MOBILE, Ala. -- Here are 10 observations/thoughts from Monday's Senior Bowl practices and interviews: 1. Though there was only one period at the end of South team practice in which the entire offense faced off against the entire defense, Monday was a good day to evaluate the quarterbacks. It was mainly from a mental standpoint, Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said. The offense was put in Sunday night and Monday was the first chance to see how well the quarterbacks transferred it from the meeting room to the field. Fisch said he was pleased with the way Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois), Derek Carr (Fresno State) and David Fales (San Jose State) handled that. There were mistakes and issues, but all the quarterbacks did a solid job.
For all these quarterbacks there were some passes that were off and many hit the ground but it was Day One and that is expected from Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, Running Backs playing together for the first time. For these guys this was the first time practicing on the field in pads for the first time in weeks as well. So these comments will be made with that in mind.
Mobile, Ala.: The redemption of Miami offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson began on the first day of Senior Bowl practices Monday. A top high school recruit for the Hurricanes, Henderson's play was inconsistent. He was suspended three times for violations of team rules. He was also hit by injuries, including a concussion suffered in a car accident and back troubles.
The first practice of the 2014 Senior Bowl featured noteworthy performances by the recognizable stars from powerhouses FBS programs you might expect, but a handful of small school prospects also proved capable of handling the big stage. Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley and his staff led the South team through a spirited, scripted practice at Fairhope Stadium which featured plenty of one on one matchups, allowing the hundreds of scouts and fans in the stands to evaluate the athleticism of the prospects. Players sported helmets, shoulder pads and plenty of physicality but were not wearing thigh pads and tackling -- as is virtually always the case in all-star game practices -- was forbidden.
MOBILE, Ala. – The North squad suited up at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Monday afternoon and practiced as the wind picked up and sun started to set, disappearing behind the stadium's elevated press box. The Falcons coaching staff, led by head coach Mike Smith, led a well-organized practice with hundreds of scouts, coaches and evaluators looking on from the stands. Atlanta's general manager Thomas Dimitroff had a front row seat, viewing the practice on the field next to his coaching staff. The important takeaway from Monday is to isolate where certain prospects struggled in order to see if they show improvement on Tuesday, Wednesday and the rest of the week. A prospect's ability to respond to NFL coaching is a substantial part of Senior Bowl week, especially in an unfamiliar setting.
The first of back-to-back practices on Day One of the Senior Bowl, the South roster boasted the quarterback talent that scouts flocked to, along with impressive athletes at every level of the defense. Based on today’s practice, Antonio Andrews, Chris Smith, Kyle Van Noy, and Aaron Colvin were the "winners" for their draft value.
In what was a quick turnaround between practices due to the Senior Bowl’s tight scheduling, scouts were forced to play catch-up after hustling from the North practice. Scouts got the chance to evaluate some of the more intriguing quarterbacks along with the superior defensive back and offensive linemen talent the North possesses. The biggest "winners" of the first day of North practices were Josh Huff, Zach Martin, and Aaron Donald.
Note from Josh Norris: Rotoworld is happy to partner with The Sideline View's Lance Zierlein, John Harris, and James MacPherson for Senior Bowl week. Each will focus on certain positional groups during practice and share their daily observations. To avoid confusion, I have attached the author’s name to their section. If I have anything to add, a clear distinction will be made.