CANTON, Ohio - The second day of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Academy began with a new and innovative combine style testing session. Later in the day the players were back on the field competing with one another and showing off their skills. Here are some of the major takeaways from Monday.
I WAS IMPRESSED WITH...
Cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles was up and down on Sunday but he really stepped his game up on Monday. The 2018 Rivals100 prospect got beat once or twice but pulled in at least three interceptions during the one-on-one session. Radley-Hiles was more physical and did a good job of adjusting to the ball while it was in the air. He’s extremely fast and has good feet, two of his best assets.
Five-star defensive back Tyreke Johnson and 2018 Rivals100 defensive back Asante Samuel almost exclusively competed against each other during the one-on-one session, taking turns plays wide receiver. The rising juniors came close to splitting their reps but the best play came when Samuel jumped higher than Johnson to reel in an interception near the sideline. That type of play should help many people get over their fear that Samuel’s height could hinder him.
Wide receiver Drue Jackson didn’t arrive in Canton until Monday morning but he made his presence felt fairly quickly once the players hit the field. He has good burst at the snap and runs crisp routes. Jackson’s good footwork in and out of his breaks were especially impressive. He doesn’t have a huge offer sheet right now but expect plenty more schools to offer him down the road.
I WAS SURPRISED BY...
Richard Gouraige surprised on Sunday and his play got even better on Monday. The 2018 four-star looked like a natural at offensive tackle and his quick feet gave defensive linemen fits. Gouraige is really benefiting from the coaching and seems to be able to quickly execute the techniques he is learning. None of the defensive linemen were able to beat him around the edge but there were a few reps where he over set and defensive ends beat him to the inside.
A couple of defensive linemen had a very good practice on Monday. The first was 2018 Rivals100 defensive lineman Alfred Thomas. He is very quick-twitch and has aggressive hands. He looks like he will grow into a tough defensive tackle and had a lot of success against the guards and centers he faced.
One of the younger defensive linemen in attendance was 2019 Keyon Ware-Hudson. He has great size for a player that just finished his freshman year and his strength caught a lot of offensive linemen off guard. Ware-Hudson, who already holds offers from Michigan, USC, and Arizona, is very fast off the line of scrimmage and has a good understanding of pass rushing techniques.
A couple other 2019 defensive linemen that have been having a lot of success are Jeremiah Burton and Dezman Cooper. Cooper plays all over the field in high school but looks like he is destined to be a game-changing defensive end. Burton is extremely strong for his age and there weren’t many interior offensive linemen that could slow him down. Look for these two to pull in offers before this season is over.
He will play defensive end in college, but 2018 Rivals100 prospect K.J. Henry made a lot of plays as a tight end on Monday. He has good speed in the open field and seemed to have reliable hands. Linebackers and defensive backs had a hard time accounting for Henry’s speed, size and leaping abilities.
Micah Parsons, a 2018 Rivals100 defensive end who's committed to Penn State, continued working out as a wide receiver. On Monday he showed noticeable signs of improvement and looks like he is getting more comfortable running and tracking the ball in the open field.
After a slow start on Sunday, 2018 defensive back D'Angelo McKenzie looked like he’s adjusted to the speed of the competition. He made a couple of very impressive plays during one-on-ones using his good length. McKenzie also had a few timely pass breakups that got everybody’s attention.