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2004 Senior Bowl: Tues. practices


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MOBILE, Ala. -- Here's what the scouts are saying after watching practices for the 2004 Senior Bowl:

North practice -- Jan. 20

Bowling Green QB Josh Harris has been the most consistent of the three North quarterbacks. Harris has a lot of work to do before he can challenge for a starting job in the NFL. He played in a very basic offensive scheme at Bowling Green in which he threw mostly shorter routes and spent a lot of time rolling outside the pocket. One NFL area scout told us that over the course of a four-game span that he charted, 78 percent of Harris' throws were in the short zone. While Harris does have good arm strength, he must improve his accuracy in on intermediate throws and he also needs a lot of time to improve his ability to sit in the pocket and make quality progression reads. Harris is a fourth round prospect with some upside if a team is patient in developing him, but nobody should expect to see much from Harris in his first three years in the NFL.

Michigan QB John Navarre continued to struggle today in practice. He is and shows very minimal ability to avoid the rush. He is essentially a statue in the pocket that defensive lines know they can get to if they rush to a spot. Navarre really looks mechanical in his delivery and he hasn't shown great zip on any of his deep out attempts. Furthermore, Navarre's accuracy is overrated. He had a high completion percentage in college, but when forced to make throws down the field or to fit the ball into tight spots, Navarre's accuracy noticeably dips.

From what we've seen after two days of practice, Miami (Ohio) OL Jacob Bell has been the most consistent and most impressive all-around offensive lineman on the North roster, which includes the likes of Kansas State OC Nick Leckey, Illinois OT Sean Bubin, Stanford OT Chris Chambers, East Carolina OT Brian Rimph and a trio of former Ohio State starters, OC/OG Alex Stepanovich, OT Adrien Clarke and OT Shane Olivea.

Bell is a 'tweener OG/OT prospect that played guard in college and probably will be best suited to play guard in the NFL, but might project as a right tackle. He has great size and a strong lower body. He anchors very well versus the bull rush and he also shows the feet to get in position against some of the quicker defensive linemen in practice. Bell's strong day of practice was highlighted by his ability to control Oregon State DT Dwan Edwards on two separate occasions in the running game.

Notre Dame RB Julius Jones was the most impressive receiver out of the backfield today. He looked real smooth in and out of his cuts and was able to create separation from the linebackers during the one-on-one period. His hips are extremely fluid. He was particularly impressive with an angle route he ran against West Virginia's Grant Wiley in which he made a sharp cut back to the inside, got his body between the ball and the defender, snatched the ball on the run and shows great initial burst getting upfield. Jones is undersized and there are lots of questions about his durability in the NFL, but his receiving skills and kickoff return skills will very much work in his favor.

Michigan CB Jeremy Leseuer really shined during the 7-on-7 period, intercepting an out-pass thrown by Washington QB Cody Pickett and breaking up two other pass attempts. He showed good quickness for a guy his size and did a nice job of smothering Ohio State WR Michael Jenkins on his interception. We liked what we saw from Leseuer but he wasn't tested deep today so there are still some concerns regarding his ability to cover on an island.

South practice -- Jan. 20

Tulane RB Mewelde Moore was also impressive in the passing game today. Moore will likely never be a full-time starter in the NFL and he is easy to overlook physically when he is standing next to bigger, more physically imposing backs like Arkansas' Cedric Cobbs and Florida State's Greg Jones, but Moore is an extremely versatile back that brings a lot to the table for a team looking for a chance of pace runner and third down back. Moore and Shaud Williams (Alabama) looked the best in the passing drills today, but Moore showed more consistency. He has excellent hands and a great feel for route running. Although he is not as big as Jones or Cobbs, he is the most fluid and comfortable receiver in the backfield for the South team. He lacks ideal size for an NFL back but has very good awareness as a blocker and has shown the ability to step up in pass protection.

P Donnie Jones got about 20 attempts in today and looked really good for about three quarters of those. It took him a couple to get warmed up but after the first four or five he really started to let loose. He has great natural leg strength and gets added distance because of his sound mechanics. Most of his kicks turned over and he got solid hang time throughout the drill. He also nailed a couple of punts that approached 50 yards, which is pretty impressive considering the cold weather.


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