By Julie Dixon // @ABroncoNole
Today was weigh-ins and, as usual, most players were off from their college stats. The Process: players step up on the stage in their shorts are measured, and their stats posted on two very large lit up signs for the couple hundred in attendance to see.
Baker Mayfield missed this part, but late this evening his height came back at 6’03, weight was 216 pounds and hands measured 9-1/2 inches. He was swarmed after practice, so I didn’t attempt to interview him.
It’s important for readers to know that Day 1 shouldn’t be taken as anything more than warm-ups, the best and worst shouldn’t be looked at as typical. It’s especially rough on the quarterbacks. Based on knowing this, I’m not judging anyone on their catching or throwing. I will say though, while the North QBs looked better than the South, it’s also clear the North is a better group. Josh Allen had the best day.
Austin Corbett is listed as a Center, but he played LT at Nevada. The pre-med student is planning on becoming a doctor after football. During practice they had him play C and Right Guard. He did a nice job, but we also know it’s Day 1 and no one is supposed to get hurt. At 6’04, 305 pounds, Corbett has 33-7/8 arms, so he could play anywhere.
Luke Falk was the most mature of all players and looked like it, too. It may have been losing a teammate this week to suicide. He spoke about the need for people to talk about this issue. Like every QB, Falk is working with a specialty coach (Ryan Lindley) to get him ready for the NFL pro-style scheme.
He was still sporting a brace on his left wrist, but I don’t think that was why he received fewer reps than Allen and Mayfield. He had less “Wow” throws, but also less, “Whoa” ones, too. He said he’s had one concussion, which happened back in 2015. When asked about going from being a walk-on to being drafted into the pros, he believes the “proof is in the pudding” on his drive and determination.
Linebacker Shaquem Griffin was far and away the best interview. Funny, engaging and he burns for football. On the football side, he said he could play nickel or base and thinks he’d be great against catching backs. Because he played several positions at UCF – home of the National Champions (don’t tell him otherwise) – he knows he can line up wherever a team needs him. He is quick, which he displayed in practice when he blew through the defensive line like a hot knife through butter.
Colorado State wide receiver Michael Gallup is on many teams’ radar; however, he did ask, “which is better, knowing who your quarterback is or the team having a wide receiver opening? That’s the question”. Several teams this year don’t know where they stand. From the Arizona Cardinals, who also have a new head coach, to the Washington Redskins. During practice, he made a couple nice catches.
Wisconsin tight end Troy Fumagali is a Bears fan, so that would be his dream team, followed by the Packers. He’s a fan of tight ends who catch like, Greg Olsen and Rob Gronkowski. His answer to what he needed to do to be in that category he responded, “work on getting yards after the catch and consistently blocking”. He majored in Finance.
Nevada’s Austin Corbett played left tackle there, but they had him moving around from center to guard at practice. I thought he did a good job today, which helps his stock with his versatility. His 33-7/8″ arms are crucial to this. He majored in Public Health and is six classes from finishing his pre-med requirements. He believes his run block ability is his best attribute and he can play in both a power and zone scheme.
Stanford DT Harrison Phillips credits wrestling for his endurance and his “never surrender” attitude. He sees himself as a two-gap guy; he also says he’s played “see the ball, get the ball” in his past, which would explain his relentlessness. He was a DE his freshman season but got too big at 303 pounds, so he was moved to tackle.
Pittsburgh OT Brian O’Neill is 6064, 298, with 34 1/2” arms who spent time playing TE until he grew too big. Which explains why Tony Gonzales was his childhood hero and his strong feet. He fits a zone block scheme; however, his size could fit a power gap scheme, too. He believes he’s better at pass protection than as a road grader. Let that sink in, a ZBS guy who can protect the QB.
Wyoming QB Josh Allen, 6047, 237 said he’d be ok with sitting for a year so he can acclimate to the NFL. He’d love to start but understands it may be beneficial to use that time to make the big leap. A Miami reporter asked him about Ryan Tannehill and he said he played him in Madden because of his athletic ability. Yes, we all laughed at him choosing Tannehill. During practice, he exhibited the strongest arms which sometimes made it difficult to catch especially for the receivers like Allen Lazard who was used to softer throws and ones that rainbowed in, instead of on a rope throws with heat.
I also caught up with a couple of players. Their interviews are below!
Talk Senior Bowl with Julie on Twitter // @ABroncoNole