Tag:Levi Brown
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:30 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:45 pm
 

South Team's CBs stealing the show at Senior Bowl

MOBILE, ALA -- With the NFL evolving into a predominantly passing league, cornerbacks are in high demand and have become one of the premier positions at the next level. With that said, the senior class boasts some intriuging talent at the cornerback position and several of those rising talents can be found on the South squad at the Senior Bowl.

North Alabama (and former Florida Gator) cornerback Janoris Jenkins has put to rest any debate as to who is the most talented senior cornerback in this year's group with his performance in practice this week. He is a fluid athlete with very light feet and swivel hips to turn and run downfield, but also shows the closing burst and physical nature to attack what's in front of him. At practice on Wednesday, Jenkins showed impeccable timing and explosion to plant, drive and blow up the play, knocking the ball and North Carolina receiver Dwight Jones to the ground in one of the drills.

At times his lack of size and length will show in man coverage (only 5-93/4" tall), but he has a natural feel for the position that NFL teams covet. Now obviously there are several off-field questions regarding Jenkins as a prospect, which will ultimately affect his draft stock. However based on pure talent and football ability, Jenkins is a top-10 prospect and should be the top senior cornerback off the board.

Georgia's Brandon Boykin also stood out at Wednesday's practice, flashing his elite-level quickness and athleticism. However, what was most encouraging to see was his aggressiveness at the line of scrimmage, getting physical with receivers off the snap and working hard to make them as uncomfortable as possible. Boykin was a bit grabby at times and needs to stay disciplined or he'll attract penalties at the next level, but it was a positive sign that scouts wanted to see with the former Bulldog speedster.

Small school cornerback Ryan Steed out of Furman has shown he belongs here this week, competing at a high level in every drill. His inexperience will show at times as he still needs to develop his instincts and read/react ability, but he has shown the smooth athleticism to play the position in the NFL. Steed looked natural in his transition, turning and running with receivers downfield with smooth flexibility. He needs some work before he's ready to cover pro receivers, but he has looked promising this week

And perhaps the biggest riser among senior cornerbacks is Dwight Bentley out of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has a lean, wiry build at 5-10 and 176 pounds, but has hasn't backed down at all, staying physical and competing with bigger, stronger receivers. Bentley is obviously most comfortable playing in off-coverage where he can rely on his athleticism, but that hasn't stopped him from putting his hands on receivers just enough keep them from separating. After an inconsistent senior campaign, Bentley needed a strong week here and he has exceeded expectations so far.

OTHER PROSPECT NOTES:

WR Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M: Senior Bowl practices this week have been an extension of Fuller's 2011 season and unfortunately that's not a good thing. He looks the part with a tall, strong build and surprising quickness and athleticism (looks like a basketball player on the field), but his hands and concentration continue to let him down. Fuller will make a nice catch, but follow it up with two poor drops. In the NFL, it doesn't matter how big or fast you are at receiver if you can't complete the reception.

TE Brad Smelley, Alabama: Every year, 'Bama seems to be well-represented at the Senior Bowl, due to their talented program, but also because of the proximity to Mobile. Some Alabama players deserve to participate in this game, while others arguably may not, but Smelley has shown he belongs here. Through three days of practice, it could be argued that no pass-catcher has been more consistent than the Tide H-back who has shown vacuum-hands all week. He isn't explosive in any way, but he plays hard and fast at all times and has earned a draftable grade.

OT Levi Brown, Troy: An under-the-radar player, Brown has had a tough time so far this week, but has shown steady progression after being moved inside to guard at practice. He looks natural in his movements with very good foot quickness and lateral agility, but he is unpolished with his hand placement and overall technique. After playing left tackle at Troy, Brown will need to strengthen his base and lower body in order to anchor as an interior blocker.

OT Jeff Allen, Illinois: Another collegiate left tackle who was moved inside to guard, Allen looked much more comfortable in tight quarters. He doesn't extend his arms or use his hands as effectively as he should, often allowing rushers into his body, but he holds his own at the point of attack. His weight also looks a bit sloppy, especially in his midsection, which is disappointing from a college left tackle. With Allen, it doesn't always look pretty, but he seems to get the job done.

LB Lavonte David, Nebraska: One of the more impressive players so far this week has been Lavonte David, the tackling machine from Lincoln. However where he has been most impressive is his drops, showing fluid hips and above average footwork for a linebacker when asked to turn and run. David isn't the most physically imposing at 6-0 1/2" and 225 pounds, but he is a sure-tackler with the first step quickness and natural instincts needed for the position. For David, it's not a question about "ability", but rather a question of "where does he fit?"

RB Terrance Ganaway, Baylor: At 5-11 and 241 pounds, Ganaway has the bruising size and natural power to work well between the tackles. But if he hopes to see playing time at the next level, he must improve his blocking. Ganaway has struggled in practice this week in pass protection drills, showing poor habits and inexperience. He routinely drops his helmet and leaves his feet, allowing pass rushers to brush by him and get to the pocket.

  The preceding report was written by NFLDraftScout.com analyst Dane Brugler. He can be followed on Twitter @dpbrugler

Posted on: April 24, 2010 11:51 am
 

Significant talent still at QB, WR, DT

Every position still has a few players to keep an eye on, but a quick look at the best players available shows that the talent at quarterback, wide receiver and defensive tackle is especially intriguing.

The quarterback group lacks a clear-cut front runner. Some teams have Dan LeFevour as the best available. Others have Tony Pike, Levi Brown or Jonathan Crompton. Expect a mini-run on the position in the late 4th and 5th round.

I'm a big Carlton Mitchell fan amomg the receiver group. He's very raw, but has considerable tools worthy of development. Former UAB quarterback Joe Webb is a similarly gifted, long-limbed athlete. Michigan State's Blair White surprised scouts with his straight-line speed and agility in workouts, though this athleticism didn't always show itself on film. What does impress about White on tape, however, is his reliable route-running and sticky hands. He could prove quite the steal as the draft goes on.

The talent at defensive tackle is thinned out with the selection of Al Woods by New Orleans, but North Carolina's Cam Thomas, Virginia's Cam Thomas, Alabama's Brandon Deaderick and especially Syracuse's Arthur Jones are players who could come off the board soon.
Posted on: February 28, 2010 11:22 am
 

Impressions from first QB-WR session -- QB Report

I was among the fortunate handful of media members allowed to venture inside Lucas Oil Stadium to watch this morning's quarterback and wide receivers workouts. Because I have to head back out to cover the second session in just a few moments, I don't have enough to time to really break down the 20+ players I watched.

However, here were my impressions of a few noteworthy players.

Of the quarterbacks, the two most impressive players were the Browns, as in West Virginia's Jarrett Brown and Troy's Levi Brown.

Jarrett Brown threw with the zip and general accuracy that had impressed me at the Senior Bowl. He drove the ball on the dig, slant and out-routes and had good accuracy and trajectory on the post-corner and deep ball. One point of significant concern is that he is still quite rough in dropping back from center. He gains good depth with his two first steps, but they're slow. His next three steps are rushed and clumsy. However, he sets up and has a compact delivery. No passer in the first session had the same explosive zip out of their hand as Brown.

Levi Brown was slightly less impressive with his overall accuracy, but nonetheless stood out in this marginal group. He drove the ball with authority, showing good accuracy and zip on underneath routes. He also threw with good trajectory on the deeper routes. He consistently hit his man, but at times forced them to break stride.

The lack of preferred arm strength exposed at the Senior Bowl by Oregon State's Sean Canfield was again seen here. Canfield has good accuracy and timing. He was one of the few passers able to consistently hit his receiver in stride, and was able to "drop it in the bucket" on the post-corners -- one of the more difficult throws. However, on any pass longer than 10 yards, Canfield's passes have too much arc.

The quarterbacks who threw were: West Virginia's Jarrett Brown, Troy's Levi Brown, Oregon State's Sean Canfield, Penn State's Daryll Clark, Appalachian State's Armanti Edwards, BYU's Max Hall, Western Michigan's Tim Hiller and Northwestern's Mike Kafka.
Posted on: August 31, 2009 1:23 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2009 1:26 pm
 

Signed, but starting soon "impossible" for Smith

The Bengals and sixth overall pick Andre Smith are rightly excited to have finally agreed to terms. The 31 day holdout, however, is going to need considerable time before he can positively impact the Bengals' offensive line. Offensive line coach Paul Alexander was quoted by Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com about Smith's potential to earn back his starting spot at right tackle immediately.

Smith is "not going to start anytime soon," Alexander said... "It's impossible," Alexander said of getting Smith in there quickly. "I'm not afraid to put rookies in there, but this guy is so far behind, he's got so much work to do ... it's going to be an intense year for him.
Smith had been viewed as the Day One starter at right tackle for the Bengals. His selection cleared the way for the Bengals to let long-time bookend tackles Levi Jones and Willie Anderson go over the off-season. Andrew Whitworth has taken over at left tackle and in Smith's absence, 2008 second round pick Anthony Collins has been starting at right tackle. Though Collins has been a bit inconsistent, coaches have been positive about his improved play in his second season.

It remains to be seen just what kind of shape Andre Smith is in. Alexander sounded concerned about Smith's current weight and his history of allowing it get out of control. Rumors had circulated that Smith's weight had ballooned to over 380 pounds in the past, though at the Combine Smith told the media he had never been over 345. He weighed in at 332 at the Combine and claimed he played at 330 while with the Tide.

Smith worked out with the team in Sunday's afternoon practice, but was limited to mainly conditioning drills. As Hobson noted in his blog posting, Smith started every spring practice, was sent daily notes from the classroom sessions from training camp (as well as tests), and watched the Bengals' first three preseason games while poring over his playbook. 

It will take time for Smith to acclimate. Given the length of his holdout and the relative security the Bengals are feeling with Collins at right tackle, it may not be until midway through the season that Smith begins earning consistent playing time. Eventually, however, his ability to knock defenders off the line of scrimmage in the running game will likely prove to much to keep him off the field. For a Bengals team that struggled running the ball last season and thus far this preseason, Smith's emergence would be welcomed.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com