivers on a few deep attempts.
Da'Jon McKnight, WR, Minnesota - McKnight probably dropped more balls than any receiver for the day. He did relatively strong on his route-running, but he let several throws get into his body and for the most part, they ate him up.
Richard Crawford, CB, Southern Methodist - Crawford was very impressive staying hip-to-hip with receivers and showed great ball skills and athleticism in 7-on-7 drills, intercepting one pass and breaking up another. At 5'11, 192 he showed the physicality necessary to deal with the large receivers playing.
Nick Stephens, QB, Tartleton State - At 6'3, 230 Stephens showed the arm strength necessary to be a potential backup QB in the NFL, but really struggled with accuracy. On a long post route to the middle of the field, he released a pass that landed in the right side of the endzone and forced the receiver to try and make a dramatic adjustment that he wasn't able to do.
Desmond Cox, RB, Morehead State - Cox is only 5'8, 175 but he showed a lot of speed and ability to catch out of the backfield. On punt return duties he struggled to judge the ball in the air and muffed one. Unless he shows ability to stand up against the big lineman in padded drills, it's going to be hard seeing him stick in the NFL.
Jared Green, WR, Southern - Son of former Redskins CB Darrell Green and Virginia transfer, Green showed a lot of explosion, athleticism and very clean hands. At 6'2, 185 he has a thin frame, but will likely run a very fast 40 time at his Pro Day. Di
Trevor Scott, K, Florida A&M - I'm not sure how much people care about kickers, but wow this was bad. Scott lined up for a 48-yard field goal and it landed in the endzone. Then when they moved it up to a 38-yard attempt he missed four consecutive times before finally hitting a knuckleball through the uprights and finally a decent looking successful field goal.