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2011 Senior Bowl: Wednesday Practice Report

Yesterday I focused on observations of Offensive Tackles, which is my preference for a first, and possibly second round pick as well.  Today, we'll branch out a bit, as we all know Colts GM Bill Polian will go against the "expert" opinions a majority of the time.  We'll start with Wes Bunting at National Football Post, who has multiple reports coming out of Mobile (Definitely check out his reports, and follow him on Twitter for a bunch more info):

Oklahoma S Quinton Carter:

Still looks a bit too stiff for me to think that this guy is a potential playmaking defensive back in the NFL. He has some snap to his game in run support, displays pretty good balance in his drop and overall ball skills in coverage. However, there isn’t a real burst to his game when asked to redirect and close on the football quickly.

I know Safety is a position that keeps popping up as a Colts need, and I think it depends on whether the Colts decide to keep Bob Sanders and his big contract.  Mocking the Draft has Carter ranked at #51 overall, and the 2nd ranked FS, so there's a good chance he would be there at pick #54.

North Carolina CB Kendric Burney:

Liked what I saw from North Carolina defensive back Kendric Burney today. He seemed a lot more comfortable sitting into his stance in off coverage, cleanly/compactly getting out of his breaks, snapping his head around quickly and making a play on the football. He did a nice job being patient in his drop, mirroring routes and closes well on the throw. Overall, it was a solid day for Burney.

Can never have too many CBs, and according to Bunting he looks to be a 3rd-4th rounder, right in the wheelhouse for the Colts, who have taken CBs in the 3rd round three of the past 4 years.  I especially liked the "closes well on the throw".

Temple S Jaiquawn Jarrett:

He looks like the most fluid of athletes at the position, can cleanly open up his hips and is smooth when asked to change directions. Needs some work with his footwork, as he isn’t the most compact of defenders when asked to click and close and gets a bit overextended at times. However, in a very shabby safety class, Jarrett looks like an intriguing athlete.

Another mid-to-late round Safety that could be helpful as depth.

Baylor DT Phil Taylor:

Can absolutely be a one-man wrecking crew when the guy plays with proper leverage. At the start of practice he came out of his stance too high, lost the leverage battle and was stonewalled at the point by a smaller offensive lineman. However, after that point he did a much better job staying low off the ball and absolutely overwhelmed opposing blockers through contact. Combine his power with his impressive initial first step for his size and violent club, and the guy can be an absolute bear to block one-on-one inside.

Taylor is the 11th best DT according to Mocking the Draft, so again a mid-to-late round pick.  Another guy to keep an eye on.

Bunting also tweeted about a match-up between Mississippi St. OT Derek Sherrod and Texas A&M LB Von Miller, who a good number of people have going in the top 5, and Bunting compares to Clay Matthews:

#TexasA%M OLB Von Miller has such an explosive first step got #mississippiState OT with a straight speed rush on one occassion #NFLDRAFT

#MississippiState OT Derek Sherrod got #TexasA&M Von Miller on the next match up sliding his feet well through the counter #NFLDRAFT

Sherrod is another OT the Colts should definitely be looking at, but he might not be around at pick #22.

Yahoo! Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar also had reports from the morning and afternoon practices.  Here are a couple guys he highlighted:

Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter:

I really liked what he showed on Wednesday morning. Earlier in the week, he seemed to go down a bit too easily upon contact, but he ran Wednesday like a man with a lot to prove -- decisively and with a lot of power. He burst out of the line between the tackles, and kept that velocity and power consistent when bouncing outside. He was also very dynamic catching passes out of the backfield, getting up field in a hurry.

I'm guessing Polian takes a RB at some point in the draft, so we need to keep these guys in the loop too.  He's 5'8", 190 lbs, so he could almost certainly return kicks as well, something the Colts desperately need (as we all know).

Miami, FL WR Leonard Hankerson:

The biggest standout among all the South receivers has been Miami's Leonard Hankerson. I profiled him for Yahoo's Tale of the Tape series, and I'm even more impressed with him in person. Hankerson goes through his routes with a smoothness and precision that will serve him well. He doesn't look as fast as he is because he does run so well, he manages to avoid the jerkiness you'll see from less practiced route runners.

Sounds like a Colts receiver to me.  If he sticks around until the Colts second pick, he'd be a great pickup.

Finally, Tony Pauline from Sports Illustrated checks in:

Boise State WR Titus Young:

In a senior class void of talent at the receiver position, Young is making the most of his opportunity in Mobile. Young has been the quickest, fastest and most explosive receiver at the Senior Bowl. He's also done a good job catching the ball and many have compared his playmaking skills to Philadelphia Eagles star DeSean Jackson. Young is establishing himself as the top senior wide out in the draft.

He might be a little too much like Pierre Garcon, but I like this guy.

Iowa DL Christian Ballard:

Ballard beat blockers all day with his quickness, explosiveness and athleticism. He showcased a variety of moves, played with a non-stop motor and was constantly setting up shop behind the line of scrimmage. Most impressive of all was Ballard doing his damage at a variety of positions, lining up at both defensive tackle and end.

We all know how much Polian loves players from Iowa, so Ballard is a guy I definitely could see the Colts taking a look at.