Senior Bowl

5 things to know from Day 2 of Senior Bowl practices

MOBILE, Alabama --

  1. O.J. Howard continued Wednesday to show why many believe he'll be the earliest drafted player among the 100s here at the 2017 Senior Bowl. The former Alabama tight end caught most of whatever was thrown his way and was even more impressive in one-on-one blocking drills. In one session, he completely stood up his former teammate, linebacker Ryan Anderson, and drew praise from the coaches watching nearby. He's one of three talented tight ends on the South roster, joining Ole Miss' Evan Engram and South Alabama's Gerald Everett. "He's a good player," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "There's no question about it. He has talent. He's got to continue to get better and continue to showcase his talent and ability while he's here."
  1. Cooper Kupp rattled off more than 100 receptions in each of his final three seasons at Eastern Washington, and it felt like he was poised to hit the century mark at Wednesday's practice. The off-the-radar wide receiver, who finished his college career with more than 6,300 yards and 73 touchdowns, consistently found openings in the defense and caught passes long and short. He's been a popular prospect in the eyes of scouts and pundits who have watched the first two practices on a field where all of the players are seen as equals -- no matter what school they attended. "I don't think the gap is as big as people think it is between FCS and FBS but there is a difference, and those guys are good," Kupp said. "You're going to get the best from them."
  1. There's no tackling to the ground during Senior Bowl practices, but Toledo's Kareem Hunt made it clear he wouldn't have been tackled anywhere near the line of scrimmage on a number of running plays. The Willoughby native has made the most of his first two practices, showing even more speed than he did in college after dropping 20 pounds and displaying his versatility as both a runner and pass-catcher. That last part is pivotal for Hunt, who entered his senior season with 32 career receptions but ended with a flourish, catching 41 passes for 403 yards in his final year with the Rockets. "It's been a long journey, a long road and it's finally here," Hunt said. "I've got to take advantage of it."
  1. The Browns have been breaking in a number of new coaches on the defensive side of the ball but there's also been a new voice on offense with the arrival of veteran offensive line coach Bob Wylie. With 35 years of experience, Wylie is one of the most experienced coaches on the entire Browns staff. His connection to Jackson dates back to 2011, when he served as his offensive line coach during his season as head coach of the Raiders. "We've done a good job together. He's a guy I'm real familiar with. When we were together we didn't get the quarterback hit a lot," Jackson said. "That's the name of the game; the quarterback's got to be able to stand upright and do what he does well. We needed to improve there and I felt it was best for us to make that change."
  1. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and his father, Jim, watched both of Wednesday's practices from the sidelines of Ladd-Peebles Stadium. "It's important to me," Jackson said. "I've said all along I have a great relationship with Jimmy and I'm really excited the fact he comes out here and sees myself and the staff and also the talent that's out here. I think that's important as we move forward."
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