ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Although the first day of practice is usually sloppy with a lot of walk-through as players become acclimated to a new setting, coaches and teammates, there were several prospects who stood out on day one, starting with the quarterbacks on the East Squad.
Padded up on Day One, the East had a productive practice to start the week’s events. With linemen and running backs the feature positions on Day Two, I focused on the skill positions and quarterbacks, taking notes on the lineman as I could. The biggest winners today were QB Jeff Mathews, WR Matt Hazel, DE Will Clarke, DT Jay Bromley, DE Ethan Westbrooks, SAF Hakeem Smith, and CB Andre Hal.
In what was a very slow practice at the start and almost completely throughout, there wasn’t a whole lot to gain from a pad-less practice on Monday to start. However, during team drills, the passing game and the defense’s reaction to it lead to plenty of good notes to gather. The winners today were WR John Brown, TE Jordan Najvar, OC Gabe Ikard, OG Dakota Dozier, OLB Devon Kennard, and CB Shaquille Richardson.
At the Shrine Game, weigh-ins are closed to the media and generally the results are kept in house through NFL teams. However, we were able to secure the heights and weights on the prospects in attendence. While it's not the biggest part of a prospects evaluation, meeting the positional "thresholds" is a big part of how high of a grade a scout can give a prospect.
I must preface this, as I’m sure most analysts are, by saying that this practice was not exactly brimming with opportunities to evaluate. The players spent a lot of time in position groups running drills amongst themselves and perhaps even more time stretching. On top of that, they weren’t in pads unlike the East Practice earlier in the afternoon. Still, there were some opportunities to evaluate, so here are my notes. The star of the day for me was Jordan Najvar from Baylor without a doubt in my mind. He hauled in at least five passes during practice and he made a couple nice grabs on passes that were thrown high on top of another nice grab in traffic. His combination of size, athleticism and hands make him the top tight end prospect here and he played like it today. I have been dying for him to get an opportunity and today it finally came and he capitalized.