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2015 Senior Bowl: Observations from Wednesday's North Team Practice

Checking in with an update from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama

Here are a few things that stood out about the North team's practice on Wednesday:

1. Intensity turned up this morning

Yesterday's practice saw the players in shells and shorts, but that wasn't the case on Wednesday. The guys were in full pads and from the sounds echoing throughout the stadium, they were ready to hit.

In addition to much more contact, the positional drills on Wednesday were more centered on what these players could do in one-on-one situations.

The offensive and defensive lines worked on pass-rushing situations and the receivers and defensive backs worked out in space.

2. Couple of receivers standing out

Between Ohio State's Devin Smith, Duke's Jamison Crowder and East Carolina's Justin Hardy, the North team has had its fair share of receivers making plays at practice.


WR Devin Smith

Smith, who had the knock of being primarily a vertical route runner, didn't have much trouble separating from defensive backs in one-on-one drills. He made a couple of really nice catches on passes thrown well over his head, and the speed he possesses hasn't ever really been a question.

Hardy and Crowder both made several nice catches in seven-on-seven drills across the middle of the field. Crowder is smaller in stature at just 5-foot-8 and 174 pounds, while Hardy stands at 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. Crowder has been working in the slot while Hardy has been moved around both on the inside and outside.

3. Utah's Nate Orchard continues to stand out

With 18.5 sacks this past season at Utah en route to 10 different All-American accolades, defensive end Nate Orchard, who looks to also be versatile enough as a 3-4 outside linebacker, has shown well after two practices here in Mobile.

At 6-foot-3 and 251 pounds, Orchard has the size but also the athleticism to fit as a pass-rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

His "get off" has been praised by the analysts here and he's also shown well in run defense drills, displaying the upper body strength to hold the edge in one-on-one drills.

4. Danny Shelton continues to be best player here

After speaking with several different draft analysts and getting their opinions on all of the players here in Mobile, one of the first names always mentioned is Washington defensive lineman Danny Shelton.


DL Danny Shelton

At 6-foot-1, 341 pounds, Shelton has the size to anchor in the middle of the defense. But what has made him special is the athletic ability he combines with that size.

When I spoke with him on Tuesday night, he said it's his goal to dominate in the trenches and take up blockers for his teammates, but he also wants to make an impact with double-digit tackles in every game he plays.

He's got the kind of edge to him you want to see from the anchor of your defense.

5. Couple of offensive lineman making their presence known

After practice I spoke with NFL Network's Charles Davis about some of the player's that have impressed him so far at the Senior Bowl.

Two of the players he mentioned were Duke offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson and Wisconsin's Rob Havenstein.

Much more was learned about these players today as the pads were on and they worked through one-on-one drills featuring the defensive line against the offensive line. Both of these players impressed in that drill as they demonstrated the functional strength to absorb a pass rusher's bull rush and protect the pocket.

We'll have an update for you later this afternoon after the South team's practice at Ladd Peebles Stadium here in Mobile, Alabama.

Follow @ChiefsReporter and @pgsween for live updates on twitter.

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