Day 2 Wrap Up- Offensive and Defensive Lines for the North

Posted: January 23, 2013 in 2013 Senior Bowl
UCLA's Datone Jones

UCLA’s Datone Jones

The battles that always seem to captivate the scouts, general managers and coaches of NFL teams that are in attendance here at the senior bowl usually fall in the offensive line and defensive line drills. Putting an offensive lineman and defensive lineman one-on-one really shows the competitive spirit and the technique of each individual player. These guys are usually the best of the best from the biggest conferences in the country and for the most part it has shown throughout the week with the North squads. I’ve already talked about Central Michigan’s OT Eric Fisher and how he has dominated his competition throughout the week. He finally showed that he is human, at least in one rep, by losing on an up and in move by UCLA’s Datone Jones. But he has dominated everywhere else and he continues to show he is the top offense lineman at this game.

-The top defensive lineman from the past two days, on a consistent standpoint, is Datone Jones from UCLA. He continues to show the most violent hand movement and constant motor that has made him an absolute thorn in every offensive lineman’s side. I’m not saying he wins every rep but he proves every time that he will not stop until that whistle blows. He stands 6 foot four and weighs 280 pounds and shows the strength and stability to hold up as a five technique in 3-4 defense. However I do not believe that he’s just scheme specific to that particular defense and could potentially play the strong side end in a 4-3 defense. I guarantee he will be one of the guys at the combine that they asked to show what they can do in space with his hand off the ground.
– One offensive lineman that caught my eye today was West Virginia’s Joe Madson at center. He’s a squatty player who is still a stout 6 foot three and 300 pounds. He often lets defensive lineman get into his body but he had one of the best re-anchor moves of the entire group and can really withstand a good bull rusher. He showed today that he could hold up one-on-one with the bigger nose guards in this All-Star game.
– There’s usually one player that a person will fall in love with after only watching them in an event like the Senior Bowl. For me, and for a lot of the TV analysts, that person has been David Quessenberry of San Jose State. He has continuously beat every opponent that they put against him. It might not be pretty but he does a fantastic job at his craft. He has patience and the precise technique to really protect against most of the North defensive line pass rush moves that have been thrown at him. He showed versatility by moving the right tackle spot taking on some of the bigger and faster ends at practice. He did get beat once on an up and in move that got him over set and off-balance. However, for the most part he consistently won every single rep. Quessenberry plays with a great respect for his craft and you can see that he is a technician when it comes to his pass blocking abilities.
David Quessenberry of San Jose State

David Quessenberry of San Jose State

Some other observations from the drills and team periods… Notre Dame’s Braxton Cave and Hugh Thornton of Illinois continued to struggle against elite competition. Both Thornton and Cave got badly beaten on occasion. However both players showed tenacity and competitive spirit by continuing to compete in each rep… Purdue’s Kawann Short showed possibly the slowest spin move I’ve ever seen, thoroughly televising it to the entire country and to David Thornton who easily redirected and posted inside… The DL for the North team must have gotten together and decided that Brian Winters of Kent State had quite possibly the worst post step of the entire group. Therefore almost every single defensive lineman that went against Winters used the up and in move and won the majority of the reps… Michael Buchanan of Illinois is a speed rusher and that is all he tried to show and do in every rep that he took . He did not try to do any sort of counter move to his speed rush and was consistently locked up by the tackle group. He is not really flashing that play making ability that I’m sure some teams were hoping to see for a possible 3-4 rush LB… Margus Hunt lived by the motto today of “look like Tarzan play like Jane.” It’s not that he got physically beat it’s just that he really was shut down almost every time and he really did not show any counter moves to get pressure on the QB. He plays high, which is a given, but he does not seem to be using his leverage well.
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