By James Marshall
Day 2 at the Reese’s Senior Bowl shaped up to be a good one, as Tuesday’s big winners Jamie Newman, Larry Rountree III and D’Wyane Eskridge looked to build from their standout performances.
A lot of questions were raised about Missouri’s Larry Rountree III after Tuesday’s great performance and if he would be able to carry that throughout the week. Although running backs were limited today, we’ve seen Rountree showcase his skillset, particularly as a back who can catch the ball out of the backfield. We haven’t seen a lot of this from Rountree at Mizzou, since he was limited by the presence of Tyler Badie. An encouraging sign for Mizzou and Rountree fans.
Another big question many people had was at the quarterback position. It was expected that Mac Jones would be the best quarterback out of the bunch, but Jamie Newman has outplayed him to this point. Newman’s first practice was undoubtedly better than today’s, but Newman is a solid quarterback who has impressed so far. His ability to float a well-timed ball into his receiver’s arms is just a testament to what we’ve seen so far, flashes of an inconsistent quarterback who has the capability to fit the ball into tight windows.
Elsewhere at the quarterback position, SEC quarterback Feleipe Franks stood out, but not in a good way. Franks clearly has the most arm talent out of any quarterback in Mobile, but it has gotten him in way too much trouble, leading to constant overthrows.
Another quarterback who delt with the overthrow bug was Sam Ehlinger. Although his case wasn’t as severe as Franks, it still got him into some trouble, missing a pair of sure scores. However, Ehlinger stood out today as the second-best quarterback, behind Ian Book. Book’s draft stock was pretty low coming into Mobile, but he’s shown some flashes. Book worked through his progressions nicely and didn’t force balls into coverage. Book’s willingness to check it down definitely helped him stand out as a day two winner.
Defensive backs in today’s first practice session played a major role in embarrassing their quarterbacks. San Diego State’s Darren Hall stood out as a DB with great hands and acceleration. Alongside Hall, Camryn Bynum from California and Tre Brown from Oklahoma had terrific performances. Bynum held his own against a physical Sage Surratt and had a pair of nice pass break ups. Brown was the unfortunate victim of a Ty Wallace push off and Nico Collins falling grab, but he followed up nicely by jumping the next route and making the interception.
Lastly, receivers in this deep class were looking to make huge impressions today, just like Tennessee’s Josh Palmer. Palmer is a terrific route runner who creates separation whether or not he’s lined up in the slot or outside or whether its press coverage or off man. Palmer had a solid game against Missouri in week two, catching four passes for 71 yards. Clemson’s Amari Rodgers also stood out today, notably dropping Mizzou’s Tyree Gillespie, but was unable to hang onto the ball. This was not something that plagued Rodgers at all today and instead infected Florida’s Kadarius Toney. Toney seemed to drop every ball that came his way earlier in practice, even dropping a halfback pitch at one point.
Overall, many seniors had standout days today. Josh Palmer, Camryn Bynum and Tre Brown were some of today’s biggest performers who will look to increase their draft value at practice tomorrow. On the other end, Feleipe Franks, Kadarius Toney and Tyree Gillespie will need to have big days tomorrow to stop the sinking ship.
Edited by Emma Moloney