MOBILE, Ala. – Good first day: Central Florida outside linebacker Shaquem Griffin is one of the really good stories down here at the Senior Bowl this week. He had his left hand amputated at age four, but he's never let it limit him on the football field or in life.
"As long as I'm going fast and making plays, they're going to forget how many hands I have," he said.
Griffin was terrific in one-on-one pass-rush drills against the offensive linemen on Tuesday, showing off both his speed, and a killer inside spin move. He also showed off his speed in 7-on-7 drills covering backs and tight ends. He had 18.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss the last two seasons at CFU. He had a good first day in Mobile, too.
Oohs and aahs: Auburn inside linebacker Tre' Williams had the defensive play of the day that got a good reaction from the crowd at the South practice. Williams busted into the backfield during a team rep, separated the ball from running back Rashaad Penny with nice pop, and then recovered the fumble himself.
One-on-ones: The biggest attraction at practice for both the North and South teams Tuesday were the one-on-one pass-rushing drills between the defensive and offensive lines. It's some of the best competition at practice. Three players on defense stuck out to me Tuesday. UTSA's Marcus Davenport, Griffin and Stanford defensive tackle Harrison Phillips. Phillips was nearly unblockable. He put Michigan center Mason Cole on his butt seven yards in the backfield in one rep. Phillips is a player to watch this week. Aren't the Lions in the market for a defensive tackle?
Heisman watch: Heisman winning quarterback Baker Mayfield was a late arrival to Mobile after dealing with a family situation on Sunday and Monday. He arrived right before the North's practice Tuesday, but still took part. He was a little rusty early on in practice, but in the final team drill, he threw a few darts for completions across the middle that turned a few heads.
No. 1 pick watch: Some draft analysts have Wyoming QB Josh Allen as a potential No. 1 pick. Allen certainly looked the part in the North practice. He's big and strong, and can sling it anywhere on the field. Both Allen and Mayfield play for the North team coached by the quarterback-needy Denver Broncos.
Injured hammies: After one-on-one drills between the tight ends and linebackers early on in the South practice, tight ends Adam Breneman (UMASS) and Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State) were spotted standing next to each other off to the side of practice. One had an ice pack on his right hamstring and the other had one on his left hamstring.
Deep threats: On multiple occasions during Tuesday's South practice receivers James Washington (Oklahoma State) and Byron Pringle (Kansas State) found themselves behind their defender in one-on-ones drills against the cornerbacks for big plays. Washington had over 1,500 yards with 13 touchdowns this season. It was a good start to the week for both players in the one-on-one portion of practice.
No nonsense: The heaviest player at Tuesday's weigh-in was Texas El-Paso guard Will Hernandez at 340 pounds. After watching Hernandez in Tuesday's practice, he's 340 pounds of no nonsense. The All-American plays very strong. He pushed around defenders all afternoon.