College Gridiron Showcase Notebook: Day 1
Emory Hunt, FBGP Analyst
Day 1 of the 2019 College Gridiron Showcase got underway in Fort Worth, Texas. From my vantage point, all 32 NFL Teams and all 9 CFL teams were in attendance at McNair Stadium. Some teams had multiple scouts present. You know it’s scouting season anytime you see former NFL player, and current Cleveland Browns Front Office Exec. Alonzo Highsmith out and about. It’s that time of the year folks, and the CGS All-Star Showcase is a great event to kick off the 2019 All-Star Game Circuit.
The practice on Sunday was for the Small College Group (Marshalls) and the practices Monday-Wednesday will be for the two select groups (Wranglers & Desperadoes). The Small College Group only had Sunday to leave an impression on the scouts, as the rest of the week is for the two aforementioned groups.
Here’s a look at some of the standouts from Sunday’s practice:
QB Dominique Harris – 6’4 259, Benedict College: I thought Harris had the best day of the QBs, routinely making tight window throws with excellent velocity. He has a bit of a Cardale Jones-Rohan Davey-ness to his game and has put together back-to-back solid performances during the all-star circuit, having performed well at the National Bowl back in December.
RB Lamar Carswell – 5’7 183, Trine: Carswell just operates at a different speed. He was able to showcase both lateral quickness and explosiveness during 9-on-7s.
WR Ricky Rogers – 6’0 211, Indiana (PA): Rogers has a savvy about his game that allows him to consistently work himself open. I was also impressed with the level of body control shown in his ability to track the ball and haul in the reception.
WR Austin Calamita – 5’11 198, Western Connecticut State: This was my first time seeing Calamita play and I came away highly impressed with his explosiveness within his route running. After he does his work at the line of scrimmage, Calamita is able to explode into his route, creating a 2-3 yard cushion of separation between the defender. He’s also natural at catching the ball over his shoulders.
WR La’Darious McElroy – 6’5 238, Ouachita Baptist: McElroy has the ‘off the bus’ look about him. A physically imposing prospect that shows good quickness for a guy his size. He’s listed as an athlete here on the roster, so some teams may view him as either a bigger slot receiver, a split end (X) or even a Flex TE at the next level. He is able to catch the ball away from his body with ease and had a really good day.
TE Ryan Edwards – 6’2 253, Morehouse: I thought Edwards looked the most fluid out of the TE group. He caught the ball well and definitely knows where his hands are. Not overly explosive, but moves well enough to get himself open.
OT Travis Krall – 6’5 307, Bloomsburg: 1-on-1s I was impressed with Krall. Coming from the Huskies program, you rarely get to see a lot of pass pro reps, so I liked what I saw from him from a technical standpoint. He was solid in 9-on-7, that is expected considering how dominate as a unit they were at Bloomsburg.
DT Tyler Bembry – 5’11 338, Chowan: Fire hydrant of a player, who’s natural pad-level and leverage had him be a very disruptive player yesterday during 9-on-7s.
LB CJ Bivens – 5’11 244, Lindenwood: I thought his instinct vs the run was where it needed to be. And because of his ability to anticipate, he was able to consistently get good run fits during 9-on-7 and shrink space between he and the ball carrier during team-vs-team.
LB Antonio Harris – 6’1 230, Fairmont State: Harris brings good pop upon contact, showing just the right amount of aggressiveness at the position that allows him to COD pretty seamlessly if it’s play action.
CB Zuril Hendrick – 5’11 192, Edinboro: I liked his ability to matchup in 1-on-1s. He showed really good technique in press. He uses his hands well and has above-average footwork & hips to be able to turn and run with any type of receiver.
DB Andrew Roach – 6’1 183, Pace: Another stellar performance by the former Sacred Heart & Pace DB, having put together a solid week of work at the National Bowl in December. Roach was strong in 1-on-1s, even showing some versatility playing inside at times in the slot and back at safety.
There were other players that stood out (LB #37, LB #58 and DT #96) but their numbers weren’t reflected on the roster. I promise to get those names today.
Here are the Practice Highlights from Day 1 of the College Gridiron Showcase: