Shrine Practice -- Wednesday AM Report

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

The East squad took part in its final padded practice this morning under brilliant sunshine in St. Petersburg. Several offensive players impressed the large group of scouts on hand as they prepare for Saturday’s kickoff.

Those Who Impressed

Daurice Fountain/WR/Northern Iowa: Fountain showed flashes of ability during the initial two Shrine practices then really pulled it together on Wednesday morning and was the top receiver on the field. He catches the ball well, showing good hand-eye coordination as well as the ability to win out for contested passes. Fountain was probably the fastest receiver on the field during East practice, showing a terrific burst and the ability to outrun defenders down the sidelines. He looks primed to be a fourth or fifth man on the depth chart at the next level, and displaying return skills during Saturday’s game will only enhance his draft stock.

Brian Allen/C/Michigan State: Allen has been steady during all three Shrine practices and could’ve been mentioned after any of them. He’s strong, fundamentally sound and has a great head for the position. Allen consistently opened up the middle of the line, and I was impressed with his ability to quickly get to the second level then take out linebackers.

Justin Watson/WR/Penn: Truth be told, Tuesday was probably Watson’s best practice of the week, but he’s been impressive all three days. He’s a natural pass catcher with a smooth style and great concentration. His hand-eye coordination is impressive, as is his ability to come away with contested passes or errant throws. The faster he runs in predraft workouts, the earlier he will be selected.

Jason Cabinda/LB/Penn State: Cabinda is a prospect who doesn’t meet the eyeball test, but he’s just a good, tough football player. He threw his body around the field defending the run and sold out on blitz drills. Earlier in the week he struggled during one-on-one cover drills but looked solid in scrimmages when the ball was in the air. The New York Jets have shown a lot of interest in Cabinda this week.

Joe Davidson/P/Bowling Green: Davidson has shown some inconsistency and can be a bit slow getting the ball off his foot, but when he’s on his game, watch out. He kicked moon shots which were dizzying to watch fly through the air during special-teams drills and at the same time did a great job pinning returners inside the 10-yard line.

Notes

* Pittsburgh tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith had his moments throughout the week and may have done enough to get himself drafted in the late rounds if he’s medically cleared. Jones-Smith is a long, agile tackle who blocks with solid fundamentals. He lacks top footwork in space and does not play with great lower body strength, which is somewhat understandable. Off the 2014 film, the Panthers had two highly rated offensive line prospects -- Dorian Johnson and Adam Bisnowaty -- but many in the scouting community believed Jones-Smith, then a redshirt freshman, had the greatest amount of upside potential. Following his freshman season, Jones-Smith suffered a devastating knee injury during the offseason and missed the 2015 campaign, then he played just eight games in 2016. Jones-Smith has the makings of a next-level tackle prospect, but the knee injury could doom him.

* Chris Worley continues to impress with his performance at practice. He was unstoppable during blitz drills and showed incredible explosion this morning. I don’t know that he’s going to test all that well in the lead up to the draft, but I firmly believe he will be a good player at the next level. The New York Giants spent a significant amount of time with him today.