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ESPN Insider : KIPER'S notes from the Senior Bowl ~ ~ ~


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Hali, Hill, Smith, Watson shine for North defense

By Mel Kiper Jr. / Special to ESPN Insider

MOBILE, Ala. -- Clemson cornerback Tye Hill was one of the most impressive players at Monday's North practice at the Senior Bowl. He was fluid, showed great feet and terrific ball awareness. Hill had some drops of potential interceptions, though, and needs to work on his hands. His man-to-man coverage skills could elevate him into the late portions of the first round.

Will Blackmon struggled at corner. He had some at corner during his time at Boston College, but the Eagles moved him to wide receiver in 2005 and used him in the return game. Ultimately, Blackmon will probably have to play WR to make it in the NFL.

Penn State CB Anwar Phillips had some ups and downs today. He looked like a second-round pick coming into Mobile, but he didn't help himself today. Phillips was stiff in the hips and wasn't real fluid. He just didn't look as athletically gifted today as he did at Penn State. Phillips needs to be more productive during the week.

Anthony Smith was one of the most impressive players on the North defense. The Syracuse safety showed good hands and was very alert. It looks likes Smith has grasped the defensive scheme already.

Nebraska safety Daniel Bullocks performed well in coverage.

LB Chad Greenway looks the part -- and plays well, too. He was fluid and athletic in practice.

D'Quell Jackson could be a nice fit at linebacker in the right system. The Maryland product showed a lot of speed and good tackling ability.

DL Gabe Watson underachieved at Michigan, but he had a lot of power in his pass rush during Monday's practice. He drove the center or guard back 75 percent of the time today. He has a chance to really help himself this week.

Tamba Hali showed a great motor and quickness off the ball. The Penn State DE showed the ability to get great leverage.

DE Mathias Kiwanuka from Boston College is a great athlete, but needs some technique work. 8) D'Brickashaw Ferguson got the best of him in Monday's practice.

Oklahoma DL Dusty Dvoracek was neutralized some, but picked up the pace later during the one-on-one pass drills. He hustles and will give you everything he has.

WR Demetrius Williams from Oregon had a nice day. He showed great body control and caught the ball well with his hands. Williams showed some quickness. He looks like a pretty good player.

Oklahoma WR Travis Wilson caught the ball, showed some separation speed and exhibited toughness in traffic.

WR Maurice Stovall from Notre Dame lumbered a little bit, but he showed enough separation for a big guy. Stovall has very good hands and should go late in the first round or early in the second.

Speed is an issue for Michigan wideout Jason Avant. He didn't seperate well and will struggle to beat corners on deep routes. However, Avant did show good hands and is a natural receiver.

Arizona State WR Derek Hagan is a polished player and a good route runner, but has a tendency to drop some balls. He had at least three drops on Monday.

Dominque Byrd was impressive in practice. The USC tight end showed good body control, athleticism, good blocking and effortless pass-catching ability. He does need to get stronger.

TE Joe Klopfenstein from Colorado is interesting. He did not handle blocking responsibilities like he needed to, but he showed speed and great hands. Klopfenstein could be a good option as a move tight end in the NFL.

8) QB Jay Cutler threw some nice balls. The Vanderbilt product has a live arm and was fairly accurate, but he had a couple of throws that were off.

Look for Penn State QB Michael Robinson to change positions. I think he will have to move to wide receiver or safety. Robinson is not accurate throwing the football.

Washington State RB Jerome Harrison showed quickness. He has a low center of gravity and does a good job getting lost behind his blockers.

Lawrence Vickers is the best fullback prospect in the draft. The Colorado product showed that he can do it all. Vickers can run, catch and block. He could move up into the third or fourth round.

Center Marvin Philip from Cal struggled. More of a finesse player, Philip was overpowered. He needs to show more strength and the ability to take on big defensive tackles.

However, Nick Mangold showed a lot of athletic ability at center. The Ohio State product did a good job anchoring the line. He showed more strength than many thought he had.

OL Ryan O'Callaghan from Cal was beaten once in practice, but ended up doing a nice job.

Virginia OL :P D'Brickashaw Ferguson did a great job against BC standout DE Mathias Kiwanuka. He went one-on-one with Kiwanuka several times and neutralized him. Ferguson is a :roll: top-five pick :roll: .

OL Mark Setterstrom has a lot of experience, but the four-year starter from Minnesota is more of an overachiever. He was beaten too often today.

Boston College OL Jeremy Trueblood did well in some instances, but he is so tall (6-foot-7+) that shorter DLs like Tamba Hali got under him and got a leverage advantage.

Boise State OL Daryn Colledge is more of a finesse guy. He gave up too much ground in pass protection and was overpowered.

USC OL Deuce Lutui is huge and quick. He showed good feet and good athleticism. He did a great job in the one-on-one drills. Lutui is a solid second-round pick.

Oklahoma's Davin Joseph will struggle at tackle in the NFL, but has some skills to play guard.

Colorado punter John Torp was a little methodical getting the ball off. He did get a couple of punts to turn over, but he also had some bad kicks. Torp needs to pick up the pace.

Defensive players who shined Monday

Safety Anthony Smith, Syracuse

Cornerback Tye Hill, Clemson

Defensive lineman Gabe Watson, Michigan

Defensive end Tamba Hali, Penn State

Safety Daniel Bullucks, Nebraska

Defensive players who struggled Monday

Cornerback Will Blackmon, Boston College

Cornerback Anwar Phillips, Penn State

Linebacker Clint Ingram, Oklahoma

Defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, Boston College

Offensive players who shined Monday

Wide receiver Demetrius Williams, Oregon

Wide receiver Maurice Stovall, Notre Dame

Offensive lineman Nick Mangold, Ohio State

Offensive lineman :lurk: D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Virginia :lurk:

Offensive lineman Deuce Lutui, USC

Tight end Dominique Byrd, USC

Offensive players who struggled Monday

Wide receiver Jason Avant, Michigan

Offensive lineman Marvin Philip, Cal

Offensive lineman Mark Setterstrom, Minnesota

Offensive lineman Daryn Colledge, Boise State

Wide receiver Derek Hagan, Arizona State

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