The annual spring trip report is due out – two weeks after the anticipated date. This year the number of trips decreased slightly with stops at Tennessee, Penn State, Virginia, and Michigan State. As always gleaning practice habits of players is an always helpful tool when evaluating prospects. This year, I was left with several ‘aha’ moments after the four visits.
I’ll run down each school and the who/what stood out from my time there.
Many of you will remember my infatuation with another Tennessee one and done receiver – Cordarrelle Patterson. I may have another one starting with Von Pearson. Pearson is a JUCO transfer that was the standout of both practices that I took in. Pearson is rail thin but wasn’t afraid to mix it up as a blocker or going across the middle of the defense.
Pearson was all of his listed 6-foot-3 height but could stand to add 10-15 pounds to his slight frame. He didn’t look as explosive as Patterson but didn’t put a ball on the ground during either practice. He worked primarily out of the slot but did see action at both outside spots. Pearson is a name for draft watchers to latch onto as he could be the next one and done WR at UT.
To be expected, the defense was far ahead of the offense as the defensive front four was giving the OL fits throughout my stay. That said, I didn’t see a ton of talent on the defense. A.J. Johnson is probably the biggest name in terms of the draft but he didn’t standout at all during either session. He was outshined by sophomore Jalen Reeves-Maybin, who should lock down the SAM LB spot. Maybin is an undersized LB that flew around the practice field – cleaning up most every play. He’s not draft-eligible but is a name to watch in the future. He will have to add some weight but reminded me a lot of Ryan Shazier, who was taken No. 15 this year. Read the rest of this entry » «Annual spring trips reveal some thoughts on the 2015 NFL Draft»