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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Senior Bowl observations through Day 2



MOBILE, Ala. – After two days of practices here for Senior Bowl week, we’ve gotten a chance to see a little more of some of the cornerbacks we told you about earlier in the week.

There are more practices later today, but so far the guy who’s caught my eye is Washington’s Desmond Trufant. He’s a good package and will appeal to a lot of teams, perhaps even as a late first-rounder. He’s got good size at 5-11 and 190 pounds, and he can flat-out cover.

He has done a good job of staying step for step with receivers, not biting on moves. And he has shown he’ll be solid in man-to-man coverage, a prerequisite if he wants to be considered by the Bucs. He didn’t back down from the toughest matchups, either, ably taking on Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton and Marshall’s Aaron Dobson. He’s done nothing but help himself this week.

Another interesting cornerback is Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer. What I didn’t like was that he was a little up and down. He’d make a nice play, then turn around and give up one. But he comes in very highly-regarded and can probably remain so if he finishes the week strong. I liked the fact that coaches had him fielding punts, suggesting he might have some ability to do that on the next level.

Will Davis of Utah State is a guy thought to be an early- to mid-round prospect, but he didn’t have a great day on Tuesday. The play everyone will remember is him getting beat deep on a double move Michigan’s Dennard Robinson, who is making the switch from quarterback to receiver for the first time. The play elicited a fair number of oohs from those watching.

And here’s something that you’ll want to know: Bucs coach Greg Schiano had a front-row seat for all of this, watching from just a few feet away on the sideline, while most of the coaches and personnel men watched from the stands. Schiano stayed locked into defensive backs for just about the whole day.

Outside of cornerbacks, there have been a few other things I’ve noticed. This is a bit random, but it was fun to watch Missouri Southern defensive tackle Brandon Williams show his an unbelievably high motor for a guy who weighs 325 pounds. I mention Williams because he’s a nose tackle, and that’s a position that bears watching for the Bucs. Roy Miller is a free agent and until that’s resolved, the Bucs have to be mindful it’s a position they might need to address.

I mentioned Robinson earlier, and it’s been a mixed week for him. He’s shown that athleticism that everyone knew he would, but his hands aren’t completely reliable yet. He actually has looked okay running routes, but unless he catch the ball consistently, he’ll be a project and not a guy who’ll be considered an immediate contributor in the NFL. Robinson also was shaky fielding punts, which is an area he needs to show he can excel in.

Practice starts soon, so that's it for now. Let’s see what happens today.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 9:15am]


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