Day 2 practice highlights
South practice O line report
As noted it was a very inconsistent afternoon for the South offensive lineman. The main problem seems to be that while the O-line has plenty of size there isn?t a lot of foot speed or quickness out there. One clue about the line?s troubles is that even with better known prospects on the roster like Vanderbilt?s Chris Williams, Barry Richardson of Clemson and the afore-mentioned Benedict, the nominal first-tem LT for the South appears to be little-known Oneil Cousins of UTEP. And Cousins, a one-time defensive lineman, did show some of the best foot quickness among the South?s offensive linemen; he also has long arms but doesn?t always get the necessary extension to cut-off a quick outside pass rush and needs to work on his change of direction skills. Meanwhile, Vandy?s Williams had an up-and-down day winning some battles, but losing a few too many others, again especially when trying to stay to the outside with a quick edge rush. Clemson? Richardson on the other hand really struggled. No question, the 331-pounder is huge with a massive lower body, but he really couldn?t move his feet and may have to find a home at OG or C to play at the next level. Texas A&M C Cody Wallace also continued to be badly overmatched as he was seldom able to hold the point of attack against bull rushers or stay with even rudimentary moves. In fact, a case could be made that Wake Forest C Steve Justice was the South?s most consistent lineman at least this afternoon. While not as big as most of his linemates, the 290-pound Justice consistently got good position and leverage and was able to stay between his man and the ball without conceding much penetration. Pitt C/G Mike McGlynn also had a decent afternoon; McGlynn wasn?t all that artistic but he?s a battler with good technique.
North practice O line report
USC OT Sam Baker may be the biggest name. but Boston College OT Gosder Cherilus was the most dominating North OT this morning. Cherilus moves his feet well, sets up efficiently and simply engulfed pass rushers with his upper body strength. Cherilus, though, still needs to concentrate on keeping his pads low. Baker also had his moments shutting down several outside pass rushers. Baker, though, also shut down his feet a couple of times and was run around. In fact, Baker?s teammate OG Drew Radovich had the more consistent morning; Radovich did a nice job locking onto opposing pass rushers and keeping his feet alive. It was a solid morning all around for the North offensive line as OTs Kirk Barton of Ohio State and Nebraska?s Carl Nicks were physically dominating, although neither appeared to be overly quick or athletic. OGs Roy Schuening of Oregon State and Chad Rinehart of Northern Iowa were also solid as was Arizona State C Mike Pollak.
It looks like Gosder Cherilus is helping himself no end and could soon move into true first round calculations. It will also be interesting to see how well the centers work out and if they can convince teams that they can handle the big 3-4 NT's of the NFL.
Some of these names will come into consideration by us draft geeks and hopefully the steelers FO.